Mindfulness 10: Observe beyond Name and Form

Isaac's Apple
Reference: The 12 Aspects of Mindfulness

Mindfulness provides the discipline for looking and contemplation.

You may do this exercise while sipping coffee in a café, or strolling along a river. You may even find a place where you can sit comfortably for a while without being disturbed. Then patiently observe the world go by.

Mindfulness is to observe something for what it is. Name acts as a broad reference point to that thing. Form is one of the many ways that thing may be represented. The perception of that thing goes beyond its name and form. One must get acquainted with its basic purpose and use, as well as its history. Fixation on name and form may act as built-in judgment of what is there. To know something, one must go beyond name and form and look at it more closely including all its associations.

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MINDFULNESS 10: Do not get hung up on name and form.

  1. Observe as usual. Notice the environment and other people.

  2. Apply the aspects of mindfulness that you have practiced so far.

  3. Notice the names that are being used for the things in your environment.

  4. Notice a name and then observe more closely the thing represented by it.

  5. Repeat step 4 as often as necessary.

  6. Notice the forms of the things in your environment.

  7. Notice a form and then observe more closely the thing represented by it.

  8. Repeat step 7 as often as necessary.

  9. Contemplate over the basic purpose and use of things as attention moves to them.

  10. Contemplate over their visible history and other associations.

  11. Observe something closely then contemplate on the name and form associated with it.

  12. Notice any judgments that are fixed with those names and forms.

  13. Observe the things that are there objectively as closely as you can.

  14. Expand your span of attention and let the perceptions pour in.

  15. Let the realizations present themselves to you without you making any effort.

  16. Use your own judgment as to when to end a session.

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Develop this exercise to a point where you may execute it even while interacting socially with others. Keep observing patiently without getting hung up on name and form. Many things may come up naturally to be scrutinized. Simply observe them and become aware of them without effort.

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