Satipañña Insight Meditation Toronto offers a variety of practices rooted in the Buddhist tradition. The main practices offered are Samatha and Vipassana (Serenity and Insight) and Metta (Loving-kindness). A brief description of each follows.
SAMATHA AND VIPASSANA: (Serenity and Insight) are identical with concentration (samadhi) and wisdom (pañña) and form the two branches of mental development (bhavana).
SAMATHA: (Serenity) is an unperturbed, peaceful, and lucid state of mind attained by concentration. Serenity frees the mind from impurities and inner obstacles, and gives it greater penetrative strength.
“What now is the power of serenity? It is the one-pointedness and non-distraction of the mind due to freedom from desire and ill will.”
Samatha is the fixing of the mind on a single object; a one-pointedness of mind.
VIPASSANA: (Insight) is the penetrative understanding, by direct meditative experience, of the impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and non-self or egolessness of all material and mental phenomena. It is insight that leads to final liberation.
“Two things are conducive to knowledge: serenity and insight. If serenity is developed, what profit does it bring? The mind is developed. If the mind is developed, what profit does it bring? All clinging is abandoned.”
“If insight is developed, what profit does it bring? Wisdom is developed. If wisdom is developed, what profit does it bring? All ignorance is abandoned.”
Vipassana is a meditation practice that examines and identifies the patterns of the mind and the world it projects. The resultant wisdom (or perfect knowledge) thoroughly and clearly discerns phenomena. This moment-to-moment investigation of the mind/body process allows us to experience life with less fear and clinging. Seeing life as a constantly changing process, one begins to accept with equanimity pain and pleasure, loss and gain, blame and praise, and ill-repute and fame. Insight awakens our innate wisdom and compassion.
METTA: (Loving-kindness) is one of the four Brahma-viharas, or the Four Sublime or Divine Abodes, also called the Four Boundless States: Loving-kindness (metta), Compassion (karuna), Appreciative Joy (mudita), and Equanimity (upekkha).
Metta (Loving-kindness) is a practice that opens the heart. The four Brahma-vihara practices of love, compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity help ease the burdens of life’s inevitable difficulties. Entering wholeheartedly into the practice of Metta allows us to directly experience immeasurable, unconditional love.