The first eight steps of The Practice of Living Awareness incrementally give a practitioner all that is needed to establish the meditative state of shamatha. Shamatha (abiding in serenity and acuity) includes all the ingredients that comprise concentration and meditation – and these are the necessary foundation for vipassana.
Vipassana is a Pali word; vipasyana is the Sanskrit version of the same. Vipassana is a method of meditation as well as a set of inner capacities brought forward through true meditative practices.
- The meditation method combines techniques related to shamatha together with techniques that awaken the ajna center and a greater range of perception. The intention of the method is to bring the practitioner to repeated discoveries about truth of being through purifying one’s perceptions.
- The inner capacities that are brought forward eventually through all true meditation practice are also related to pure or clear perception, therefore to the ajna center at the brow (called the wisdom center). Penetrating insight results. One can hear in these words that one primary purpose of vipassana is a greater understanding of reality – personally and spiritually. To make this so, the capacity to perceive and to understand must be expanded and clarified, refined, and reoriented from the external seemings of existence to the internal meanings and energetics of existence.
Step 10, Luminous Perception, brings attention to that which has potentially been illumined through the previous steps of The Practice: more pure and clear luminous perception.
Downloadable: Entry: vipassana-pure-perception