Insight or Vipassana meditation is a form of Buddhist meditation that calms and steadies the mind, helping us to see into our habits and conditioning, and allowing us to be more present to any given moment in our lives. We begin by focusing attention on the breath, then we may shift our attention to other aspects of our mind, body, and experience as our practice develops.
We practice Insight Meditation in the context of the Four Noble Truths that were taught by the Buddha 2,500 years ago. These are:
- The truth of suffering: Our life is inherently unsatisfactory. We lose what we love or we don’t get what we want; then in the end, we and all that we love age, sicken and die.
- The truth of the origin of suffering : We want to keep what we have and stay with what we love. We cling to those things, thinking that if we keep them forever we will be forever happy. We also ignore the true conditions of our lives. This clinging and ignorance make us suffer even more.
- The truth of the end of suffering: it is possible to be completely free from this suffering and clinging.
- The truth of the path leading to the end of suffering: The way leading to the end of suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path, which consists of:
- Right View
- Right Intention
- Right Speech
- Right Action
- Right Livelihood
- Right Effort
- Right Mindfulness
- Right Concentration