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DN 14 Mahaadaana Sutta, Vipassi[edit]

In the pali, DN 14, there is reference to an earlier Buddha Vipassi, who after discovering dependant origination, says "Lo! I have won to this, the way to enlightenment through insight." In the footnote to this text Davids writes "Literally 'the Vipassanaa Way to insight.' As this is not a stock phrase in this connexion it doubtless contains a play on the name Vipassi." (TW Davids, PTS 1910, reprint 2002, vol iii, Dialogues Part II, p. 27) -Alex 23 Nov 2012

Relocation of "Women Practitioners" Section[edit]

The section Practice of vipassanā shortly precedes this section, and AFTER it comes a whole slew of sections regarding the practice of vipassana in different contexts, leading me to believe that this new section (formatted with two equal signs = !) has been erroneously placed. As not to bring up a problem without offering a solution, I'd say after the "Practice" section mentioned before, as it's related to it's practice, and flows better than putting it after the "Vipassana movement" section, which concludes the article.

And no I'm not being sexist. Just in case. Mr.troughton (talk) 18:24, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Discussion of Vipassana[edit]

I'm getting an &radix; appearing in the article; could someone replace this with the right entity? M.e 03:39, 23 May 2004 (UTC) (an article that tries to clarify the various uses of vipassana and vipassana meditation.)

There is some authority for translating vi- as "in a special manner" or "in many directions" and some of the Pali canon and commentaries support the idea that Vipassana allows one to see through the modes of impermanence etc. (See for example, sec. 2.4.2 in the above article)

I have some concerns about the author's attitude. For example, he says that

Abhiññā is derived from the verb,jānāti, which means to know, to have or gain knowledge, to experience, to beaware of or to find out.[31]  That is, abhiññā is a special knowledge obtained through experienceand awareness. The very significant words which we should pay attention to are “experience” and“awareness”. These two words suggest that vipassanā is cultivated by being aware of livingactivity (experience) rather than thinking barely or working on abstract ideas,such as speculation, assumption and the like. The statement can be supported by the Pāli-English Dictionary. Inthe explanation of abhiññā the dictionary says that “wrong-doing, priestlysuperstitions and vain speculation do not conduce to abhiññā”.[32]

Now, this is just silly. "jānāti" is the third person singular active form of the verb √jñā. And that verb is exactly the same as the English verb "know." They're cognates and everything. And sometimes people useit in a high-falutin sense, and sometimes they use it in an everyday sense. But these usages don't magically inhere in the word, and there's no reason at all that we should think that "experience" and "awareness" inhere in √jñā. The author writes with the characteristic exuberance of one who understand a language poorly and reads in too much meaning. There's a rule in linguistics and philology that the more romantic an explanation is, the less likely it is to be true. It's a good rule for Indology, too.

He's good enough to cite some suttas for us, which yields some results. For example:

In that case,Vaccha, develop (bhāvehi) further two things (dhammā): serenity (samatha) andinsight (vipassanā). When thesetwo things are developed (bhāvitā) further, they will lead to the penetrationof many elements.

Penetration is fine, penetration is excellent. To see-apart, to see cuttingly or piercingly, to discern or discrimate, are completely defensible and supportable (as a knife di-vides what it cuts).

The article also draws on the PTSD. Let's take a look:

Vipassanā (p. 627) (f.) [fr. vi+passati; BSk. vipaśyanā, e. g. Divy 44, 95, 264 etc.] inward vision, insight, intuition, introspection D III.213, 273; S IV.195, 360; V.52 (samatha+); A I.61 (id.), 95; II.140, 157 (samatha+); IV.360; V.99, 131; Ps I.28, 57 sq., 181; II.92 sq.; Pug 25; J I.106; Dhs 55, 1356; Nett 7, 42 sq., 50, 82, 88 sq., 125 sq., 160, 191; Miln 16; Vism 2 (with jhāna etc.), 289 (+samādhi), 628 sq. (the 18 mahā°); PvA 14 (samāhita--citta°), 167; VvA 77; Sdhp 457, 466. --anga constituent of intuition SnA 8 (given as "nāmarūpa--pariccheda etc."). --upekkhā indifference by introspection Vism 162. --kammaṭṭhāna exercise for intuition DhA IV.46. --ñāṇa ability or method of attaining insight Vism 629; DhA IV.30; cp. Cpd. 65 sq., where 10 such modes. --dhura obligation of introspection DhA I.8; IV.37 sq.

Now, I'd be inclined to hold as close to this as possible in my interpretations of "Vi-". Why? Because a prefix has many meanings, and not all of them apply to each and every stem to which the prefix is attached. But we can look at the prefix itself, too:

Vi (p. 611) (indecl.) [prefix, resting on Idg. *ṷi "two," as connotation of duality or separation (Ger. "ent--zwei"), which is contained in viŋśati, num. for "twenty" (see vīsati), cp. Sk. viṣu apart, Gr. i)/dios private (lit. separate); also Sk. u--bhau both; and *ṷidh, as in Lat. dīvido=divide. A secondary (compar.) formation in Sk. vitara further, farther, Goth. wipra against, Ger. wider]

1. (a) inseparable prefix of separation and expansion, in original meaning of "asunder," semantically closely related to Lat. dis-- & Ger ver--. Often as base--prefix in var. meanings (see below 1--4), also very frequent as modifying prefix (in combn with other primary prefixes like ā, ni, pa, paṭi, saŋ), where its prevailing character is one of emphasis. --

(b) The native grammarians define vi- either as "vividha" (i. e. our meaning 2): see Bdhgh. at SnA 136 (viharati=vividhaŋ hitaŋ harati); and Vism 179 vividhaŋ khittaŋ=vikkhittaŋ; see also under viggaṇhati; or "prātilomya" (i. e. meaning 3): Nirukta (ed. Roth) I.3; or paraphrase it by su° or suṭṭhu (i. e. meaning 4): see under vimāna & vippasanna. The latter meaning also in Hemacandra's Anek' ārtha--sangraha (ed. Calc.) 7, 15: "śreṣṭhe 'tīte nānārthe" (i. e. Nos. 4 & 2). --

(c) vi° occurs also as distributive (repetitional) prefix in reduplication compounds (here closely resembling paṭi° and the negative a°), like cuṇṇa--vicuṇṇa piecemeal, chidda--vicchidda holes upon holes, vaṭṭa--vivaṭṭa, etc. -- Contracted forms are vy° (=viy° before vowels) and vo° (=vi+ ava); the guṇa & vriddhi form is ve°. --

II. Meanings. --

1. denoting expansion, spreading out; fig. variety or detail, to be trsld by expressions with over or about (cp. Lat. e--), as: °kampati shake about, °kāseti open out, °kirati scatter about, °kūjati sing out (=upa--nadati C), °carati move about (=ā--hiṇḍati), °churita sprinkled about, °jāyati bring forth, °tāna "spread out," °tthāra ex--tension, de--tail, °dāleti break open, °dhammati whirl about, °dhāyaka providing, °pakirati strew all over, °pphāra pervading, °pphārika ef--fulgence, Qbhajati ex--plain, °bhatta dis--tributed, °bhāga division, distribution, °ravati shout out, °rūhana growing up, °rocati shine out, °ssajjati give out, °ssaṭṭha sent out, °ssara shouting out, °ssuta far--famed. --

2. denoting disturbance, separation, mixing up (opp. saŋ°), as given with "away" or "down," or the prefixes de-- and dis--, e. g. °kasita burst asunder, °kubbana change, i. e. miracle (meta--morphosis), °kkaya sell ("ver--kaufen"), °kkhambhati de--stroy, °kkhāleti wash off (=ācameti), °kkhepa de--rangement, °gata dis--appeared (used as defn of vi° at ThA 80), °galita dripping down, °ggaha separation, °cinati dis--criminate, °jahati dis--miss, °desa foreign country (cp. verajjaka), °naṭṭha destroyed, °nata bending down, °nāsa de--struction, °nicchaya dis--crimination, °nodaka driving out, °pāteti to be destroyed, °ppalapati to talk confusedly, °rājeti discard as rāga, °rodha destruction, °lumpati break up, °vitta separated, °vidha mixed, °veka separation, °vāha carrying away, i. e. wedding. --

3. denoting the reverse of the simple verb, or loss, difference, opposite, reverse, as expressed by un-- or dis--, e. g. °asana mis--fortune, °kaṭika unclean, °kappa change round, °kāra per--turbation, dis--tortion, °kāla wrong time, °tatha un--truth, °dhūma smoke--less, °patti corruption, °parīta dubious, °ppaṭipanna on the wrong track, °bhava non--existence (or as 4 "more" bhava, i. e. wealth), °mati doubt, °mānana dis--respect, °yoga separation, °raja fault--less, °rata abs--taining, °rūpa un--sightly, °vaṭa unveiled, °vaṇṇeti defame, °vāda dis--pute, °sama uneven, °ssandati overflow, °ssarita for--gotten, °siṭṭha distinguished, °sesa difference, distinction. --

4. in intensifying sense (developed fr. 1 & 2), mostly with terms expressing per se one or the other of shades of meanings given under 1--3; to be trsld by "away," out, all over, "up," or similarly (completely), e. g. °ākula quite confused, °katta cut up, °kopeti shake up, °garahati scold intensely, °chindati cut off, °jita conquered altogether, °jjotita resplendent, °tarati come quite through, °niyoga close connection, °nivatteti turn off completely, °pariṇāma intense change, °ppamutta quite released, °ppasanna quite purified, °pphalita crumpled up, °bandhana (close) fetter, °ramati cease altogether, °sahati have sufficient strength, °sukkha dried up, °suddha very bright, °ssamati rest fully (Ger. aus--ruhen), °haññati to get slain.

I dunno. I don't really see it. I mean, sure, II:1 has "sprinkled around" and whatnot, which involve pluralities, but they seem to be primarily consequences of the idea of broading or dividing--open out, for example. They don't seem nearly as compelling as II:4, to see intensively. And this isn't to say one doesn't gain insight into many things through vipassanā--it's just to say it doesn't seem to be hard-coded into the word.कुक्कुरोवाच 01:18, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Connection with Mr. Goenka?[edit]

I get an uncanny sense that some material here has come staright from Mr. Goenka's (a respected authority on Vipassana) websites. He has been mentioned in the article and the reference is same as that in his website about his Burmese Guru.

Obviously! A NEUTRAL aproach would be apreciated... besides, the movement that has, by far, most impact among the monastic comunity, as far as i know, is the Mahasi Sayadaw's method. This article is very very very very weak! For eample, what a hell is this: "In Vipassanā meditation, the meditation object is one's own consciousness, although it can be further refined to be one's consciousness while observing, say, the breath, as in ānāpāna meditation. In this context, the modes of seeing refers to focusing on those aspects of consciousness which appear to have (or not have) these characteristics."? The current trend in vipassana is Satipatthana, the four frames of reference (not explained!!!). However, using the 5 skandhas is more acordingly to the suttas, as far as i know (tangentialy explained). No mention is made to the prerequisition-of-jhana debate.

There are many different types of Vipassana and if a person has not experienced a particular technique for them selves how can they be any kind of authority on it? Vipassana is truly understood by prctising it. Mr goenka is an authority on his particular teaching of a technique. Anyone who has experienced one of his courses often understands the need to convey the technique correctly. So it seems inevitable that quotes will come directly from S.N.Goenka`s web site. As with regards to this particular technique these are the best words to use.Pary88 16:21, 30 May 2007 (UTC)


While it is often referred to as Buddhist meditation, the practice taught by the Buddha was non-sectarian, and has a universal application. It does not require conversion to Buddhism.

This is confusing to me. "While it is" suggests a contrast - does this mean that Vipassana is sectarian and requires conversion? --Singkong2005 03:49, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

I had a go at editing the first three lines which might be an improvement. While Vipassana is Buddhist it is widely practiced in a wide variety of secular and non-secular traditions today often under the rubric of "insight meditation" just as very similar practices were widely common in the ancient India of (and indeed before) the Buddha's time and whilst they may have differed in the philosophical and ideological baggage (i.e. of the philosophical underpinnings of Buddhist scriptures or suttas) they are largely indistinguishable in actual meditational practice... Mattjs 12:39, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka and Vipassana taught by others seems to be slighly different in as much as there is great emphasis within S.N. Goenka's teachings that it is free from dogma and rituals and that it is non sectarian. The focus is on the technique and on one's own actual invidual experience rather than on beliefs and scriptures. A person can be Hindu or jewish or of no religion at all and practice vipassana meditation. But as soon as a person calls them self Buddhist they belong to a group, a sect. So for Vipassana Meditation to be non sectarian it can not be called Buddhist meditation.Pary88 19:19, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

I was recently in an S.N. Goenka course and I do not agree with you that it is free from dogma, rituals or non-secretarian. I has to listen to Buddhist religious teachings every day, was not allowed to opt out when I wanted to and in fact extremely harassed when I wanted to leave the camp early. I'm not the only person to think so either as I have afterwards done some research and found several reports of other people that had bad experiences in S.N.Goenka courses so I think this article should be updated to reflect that. D. 14, Feb 2012

'the old philosophy or religion debate. As meditation and insight (the meaning of vipassana) are core to Buddhist practice, one should ask what is its purpose and goal? A core teaching of Buddhist philosophy is the absence of any thing that one should identify as self or soul. It is not a fact to believe but to observe as it truly is. This practice and pursuit may be incompatible with blind faith in such eternal entities. --Alex 23 Nov 2012

Lakshan Attanayake[edit]

Hon Lakshan Attanayake is one of the Theravada meditation teacher living in Sri Lanka, one of living Aryan. I would come up with more information soon.


I've added the schedules/calendars of some of the identified "living teachers" initially as verification that they are in fact actively teaching. Secondarily, it dawned on me that this might be useful for newbies looking for a teacher. Then, after a click of the "Save" button, it dawned on me that this might violate current WP policy regarding commercialism. If so, feel free to delete the "(schedule)" links or point me to the specific WP policy and I'll be happy to remove the offending text. Thanks! LarryR 22:11, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Renaming Vipassana Meditation[edit]

Probably not important, but the article referring to the other form of Buddhist meditation is named Samatha Meditation. For symmetry, as the terms are so closely related, should this article be renamed "Vipassana Meditation"? 11:35, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Someone add a redirect please... 05:15, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Wrong denotation?[edit]

Hi, don't know where to put this: Reading this sections last sentence; isn't the direct perception type of seeing denoted by "paccakkha" instead of "vipassanā"?

A synonym for "Vipassanā" is paccakkha (Pāli; Sanskrit: pratyakṣa), "before the eyes," which refers to direct experiential perception. Thus, the type of seeing denoted by "vipassanā" is that of direct perception, as opposed to knowledge derived from reasoning or argument.

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 16:23, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Origin and History[edit]

Is there any clear historical data backing up the assertion that this particular type of meditation was *re*discovered, as opposed to discovered or invented, by Gautama Buddha 2500 years ago? The rest of the article solidly locates this practice within the tradition and framework of Buddhism. If the same practice is described in, say, some old vedas predating Gautama Buddha, it would be nice to cite them and possibly explain vipassana in terms of those beliefs or practices as well. Mtiffany (talk) 08:17, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Well, if these techniques were current in the Vedas, then I'm not sure we could say they were rediscovered or discovered at all by the Buddha. I initially thought that the meaning of the article's first sentence is that it was a rediscovery in terms of traditional Buddhist history, which sees the Buddha as only the most recent in a progression of past buddhas.—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 17:26, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
As a Buddhist, I've been taught that Lord (Kothama) Buddha just discovered Dharma (the truths) or rediscovered what previous Buddhas had discovered. This may show the universality or non-sectarianness of Dharma. —Preceding unsigned comment added by FetteK (talkcontribs) 04:35, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

I think Greeks invented this kind of meditation first some 1000 years before the Buddha. And, the Buddha might have simply rediscovered what Greeks have invented. Greeks have given this world everything that is great! LOL! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:36, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Since we do not have any citation for the case that this kind of technique in its exact form was practiced earlier to the Gautama Buddha,I changed the phrase "rediscovered by" to "introduced by". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:40, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Vipassana as described in DN 14 nor as elaborated by Buddhaghosa does not exist in the Vedas nor any previous extant written artifact. The Buddha himself claims to have rediscovered anatta, annica, dukkha, (no self, entropy, pain), and dependant origination. The four truths to which ultimately vipassana should lead are unique to Buddhism. -Alex Nov 2012

External link[edit]

Hi. I added a link to a Vipassana discussion forum where I am a member. I didn't do this with a biased intent of for propaganda. I did it merely because it is a good source on Vipassana-related information, where people can clear some doubts and debate and search for resources that we have there. If anyone feels that this link is undue please feel free to delete it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Filipe.a.pinto (talkcontribs) 16:41, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Split Article[edit]

This article confuses me, because it begins discussing a type of buddhist meditation but then later sections are as much about the meditation traditions that use the term vipassana as a descriptive title. I'm seeing two very distinct uses in the article currently

  1. a kind of meditation, not specific to any particular buddhist lineage
  2. a set of lineages that use the term vipassana as a descriptive title, such as S. N. Goenka and Jack Kornfield

For example, the "Notable Living Teachers" section is primarily filled with teachers in the vipassana "tradition", not a list of people who teach the vipassana meditation as the article begins. The latter would probably be a list of all buddhist meditation teachers. The following section though then returns to discussing vipassana as meditation form that spans many traditions. Then the further reading and external links sections return to primarily discuss the vipassana lineages and not the vipassana meditation. So which is it? I propose we split this article into two, one for vipassana the term and approach to buddhist meditation and then another separate one about the vipassana meditation lineages. But conflating them here is problematic because 1) it tries to combine the two uses merely because they share the term even though they're really separate topics and 2) that implies that the vipassana traditions have a unique claim to vipassana meditation forms, which is not true (as discussed in the three yanas section). Thoughts? Article title suggestions? - Owlmonkey (talk) 19:44, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

I think that is a good idea. --Guenesch802 (talk) 06:40, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Any other opinions? I'll just split it at some future point unless there are any objections. Thanks - Owlmonkey (talk) 22:18, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I fail to see the distinction. Vipassana is a specific practice as taught by the Buddha and some people teach it today. They don't teach a different subject but the same one (hopefully, but there are surely varying degrees of purity in them). So I think that they belong together and would disagree with splitting the article. However I have no objection to additional articles about vipassana as taught by various different teachers. To some extent this already exists under the teachers names. Ray Tomes (talk) 03:55, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Well the term is used in a variety of ways, beyond the two i listed even. It's also used to refer to the type of insight that sees the true nature of reality which is a different usage than the meditation practices designed to cultivate that kind of insight and then i believe separate from the usage by S.N.Goenka and others to describe all of their meditation practices as a whole. The problem I'm finding with this article is that it tries to conflate all of those usages. As you'll see in the article currently, at the end of the first section it reads "The term is also used to refer to the Buddhist vipassana movement..." and that's the aspect that I think should be separated since it's about specific traditions and not about the practice or insight generally. Right now it makes those lineages — that use that term to describe their movement — sound like they have a special claim to the technique but they don't. - Owlmonkey (talk) 04:37, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
For a more specific issue, the article lists these teachers currently as teachers of Vipassana: Ajahn Sumedho, Ajahn Amaro, Ajahn Sobin S. Namto, Henepola Gunaratana, Bhikkhu Bodhi, Christopher Titmuss, Gil Fronsdal, Jack Kornfield, Noah Levine, Joseph Goldstein, Larry Rosenberg, Luangpor Thong, Matthew Flickstein, Rodney Smith, S. N. Goenka, Sayadaw U Pandita, Sharon Salzberg, Shinzen Young, Sujin Boriharnwanaket
But if this article is really about the vipassana taught by the Buddha, then we would need to include ALL Buddhist teachers here, not just these teachers. These teachers are associated with the "vipassana movements" which is a specific set of lineages. Alternatively, we could just remove their names from this article altogether since Buddhist teachers already has a separate category. - Owlmonkey (talk) 04:41, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Inclined to think it is not a very extensive article, so best to keep info together and hot have fragments. (talk) 06:10, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the comment. I don't think I'm explaining the reasoning well though then. The issue is not that the article is extensive, it's that there are two different things (at least two) being discussed and conflating them is misleading. It implies that vipassana movement meditation teachers have some unique claim to vipassana meditation, which is not the case at all. vipassana meditation is included in all buddhist meditation traditions, not just those who use the vipassana moniker in their name. See what I mean? The meditation technique is universal to buddhism, but the vipassana movement is a title for a subset of buddhist lineages. So we shouldn't conflate them. The way this article is now would be like combining the Monasticism article - a method of spiritual practice - and the Christian monasticism article - which is about a particular tradition that uses monasticism. The former is more universal and not specific to a lineage, but the latter is a particular tradition that is not the same as the more general method. Probably there are better analogies. But to combine monasticism and christian monasticism would imply that christians had some special claim to the form which is not the case. Same here, the vipassana movement teachers do not have any special claim on vipassana meditation. the meditation form is used by a wider set of buddhist traditions. -Owlmonkey (talk) 08:08, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Hello Owlmonkey. Even I liked your proposal in the first I observed now the developmentes in the german Wikipeida Version of Vipassana [[1]] as there was a similar dilemma. Now the german article is written form the perspective of an more originally Vipassana, specially as used by Teachers or Traditions coming from therevada countries. Newer developments (Western Teachers, Vipassana in other than Terevada, with an other base than the pali canon, or even mixed concpets i.e. western psychology, yoga) are explained in strong contrast to the more originally use and in shorter. I understand that your proposal is different. But at least german wikipedians find it a good solution, and it might be another possibility way to come out of the present dilemma. By the way: it is there explicity written that scientificly no tradition can say that it is the only historical right technique as the pali canon, and even the sattipatthana sutta is written in a open way where many traditions find there foundation. Maybe this is something which might help also in the english version. But I leave it to others as I find my english to less --Guenesch802 (talk) 13:34, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
So what I'm hearing is leaving some of the other uses here, even if we clearly move out some pieces, and then perhaps discussing this issue here as well - that the movement uses the name but is not exclusively the holder of the technique. Sounds good. So it's less a complete split and more of an expansion to another article. - Owlmonkey (talk) 21:45, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes I think you get it. I jus do not get it what you mean by more of an extansion to another article? If I can help in any way just let me know. I also could ask authors which are presently working on the german article to take part here. --Guenesch802 (talk) 07:02, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
I think my main goal at this point is to make the distinction clear: that there is a vipassana practice and a vipassana movement and that they're two different things. That's important to mostly do here, but as the two different things expand with more detail they shouldn't expand on one article but one of them should be expanded in a second article. This article needs to help disambiguate for people that they are two different things. I'm flexible on how to do that. But that's the key distinction in my mind now. I glanced at the german article — because i don't speak german — but it looks like it is still mostly about the movement and teachers yes? - Owlmonkey (talk) 19:27, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
OK, I just restructured the article some along these lines to make it clear what that distinction was and how the practice stretches across all lineages of buddhism independently of the vipassana movement teachers or traditions. - Owlmonkey (talk) 21:00, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Any more comments? I'd like to separate out the 'teachers' and 'vipassana today' and 'famous masters' and 'vipassana in prison' sections as a Vipassana movement article, linked to from here but separate, so that the lineage discussion includes all forms of buddhism equally. Thanks. - Owlmonkey (talk) 23:48, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

I have no problem splitting the page, after all impermanence is the nature of the game. But I'd like to point out that at best Vipassana is only vaguely mentioned in the pali. The Buddha did not teach a 'vipassana technique'. It is a later invention found in the commentaries (Buddhaghosa, vis) and later traditions. So any new movement is just a continuation of older new movements. It would be another story if this were an article about anapanasati or satipatthana. -Alex 23 Nov 2012

"Notable Living Teachers"[edit]

The section entitled "Notable Living Teachers" includes links to the Wikipedia pages (they might as well be MySpace pages) of a number of clowns. Does the topic of Vipassana have to be trivialized in this way? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:03, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Can you be more specific? I take it you're not referring to clown as a complement, such as with Patch Adams, but as a pejorative judgment about some specific articles. Which ones? - Owlmonkey (talk) 00:42, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the section does not belong here. What makes these people "notable"? What are the criteria for inclusion or exclusion from this list? Following the links and reading the biographies, it does seem a bit like MySpace. Maybe these people are trying to advertise here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:34, 1 August 2008 (UTC)


As part of the split discussion, and from the good comments there, it seemed important to clarify in the article itself what the distinction was between vipassanā the meditation practice and vipassanā the movement or lineages. So I started that first with a restructuring of the article. I've made major changes, though mostly structural and saving almost all of the original content. Since much of the vipassanā practice description was not necessarily general to all buddhist traditions, most of it I moved under the Theravada section, which adding some discussion about contemplation generally and what other forms of meditation in mahayana and vajrayana are considered vipassanā by those traditions. Since these are major edits, I welcome discussion or criticisms about the changes here. - Owlmonkey (talk) 21:00, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Copy edit needed[edit]

Nevertheless, Huineng, sixth patriarch of the Zen, considered the practice cannot be described as gradualistic nor subitist, but implies people with more or less clear minds.

Can someone fix this torturous prose, please? Thanks. Viriditas (talk) 17:11, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Contemplative forms - error?[edit]

Under contemplative forms, it has: "One method is that there are 40 topics that can be concentrated by the meditator such as anitya (Pāli anicca, impermanence), duḥkha (Pāli dukkha, suffering), roga (illness), and so on. The meditator can meditate on one of these until he sees the truth in everything in the universe."

But Anitya & dukkha, and even roga are not mentioned in the list of 40 topics. The first two, are two of the "Three marks of existence" (see wiki page). Therefore, I believe there has been a misunderstanding or miscommunication in this paragraph (but am not, myself, an expert in buddhism).

- (talk) 23:00, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Good catch. Does look like an error to me. And I suspect the way it is written now is too specific to one editor's understanding or lineage. Both the 40 topics as well as the three marks appear to be quite reasonable contemplations, not only one or the other. How about we rewrite that as "The meditator may contemplate truths or views of reality like the 40 topics or anitya (Pāli anicca, impermanence), duḥkha (Pāli dukkha, suffering), or roga (illness). In doing so the meditator refines their view and removes habitual ignorance." - Owlmonkey (talk) 08:19, 8 January 2009 (UTC)


Any source? Mitsube (talk) 05:44, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Removed "The Courses"[edit]

I removed the section of "The Courses" because there is no historical basis at all for Theravada Buddhism having "ten day programs." If someone wants to advertise, it may serve better to create a Wikipedia page specifically concerning profit-based programs that are Buddhist rather then weasling it into an article on a Buddhist concept. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:49, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Vipassana Movement - last edit[edit]

The last edit on vipassana movement done by Rogerbischoff is misleading as (1) the ressource is wrong (nothing written about Mother Sayamagyi at | Fronsdal, 1998) 2. and misleading as not only Mother Sayamagyi contiued the tradition of U Ba Khin. Beside this question should be raised, if the content of the edit is relevant, as the impact done by the teaching of mother sayamagyi to the worldwide vipassana movement is not so big. Just a question. At least I think if Mother Sayamagyi is listed, it should be more integrated in the context of the article --Guenesch802 (talk) 15:40, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Suggestion - list of external links to institutions that offer Vipassana meditation[edit]

L.S. As a frequent Wikipedia user, I would be glad to see a comprehensive list of links to institutions that provide Vipassan meditation. For that reason I added an institution that I know, inviting others to do the same.

Since buddhist institutions do not function on a commercial basis, by definition, would like to encourage the editors of this page (and other pages on buddhism) to tolerate this type of external links. In the respect mentioned, the links obey the editorial manifesto of Wikipedia.

Curious! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rijk Willemse (talkcontribs) 11:48, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Move proposal[edit]

There seems to be some confusion about what this article is about. Right now it is a general article about the concept of Vipassanā/Vipaśyanā which is common (with variations, of course) across most if not all schools of Buddhism. However, it seems as though a number of editors do not realize this, and edit the article as if it was only about the modern Vipassana movement which has its own article. The reinsertion of the "Women Teachers of Vipassana" is a perfect example of this. I already incorporated that information into the Vipassanā movement article. Now it is back. In this context it makes no sense--it would be like having a section called "Women teachers of samatha" and "Women teachers of the Four Noble Truths" and listing Buddhist women teachers in every article about every concept in Buddhism. To clear up this confusion, I propose the article be moved to the Sanskrit version of the word, either with diacritics or transliterated. Sanskrit is generally used in scholarly discourse as the lingua franca of Buddhism.Sylvain1972 (talk) 17:40, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

I've edited the article, adding info on the origins, emphasizing the dichoyomy of vipassana and samatha, and removed text to make the article better readable. As with Zen, the influence of modernity on Vipassana, and the popular picture of it are very interesting and deserve more info. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 08:45, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
The only corpus accepted as definitive by all traditions is the pali, in the pali language. Sanskrit is used in comparative discussion as related to Jain, Vedas, etc. -Alex — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:25, 23 November 2012 (UTC)


Sylvain1972, With the "superior" part of the Indo-Tibetan tradition, you also put back a long quote, removed quote-templates, and removed clarifying subheaders. Maybe you could try to paraphrase the Zahler p.108 quote, which you put back, and edit the quotes back into quote-templates? Joshua Jonathan (talk) 04:07, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

The distinction between vipassanā and samatha in Sutta Pitaka[edit]

Contrary to what is claimed in the article, there are multiple references to vipassanā and samatha in Sutta Pitaka as different. The difference is also preserved in Pali, Chinese, and Tibetan commentaries on suttas. Some quotations from Sutta Pitaka below:

"These two qualities have a share in clear knowing. Which two? Tranquility (samatha) & insight (vipassana).
"When tranquility is developed, what purpose does it serve? The mind is developed. And when the mind is developed, what purpose does it serve? Passion is abandoned.
"When insight is developed, what purpose does it serve? Discernment is developed. And when discernment is developed, what purpose does it serve? Ignorance is abandoned.
"Defiled by passion, the mind is not released. Defiled by ignorance, discernment does not develop. Thus from the fading of passion is there awareness-release. From the fading of ignorance is there discernment-release."
"There are these three trainings. Which three? [...]
"And what is the training in heightened mind? (stock description of four jhanas).
"And what is the training in heightened discernment? There is the case where a monk discerns as it actually is that 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.'
"Ven. Ananda said: "Friends, whoever — monk or nun — declares the attainment of arahantship in my presence, they all do it by means of one or another of four paths. Which four?
"There is the case where a monk has developed insight preceded by tranquility. [...]
"Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity preceded by insight. [...]
"Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity in tandem with insight. [...]
"Then there is the case where a monk's mind has its restlessness concerning the Dhamma [Comm: the corruptions of insight] well under control.
  • SN 43.2, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha by Bikkhu Bodhi, p. 1373:
"And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Serenity and insight.
"Katamo ca, bhikkhave, asaṅkhatagāmimaggo? Samatho ca vipassanā ca.

Happyseeu (talk) 04:43, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Reply by Joshua Jonathan: Good work, well done. Nevertheless, Gombrich and Brooks do not say that the two terms are not being used in the Pali canon; they argue that the distic=nction as two separate paths is a later interpretation. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 20:17, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

Reply by Happyseeu:I have cited another sutta in the Pali Canon that talks about these two paths. Whether they are distinct or not can be left to interpretation. It wasn't clear in the original sentence that

  • these two appear as 'paths' and
  • they appear together

in the Pali Suttas. The changes should make it clear now. Happyseeu (talk) 00:05, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Reply by Joshua Jonathan: the cited sutta does not mention vipassana and samatha as two distinct paths; it talks about different combinations as "paths". To present them as two different "paths" is exactly what Gombrich is arguing about: it's a later interpretation. Buddhism isn't 'a-historical'; it has developed and changed over the centuries, which is reflected in different 'summaries' of the 'core' teachings. As far as my understanding goes, samatha and vipassana (or "jnana", if you like) are to be practiced in tandem - better said, in concert, together with sila, virtues behaviour (and study of the sutras, but that's another discussion). Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:18, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

I don't know whether you use 'factor' and 'path' interchangeably or not. The traditional, mainstream view is both are factors of 'path'. Whoever argues that there are two distinct 'paths' would be the minority view, and shouldn't distract from stating the traditional view clearly. Even the modern vipassana movement, AFAIK, doesn't deny that concentration is developed as a result. It's just that samatha is not developed separately and before vipassana. So I think the statement can be phrased better. Happyseeu (talk) 14:40, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

The "Origins"-section clarifies this section in the lead - or doesn't is? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 15:36, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

The article Vipassana jhanas suffers from some issues that could easily be solved if its contents were put into the contents of their main subject, Vipassanā. Similarly, note that the subject of samatha jhanas falls under the main article and does not require its own article. ozhu (talk·contribs) 07:14, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Done. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:00, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Mahayana or Theravada / analytical meditation or single point[edit]

After 4 weeks retreat in Kopan [Tib buddh . ] Can I detect that there are strong differences are indeed the term Vipassana and its meaning according to context and these often lead to confusion. The German article and the English differ greatly, maybe these thoughts are helpful:

The quote of the Dalai lama in sentence 2 of the article may generate more confusion than clarity. Vipassana is significantly associated with the Theravada Buddhism.  suggestion: The " Vipassana movement " is a loosely lay and ordained movement that in Theravada Buddhism has its origins .

If Vipassana defined as analytical meditation [ as in the Dalai Lama line ] that grows up irritation [ so in 250 people of the course in Kopan ] because what is practiced much at Vipassana is singel point non-analytic - exactly the opposite.

In this respect I would like to propose the Dalai lama quote to be replaced by : An essential part of various training methods is the practice of mindfulness ( sati ) . In the psychological literature Vipassana meditation is usually called " mindfulness meditation " instead of insight meditation . — Preceding unsigned comment added by Joe-webmystik (talkcontribs) 02:11, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

I've removed the whole sentence. It's unclear, and there is no further reference to the Dalain Lama in the article. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 04:59, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Vipassanā/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Needs reference citations and formal references. Badbilltucker 18:10, 20 December 2006 (UTC) The introductory paragraphs are very opaque, using advanced concepts and technical terms in the introduction, and expressing them in very long, complex sentences. The introduction should be edited for improved clarity and readability for persons not already intimately familiar with buddhist meditation. 07:55, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Substituted at 22:04, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

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Sanskrit typo?[edit]

The "…vipaśyanā (Sanskrit: विपश्यन)…" (currently in the lead sentence) is wrong on multiple levels.. 1. the first word is already in Sanskrit; 2. it is not the correct transliteration of the "विपश्यन" (this form in Devanagari agrees with Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary, 1899), which is "vipaśyana". The discrepancy should be fixed or explained. —Mykhal (talk) 12:51, 26 July 2018 (UTC)