Leo Gura

List Of Enlightenment Exercises

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This thread is meant to be a concise list of exercises pointing to the truth of enlightenment -- the truth of no-self.

All of the exercises listed herein are PRACTICAL! They are NOT philosophical or theoretical. They are not to be debated or pondered intellectually. They are to be actually done! Do each exercise carefully and notice what direct experience reveals. Often times direct experience will reveal something counter-intuitive, something that goes totally against all common-sense and any models you have of how reality works.

Feel free to contribute your own exercises to this thread. But do so in a concise and practical manner, so whoever is reading this thread can focus on LOOKING or CONTEMPLATION versus debating or asking theoretical questions.

This document is a work-in-progress. I'll keep adding more exercises to the list.

Here are some of my favorites so far:

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Exercise #1: Drawing An Imaginary Line

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Sit comfortably and quietly, still your mind, and become aware of direct experience.

Locate a distant object in your visual field. Any object will do, like a tree, a car, a sofa, a lamp, a book.

Now, take your index finger and try to draw an imaginary line from that object to "you".

Draw this line using your finger, but go very slowly. Move backward from the object to "you".

Pay extra-careful attention to exactly when and where your finger reaches "you".

Notice that it never actually reaches "you", because there's no you there!

The line always terminates at nothingness.

Become deeply conscious of this until your identity as a self starts to break down.

If you think the finger reaches you at the skin threshold, look more closely. In your direct experience do you actually perceive skin between the object and "you"? Be very careful here. There is no skin between object and eyeball. For that matter, there is no eyeball ;)

 

Exercise #2: Noticing Space As Unitive

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Sit comfortably and quietly, still your mind, and become aware of direct experience.

Locate a distant object in your visual field. Any object will do, like a tree, a car, a sofa, a lamp, a book.

Now ask yourself, "What is separating ME from this object?"

Notice that the space or air in the room is actually unifying you and the object, rather than separating you two.

Notice that EVERY object you see is unified into one field of awareness.

The space or air connects "you" to everything.

Become directly conscious of this until you can feel it.

 

Exercise #3: Noticing That All Phenomena Is Democratic

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Sit comfortably and quietly, still your mind, and become aware of direct experience.

Although it may seem like "you" are sitting there and "seeing" objects or "feeling" sensations, this is an illusion.

How can one phenomena in the phenomenal field be perceiving another?

How can one phenomena in the phenomenal field be above another?

How can one phenomena in the phenomenal field be primary while another is secondary?

It may feel like the sensations which make up "your body" are primary while the objects outside the body are secondary. But is this really true? Take a close look! How can one sensation or phenomena "see" or "feel" another sensation?

It may feel like the sensations which make up "your mind" are primary while objects and sensations outside the mind are secondary. But is this really true? That a close look! How can one sensation called "a thought" see or feel another sensation such as an object in your visual field?

Notice that ALL sensations are on exactly the same level. No sensation is superior. There is no hierarchy! It's a perfect democracy. Notice that thought sensations do not reign above visual sensations or body feeling sensations.

If all sensations are exactly level, how come you think or feel that "your body" or "your mind" is perceiving everything else, as though it were at the top of a hierarchy?

How can one sensation perceive another sensation when they are exactly level?

Become deeply conscious that no sensation perceives any other.

 

Exercise #4: Noticing Objects Exist Only Where They Are

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Sit comfortably and quietly, still your mind, and become aware of direct experience.

Locate a distant object in your visual field. Any object will do, like a tree, a car, a sofa, a lamp, a book.

Now ask yourself, "Where is this object occurring?"

Notice that that object is NOT occurring inside your body, or inside your mind.

Notice that that object is BEING exactly where it is: outside of "you".

Become deeply conscious of this: That object is existing OUTSIDE you!!!

How is it possible to access an object outside you?

Ask yourself, "What is perceiving that object?"

Notice that it CANNOT be the body or the mind! Because those are sensations occurring elsewhere, not where the object is.

Become deeply conscious that your sense of "you" is false, and that in fact YOU are everywhere!

 

Exercise #5: Sensory Field Connection

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Sit comfortably and quietly, still your mind, and become aware of direct experience.

Ask yourself, "What is connecting my visual field to my auditory field to my tactile field?"

How is it that sights, sounds, and feelings are connected?

Are they connected?

Is each occurring in the same dimension, or is each occurring an separate, independent dimension?

When you hear a sound, for example, where is it occurring relative to the visual field?

When you feel a feeling, for example, where is it occurring relative to the auditory field?

Etc.

Try to become deeply conscious of what is connecting all the seemingly independent fields.

 

Exercise #6: Noticing There Are No Objects

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Sit comfortably and quietly, still your mind, and become aware of direct experience.

Notice that objects do not actually exist.

What is an object really?

In actuality, all you have are ever-changing sensations. Not objects.

An object implies a static thing, but there are no static things in direct experience.

Notice that anything you might call a "thing" is changing every second.

Notice that anything you might call a "thing" is actually just a series of sensations. And all sensations are subtly vibrating and morphing all the time.

Notice that when you blink your eyes, whatever "object" you were looking at, literally disappears.

Notice this literally means: "that lamp you were looking at ceased to exist for a second."

Notice how the mind actively fudges direct experience to create the illusion of static, persistent objects, but that in fact there are no objects.

Every time you blink your eyes, the entire visual world disappears.

Become deeply conscious of this until your old paradigm of a static physical reality starts to break down.

Notice also that you as an object also do not exist.

 

Exercise #7: Noticing The Self-Image Isn't You

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Sit comfortably and quietly, still your mind, and become aware of direct experience.

As you sit there, notice that you have a self-image.

In fact, this is primarily how you know you exist: you see yourself in the mind's eye.

Explore this self-image as it LITERALLY arises in direct experience.

Notice that you have a schematic represention of the outline of your body.

Notice that you can sorta see your own face, the back of your head, the contours of your body.

But also notice, all of this is just a set of sensations!

Notice that this self-image is composed of fleeting mental imagery.

Notice that what you think you are is actually just a series of images!!!

Notice that an image of your body or your face is NOT actually you!!!!

Become deeply conscious of this until your identity breaks down.

 

Exercise #8: Noticing You Are Not A Point-Camera

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Sit comfortably and quietly, still your mind, and become aware of direct experience.

Notice that you feel like you are a camera looking out onto the world.

But notice that reality cannot have any point-cameras.

Notice that reality cannot have perceivers.

What would a perceiver be?

Anything you might want to call a "perceiver" would have to be an object percieving another object.

But this is illogical.

An object is really just a series of sensations. And one sensation can perceive another sensation.

Become deeply conscious of this.

Notice that there in fact is no "perceive" object in your direct experience.

Try as you might, you cannot locate any perceivers. All you have a perceptions.

So then, what is perceiving all these perceptions?

Notice further, that whatever "it" is, it cannot be a sensation.

Notice further, that whatever "it" is, it cannot be located at any point in space, because all of space has to occur "within it".

Notice that you are NOT like a camera. You are NOT looking out onto the world from a point behind your eyes. Instead your are omni-present.

Become deeply conscious of this, until your conviction of you being located as point in space breaks down.

 

Exercise #9: Noticing The Gap Between Thoughts

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Sit comfortably and quietly, still your mind, and become aware of direct experience.

Notice that thoughts automatically arise for you.

Now, try to notice what is there in the gap between one thought and another.

What exists between two thoughts?

This exercise requires VERY careful observation. Do not guess. Actually look!

 

Exercise #10: Noticing The Source Of Thoughts

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Sit comfortably and quietly, still your mind, and become aware of direct experience.

Notice that thoughts automatically arise for you.

Now ask yourself, "Where did that last thought come from?"

Look very carefully!

Where are thoughts coming from?

Literally! Literally! Literally!

Where do thoughts literally come from????

Notice that thoughts literally come from nothing and nowhere!!!

Be careful about speculating about how thoughts arise from the "brain".

Notice that "my brain" is a thought! You have no literal direct experience of "a brain".

Be careful about speculating about how thoughts arise from the "unconscious mind".

Notice that "my mind" is a thought! You have no literal direct experience of "a mind".

Become deeply conscious that "brain" and "mind" are illusions and that the true source of thought is nothing.

 

Exercise: #11: Noticing That Sound Occurs Exactly Where It Is

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Get an empty wine glass and a metal fork.

Sit comfortably and quietly, still your mind, and become aware of direct experience.

Gently tap the wine glass with the metal fork.

Notice where the sound occurs.

Notice the sound DOES NOT occur inside your head!

Notice the sound DOES NOT occur inside your ears!

Notice the sound DOES NOT occur inside 3D space!

Notice the sound occurs exactly where it is.

Notice that you cannot honestly say where the sound is.

Notice that you cannot honestly say what the sound is.

Notice that the sound is a part of you, yet occurs outside of your "body and mind".

Become deeply conscious of this until you stop feeling like you are hearing sounds and start to feel that you ARE the sounds! Literally!

 

Exercise #12: Noticing The External World Doesn't Exist

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Sit comfortably and quietly, still your mind, and become aware of direct experience.

Notice that you have an notion of "external reality" -- a world "out there" beyond "me".

Notice that this is literally a story, or a thought, or a mental image.

Notice that in fact you've NEVER experienced a world beyond direct experience.

Notice that there is in fact ZERO evidence of an external world.

Notice that any ideas or justifications you have for the existence of an external world are merely thoughts!

Now -- here's a doozy -- notice that you actually DO have a direct experience of absolute reality.

That direct experience is.... NOTHING!

So the external world exists as... literally NOTHING!

Become deeply conscious of this until your old paradigm of a physical external world breaks down.

 

Exercise #13: Noticing Other People Do Not Exist

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Sit comfortably and quietly, still your mind, and become aware of direct experience.

Try to think of another person, such as a loved one, parent, child, or spouse.

Make sure that the person you're thinking of isn't in the room with you.

Now, notice what they actually are: they are a thought!

Notice that what that person literally is, is an image arising in your mind. Nothing more.

Notice that you've never actually directly experienced anything other than your direct experience.

Become deeply conscious that other people do not exist.

Become so deeply conscious of this, that you feel alone in the universe.

There is no one here but you. You are all that's ever existed and will ever exist.

You are completely alone. You imagine others to make yourself feel connected.

When you see your loved ones face-to-face, you are STILL ALONE! That's you looking at your own direct experience. Nothing more.

 

Exercise #14: Noticing That Nothing Is Hidden

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Sit comfortably and quietly, still your mind, and become aware of direct experience.

Try to take in everything in your direct experience simultaneously.

Take it ALL in. Everything that's visible, felt, and heard.

Now become deeply conscious that this is the only thing there is!

Notice that nothing is hidden.

There is nothing beyond what is occurring right this second.

Notice that anything else you might think might be happening "behind-the-scenes", is just a thought happening right now.

Become deeply conscious that NOTHING IS HIDDEN!

 

The above exercises are true enlightenment work. This is where the rubber meets the road.

Keep practicing all of these exercises diligently, for months, until all your imaginary paradigms of reality break down and you are left only with direct experience. When you start to feel like this silly creature below, you're on the right track:

tarsier-what-i-saw-cannot-be-unseenjpg.jpg

Enjoy ;)


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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I recommend to those who have not yet done so to read Vigyana Bhairava Tantra of Osho. It contains a lot of techniques to have a taste of the nature of reality.

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@Leo Gura Is the point of these exercises to create a "self" that thinks it is "no-self"? You can't think yourself into enlightenment :P

 


TOBE's:

  1. Be happy
  2. Be a unicorn

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@Leo Gura , you should put together all this practical material that you're writing on this forum in a book. It would be fantastic :)

Edited by Nature

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@Juan Cruz Giusto
They´re you.
They are existence.
They are.
Being is love.
You are. 
Therefor you love.

Ego´s like "IMA LIKE YOU, you with the red hair. BUT YOU!!! YOU WITh THE BlONDE HAIR! YES! YOU IN the BACK! YOU I do NOT LIKE".
Atman doesn´t pick who to love.

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4 hours ago, Psychonaut said:

@Leo Gura Is the point of these exercises to create a "self" that thinks it is "no-self"? You can't think yourself into enlightenment :P

Don't mistake these exercises for mere thinking. They are pointers to direct consciousness. They are to be experienced.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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1 hour ago, Juan Cruz Giusto said:

@Leo Gura in the exercise of "people don't exist", after enlightenment, why do you become so loving? Why would you like to help others if you are not really sure they exist? 

All is one. This is not possible to understand until you experience yourself as empty spirit. Tasting spirit is like pure magic, pure divinity. But it requires an awakening. You cannot see spirit yet because it's so obvious and close that you're overlooking it. Like a fish in water who cannot see the water.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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18 hours ago, Leo Gura said:

When you start to feel like this silly creature below, 

tarsier squad.jpg

Sorry, I just couldn´t resist... :D

I´ll go work on enlightenment now... They´re called tarsiers...  By the way

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1 hour ago, Schuchti11 said:

So can we do this "exercises" instead of self-inquiry?

These exercises are part of what I call self-observation or self-inquiry.

The newbie mind needs something to start with. These exercises are that.

If you're an experienced meditator, you can simply go into one-pointed concentration on the Self and break through that way.

Or you can use these exercises to slowly deconstruct your mental models of reality until a breakthrough dawns.

It's all just different ways of skinning the same tarsier ;)


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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@Leo Gura In the exercise 1 , I don't get this part

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Notice that it never actually reaches "you", because there's no you there!

But when my finger touches my body, the ego can say... hey! That's me... and that's the problem. We know we are not the body, but we still think we are.


The Matrix is everywhere, it is all around us, even now in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window, or you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

Morpheus (The Matrix)

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Just now, Aware said:

Can it?

 

He can't... but if there's a body it cannot "see" that there's nothingness. Maybe my question was bad formulated. Unless the body is nothingness.

:P


The Matrix is everywhere, it is all around us, even now in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window, or you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

Morpheus (The Matrix)

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30 minutes ago, Aware said:

It can't?

Just words, neither is "it" nor "he"... it/he doesn't exists....

 

John 8:44 "You belong to your father, the devil (it/he/ego), and you want to carry out your father's (ego) desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

Edited by abrakamowse

The Matrix is everywhere, it is all around us, even now in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window, or you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

Morpheus (The Matrix)

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