Conceptualization Falls Apart…
Lama Rinchen always says the true teachings are “free from the game of words.” He is referring to the fact that the conceptual mind, although helpful in studying the relative teachings, cannot comprehend the true nature of mind. It is free from conceptualization. This is difficult for us in the West to recognize as we are habituated to learning through concepts.
But think back, as far as you are able, to the time you were growing up and discovering things simply by touching, tasting, smelling, hearing, and seeing—without a preconceived notion. Our pure original mind is flavored by all sorts of impressions before they become concepts, before we assign a ‘name’ to them. This kind of learning never stops but we inhibit the flow of fresh perspectives by holding our reality hostage to past experiences that have become conceptual.
When we settle the mind (I mean really settle the mind) we notice concepts breaking up, becoming less solid. They still serve the purpose of relative learning but they no longer hold things as solid and immutable. In the preface to the short Ngöndro practice there is a wonderful prayer, Calling the Lama from Afar. In this exposition of the dzogchen approach to life, Dudjom Rinpoche says, “Now conceptualization falls apart with the abandon of a madman. Let this life be spent in a state of uninhibited naked ease.”
What a breath of fresh air! Now…conceptualization falls apart. We do not corral experience in words and ideas. We return to a childlike perspective where every experience is fresh and unconditioned by anything. This allows us to experience life outside the box of concepts. We become more fluid and adaptable. Modern neuropsychology might call this attaining a higher degree of “neuroplasticity.” The conceptual mind insists on having a name for everything!