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What is Vipassana?

Meditation is a substitute for the original Pali term “Bhavana”. Bhavana means “culture” or “development”, i.e. mental culture or mental development. Purifying our mind from impurities and disturbances like greed, anger, laziness, worry, doubt and restlessness and aiming at cultivating awareness, concentration, wisdom, confidence, energy and effort.

Vipassana meditation was first introduced and taught by the Buddha who lived from approximately 563 to 483 BC. 

Vipassana means “seeing clearly”, “seeing specially” or “seeing through” (“Vi”: clearly, specially, into, through; “Passana”: seeing), in other words, introspection, intuitive wisdom, intuitive knowledge. 

Vipassana is often translated as “insight”. While it leads to a clear view of our (human) nature, it gives us insight into the reality of our body and mind. This wisdom gives us a tool to avoid being drawn into all events (emotions, feelings, interpersonal relationships, thoughts, etc.), thus leading the mind to release from suffering.

Vipassana— or insight meditation is a method using moment-to-moment mindfulness. Which means being aware and present in every moment with everything that arises in our body and mind.

Vipassana Satipatthana, the technique we are practicing and teaching here at Santi Dhamma, is based on the four foundations of mindfulness. We are training to be more mindful of our:

  • Body

  • Feeling

  • Mind (states of consciousness)

  • Mind objects (ideas, thoughts & concepts)

The five aims to the practice of Vipassana meditation are:

1. To purify the heart and mind of beings,
2. Overcome sorrows and sadness,
3. Free oneself from pain and suffering,
4. Discover the true path in life,
5. Realize the end of suffering (Nirvana).

The meditation technique taught in our courses is passed on in the same way as it is traditionally been practiced in Wat Phradhatu Sri Chomtong Voravihara, under the guidance of the Most Venerable Phra Prom Mongkol Vi (Ven. Phra Ajarn Tong Sirimangalo).

It is an intensive form of the Mahasi Sayadaw technique which includes both walking meditation and sitting meditation.

Adhering to Buddhism is neither presumed nor expected from participants in the courses.

“We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with an impure mind
And trouble will follow you
As the wheel follows the ox of that draws the cart.”

“We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with a pure mind
And happiness will follow you
As your shadow, unshakable.”

– The Dhammapada – the sayings of the Buddha, verse 1 & 2 –

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