Manual of Insight

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“The teachings of Mahasi Sayadaw formed the essential context in which I learned, practiced, and studied meditation. That context is beautifully expressed in this book. I believe, as a Western laywoman who has been able to access the liberating teachings of the Buddha in a direct and pure form, I owe an inexpressible debt to Mahasi Sayadaw’s scholarship, understanding, and courage of transmission. It is a great gift to have this translation available.”—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness


Mahasi Sayadaw
Manual of Insight is the magnum opus of Mahasi Sayadaw, one of the originators of the Vipassana movement that has swept through the Buddhist world over the last century. The manual presents a comprehensive overview of the practice of insight meditation, including the foundational aspects of ethical self-discipline, understanding the philosophical framework for the practice, and developing basic concentration and mindfulness. It culminates with an in-depth exploration of the various types of insight and spiritual fruits that the practice yields.

Authored by the master who brought insight meditation to the West and whose students include Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, and Sharon Salzberg, Manual of Insight is a veritable Bible for any practitioner of vipassana.


Take the Introduction to the Manual of Insight online course with Steve Armstrong and Kamala Masters



Manual of Insight editor Steve Armstrong on the 10% Happier Podcast with Dan Harris




Translated by the Vipassanā Mettā Foundation Translation Committee.

  • Project Advisor—Sayadaw U Paṇḍita (Paṇḍitārāma Shwe Taung Gon Sasana Yeiktha, Yangon, Myanmar)
  • Managing Editor—Steve Armstrong
  • Translators
    • Hla Myint
    • Ariya Baumann
  • Abhidhamma and Pāḷi Research Consultants
    • Sayadaw U Janaka (Chanmyay Yeiktha, Yangon, Myanmar)
    • Sayadaw U Indaka (Chanmyay Myaing Meditation Center, Yangon, Myanmar)
    • Sayadaw U Sāgara (Chanmyay Myaing Study Monastery, Hmawbi, Myanmar)
    • Hla Myint (Myanmar and USA)
    • Akincano (Marc Weber) (Germany)
  • Pāḷi Quote Citations, Glossaries—Ven. Vīranāṇī
  • Abhidhamma Charts—Steve Armstrong
  • Editors
    • Ven. Vīranāṇī
    • Steve Armstrong
    • Ariya Baumann
    • Deborah Ratner Helzer
    • Kamala Masters

Funding provided by Vipassanā Mettā Foundation.

All proceeds from the sale of this book will be used to freely distribute copies to Buddhist monastics, libraries, and meditation centers, and to support opportunities to practice the method outlined in the book.

For further information and to report errors, please visit

book information
  • Hardcover
  • 744 pages, 6.25 x 9.25 inches
  • $59.95
  • ISBN 9781614292777
  • ebook
  • 744 pages
  • $40.99
  • ISBN 9781614292913
about the author
Manual of Insight

The Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw (1904-82), U Sobhana Mahathera, was one of the most eminent meditation masters of modern times and a leader in the contemporary resurgence of Vipassana meditation. He quickly distinguished himself after ordination as a scholar and teacher of the Buddhist scriptures. Placing himself under the guidance of Venerable U Narada Sayadaw and undertaking intensive training in Vipassana meditation, he mastered the technique and went on to popularize vipassana as a systematic practice beneficial for monks and laity alike.
Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw held Burma’s highest scholastic honor, the title of Agga Mahapandita, awarded to him in 1952. During the Sixth Buddhist Council, held in Rangoon from 1954 to 1956, he performed the duties of Questioner (pucchaka), a role performed at the First Buddhist Council by the Venerable Mahakassapa. Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw was also a member of the executive committee that was responsible, as the final authority, for the codification of all the texts edited at the Council.
Thousands of people have been trained at his Thathana Yeiktha Meditation Centre in Yangon and many more have benefited from his clear-cut approach to meditation practice available through his voluminous writings and through the teachings abroad of his disciples, including Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, Rodney Smith, and many others. More than a hundred branch centers of the Thathana Yeiktha Centre have been established in Burma and his method has spread widely to other countries, East and West.
Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw is the author of numerous works on both meditation and the Buddhist scriptures in his native Burmese.

Other books by Mahasi Sayadaw:
Mindfulness and Insight

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