KHTK 1A: LOOKING: INTRODUCTION

August 16, 2014
This issue is now obsolete. For latest references please see: KHTK Mindfulness. The specific reference that updates this issue is The 12 Aspects of Mindfulness.
This was the first of a basic series of essays, which started this blog. These essays were later revised and the original versions were deleted. However, these essays were then added back to maintain a complete record.
This first essay introduced the acronym KHTK to identify this set of essays. I couldn’t think of any name. These essays talked about “looking,” which I felt was the actual basis of Scientology and other self-improvement processes. I knew that the word Scientology was used for “Knowing How to Know.” I liked that phrase and derived the acronym KHTK from it. The scope of KHTK is now explained by the essay What is KHTK?
“Looking” was the original concept that I had in mind. But as I came across Vipassana, and got more familiar with the concept of mindfulness, I replaced the term “looking” with “mindfulness” as being more appropriate.

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There is a set of essays that have come to be known by the acronym KHTK (from the phrase “Knowing How To Know”). This is the first of KHTK essays. It introduces LOOKING as the key to knowing how to know.

Looking means to observe and notice things for what they are. To know something, you do not have to label it, or use words to describe it. You simply look and recognize something for what it is.

This essay further provides exercises to develop the skill of LOOKING, which is

LOOK AND SIMPLY OBSERVE WHAT IS THERE WITHOUT THINKING, OR ATTEMPTING TO GET AN ANSWER.

The mind may introduce thoughts, labels, evaluations, opinions and conclusions as one attempts to look. The wrong approach is to try to get rid of these things as obstructions. The clever thing to do is to turn these annoying intrusions around and make them the objects of looking itself.

THOUGHTS

Very often we find thoughts to be racing around in the mind. They  absorb a lot of attention without leading to any solutions. “Look without thinking” means that when you see thoughts appearing in the mind, then you simply observe them without contributing to them.

Exercise 1-1

LOOK AROUND THE ROOM AND OBSERVE DIFFERENT OBJECTS. NOTICE IF THERE ARE THOUGHTS APPEARING IN THE MIND.

If so, then do not stop the thoughts from appearing in the mind. Simply notice these thoughts and then continue to look at the objects. End this exercise when you have done that.

LABELS

As you look at objects in your environment, you don’t have to tell yourself what that object is. When you see a lamp, you don’t have to think, “This is a lamp.” You just observe it without labeling it.

Labeling things as you observe them means adding thoughts to what is there.

Exercise 1-2

LOOK AROUND THE ROOM AND OBSERVE DIFFERENT OBJECTS. NOTICE IF THE MIND IS LABELING THESE OBJECTS AS YOU LOOK AT THEM.

If so, then do not stop the mind from labeling. Simply notice that the mind is labeling objects and then continue to look. End the exercise when you have done that.

EVALUATIONS

You do not have to evaluate (that is, offer ideas or opinions) as you look at things. When you see a rare lamp of antique design, you do not have to tell yourself, “This is an expensive lamp,” or, “Wow! What a lamp it is!” You just observe what is there.

Evaluating things as you observe them also means adding thoughts to what is there.

Exercise 1-3

LOOK AROUND THE ROOM AND OBSERVE DIFFERENT OBJECTS. NOTICE IF THE MIND IS EVALUATING AS YOU LOOK AT THESE OBJECTS.

If so, then do not stop the mind from evaluating. Simply notice that the mind is evaluating objects and then continue to look. End the exercise when you have done that.

CONCLUSIONS

You do not have to come to certain conclusions about things as you look at them. You simply observe what is there. If it is a mystery then it is a mystery, and that’s that. You then continue looking.

Exercise 1-4

LOOK AROUND THE ROOM AND OBSERVE DIFFERENT OBJECTS. NOTICE IF THE MIND IS OFFERING ANY CONCLUSIONS AS YOU LOOK AT THESE OBJECTS.

If so, then do not stop the mind from offering conclusions. Just notice those conclusions and then continue to look at the objects. End the exercise when you have done that.

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Comments

  • vinaire  On August 18, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    I am now reviewing all essays on Vinaire’s Blog, beginning with this essay, and assigning them proper status.

    This is the very first essay posted on this blog. The original concept of LOOKING has now been expanded into a more mature concept of MINDFULNESS.

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