Practising, Training & Learning

The Pāli verb in this text which is used to describe the practitioner’s process – where the whole-body awareness and the breath are unified – the verb is ‘sikkhati’ which means (from the Pāli English Dictionary) that the practitioner ‘learns; trains oneself; practises.’ The practitioner is learning to do something unusual, to intimately know the present, intimately know the actual breath, and be embodied. And the practitioner is learning to discern the difference between the concept of the breath – or of the body, or even the concepts about attention itself – and the actual referent, the event that the word point to. It’s a re-training of our natural sensitivity, after years of living in our self-representations (and their corresponding ‘world-representations.’) When I say ‘re-training,’ I don’t mean like dog-training. It’s a natural unfolding, an organic process of awakening to how things are.

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