HOME > WHAT IS MEDITATION? > ACTIVE INQUIRY
Vipassana helps us to closely examine, or inquire into, our experience. This can be accomplished by compassionately observing the activity of thought, feeling, sensation over time.
Once one has some basic concentration and one is able to observe the arising and dissolving of thought, feeling, sensation, one can also actively inquire into our core questions, such as:
"What really matters?"
"What is really true?"
"What am I?"
The purpose is not to come up with an intellectual answer, such as "What really matters is love." While you may feel intellectually that is true, is this fully embodied in your mind and life?
If you conclude that love is what really matters, then what takes
you (us) out of love? What makes you forget? This becomes a
continual investigation, not only while sitting in meditation, but in
the background of the mind in the course of daily rounds of life.
Whatever answers come up, is there something deeper, simpler, closer, more fundamental?
Vipassanâ (Pâli) or vipaúyanâ (विपश्यना) in (Sanskrit) means "insight" and is often referred to by Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike as simply "insight meditation". While it is a type of Buddhist meditation as taught by the Buddha, it is essentially non-sectarian in character and has universal application. One need not convert to Buddhism to practice vipassanâ meditation. While the meditation practices themselves vary from school to school, the underlying principle is the investigation of phenomena as they manifest in the four Foundations of Mindfulness highlighted in the Satipatthana sutta; namely: Kaya - Body (or breath), Vedana feeling, Citta - Mind, and Dhamma - Mind objects. These phenomena differ from the Khandas — aggregates — because the Citta factor is not connected to any aggregate, as it is the basic mood of the Mind-Body aggregate, while the Dhamma encompasses all mind objects, i.e., the Vinnana, Sanna and Sankhara aggregates, and also all mind objects that are not a fruit of kamma such as, for example, the Four Noble Truths.
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