Early KHTK Exercises

These are exercises compiled from the early set of KHTK essays below. They were the precursor to the 12 STEPS OF MINDFULNESS. These exercises may give one a feel of what mindfulness is about.

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Exercise 1-1

Reference: KHTK 1A: LOOKING: INTRODUCTION

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.

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Exercise 1-2

Reference: KHTK 1A: LOOKING: INTRODUCTION

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.

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Exercise 1-3

Reference: KHTK 1A: LOOKING: INTRODUCTION

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.

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Exercise 1-4

Reference: KHTK 1A: LOOKING: INTRODUCTION

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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Exercise 1-5

Reference: KHTK 1B: LOOKING AND THINKING

YOU MAY DO THIS EXERCISE AS LONG AS YOU WANT WHILE DOING YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES. 

  1. Observe the things in your environment. Be alert and aware without thinking or expecting anything.

  2. Look and observe something with full attention. Then look and observe something else with full attention. Continue this way.

  3. If thoughts arise in your mind then simply observe them as “thoughts arising in the mind.” Don’t suppress them. Just continue.

  4. If you notice the mind is adding to what is there, differentiate between what the mind is adding and what you observe to be there. Continue.

  5. Do this until you can comfortably observe what is there, differentiating it from thoughts in the mind, or what the mind may be adding to the observation.

  6. Do not suppress any activity of the mind. You simply observe what your attention is on, without thinking or expecting anything.

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Exercise 1-6

Reference: KHTK 1C: LOOKING: THE MIND

READ EACH OF THE FOLLOWING ITEMS. PAUSE BRIEFLY TO NOTICE IF THERE IS A RESPONSE IN THE MIND. NOTICE THE PRESENCE, AS WELL AS THE ABSENCE, OF AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE.

 Look in your mind at an instance:

  1. When you felt lucky.
  2. When you switched on a light.
  3. When enjoyed a good meal.
  4. When you ran fast.
  5. When you enjoyed a good company.

You may repeat this exercise. This exercise is completed when you feel that

(1) You can notice an immediate response.
(2) You can notice the absence of an immediate response.
(3) You can differentiate the response from other mental phenomena.

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Exercise 1-7

Reference: KHTK 1D: LOOKING: PRACTICE

READ YOURSELF OR HAVE A GUIDE READ EACH ITEM TO YOU.  DO NOT FORMULATE QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WHILE LOOKING. THAT WOULD BE THINKING.

(1)     If nothing comes up, continue with the next item on the list.

(2)     If something comes up, notice it.

(3)     Do not consciously add any thinking to what is observed.

(4)     Do not consciously make any effort to get an answer.

 Look at an instance:

  1. When you were happy.
  2. When you climbed a tree.
  3. When you ate something good.
  4. When you received a present.
  5. When you enjoyed a laugh.
  6. When you helped somebody.
  7. When you threw a ball.
  8. When something important happened to you.
  9. When you played a game.
  10. When you jumped down from a tree.
  11. When you won a contest.
  12. When you had a good laugh.
  13. When you met someone you liked.
  14. When you flew on a plane.
  15. When you were at a beautiful place.
  16. When you jumped into a pool.
  17. When you enjoyed a beautiful morning.
  18. When you went for a walk.
  19. When somebody teased you.
  20. When you sat in a coffee shop.
  21. When you danced with joy.
  22. When you raced with someone.
  23. When you completed something important.
  24. When you experienced a pleasant surprise.
  25. When you met somebody after a long time.
  26. When you were caught in a rain.
  27. When you heard a thunder.
  28. When someone smiled at you.
  29. When you played with a pet.
  30. When you held someone’s hand.
  31. When someone picked your body up.
  32. When you were spinning around.
  33. When you read a good book.
  34. When you felt breeze on your face.
  35. When you saw a beautiful flower.
  36. When you smelled a rose.
  37. When somebody called you.
  38. When you were in a play.
  39. When you sang aloud.
  40. When you watched a movie.
  41. When your team won.
  42. When you rode with friends.
  43. When you visited a garden.
  44. When you played in water.
  45. When the weather was stormy.
  46. When somebody gave you a hug.
  47. When you liked somebody.
  48. When you slid down a slide.
  49. When you ran toward somebody you liked.
  50. When you enjoyed a beautiful weather.

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Exercise 2-1   

Reference: KHTK 2A: EXPERIENCING: INTRODUCTION

FIND SOMETHING IN YOUR ENVIRONMENT THAT YOU HAVE BEEN AVOIDING LOOKING AT.

  1. Observe the feelings or emotions that appear as you start to face it.

  2. Experience those feelings and emotions without resisting or suppressing them.

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Exercise 2-2

Reference: KHTK 2A: EXPERIENCING: INTRODUCTION

Move around the house leisurely, and look at various objects, touching and feeling them. Experience them without resisting until you can unconditionally accept their presence.

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Exercise 2-3

Reference: KHTK 2A: EXPERIENCING: INTRODUCTION

Go for a walk in the neighborhood. Look and notice things. Experience them without resisting until you can unconditionally accept them being there.

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Exercise 2-4

Reference: KHTK 2A: EXPERIENCING: INTRODUCTION

Go to a coffee shop, sit there and observe the surroundings and other people. Experience whatever feelings come up until you no longer are avoiding, resisting or suppressing anything from yourself.

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Exercise 2-5

Reference: KHTK 2A: EXPERIENCING: INTRODUCTION

Look at your family album or any old pictures that you may have kept.  As feelings and emotions come up, experience them without avoiding, resisting or suppressing them.

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Exercise 2-6

Reference: KHTK 2B: EXPERIENCING: THE MIND

READ YOURSELF OR HAVE A GUIDE READ EACH ITEM TO YOU.  DO NOT FORMULATE QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WHILE LOOKING. THAT WOULD BE THINKING.

(1)     If nothing comes up, continue with the next item on the list.

(2)     If something comes up, experience it freely.

(3)     Do not consciously add any thinking to what is observed.

(4)     Take as much time as you need to experience fully.

 

Look at an instance:

  1. When you were happy.
  2. When you climbed a tree.
  3. When you ate something good.
  4. When you received a present.
  5. When you enjoyed a laugh.
  6. When you helped somebody.
  7. When you threw a ball.
  8. When something important happened to you.
  9. When you played a game.
  10. When you jumped down from a tree.
  11. When you won a contest.
  12. When you had a good laugh.
  13. When you met someone you liked.
  14. When you flew on a plane.
  15. When you were at a beautiful place.
  16. When you jumped into a pool.
  17. When you enjoyed a beautiful morning.
  18. When you went for a walk.
  19. When somebody teased you.
  20. When you sat in a coffee shop.
  21. When you danced with joy.
  22. When you raced with someone.
  23. When you completed something important.
  24. When you experienced a pleasant surprise.
  25. When you met somebody after a long time.
  26. When you were caught in a rain.
  27. When you heard a thunder.
  28. When someone smiled at you.
  29. When you played with a pet.
  30. When you held someone’s hand.
  31. When someone picked your body up.
  32. When you were spinning around.
  33. When you read a good book.
  34. When you felt breeze on your face.
  35. When you saw a beautiful flower.
  36. When you smelled a rose.
  37. When somebody called you.
  38. When you were in a play.
  39. When you sang aloud.
  40. When you watched a movie.
  41. When your team won.
  42. When you rode with friends.
  43. When you visited a garden.
  44. When you played in water.
  45. When the weather was stormy.
  46. When somebody gave you a hug.
  47. When you liked somebody.
  48. When you slid down a slide.
  49. When you ran toward somebody you liked.
  50. When you enjoyed a beautiful weather.

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Exercise 2-7

Reference: KHTK 2C: EXPERIENCING: PRACTICE

  1. Find a place where you can sit comfortably and be there for a while without being disturbed or distracted.

  2. Simply observe with your eyes open. If you find your mind adding more to what is plainly visible, simply notice that fact and continue.

  3. Once you can comfortably notice what is there, and can differentiate it from what your mind tends to add to it, you may close your eyes.

  4. If you just see blackness, then observe that blackness. If you see a play of light and darkness, then observe that play of light and darkness.

  5. Observe the various sound and smells as they offer themselves to you. Do not strain to perceive them.

  6. Observe what your senses present to you, such as, the temperature in the room, the pull of gravity, or the taste in your mouth. Do not look for anything in particular. Just be there comfortably experiencing what is there.

  7. The mind may present “pictures” of the current and past events, some flattering and some not so flattering. Simply experience them without thinking. The scene may shift around continually.

  8. The mind may present emotions, such as, embarrassment, guilt, anxiety, anger, fear, grief, and even apathy. Simply experience whatever comes up without trying to judge it, or justify it.

  9. The mind may present various sensations, twitches in muscles, pain, effort to do, or not do something, etc. Do not avoid, resist or suppress these back. Just experience them fully. They will all clear out eventually.

  10. There may be tendency to squirm, move or change position. If the discomfort lasts, readjust your body to a more comfortable position, while keeping your attention on experiencing the effort.

  11. If you find yourself getting involved in thoughts, or mentally doing something else, then simply recognize this fact, and continue. Do not suppress anything. Do not add anything.

  12. Let these feelings, emotions and sensations play themselves out. Do not speculate on reasons and possibilities. As you persevere, the uncomfortable feelings and sensations will clear out.

  13. Try ending this exercise at a point when some persistent emotion or effort has just left, though this may not always be possible.

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Exercise 2-8

Reference: KHTK 2D: EXPERIENCING: ADVANCED EXERCISES

Look at an instance when you lost somebody you loved. As feelings and emotions come up, experience them fully without avoiding, resisting or suppressing them. Take as much time as you need to stay with the feelings and emotions until they start to discharge.

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Exercise 2-9

Reference: KHTK 2D: EXPERIENCING: ADVANCED EXERCISES

Look at some traumatic experience you went through. The details may come up slowly but stay with it. Look without thinking and experience without resisting. It may take several sittings but continue until all details come to view and the trauma starts to discharge.

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Exercise 3-1

Reference: KHTK 3A: ATTENTION: INTRODUCTION

  1. Move around the house leisurely, and look at various objects, touching and feeling them, and accepting their presence.

  2. Look more closely at areas that cause your attention to become fixed and/or dispersed.

  3. Keep looking, without thinking or expectations, at each such object or location in the house.

  4. End off when the attention is back to optimum (free).

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Exercise 3-2

Reference: KHTK 3B: ATTENTION: THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT

Go for a walk in the neighborhood. Look and experience things, accepting their presence. End off when the attention is optimum (free).

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Exercise 3-3

Reference: KHTK 3B: ATTENTION: THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT

Go to a coffee shop. Observe and experience the surroundings, and the people there. End off when the attention is optimum (free).

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Exercise 3-4

Reference: KHTK 3B: ATTENTION: THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT

Go for a walk in a park. Look and experience things as far as your eye can see.  End off when the attention is optimum (free).

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Exercise 3-5

Reference: KHTK 3B: ATTENTION: THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT

Go to crowded places like a market, bus station, or airport. Quietly observe the people and the surroundings. Freely experience any feelings. End off when the attention is optimum (free).

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Exercise 3-6

Reference: KHTK 3C: ATTENTION: THE MISSING FACTOR

FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE BASIC PURPOSE OF A SHOP AND ITS IDEAL SCENE. NOW VISIT A SHOP.

  1. Simply keep looking around without thinking. Don’t resist anything.

  2. Keep the purpose and ideal scene of a shop in your mind.

  3. Notice when your attention becomes non-optimum.

  4. Look more closely at what is making the attention non-optimum.

  5. End off when the attention is optimum (free).

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Exercise 3-7

Reference: KHTK 3C: ATTENTION: THE MISSING FACTOR

Look at things as you go through your daily routine while keeping their purpose and ideal scene in mind. Look more closely as and when your attention becomes non-optimum until it is free again.

Make this exercise a part of your daily routine.

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Exercise 3-8

Reference: KHTK 3D: ATTENTION: THE MIND

LOOK AROUND IN YOUR MIND AND

  1. Notice an area to which your attention repeatedly gets drawn toward.

  2. Notice an area from which your attention repeatedly gets pushed away from.

Just look and notice those areas. DON’T DO ANYTHING ELSE.

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Exercise 3-9

Reference: KHTK 3D: ATTENTION: THE MIND

  1. Close your eyes. Find an area of non-optimum attention that interests you the most. Start looking at that area without thinking.

  2. Allow the mind to un-stack itself by simply looking at what is there at any moment. Notice non-judgmentally whatever shows up.

  3. The scene may shift and the feelings may deepen. Dive into any feelings that may arise, and experience them fully.

  4. Simply continue without resisting. Do not try to figure out anything.

  5. Sooner or later the scenes may start to fade, and the feelings may start to lighten up.

  6. Sometimes, both the scene and the feeling may suddenly disappear, with realizations and better understanding of the area.

  7. End off the exercise when the attention is freed up on that area.

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Exercise 4-1

Reference: KHTK 4A: VIEWPOINT: INTRODUCTION

CHOOSE A BROAD SUBJECT AREA FROM THE FOLLOWING,

(1) Bodies

(2) Personalities

(3) Relationships

(4) Friendships

(5) Survival

(6) _________ (add your own)

Look at what is there in that subject area. You may start with a broad view or narrow down to specifics. Recognize the various components of the filter – experience, education, thinking, and basic consideration – as they come up. Do not resist or suppress back any feelings, emotions, etc.

DO NOT COMPUTE UPON WHAT COMES UP. DO NOT RESIST ANY RESPONSE. END OFF WHEN THE ATTENTION IS OPTIMUM.

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Exercise 4-2

Reference: KHTK 4B: VIEWPOINT: THE FILTER

On the subject area that you picked up in Exercise 4-1, consider exclusively

(a) YOUR EXPERIENCE        

(b) YOUR EDUCATION          

(c) YOUR THINKING

(d) YOUR CONSIDERATIONS

Look at what is there and experience it fully until attention returns to optimum on each component.

You may cycle through these components at random until you find that your attention is consistently at optimum.

DO NOT COMPUTE UPON WHAT COMES UP. DO NOT RESIST ANY RESPONSE. END OFF WHEN THE ATTENTION IS OPTIMUM.

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Exercise 4-3

Reference: KHTK 4C: VIEWPOINT: THE GUIDE

Go through Exercises 1 & 2 many times with different subject areas. Always choose a subject that you have the most attention on. You may do this with the help of a guide as necessary.

DO NOT COMPUTE UPON WHAT COMES UP. DO NOT RESIST ANY RESPONSE. END OFF WHEN THE ATTENTION IS OPTIMUM.

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Exercise 5-1

Reference: KHTK 5A: STILL BODY

LOOK AND EXPERIENCE THE ACTIVITIES IN THE BODY WITHOUT ADDING THOUGHT OR RESISTANCE.

  1. Make sure that the environment is comfortable, and that you won’t be interrupted during this exercise.

  2. Sit in a comfortable position such that no body part is under tension or strain. Let the body be still. NOTE: If the body moves on its own then let it move. Don’t resist it.

  3. Start the exercise by becoming aware of breathing in the body. Do not add any thoughts. Do not resist. Simply experience the breathing.

  4. Observe the breath going in and out. Do not attempt to control the breath. Let your body breathe by itself.

  5. Keep alert. If a thought arises in your mind then simply notice it for what it is, and continue. Don’t attempt to suppress it. You may be distracted by such thoughts, but as you persevere the condition will improve.

  6. Let the body accomplish breathing without you doing it. If it is a long breath let it be a long breath. If it is a short breath let it be a short breath.

  7. Let the awareness expand to the whole body. You may become aware of beating of the heart, digesting of the food, etc., in addition to breathing.

  8. Do not resist the attention getting absorbed into some thought or experience. When you realize that your attention had gotten absorbed, you put it back on breathing as in step 3 above.

  9. You may become aware of the filters you are looking through as covered in KHTK # 4. Simply continue with this exercise without adding any thoughts. Do not resist.

  10. This exercise takes a lot of practice. Use every little break for practicing. You have to live it as much as possible. Upon continual practice of this exercise you may gain the knowledge and awareness that the body exists and you can live unattached.

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Exercise 5-2

Reference: KHTK 5B: POSTURES OF THE BODY

LOOK AND EXPERIENCE THE POSTURES OF THE BODY WITHOUT ADDING THOUGHT OR RESISTANCE.

  1. The body is naturally engaged in various activities throughout the day. Start becoming aware of just how the body is disposed at any moment.

  2. Start the exercise by becoming aware of the present posture of the body. Do not add any thought. Do not resist. Simply experience the posture.

  3. Keep observing the postures, such as going, standing, sitting, lying, etc. Do it as often as possible, even for a second each time. Do it at least “hundred” times a day. Make it a part of your new life style. Make it a habit.

  4. This exercise takes a lot of practice. It is not something that you do for 15 minutes a day. You have to live it as much as possible. Upon continual practice of this exercise you may gain the knowledge and awareness that the body exists and you can live unattached.

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Exercise 5-3

Reference: KHTK 5C: MOVEMENTS OF THE BODY

LOOK AND EXPERIENCE THE MOVEMENTS OF THE BODY WITHOUT ADDING THOUGHT OR RESISTANCE.

  1. Start becoming aware of the activity that the body is engaged in at any moment.

  2. Start the exercise by paying full attention to the present movement of the body. Do not add any thought. Do not resist. Simply experience the movement.

  3. Continue paying full attention to the movements of the body in whatever activity it is engaged in; whether it is standing, walking, sitting, stretching, exercising, eating, drinking, speaking or attending to the calls of nature.

  4. Simply experience the movements of the body without adding any thought or resistance. Make it a part of your new life style. Make it a habit.

  5. This exercise takes a lot of practice. It is not something that you do for 15 minutes a day. You have to live it as much as possible. Upon continual practice of this exercise you may gain the knowledge and awareness that the body exists and you can live unattached.

 

NOTE:

The body is the entrance point to the physical universe. Before one can look at the physical universe objectively, one must first acquire the ability to look at the body objectively.

 

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