The Power of Perception
November 09, 2009

There is a Pali word, nimitta, which is often translated as “sign,” meaning a visual image that appears in your meditation. But that’s not how it’s used in the Canon. In the Canon, Sister Dhammadinna said—and the Buddha confirmed what she said—that the four nimitta of right concentration are the four frames of reference or four establishings of mindfulness: keeping track of the body in and of itself, keeping track of feelings in and of themselves, keeping track of the mind in and of itself, keeping track of mental qualities in and of themselves. Those are the targets of your meditation. Those are what you take as your theme. You maintain that theme by having a perception. As the Buddha said, that’s how we get from the very beginning levels of concentration, all the way up to the perception of nothingness. The power of perception takes you pretty far.