Vipashyana means “the prajna that realizes in a very precise way.” In shamatha we look at mind, but not at what mind actually is. Looking at our mind, we assess the mind’s stability, clarity, wildness, and so forth. But we don’t examine what mind is. What is its shape? What is its color? Does it have any of those qualities? This kind of investigation isn’t part of the practice of shamatha. When we look for the mind, we find that things, such as feelings, discriminations, and so forth, are nearby, and we can look at them. But when we look, we find nothing there. Does this mean that mind is nothing more than a corpse? No, because the mind’s emptiness is suffused by luminosity. Sometimes we talk about this as “the union of space and wisdom,” with space referring to emptiness and wisdom referring to luminosity. This experience is vipashyana.
from the book Essentials of Mahamudra: Looking Directly at the Mind
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Further quotes from the book Essentials of Mahamudra:
- The foundation of meditation
- The nature of the mind
- Mind’s ability to think and know
- Mindfulness and alertness
- Subtly unclear state of mind
- The union of appearance and emptiness
- Understanding the mind as it is