Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation. It was taught in India more than 2500 years ago as a universal remedy for universal ills, an Art of Living.
In the Pali language of the early Buddhist texts, vipassana means insight. It is often used to describe one of the two main categories of Buddhist meditation (the other being samatha or tranquillity). The term may correctly be applied to any Buddhist meditation technique that aims for a complete understanding of the Three Characteristics - dukkha (suffering or unsatisfactoriness), anicca (impermanence) and anatta (not-Self).
Rivers Cuomo and Vipassana
From an essay by Rivers Cuomo:
"During this latest swing towards spirituality, however, I started a practice at Rick Rubin's suggestion which may help me achieve some balance: meditation. I was averse to the idea, initially. My goal in trying all the crazy experiments in my life has always been to improve, maintain, or recover my connection to music. Meditation, it seemed to me, would rob me of the angst that I believed was an essential precondition to that connection. With little to lose, however, I took the chance. I experienced immediate benefits.
The technique I was drawn to is called Vipassana. It is taught around the world at over one hundred centers... I started the practice fourteen months ago, attending seven ten-day courses and serving as a volunteer at two. Since then, I have found that the areas of tension in my mind - the fear, the anger, the sadness, the craving - are slowly melting away. I am left with a more pristine mind, more sharp and sensitive than I previously imagined possible. I am more calm and stable. My concentration and capacity to work have increased greatly. I feel like I am finally much closer to reaching my potential."