Traditionally vipaśyanā is not a practice but a type of awakened seeing, the term means “clear seeing” or “clear insight.”

Defined in the Akṣayamati-nirdeśa as such:

The consciousness that perceives the entry into reality is called "vipaśyanā." So-called vipaśyanā is perceiving phenomena correctly, perceiving phenomena as they are, perceiving phenomena truly, and perceiving phenomena as not otherwise, perceiving phenomena as empty, without characteristics, without aspiration, perceiving phenomena to be unformed, likewise, nonarisen, unproduced, insubstantial, just as they are, pure, and as isolated. It is perceiving phenomena as unmoving, inactive, without self, wholly without grasping, inseparable, one taste, as the nature of space, and nirvana by nature.

This means that the real meaning of vipaśyanā is an awakened equipoise a synonym for realizing emptiness [śūnyatā].

The so-called practice of “vipassana” as in the vipassana movement is sort of a glorified śamatha. It is more of just a nice moniker, but it is not actual vipassana [vipaśyanā].

What separates vipaśyanā proper from deliberate mindfulness would be the fact that vipaśyanā is infused with gnosis [jñāna] whereas mindfulness is a sustained attention that is performed from within the confines of one’s everyday dualistic consciousness.” -

"krodha commented on Vipassana vs. Samatha
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“Vipassana meditation," of the vipassana movement and vipaśyanā proper are two different things. You'll have to determine which one you're referring to. Vipassana meditation associated with the vipassana movement is marginally different than śamatha. The real meaning of vipassana or vipaśyanā in Sanskrit, is awakened insight. Traditionally, śamatha is used as a precursor to vipaśyanā so that when awakening occurs, it is more stable.

Vipassana meditation you follow instructions on is more of a glorified form of śamatha, that is why you cannot distinguish the two. True vipassana is the awakened domain of an ārya.



[18/12/18, 1:49:40 PM] John Tan: For communication purpose, it is necessary to point out this clarity
[18/12/18, 1:50:43 PM] John Tan: And one need also to realize the "clarity" pointed is simply a convention.
[18/12/18, 1:51:01 PM] John Tan: After these 2 pointings, what is realized?
[18/12/18, 2:07:10 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Anatta.. in the seen just the seen. Awareness is not existing by its own side, perceiving phenomena but is phenomena
[18/12/18, 2:07:52 PM] Soh Wei Yu: I think this is not directly mentioned in the book. It sees everything as just names but it doesn’t say awareness is a name imputed on the self luminous manifestation
[18/12/18, 2:08:25 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Rather it says the space like awareness is ground and cause of everything
[18/12/18, 2:08:29 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Sounds like source to me
[18/12/18, 2:16:50 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Actually I much prefer the mn1 sutta over many Dzogchen teachings, much more resonating with my insight. No source at all, Buddha say any view of emanation is wrong.. not skilful to conceive things coming out of infinite space, infinite consciousness, etc
[18/12/18, 2:17:16 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Is like in the seen just the seen.. no coming out of, no I, me, mine, just direct perception
[18/12/18, 2:23:58 PM] Soh Wei Yu: "He directly knows water as water... the All as the All...

"He directly knows Unbinding as Unbinding. Directly knowing Unbinding as Unbinding, he does not conceive things about Unbinding, does not conceive things in Unbinding, does not conceive things coming out of Unbinding, does not conceive Unbinding as 'mine,' does not delight in Unbinding. Why is that? Because he has known that delight is the root of suffering & stress, that from coming-into-being there is birth, and that for what has come into being there is aging & death. Therefore, with the total ending, fading away, cessation, letting go, relinquishment of craving, the Tathagata has totally awakened to the unexcelled right self-awakening, I tell you."
[18/12/18, 2:25:09 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Even seung Sahn and his successors are unable to overcome the notion of source. And it seems many Dzogchen Teachers also

(note: I am by no means well-versed in Dzogchen and I'm sure there are many Dzogchen teachers that are very deeply realized, also I'm referring to some of expressions of some of the modern teachers I've read. Some of the old Dzogchen texts I've read are very good and resonating)
‎[18/12/18, 2:48:20 PM] Soh Wei Yu: ‎image omitted
[18/12/18, 2:48:42 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Their emptiness insight is like saying reflections cannot be established as anything other than the mirror
[18/12/18, 2:48:58 PM] Soh Wei Yu: But anatta is more like mirror cannot be established as anything other than reflections lol
[18/12/18, 2:49:23 PM] Soh Wei Yu: This is not spoken and the no mirror insight is only expressed by Prabodha and Abhaya Devi that I know. Never seen it anywhere else in Dzogchen (Update by Soh in 2021: Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith and his student Kyle Dixon is clear about - see Clarifications on Dharmakaya and Basis by Loppön Namdrol/Malcolm, and some of the other old Dzogchen texts I've read)
[18/12/18, 2:50:41 PM] Soh Wei Yu: In Soto zen it is commonly expressed
[18/12/18, 2:50:43 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Even today
[18/12/18, 3:13:41 PM] Soh Wei Yu: No wonder Greg Goode says Dzogchen sounds too much like advaita to him

{quotes a book}

[18/12/18, 3:53:15 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Was just reminded of
[18/12/18, 3:53:22 PM] Soh Wei Yu: What u wrote in 2009:

What's seen is Awareness. What's heard is Awareness. All experiences are non-dual in nature. However this non-dual luminosity cannot be understood apart from the ‘causes and conditions’ of arising. Therefore do not see ‘yin’ as Awareness interacting with external conditions. If you see it as so, then it still falls in the category of mirror-reflecting. Rather see it as an instantaneous manifestation where nothing is excluded. As if the universe is giving its very best for this moment to arise. A moment is complete and non-dual. Vividly manifest and thoroughly gone leaving no traces.”
[18/12/18, 3:54:59 PM] Soh Wei Yu: The way I understand is that this book I'm reading, including many other Teachers, explain dependent origination in terms of awareness interacting with external conditions in the form of mirror reflecting
[18/12/18, 3:55:33 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Very unlike how Hong wen Liang, Dogen, Hakuun yasutani and other Soto zen masters explain about total exertion and no mirror
[18/12/18, 3:56:07 PM] John Tan: It is very difficult to bring out the point
[18/12/18, 4:02:12 PM] John Tan: As whatever can b expressed is easily reified, objectified and grasped instead of realizing it is merely pointing at seen, heard, sensed ...all 6 entries and exits, nothing beyond.  The conventions created artificial boundaries when there is none. So vipassana is taught but not the 3 seals needs to go hand in hand with the luminous manifestation.
[18/12/18, 4:04:01 PM] Soh Wei Yu: But not the 3 seals?
[18/12/18, 4:04:36 PM] John Tan: Not just the 3 seals
[18/12/18, 4:07:13 PM] Soh Wei Yu: U mean not just the 3 seals is impt but must go with luminous manifestation?
[18/12/18, 4:09:02 PM] John Tan: Otherwise it becomes just a mindful reminder but vipassana is a direct insight.

Also, back in 2014:

Soh Wei YuTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:49pm UTC+08
i dont know whether his explanation reflects mahasi's understanding or buddhaghosa's description
Soh Wei YuTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:49pm UTC+08
then his 4th path is like anatta insight
Soh Wei YuTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:49pm UTC+08
daniel ingram's book however all the nanas seem like states
John TanTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:49pm UTC+08
Soh Wei YuTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:49pm UTC+08
i havent read his texts before
Soh Wei YuTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:48pm UTC+08
you mean what he wrote in visudhimagga?
John TanTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:48pm UTC+08
But that does not mean we know more ...
John TanTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:47pm UTC+08
Buddhaghosa I m not sure but the nana (insight) described is different...and whatever described is more like experience and anatta seems to b an inference than direct insight.
Soh Wei YuTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:45pm UTC+08
oic.. u mean buddhaghosa, mahasi sayadaw, goenka all have this problem? derived inference instead of experiential insight?
John TanTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:44pm UTC+08
Vipassana is a technique that must go hand in hand with view and experience. Once realized, vipassana is natural and effortless.
John TanTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:43pm UTC+08
Not an experiential insight
John TanTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:43pm UTC+08
That is to me a derived inference
John TanTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:43pm UTC+08
From there realized anatta
John TanTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:42pm UTC+08
They r talking abt the 3 characteristics, the stream
John TanTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:42pm UTC+08
So where is the insight?
John TanTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:42pm UTC+08
Yeah abt them
Soh Wei YuTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:39pm UTC+08
the traditional techniques.. u dont mean mahasi or goenka? or are u talking about them
Soh Wei YuTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:38pm UTC+08
you mean emptiness insight?
Soh Wei YuTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:38pm UTC+08
so many are now talking about.. what?
John TanTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:38pm UTC+08
So don't say whose technique is the best ...
John TanTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:37pm UTC+08
But r those seeing through...u see the realization is in line with all the texts but when u look at the traditional techniques, u realized this lack...either they emphasis on the experience or the view but there is no insight at all.
John TanTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:35pm UTC+08
So like u said, I think my approach is the u see so many is now talking abt it after going through all the different traditional techniques
John TanTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:33pm UTC+08
John TanTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:33pm UTC+08
U also realized that the emptiness and chariot analogy and all Buddhist Mahayana emptiness sutta all r talking abt the insight of anatta is the same insight but brought to experiential taste...yet u do not see any emphasis at almost all the traditions
Soh Wei YuTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:32pm UTC+08
you mean many people describe nana but those nana has no insight involved?
John TanTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:31pm UTC+08
Some may say they realized anatta but may not b as thorough as seeing through....the insights (nana) from buddhaghosa or Mahasi or goenka....I wonder why is it called an insight at all since no insights whatsoever r involved. How is there no trace of a background I leading to the realization of no I and mine making and how thorough can it b without the seeing through?
Soh Wei YuTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:27pm UTC+08
piya tan learnt both goenka and mahasi technique and teaches them i believe
Soh Wei YuTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:26pm UTC+08
John TanTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10:26pm UTC+08
Lol...different technique, can't comment as outsider...
Soh Wei YuTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 9:20pm UTC+08
"I agree with Vince that Goenka does get a lot of people above the A&P but leaves many stranded there, though the same could be said of many traditions, and is in some ways just a common occurrence that is not necessarily one traditions fault but something inherent in the fact that getting to stream entry can sometimes be tricky. I get emails relatively regularly stating the same thing from frustrated meditators of not only Goenka but also other traditions. Now, it is true that there are good things about Goenka, but this debate has been hashed out elsewhere. My take on things is this: if you learn the maps, understand the vipassana jhanas, learn to recognize the traps, take what is good and notice where the Mahasi kids and the Goenka kids agree (Three Characteristics), and learn to go on retreats with the benefit of that additional heads up and technology, then it is probably possible to take advantage of the good aspects of Goenka (donation-based, widely available, strong discipline), and fuse it with the good stuff from Mahasi (the best maps ever, excellent diagnostic criteria, a profound understanding of the fine-points of the path stripped of dogmatic crap, and strong advice on technique, etc.). As to what to put attention on, I tend to recommend vibrations wherever found, watching for the shifts that make these wider and watching for the phase and frequency changes that occur so as to not get stuck, and a basic emphasis on watching as much of the thing come and go as possible, to gradually include all of space and everything in it, realizing the odd shifts that happen in the transition from 2nd to 3rd to 4th vipassana jhanas, as describe in my book and elsewhere. That said, you can do this with body scanning, breath, choiceless awareness, or other objects, as it is more of a meta-perspective on these more specific techniques and focuses. Helpful? " "Please don't misunderstand me, it is not that I do not recommend Goenka centers, as I know a good number of people who have gotten some real benefit from them, the price is clearly right, they are pretty on the up and up as centers and traditions go, I know numerous people who have crossed the Arising and Passing Away during their courses, and thus, there is much to be said for them. I do have some critiques, however, about a few things. I do know that during the first 3 month retreat at IMS where they used the Mahasi method over body-scanning that they got many more stream enterers and others with deep insights and they basically never looked back. I know that many who have gotten into interesting territory on Goenka retreats have not had teachers there who could tell them what was happening, what to do next, how it might effect their daily life, etc., all of which I consider suboptimal and unfortunate. The tradition is a bit sectarian without necessarily the track record to justify this, though again, as a widespread, dana-based insight movement, the world is clearly a better place for it, and many do get their start there. In short, a mixed bag, but that is not the same as me not recommending them. Best of luck posting your pages, and I do think that posting the pros and cons of various centers and where they is a very good thing, as plenty of people need local options, and more insight practice, even if I personally don't consider it the very most effective, sophisticated and fully developed, is definitely a good idea. "
Soh Wei YuTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 9:17pm UTC+08
"Dear Aziz, Glad you like it. Strangely, while I haven't been on a Goenka retreat, what I hear of them doesn't sound hardcore enough for me, not enough emphasis on every sensation, every second technique from the moment of waking to the moment of sleeping, not enough emphasis on progress, no maps, low expectations on people getting stream entry and beyond, low quality discussion of technical aspects, etc. Anyway, just one opinion. Daniel "
Soh Wei YuTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 9:17pm UTC+08
Soh Wei YuTuesday, June 24, 2014 at 9:17pm UTC+08
it seems that daniel ingram doesnt seem very impressed with goenka style practice
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