Nibbāna 4: ‘I’ and ‘Mine’

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However conversant a meditator may be with the conventional world, also has to understand and realize this elementary, pre-conceptual world of name-and-form. But if a meditator wants to explore this pre-conceptual name-and-form, he has to return to the state of a child, at least from the point of view of consensus reality. This is why a meditator develops mindfulness and full awareness of feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention — sati-sampajañña — instead of words to understand name-and-form through his practice.

Of course for the meditator, the equanimity of innocence is accompanied by knowledge, not by ignorance. Even though he is able to recognize objects by their conventional names, a meditator prefers to develop mindfulness of the factors that are included in Venerable Sāriputta’s definition of nāma: feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention. This practice for comprehending name-and-form is given in the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta and elsewhere. The meditator does not forget the consensus reality of language and semantic conceptual understanding; he merely sets it aside for the duration of his meditation.

The point is that the pre-conceptual world is specific to each individual; that is why the Dhamma has to be realized by oneself: paccattaṃ veditabbo. You have to understand your unique pre-conceptual world of name-and-form by yourself. No one else can do it for you. Nor can it be defined or denoted by technical terms, because such terminology is also part of name-and-form, subject to the limitations of semantic conceptual conceits and the definitions of delusive consensus consciousness. To comprehend nāma-rūpa and attain Nibbāna, one must find a standpoint outside of conceptual consciousness. We will deal with this issue in the next section.

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Dev Jacobsen

Musician, author and yogi, developer of Palingenics.

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