The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Meditation is the systematic training of attention. Attention is the deliberate placing of awareness on its object, in order to know the object.
All Buddhist meditation methods can be regarded as developing 'serenity' or developing 'insight' . Vipassana meditation is meditation for the purpose of cultivating insight or clarity about experience. The meditator aims to discern the three universal characteristics of experience according to Buddhism: its unsatisfactoriness, impermanence and impersonal nature.
Mahasi Sayadaw was a leading figure the revival of Buddhism in Burma post-independence, a movement that established many centres for teaching insight meditation. The Mahasi method is specifically designed to allow lay people in the modern world to attain the experience of enlightenment, or nibbana. Vipassana meditation in this tradition is also known as 'mindfulness meditation' for its practice of continuous and unremitting attention to mental and physical phenomena as they appear to the meditator.
The Mahasi Centre and hundreds of branch centres inside and outside Burma teach thousands of students every year, and the Mahasi tradition is one of the most influential meditation lineages in Theravada Buddhism.