Insight Meditation (known as Vipassana in the Buddhist tradition) is a simple technique which has been practiced in Asia for over 2,500 years. It is a spiritual practice shared by all forms of Buddhism, as well as a particular historical Buddhist tradition. “Insight” and “clear seeing” are common translations of the Pali word vipassana. Developing clear seeing helps people live their lives with growing skillfulness and ease.
Beginning with the focusing of attention on the breath, the practice concentrates and calms the mind. It allows us to see through the mind’s habits and conditioning, helping us to live more fully present in the moment. Vipassana is appropriate for people involved in any spiritual tradition, as well as those who ascribe to none. The program that we offer is appropriate for experienced meditators as well as beginners.
Our style of practice is associated with Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, MA , and Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA . Teachers at these centers have deep histories with Buddhist masters from around the world, particularly from the Theravada traditions of Burma, Thailand and Sri Lanka. They strive to present the teachings accurately in a form accessible to Westerners. There is little ritual involved and our Sangha is respectful, informal and welcoming.
A wide variety of teachings, both recorded and written, is readily available.
These books are accessible to those beginning a practice.
A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield
Dancing With Life by Phillip Moffitt
Breath by Breath: The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation by Larry Rosenberg
Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness by Sharon Salzberg
Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach
Seeking the Heart of Wisdom by Joseph Goldstein & Jack Kornfield
For a larger reading list, look at the Insight Meditation Society’s Reading List.
(downloads in Mp3 format)
Dharma Seed offers recorded Dharma talks from many of the teachers at IMS and Spirit Rock. Though these talks are offered freely, the site is supported by voluntary generosity (dana).
Seattle Insight Meditation Society (SIMS) offers recordings of Dharma talks by guiding teacher, Rodney Smith, and his guest speakers.
For a more extensive list of available talks, look at IMS’s Audio Resource page.