Vipassanā is a Pali word which means: Seeing clearly, seeing specially or seeing through (Vi = clearly, specially, into, through + passanā = seeing). Vipassanā means introspection, intuitive wisdom, intuitive knowledge. Vipassanā is often translated as insight.
Vipassanā means seeing through the true nature of reality or insight into the true nature of reality. It means seeing things as they truly are. Vipassanā is the direct and intuitive understanding of the true nature of all mental and physical phenomena.
Vipassanā is intuitive knowledge or insight into the true nature of body and mind.
Vipassanā is the realization that all mental and physical phenomena are impermanent (anicca), suffering (dukkha) and non-self (anatta). These three characteristics of all phenomena (tilakkhana) are the marks of insight wisdom and are the main objects of Vipassanā Meditation.
Vipassanā is based on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness (satipatthāna), i.e. insight is realized by the consistent and progressive application of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness namely body, feeling, mind and mind-objects. Sati means remembering, recollection, heedfulness, carefulness, collected attention, awareness, attentiveness or vigilance. Patthāna means support, establishment, base, application, foundation. Developing mindfulness and gaining insight through one´s own experience does not depend on one´s origin, age, gender, religion or ideology.
The practice of Vipassanā meditation is based on the teachings which have been passed down by the Buddha. The most significant teachings in this respect are the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta – The Great Discourse on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness (Dīgha Nikāya 22) and the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta – The Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness (Majjhima Nikāya 10). The Vipassanā meditation technique which is used in our courses is the technique that is traditionally taught and practised in Wat Phradhatu Sri Chomtong Voravihara – a temple in Northern Thailand under the guidance of Most Venerable Phra Prom Mongkol Vi (Ven. Phra Ajarn Tong Sirimangalo). It is an intense form of the Mahasi Sayadaw technique which includes mindful prostration, walking meditation and sitting meditation. Meditators learn to develop mindfulness of body, feeling, mind and mind-objects through simple and structured exercises.
(Based on “The One Way – Path to Nibbāna. The Vipassanā Meditation Teachings of Venerable Ajarn Tong Sirimangalo. English translation by Kathryn J. Chindaporn.”)