Manual of Insight by Mahasi Sayadaw

A Manual of Insight Meditation

Title: Manual of Insight
Author: Mahasi Sayadaw
Publisher: Wisdom Publications
Language: English



The most comprehensive manual of the practice of insight meditation (vipassana), written by one of its foremost 20th century proponents, is translated into English for the first time.

Manual of Insight is the magnum opus of Mahasi Sayadaw, one of the originators of the “vipassana movement” that has swept through the Buddhist world over the last hundred years. The manual presents a comprehensive overview of the practice of insight meditation, including the foundational aspects of ethical self-discipline, understanding the philosophical framework for the practice, and developing basic concentration and mindfulness. It culminates with an in-depth exploration of the various types of insight and spiritual fruits that the practice yields.

Authored by the master who brought insight meditation to the West and whose students include Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, and Sharon Salzberg, Manual of Insight is a veritable Bible for any practitioner of vipassana. 

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Mahasi Sayadaw

Mahāsī Sayādaw U Sobhana (29 July 1904 – 14 August 1982) was a Burmese Theravada Buddhist monk and meditation master who had a significant impact on the teaching of vipassanā (insight) meditation in the West and throughout Asia.

In his style of practice, derived from the so-called New Burmese Method of U Nārada, the meditator lives according to Buddhist morality as a prerequisite for meditation practice. Meditation itself entails the practice of “bare insight,” using satipaṭṭhāna, the four foundations of mindfulness, to anchor the attention on the sensations of the rising and falling of the abdomen during breathing, observing carefully any other sensations or thoughts. This is coupled to reflection on the Buddhist teachings on causality, thereby gaining insight into anicca, dukkha, and anattā and attaining stream entry.

Mahāsī Sayādaw was a questioner and final editor at the Sixth Buddhist Council on May 17, 1954.

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