Contemplation of impermanence

The Buddha exhorted us to contemplate the impermanence of conditioned
realities. Contemplation of impermanence is not merely thinking
about impermanence, it is the direct knowledge of the arising and
falling away of a nama or rupa that appears, one at a time. We should
realize our ignorance of realities which appear one at a time. We know, for
example, that pain does not last, that it falls away. But do we know the
realities which are there when we have pain? There are different namas and
rupas when we feel pain. The rupa that is hardness may appear, or the
nama that is bodily painful feeling, or the nama that is mental unpleasant
feeling and that accompanies dosa-mula-citta (citta rooted in aversion). We
are ignorant of the different namas and rupas that arise and fall away when
we have pain, we usually think of an idea or concept of pain, we take it for
“my pain”. There must be a precise understanding of the difference
between nama and rupa before their arising and falling away can be
realized. The direct understanding of impermanence is a later stage of
insight-knowledge and this stage cannot arise before the first stage of
insight-knowledge: the knowledge of the difference between the
characteristic of nama and the characteristic of rupa. 

Topic 227