What is the exact meaning (definition) of satisampajanna? How can we develop and penetrate it in our practice?
The VRI definition (Source: The Importance of Vedana and Sampajanna)
The Buddha, out of his personal experience, found that suffering arises because of the mental habit of craving (tanhatanha). This in itself was not a new discovery, but what was unique to his teaching was that he found a practical way out of suffering. By exploring the depths of his mind, he realized that between external objects and the mental reflex of craving, is a missing link-vedana-the feeling of body sensations.
Whenever we encounter an object through the five physical senses or the mind, a sensation arises, and based on the sensation, craving arises. If the sensation is pleasant we crave to prolong it; if it is unpleasant we crave to get rid of it. Therefore, the immediate cause for the arising of craving and of suffering is not something outside, but rather the sensations that occur within us. To free ourselves, we must deal with this inner reality.
Vedana is the meeting ground, the crossroads where mind and body interact, and where our true nature is revealed in a vivid, tangible way. This is wisdom; the thorough understanding that all sensations, all that one calls 'I', all that one is attached to, are arising to pass away. By objectively observing this process, we develop equanimity towards change. We no longer crave for pleasant sensations nor have aversion to unpleasant ones.
The Buddha called this wisdom sampajanna-the constant thorough understanding of impermanence. By Vipassana one learns to develop the continuity of this understanding. The practice results in a calm, balanced mind in the midst of all the ups and downs of life, and leads to liberation from attachment, craving and suffering. This path is a true art of living that enables one to live a wholesome, creative life. And due to its non-sectarian nature, people from all communities, religions, castes and countries are able to derive great benefit from its application.