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Chanmyay Sayādaw

Vipassanā Meditation Guidelines

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This collection of ‘sayings’ by Sayādaw U Janaka is from his teachings given during the 1983 retreat he led at the Malaysian Buddhist Meditation Centre in Penang. They were originally compiled by Venerable Sujīva, partly from evening Dhamma talks, but mainly from the daily interviews with the meditators at the retreat.

As the context of these ‘sayings’ was mostly the interview situation between teacher and individual student, it would therefore be most useful to read them as if they were personal instruction and advice from the meditation master.

The original (1983) booklet was revised by Venerable Paññavaro for the benefit of meditators who took part in Sayādaw U Janaka’s 1989 Vipassanā meditation retreats in Australia.

It was revised again by Bhikkhu Pesala in 1996, and reprinted by the Association for Insight Meditation for free distribution.

The Practice

Vipassanā or insight meditation is, above all, an experiential practice, based on the systematic and balanced development of a precise and focused awareness. By observing one’s moment-to-moment mind/body processes, from a place of investigative attention, insight arises into the true nature of life and experiences. Through the wisdom acquired by using insight meditation one is able to live more freely and relate to the world around with less clinging, fear and confusion. Thus one’s life becomes increasingly directed by consideration, compassion and clarity.

Mental Noting

Sitting Meditation

Walking Meditation

Mindfulness of Daily Activities

Pain and Patience

Noting Mental States


The Eight Precepts

  1. I undertake to abstain from harming or killing living beings.
  2. I undertake to abstain from taking what is not given.
  3. I undertake to abstain from erotic behaviour.
  4. I undertake to abstain from false speech.
  5. I undertake to abstain from intoxicating drink and drugs.
  6. I undertake to abstain from eating after midday.
  7. I undertake to abstain from entertainments, beautification and adornments.
  8. I undertake to abstain from using luxurious beds and seats.

Guidance for Interviews

  1. What was noticed of the rising and falling movement
  2. Feelings/sensations
  3. imagination/ideas
  4. mindfulness of daily activities