views updated

Vipassanā (Pāli), vipaśyanā (Skt., ‘see clearly’, ‘penetrate an object thoroughly’). Insight into the truths of impermanence (anicca), suffering (dukkha), and no-self (anātman); the form of meditation which has the personal apprehension of these specific truths of Buddhism as its object. Together with tranquillity (samatha) it represents the twofold dimension to Buddhist meditational practice. But it is superior to the latter because it is concerned with that aspect of meditation which is distinctively Buddhist, and because it alone produces the form of understanding, prajña, through which liberation takes place. It is the central focus of meditational training in Theravāda Buddhist centres.