Images - 圖像 Tú xiàng
Sound, smell, sight, sleep, touch, taste...
Is it possible to think, without applying these forms?
A shapeless thought is rare,
knowledge of Tao, rarer still.
~taken from/inspired by Deng Ming-Dao
Our mind needs to cling to objects, in order to function in the usual mode. Looking through your memories, you may stumble upon a pattern, that most seem to be tied into sensory images. The thought of a spring meadow brings with it a certain fragrance. You may see relationships between objects in the world. If we attempt to solve problems, or speak with our companions, we must use numbers and words to find the correct expression.
Some people make the mistake of rejecting this object-oriented thinking outright, but we need to use these modes in order to function effectively in the everyday world. When it comes to knowing Tao, the thoughts tied to sensory input are not sufficient to bring about complete realization. Dualistic ways of thinking cannot unlock the mysteries of Tao. But do not go so far as to discard it, as ordinary functionality is a must in daily activities.
When you meditate, use the aspects of consciousness that do not cling to external forms. This type of consciousness, beyond the senses, has been referred to by many names: superconsciousness, samadhi, nirvana, or enlightenment. All that matters is getting to these states of being. Then, all labels fall away.