Insight (vipassana)

Unique to Buddhism, the meditation practice of self-observation that reveals the true nature of reality
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    Understanding Understanding Paid Member

    Consider, for a moment, the word understand and its synonyms. To stand under. Something is “there” above us and we are below, underneath, looking up. We reach “up” and try to “grasp” it, “catch” it, “capture” it. The origin of the synonym comprehend is “to seize or lay hold of, to hang on to.” And similarly, the word apprehend carries this sense. Elusive criminals, like subtle meanings, can be quite difficult to apprehend. In each of these synonyms, the idea of understanding is linked to capture and containment, to a break in an ongoing flow of movement. As if understanding were a great tiger that we must take into custody and keep enclosed and tightly controlled. But what if it weren’t so? More »
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    The Six Disguises of Mind Paid Member

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    Death Awareness Paid Member

    On each branch of the trees in my gardenHang clusters of fruit, swelling and ripe. In the end, not one piece will remain. My mind turns to thoughts of my death.—Seventh Dalai Lama Many meditations focus on something associated with beauty or joy or peace. Perhaps some of you may puzzle over why a contemplation would focus on death. Actually, in the teachings of the Buddha, it's a very important practice. It's part of the general importance given to impermanence, change—and death is a dramatic case of that. Reflections on anicca—that everything that arises passes away—is central to wisdom practice. More »
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    Dharma 101 Paid Member

    Dharma 101 is a sampling of the questions that commonly arise in the course of practice. In some cases, Buddhist teachers themselves identified the questions they most frequently hear from students. To those, we brought experiences from workshops, retreats, and classes—and asked some questions of our own. While the inquiries may sound familiar to many dharma practitioners, the responses may not. This may point to a difference in view or understanding between teachers. Or it may indicate a difference in tradition. More »
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    The First Teachings Paid Member

    THE FIRST TIME I heard my Buddhist teachers explain the Four Noble Truths—beginning  with "life is dukkha" (unsatisfying, painful by its very nature, unreliable even when it is pleasant because it is always  changing)—I thought, "They're telling the truth. These people are talking about exactly what I'm worried about. They know what the real problem is. And they promise a solution." More »