Vipashyana meditation isn’t spiritual, esoteric…it’s practical: it gets you through the laser field in the Great Hall.
Vipashyana meditation is, in a sense, the second stage of meditation practice, when one raises one’s gaze. As with the first stage, Shamata (a more focused, grounding meditation practice), it’s immediately relevant to all aspects of life.
Vipashyana, however, unlike Shamata, brings one’s meditation practice closer to everyday living. Now, obstacles and confusion, klesha (emotional tangles) and intuition all come up clearly on your radar, as you look out into one’s awareness, to the world and life about you.
You see everything coming. If you’re distracted for one second from the present moment, it’s game over. Life is like this, only less dramatically so, usually:
“…..Nowness is sometimes referred to as the fourth moment. That may sound more mystical than what is meant. You have the past, present, and future, which are the three moments. Then you have something else taking place, which is called the fourth moment. The fourth moment is not a far-out or extraordinary experience as such. It is a state of experience that doesn’t even belong to now. It doesn’t belong to what might be, either. It belongs to a non-category—which provides another sense of category. Thus it is called the fourth moment.
That is the state of vipashyana, or the state of non-ego. The Tibetan term for this is lhakthong dagme tokpe sherap, which means “the knowledge of egoless insight.” It is a very real experience in which nothing can be misunderstood. It is such an overwhelming experience. The experience comes at you. You experience it precisely and in great detail.”
“Meditation and the Fourth Moment” was a lecture in “The Tibetan Buddhist Path” class taught by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche during the first summer session of the Naropa Institute, in July 1974.