KHTK EXERCISE SET 1 (old)

These exercises are designed to familiarize one with various steps of the practice of Looking as explained in THE BASICS OF LOOKING.

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Exercise 1

PURPOSE:   To distinctly recognize physical and mental objects, and any association that may have been taken for granted.

1.      Place attention on your physical environment. Become aware of physical objects “outside” of you.

2.  Place attention on your mental environment. Become aware of the mental objects (thoughts, feelings, sensations, etc.) “inside”  of you.

3.      Continue looking until you start to become very aware of physical objects “outside” and mental objects (thoughts, feelings, sensations, etc.) “inside.”

4.      Continue looking until you start to become aware of some inconsistency. 

Here is an example:

Suppose you are looking at the profile of a person. When the question arises, “How many ears does this person have?” Your mind may say, “Two.” But as you look, you see only one ear. Underlying this inconsistency there is some association that you are not fully aware of.

5.      Look more closely at the inconsistency until various associations also start to manifest themselves. 

Continuing with the previous example, you may find that there is the thought, “All persons have two ears” associated with the person’s profile you are looking at. You may then be able to look at the person’s profile separately from the thought, and realize that this person may, or may not, have a second ear. This will be a more accurate view.

6.      This exercise is complete when you can distinctly recognize physical and mental objects, and any association that may have been taken for granted.

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Exercise 2

PURPOSE:   To distinctly recognize the mental objects and the activity taking place among them, without participating, or interfering, in any way.

1.      Close your eyes while maintaining awareness of both physical and mental environments. Notice that the visual perception may not be there, but the perception of sound, odors, tastes and tactile from physical objects is still there.

2.      Simply observe what is there without interfering. You may find that the perception of mental objects, such as, thoughts, feelings, pictures from memories, etc., starts to become sharper with time.

Here is an example:

A memory may come up when you were in school, and you used to be terrified at the sight of a bully. You may get a series of pictures of the school and the person, who bullied you. You may become aware of several incidents of being bullied, the time of the year when those incidents occurred, and a feeling of dread.

3.      Look at these mental objects for what they are. Gradually you may become aware of the chattering, or “thinking,” going in the mind.

Continuing with the previous example, thoughts may arise, such as, how the fear of the bully affected your school grades. This thought may remind you of people in the present time who act like that bully. You may also be reminded of fears that worry you in the present. The mind may then start computing how to avoid those people, and how to go about handling those fears. Computations like this may go on and on.

4.      Look at this chattering or “thinking” for what it is. Do not participate in it, or interfere with it, in any way. This may be difficult at first, but continue looking without suppressing, resisting, or expecting anything.

5.      Gradually, you may find that you can observe not only the various mental objects, but also the activity among them much more clearly.

6.      This exercise is complete when you can distinctly recognize the mental objects and the activity taking place among them, without participating, or interfering, in any way.

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Exercise 3

PURPOSE:  To experience a feeling, emotion, or sensation thoroughly without avoiding, resisting, or suppressing it back.

1.      Look at your old family album or old pictures that you may have kept. Alternatively, find something in your past that you have been avoiding to look at.

2.      As some feeling, emotion or sensation arises, dive right into the very center of it and feel it thoroughly. 

3.      Stay with the feeling, emotion or sensation. Do not avoid, resist or suppress it back.

4.      Let that feeling, emotion or sensation outpour and discharge as it may.

5.      This exercise is complete when you can experience a feeling, emotion, or sensation thoroughly without avoiding, resisting, or suppressing it back.

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You may now go back and practice looking per THE PRACTICE OF LOOKING.

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