Vipassana is a shortest and gradual development of mindfulness or awareness. It’s a gentle method, proceeding gradually, so far very thorough. It trains your mind to become gradually more aware of your own life experience. There are two types of Buddhist meditation system highlighted in Buddhist scriptures, Samatha and Vipassana. Samatha meditation helps to build up tranquillity whereas Vipassana directly expand insight.
Mahasi Sayadaw the Great Vipassana master said “He cherishes no desire nor hate with regard to any object, desirable or undesirable, that comes into the range of his sense doors, but taking them as just the same in his act of noticing, he understands them (that is to say, it is a pure act of understanding). This is “equable vision” at the stage of “equanimity about formations.”
He explained the Correct Method of doing Vipassana (Insight Meditation). In Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation Mahasi Sayadaw explained the basics of vipassana meditation.
Great Vipassana and yoga master Sri Amit Ray ji of Uttarkashi, Himalaya in his book “Yoga and Vipassana: An Integrated Life Style” beautifully explained “Vipassan is an experiential non-judgemental observation of mind, body and matter. It is not a “body scanning” technique. It is experiential understanding of the impermanence, non-self and sorrow in all phenomena. It is about deep understanding, the arising and passing away of all experiences. Body scanning may give you some relaxation, but not liberation. Vipassan is an ongoing creative purification process. Observation of the moment-to-moment experience cleanses the mental layers one after another.”
Buddhist teacher Henepola Gunaratana beautifully said “Don’t expect anything. Just sit back and see what happens. Treat the whole thing as an experiment. Take an active interest in the test itself. But don’t get distracted by your expectations about results. For that matter, don’t be anxious for any result whatsoever. Let the meditation move along at its own speed and in its own direction. Let the meditation teach you what it wants you to learn. Meditative awareness seeks to see reality exactly as it is. Whether that corresponds to our expectations or not, it requires a temporary suspension of all our preconceptions and ideas. We must store away our images, opinions and interpretations someplace out of the way for the duration. Otherwise we will stumble over them.”
Osho on three ways of Doing Vipassana meditation explained “Vipassana is not a concentration. In concentration, everything is a distraction. When you are trying to concentrate, narrowing your mind, anything can become a distraction, but vipassana is awareness. It is not concentrating on anything exclusively. It is all inclusive. It is just awareness. Awareness knows no distraction. That is the beauty of awareness.”
There are four types of Vipassana Meditations, out of which body-scanning is very popular.