The Context of KHTK

Reference: What is KHTK?

KHTK is practiced within the context of The Fourth Noble Truth – The Path as taught by Buddha. The eight categories of this path are outlined below. Please note that this is eastern psychology and not a religion.


(A) Wisdom

1.  Right Understanding (seeing a thing in its true nature, without name and label)

(a) The nature of life is Dukkha

(b) The origin of Dukkha is ‘thirst’

(c) Nirvana is the cessation of Dukkha.

(d) The path to Nirvana is eight fold.

2.  Right Thought (extended to all beings)

(a) Thoughts of selfless renunciation or detachment

(b) Thoughts of love

(c) Thoughts of non-violence


(B) Ethical Conduct

3.  Right Speech

(a) Abstain from telling lies

(b) Abstain from backbiting and slander and talk that may bring about hatred, enmity, disunity, and disharmony among individuals or groups of people.

(c) Abstain from harsh, rude, impolite, malicious and abusive language.

(d) Abstain from idle, useless and foolish babble and gossip.

(e) Do not speak carelessly: speech should be at the right time and place.

(f) If one cannot say something useful, one should keep ‘noble silence’.

4.  Right Action

(a) Abstain from destroying life, from stealing, from dishonest dealings, and from illegitimate sexual intercourse.

(b) Always aim at promoting moral, honorable and peaceful product.

(c) Help others to lead a peaceful and honorable life in the right way.

5.  Right Livelihood

(a) Abstain from making living through a profession that brings harm to others, such as

  • Trading in arms and lethal weapons,
  • Intoxicating drinks,
  • Poisons,
  • Killing animals,
  • Cheating, etc.

(b) Live by a profession which is honorable, blameless and innocent of harm to others.


(C) Mental Discipline

6.  Right Effort (energetic will)

(a) To prevent evil and unwholesome states of mind from arising

(b) To get rid of such evil and unwholesome states that have already arisen within a man

(c) To produce, to cause to arise, good and wholesome states of mind not yet arisen

(d) To develop and bring to perfection the good and wholesome states of mind already present in a man.

7.  Right Mindfulness (to be diligently aware, mindful and attentive with regard to)

(a) The activities of the body.

  • Be clearly aware of breathing
  • Whether it is deep or shallow
  • Of how it appears and disappears within the body

(b) Sensations or feelings.

  • Be clearly aware of all forms of feelings and sensations
  • Whether pleasant, unpleasant and neutral
  • Of how they appear and disappear within oneself

(c) The activities of the mind

  • Whether one’s mind is lustful or not, given to hatred or not, deluded or not, distracted or concentrated, etc.
  • All movements of mind, how they arise and disappear.

(d) Ideas, thoughts, conceptions and things

  • One should know their nature
  • How they appear and disappear
  •  How they are developed
  •  How they are suppressed, and destroyed, and so on

8.  Right Concentration

(a) First Stage

  • Passionate desires and certain unwholesome thoughts like sensuous lust, ill-will, languor, worry, restlessness, and skeptical doubt are discarded
  • Feelings of joy and happiness are maintained, along with certain mental activities.

(b) Second Stage

  • All intellectual activities are suppressed
  • Tranquility and ‘one-pointedness’ of mind is developed
  • The feelings of joy and happiness are still retained.

(c) Third Stage

  • The feeling of joy, which is an active sensation, also disappears
  • The disposition of happiness still remains
  • Mindful equanimity remains

(d) Fourth Stage

  • All sensations, even of happiness and unhappiness, of joy and sorrow, disappear
  • Only pure equanimity and awareness remains


The practice of KHTK helps bring about ‘Right Mindfulness’, which then supports the development of overall mental discipline. The mental discipline goes hand in hand with ‘wisdom’ and ‘ethical conduct’. So, when one is working with KHTK, one is working with all the eight categories above simultaneously.


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  • Vaishnu Sharma  On October 2, 2013 at 4:11 AM

    Good collection of Path of renunciation by Buddha, but much depends on us how we implement it in our daily life and that is more important. In the way to Nirvana a lot of obstacles are encountered that deflect us from the path and to win over these obstacles by sustained /self discipline is the real test.


    • vinaire  On October 2, 2013 at 7:10 AM

      We need to present the wisdom of the past in such a manner that it can be easily comprehended and absorbed in the present culture.

      That is the effort I am putting behind KHTK Exercises.



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