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One of the effects of Vipassana is that you begin to see how applicable it is to so many aspects of life. But I was quite surprised in seeing its linkages to advertising in a Slate article this morning.
Vipassanā (Pāli) or vipaśyanā (विपश्यना, Sanskrit, Tib. ལྷག་མཐོང་, lhaktong; Wyl. lhag mthong) in the Buddhist tradition means insight into the true nature of reality.[citation needed] A regular practitioner of Vipassana is known as a Vipassi (vipaśyin). Vipassana is one of the world's most ancient techniques of meditation, which was introduced by Gautama Buddha. It is a practice of self-transformation through self-observation and introspection to the extent that sitting with a steadfast mind becomes an active experience of change and impermanence.[citation needed] In English, vipassanā meditation is often referred to simply as "insight meditation".

In the Theravadin context, this entails insight into the three marks of existence. In Mahayana contexts, it entails insight into what is variously described as sunyata, dharmata, the inseparability of appearance and emptiness, clarity and emptiness, or bliss and emptiness.

In a broader sense, vipassanā has often been used as one of two poles for the categorization of types of Buddhist meditation, the other being samatha (Pāli; Sanskrit: śamatha).[citation needed] Samatha is a focusing, pacifying and calming meditation, common to many traditions in the world, notably yoga. It is used as a preparation for vipassanā, pacifying the mind and strengthening the concentration in order to allow the work of insight. In Buddhist practice it is said that, while samatha can calm the mind, only insight can reveal how the mind was disturbed to start with, which leads to prajñā (Pāli: paññā, wisdom) and jñāna (Pāli: ñāṇa, knowledge) and thus understanding, preventing it from being disturbed again.

The term is also used to refer to the modern Buddhist vipassana movement (modeled after Theravāda Buddhism meditation practices),[citation needed] which employs vipassanā and ānāpāna meditation as its primary techniques and places emphasis on the teachings of the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta. The primary initial object of investigation in that style of meditation is sensation and feeling (Skt: Vedanā).

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