Dhamma Letter No. 12

Vipassana Meditation No. 2


Vipassana Meditation

Continuing our discussion of vipassana mediation from Dhamma Letter No. 11, we begin with an etymological perspective. The word 'vipassana' is composed of prefix, 'vi', followed by 'passana'. In this context, vi’ can be translated to separation, distinction, difference, and variance. Passana means gaze, observation, and continuous awareness. Using this etymological analysis, it can be said that vipassana is a separate and continuous view of all things related to perceptual phenomena. Using this framework, various concepts such as craving, caring, mindfulness, awareness, bare attention, noting, and seeing through, are used as part of the core methodology of vipassana meditation.

In the end, vipassana meditation can be thought of as a meditation practice that emphasizes the observation of all phenomena such as impermanence, dissatisfaction, and not-self/non-ego simply as they are from the viewpoints and within the frameworks of sati. I pray that everyone can escape from suffering and follow the path of complete happiness through the practice of the four (body, feeling, mind, and Dhamma) foundations of mindfulness (satipatthana)- to reach nibbana (nirvana), a state in which all anguish disappears.

“Bhikkhus, I say that anguish is extinct from those who know and see, I do not say that anguish is extinct from those who do not know and do not see.” Sangyutta Nikaya (SNII-29, SNIII-152)

Note: 'Sati' is a Pali term and essential in understanding vipassana meditation. The word 'sati' will be used henceforth in lieu of 'mindfulness' or 'awareness' to help build a richer understanding of the term. ‘Sati’ contains much more meaning than is typically ascribed to just ‘mindfulness’.


May all achieve the firm Sati in the practice!

May all be reached to Nibbana, the ultimate happiness, through the practice!

May all be well and peaceful!


Buddha Sāsanaṁ Ciraṁ Tiṭṭhatu!
May the Buddha’s teachings last a long time!

​Bhavatu Sabba Sotiṁ ca Maṅgalaṁ ca!
May everyone be led on the path of peace and blessing!

Sādhu Sādhu Sādhu !


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