Tag Archives: science

Mindfulness

Reference: A Scientific Approach to Meditation

Mindfulness is attentiveness. Mindfulness brings clarity to what one perceives. The basic approach is:

Observe things as they are, with full awareness of one’s assumptions.

When you look at the profile of a stranger sitting far away, you may see only one ear. When asked, “How many ears does this person have?” you may say, “He has two ears.” This is a reasonable answer because Man is born with two ears. The chances are slim but this stranger may have the other ear missing, which you can’t see at that moment.

Most people make such assumptions automatically, because they are reasonable. But some are aware of the assumption, while others are not.

Those who are aware of their assumption are mindful.

When there are doubts and perplexities, one should look at them closely with mindfulness. In other words, one should consider them non-judgmentally with close attention to possible assumptions. All ideas, beliefs, viewpoints, and feelings related to observed inconsistency, are subject to such critical examination.

No past ideas and learning in the area of doubt and perplexity are sacrosanct (meaning so “sacred” that you cannot question them).

You continue with the critical examination until the factor generating the inconsistency is discovered, and the doubts and perplexities are resolved.

This is mindfulness.

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The Premise

The premise underlying mindfulness is that the reality of this universe is consistent and coherent. Any inconsistency would come from one’s assumptions.

As one tracks down an inconsistency and removes the underlying assumption, the reality becomes more consistent, coherent and clear.

It does not matter what viewpoint one approaches with; the “personal” viewpoint shall gradually disappear as inconsistencies and assumptions are removed.

The ultimate viewpoint is consistent, coherent and universal.

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INTRODUCTION TO KHTK

October 2, 2013: This essay has been superseded by:

What is KHTK?

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This is a set of essays that have come to be known by the acronym KHTK (from the phrase “Knowing How TKnow”). This is the first of the KHTK essays.

KHTK helps you answer the question, “Who am I?” Nobody can answer this question for you. You have to find this answer yourself.

KHTK is based on a system of looking and not on logic. Logic may help you figure out where to look, but the precise knowledge comes from looking.

KHTK is derived from the principle of Vipassana as rediscovered and described by Buddha. The word passana means to see with open eyes, in the ordinary way; but, the word vipassana means,

“Observe things as they are, not just as they seem to be.”

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Vipassana

Here is an excerpt on Vipassana from the link Vipassana Meditation.

“Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills.

“This non-sectarian technique aims for the total eradication of mental impurities and the resultant highest happiness of full liberation. Healing, not merely the curing of diseases, but the essential healing of human suffering, is its purpose.

“Vipassana is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion.

“The scientific laws that operate one’s thoughts, feelings, judgments and sensations become clear. Through direct experience, the nature of how one grows or regresses, how one produces suffering or frees oneself from suffering is understood. Life becomes characterized by increased awareness, non-delusion, self-control and peace.”

Here is a success story from the use of these principles.

Doing Time Doing Vipassana

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KHTK

KHTK techniques may be described as ‘Looking to Know’. Looking is described here as using sense organs (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and the mind) to observe and experience what is there. Please note that mind is considered a sense organ, like the eye or the ear.

The purpose of KHTK is to enable a person to practice by oneself, the principles of Vipassana, which may be summed up as mindfulness – looking, observing, and contemplating on things as they are.

The recommended textbook is: What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula.

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The 2012 Transit of Venus

The 2012 Transit of Venus

A Trip Across the Solar System

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Consciousness

[Reference: The First Noble Truth: Dukkha]

There is no scientific basis for consciousness that transmigrates and wanders about. There is no consciousness, which expresses, which feels, which experiences the results of good and bad deeds here and there.

According to Buddhist philosophy there is no permanent, unchanging spirit which can be considered ‘Self’, or ‘Soul’, or ‘Ego’. The consciousness should not be taken as ‘spirit’ in opposition to matter. It is a wrong notion that consciousness is a sort of Self or Soul that continues as a permanent substance through life.

Consciousness is only a sort of awareness of the presence of an object. It does not recognize the object. It is perception that recognizes the object. When the eye comes in contact with a color, for instance blue, visual consciousness arises which simply is awareness of the presence of a color; but it does not recognize that it is blue. There is no recognition at this stage. It is perception that recognizes that it is blue.

Buddha explained that consciousness arises out of conditions. There is no arising of consciousness without conditions.  Consciousness is named according to whatever condition through which it arises.

  • Visual consciousness arises on account of the eye and visible forms
  • Auditory consciousness arises on account of the ear and sounds.
  • Olfactory consciousness arises on account of the nose and odors.
  • Gustatory consciousness arises on account of the tongue and tastes.
  • Tactile consciousness arises on account of the body and tangible objects.
  • Mental consciousness arises on account of the mind and mind-objects (ideas and thoughts).

The Buddha declared in unequivocal terms that consciousness depends on matter, sensation, perception and mental formations and that it cannot exist independently of them.

‘Were a man to say: I shall show the coming, the going, the passing away, the arising, the growth, the increase or the development of consciousness apart from matter, sensation, perception and mental formations, he would be speaking of something that does not exist.’

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