What Is Mahasati

Mahasati Insight meditation is a form of Vipassana meditation originating from Southeast Asia. Mahasati in Pali means “great awareness.” The objective of Mahasati meditation is the elimination of suffering through the clear seeing and understanding of the body and mind in the present moment. The practice is based on the teaching of the 20th century Thai meditation master, Luangpor Teean Jittasubho.

Luangpor Teean Jittasubho (1911-1988)

Luangpor Teean Jittasubho (1911-1988)

Rather than using the breath as the primary object of awareness, Mahasati meditation uses attention to the movement of the body as an anchor to the present moment. When one’s mindfulness is strong enough, attention is then turned to the observation of the movement of the mind in the present moment. Formal seated meditation practice involves a pattern of repetitive hand movements, generally performed with the eyes open.

Periods of seated meditation are interspersed with walking meditation. Because this practice is performed with the body moving and the eyes open, the mind is generally more alert than in seated breath meditation, and insight is recognized more easily.

It is also easier to integrate this practice into one’s daily life. Diligent practice ultimately leads to a direct and profound understanding of the origins of suffering in human experience and points the way toward ultimate liberation.

While Mahasati meditation has its roots in Buddhism, it is not necessary to accept any type of religious doctrine in order to practice. There are also no rituals associated with this teaching, making it easy to practice conjointly with any other form of religious practice.

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