This meditation focused attention on how to contemplate Salayatana, the Six Sense Bases, a category within the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness. The primary sense bases are the eyes and seeing, ears and hearing, tongue and tasting, body sensations and the mind with cognition. The first five bases are always processed by the sixth base, the mind, which functions to impose meaning on the raw data of sensory stimulation. The meditation student is encouraged to focus attention on the subjective difference between the sensory experience and the transitory and ephemeral nature of the mind’s operation in fabricating a self. This distinction is called namarupa in Pali, with nama representing the meaning-making function and rupa the unprocessed sensory stimulation. The goal of the contemplation is to nurture a mind that is not “enchanted” through craving and clinging to consider the conditioned nature of the mind with being an enduring and autonomous self.
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