A powerful exercise: opposite of the opposite

shira's picture

Average: 4.7 (14 votes)

The mind is tricky. It's time to pay it back with the same kind of tricks it is playing on us. You will find this approach as very efficient in neutralizing the mind. It is simple, yet explosive! The following is not a joke!

Exercise 1:

Sit comfortably and this time instead of trying to be present here and now, try NOT to be present. The goal now is exactly the opposite of the usual one: you must keep alert and make sure 100% that you are not present at all times. Each time you notice that you happen to be present act immediately and indulge in thoughts, planning, remembering etc. Be committed to put all effort to make sure you are not present at any time during the exercise.

Exercise 2:

Do the same exercise, this time with awareness: instead of trying to be aware, try NOT to be aware, try to be completely in the state of unconscious behavior, of reacting automatically, of not being in conscious control and awareness, of not knowing what you do, of drifting away. Again, remember to be committed to put all effort to make sure you are not conscious at any time during the exercise.

Some Notes:

  • The two exercises are dealing with two qualities of the same thing. Still, it is important to treat each of them separately.
  • You will be amused to find out that these exercises are not easy and at the same time are very easy in obtaining the normally-desired opposite result.
  • You can practice these exercises for any period of time but as with all meditative exercises - the longer you practice the better. In any case, always remember to make sure to meet one condition: to put all effort to obtain the opposite state.
  • This approach is not a joke, it is a powerful and efficient method that tricks the mind with its own tricks. When you try it you will immediately realize it.
  • Try to avoid the temptation to analyze and understand the exercises. They are paradoxical for the mind - this is the essence of their power. The mind will try to trick you to analyze them with logic instead of doing them - ignore it and just be productive and test the exercises in action, otherwise you will spoil their effectiveness for yourself.
  • Upon doing this type of opposite exercises, the mind may come with a very specific and innovative type of trick. I will not disclose the details of this new type of trick here in order not to spoil the process for you (it will if I do) and not to put unnecessary ideas into your mind. If it happens and you are attentive, you will easily notice this creative trick and then dissolve it and continue with the exercises.

Have fun! :-)

seeker's picture


hey shira, waited for new stuff from you, as always well-baked and proficient, tested it, the results are amusing... i will practice it in the following days, tnx

seeker | Tue, 12/09/2008 - 18:24
divine intervention's picture

i agree, meticulously worded

i agree, meticulously worded and yes very effective and amusing, mind oh mind...

divine intervention | Tue, 12/09/2008 - 19:15
reddy.hkcs's picture

Really appreciate this post.

Really appreciate this post. It’s hard to sort the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it!

reddy.hkcs | Sun, 04/18/2010 - 05:18
seeker's picture


Did it for an hour and a half this morning - very effective! Your instructions were very focused, almost scientific, like in your previous posts, where do you have this precious knowledge from??? I would appreciate to have some hints, even in private messages.

Most recommended!

Thanks! I will add it to my morning meditation routine. What a wonderful way to start the day.

seeker | Wed, 12/10/2008 - 09:28
suzame's picture

excellent trick

Simple and it works... kind of things you ask yourself how come I haven't thought about it... :-)

I'm also curious to hear about your background, if you will.

No doubt you have the gift to communicate and simplify profound wisdoms with careful usage of words. I sometimes feel that your posts speak to a deeper place within me. Thanks.

suzame | Wed, 12/10/2008 - 11:33
shira's picture


Dears, thanks for the complements but, truly, i deserve no thanks, I am really not the one who formulates this stuff, i am just transferring it with enormous love and afterwards reading it the same way as you do, realizing it and acting it out.

shira | Thu, 12/11/2008 - 14:55
Phroggy's picture


Once you begin to understand it yourself, you'll see there is no paradox or trick, and understanding will not change the effectiveness.

Eventually, you might begin to wonder why the practice to be present and the practice to not be present yield the same results, but I don't want to spoil it for you.

Phroggy | Tue, 12/09/2008 - 18:52
johnd's picture

lol... you are doing exactly

lol... you are doing precisely what she was predicting and warning about.... :-)

johnd | Tue, 12/09/2008 - 22:10
Phroggy's picture


Well, at least you noticed that much.
The wizard says, 'Pay no attention to what's behind the curtain'. This is how you hope to awaken from your dream?

Phroggy | Wed, 12/10/2008 - 06:06
Omkaradatta's picture


People don't wanna go back home to Kansas... they want to talk to the wizard ;-).


Omkaradatta | Wed, 12/10/2008 - 17:31
Phroggy's picture


When I discovered that trick about 5 years ago, I thought it was pretty cool too, and I still use it when fear comes up or a physical pain, but what is more useful is understanding why it works, which brings about permanent changes in the mental dynamics. There's a consistent emphasis here on acting in opposition to the mind as though it's an enemy to be tricked and defeated, and so the goal is control and manipulation, which feeds the ego, instead of clarity and understanding, which reveals ego's powerlessness. Yes, folks are determined to stay in Kansas.

Phroggy | Wed, 12/10/2008 - 21:13
Omkaradatta's picture


"There's a consistent emphasis here on acting in opposition to the mind..."

Huh? Are you saying you're in opposition to the mind? Your message above looks kinda strange here, like you said the opposite of what you meant to say (?).

P.S. the experience here is that one moment 'Home' is more alive, vibrant and interesting than ten million years wandering around in the dream-world of Oz. The focus here these days is moving toward bringing some of that life and light to folks 'in person' (maybe dropping some gentle teachings, too), and moving away from these forums. People around here are not interested in the truth, only in 'being right' and arguing their beliefs. All I want is to give, and there are far better places to do it.


Omkaradatta | Wed, 12/10/2008 - 21:58
Phroggy's picture


By "here" I meant on this forum.

Have you found better ways/places? My interest in the forums is waning more and more and my attention has turned more to other things, though not necessarilly 'spiritual'.

Phroggy | Wed, 12/10/2008 - 22:55
Omkaradatta's picture

How about...

"By "here" I meant on this forum."

Whoops, heheh...

"Have you found better ways/places?"

How about 'anywhere'? Anywhere there aren't a bunch of pre-existing thoughts and conditions and ideas and notions about what spirituality is supposed to look like.

Those who know exactly what they want and are looking to get it are the furthest of all away from the truth.


Omkaradatta | Thu, 12/11/2008 - 01:49
Phroggy's picture


Ya know, I've heard that before and always figured it was overstated, but I think it's true. There has to be a certain innocence and willingness to not know. As I said recently, if we knew where we were going we'd already be there. Well, of course, we are, but you know what I mean. Mind/ego always has a plan for 'salvation', and it absolutely has to be the wrong plan.

By far the most insideous thing I see here (On this forum. Hehe.) is the resistance to trying to understand anything. This is ego's ace in the hole. As long as ignorance reigns supreme, ego can play it's games without ever being noticed.

Phroggy | Thu, 12/11/2008 - 02:33
kalgo's picture

try to realize love with words only

Resistance to try to understand? here? The exact observation may be that many people here have quited the vain trial to reach understanding solely through mind, intellect and words, to try to go beyond the mind using the mind, to try to pull themselves by the hair. They have achieved a higher sphere of understanding that comes from the unexplained and is reflected in some astonishing writings here that try to point to that understanding, to lead you to how to acquire that understanding, to give you a clue about the nature of that understanding as this true understanding, which like love is beyond words, cannot be expressed in words, otherwise all the thinkers and philosophers and the intellectuals and the professors and the academic researchers and all other wise ones would be enlightened already but apparently they are not, actually they constitute the sector which is the most distant from realization as a fact.

When you taste this type of deep understanding like tasting the flavor of love, you laugh at your old vain way of trying to realize through the intellect, through forms, through concepts, through mind-made logic. The best way I know to have a taste of this true understanding is meditation. Some lucky ones have it naturally as "springing instincts that do not make any sense to the mind" as someone I think once called it, the rest of us need to bust our butts for sometime in the beginning until meditation becomes our second nature.

kalgo | Thu, 12/11/2008 - 14:37
Phroggy's picture


Yes, and so I'm not discouraging anyone from meditation, just pointing out that it can become another trap just like the thinking, intellectualizing you believe you've overcome. I'm also suggesting that one doesn't overcome thinking by forcing oneself not to think or by refusing to come to a deeper understanding of what's happening in ones own mind. This game of tricking the mind is silly and ignorant. Who is doing the tricking and and who is being tricked? Does it really require deep thinking and philosophizing to see what's going on, or is it that it requires a plan of active resistance to keep from noticing what you don't want to see? It requires a lot of effort and an endless string of methods and practices in order to stay asleep.

Phroggy | Thu, 12/11/2008 - 20:47
shond's picture

brilliant brilliant brilliant

brilliant brilliant brilliant

shond | Thu, 02/12/2009 - 21:09
mula's picture

deciphering the mind's microcode

This is extremely powerful. Worth reading. The mind cannot cope with it - it touches the mind's microcode and deciphers it.

mula | Thu, 06/25/2009 - 21:36
lagrima's picture


This is f**king brilliant! Thank you.

lagrima | Wed, 10/07/2009 - 22:29
solomon's picture


This is brilliant. It deciphers the core responsive functioning of the mind. Thanks

solomon | Tue, 03/06/2012 - 06:27
draavid's picture


This approach is not a joke, it is a powerful and efficient method that tricks the mind with its own tricks. When you try it you will immediately realize it.

draavid | Fri, 12/21/2012 - 07:30