Vipassanā (Pāḷi) or vipaśyanā (Sanskrit) means insight, clear seeing. It is a type of meditation (bhāvanā) unique to Buddhism. Generally, two types of meditation can be differentiated in the teaching of the Buddha: concentration meditation (samatha-bhāvanā) and insight meditation (vipassanā-bhāvanā).
In samatha, concentration (samādhi) is favored and the leading factor. Its aim is to deeply concentrate and calm down the mind by temporarily removing the mental hindrances, which leads to tranquillity, relaxation, and mental peace. The highest state to achieve are the various meditative absorptions (jhāna), fine material or immaterial, or even supernormal power or knowledge (abhiññā). In contrast, in vipassanā, wisdom (paññā) is favored and the leading factor. Its aim is nothing less than the irreversible cessation of suffering (dukkha), permanent liberation, and full enlightenment, the attainment of Nibbāna.
Passanā is seeing or in a figurative sense experiencing or knowing. The prefix vi...