Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw is a 20th century burmese meditation master. His teachings on Vipassana Meditation, also called Insight Meditation is derived from the so called "New Burmese Method". The following quote is from the wiki:
"The vipassanā Movement, also called the Insight Meditation Movement, refers to a number of branches of modern Theravāda Buddhism which stress insight into the three marks of existence as the main means to attain awakening and become a stream-enterer.
It finds its origins in modernist influences on the traditions of Burma, Laos, Thailand and Sri Lanka, and the innovations and popularizations by Theravāda teachers as Mahasi Sayadaw."
The vipassana meditation technique taught by Mahasi Sayadaw is characterized by the meditator anchoring his attention on the rising and falling sensations of the abdomen, making that the primary point of observation.
The reason for this is that the rising and falling of the abdomen is always present making that a suitable place for observing the transient and impermanent nature of phenomena. The breath rises and falls all the time. In the same way all phenomena both physical and mental rise and fall incessantly. Having an anchor serves as a way for the mind to not get lost.
In beginning of meditation practice the mind is like a little child always running out to the objects and getting lost. Having an anchor means that the meditator can always come back to the abdomen if things get too intense meaning if e.g. feelings or thoughts get too intense when observing them.
The meditator then carefully observes the five aggregates, i.e. form, feeling, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness. One does not interact with the objects of meditation. One simply observes them. One does not have to do anything. One only has to be a witness.
The second part of the technique which is specific to the Mahasi Sayadaw method is "noting". Noting can also be understood as "naming or labelling" of the object that are currently being observed. It can also mean to "remind" oneself of the current object being observed so that the mind will not stray or follow after the object, identifying with it and getting lost.
When one notes an object its important that the mind is sent out to the object. When observing the rising of the abdomen, the meditator simply notes "rising, rising" while attention is pointed at the abdomen and not the mental word in the mind. When the abdomen is falling one simply notes "falling, falling" again while keeping attention on the abdomen at all time. This ensures that the meditator sees the object for what it is - an arisen phenomena - so that the mind will stay in place and not follow after the object. The meditator is only interested in observing the bare phenomena - ultimate reality only. If one hears a sound one notes "hearing, hearing" and thereby ensuring that one observes only the ultimate reality of the object, i.e. the phenomena of sound. If one sees e.g. a tree one notes "seeing, seeing" thereby keeping the attention on the ultimate reality of the object which in this case is the phenomena of visible light.
Similarly when thoughts arise one notes "thinking, thinking". If anger arises one notes "angry, angry" or "anger, anger". One does not need to make long complicated words or sentences. A simple word is enough. If pain arises in the body due to e.g. long meditation sessions one notes "pain, pain". If heat arises in the body one notes "heat, heat" or "warm, warm". One can note the phenomena a couple of times and then return to the rising and falling of the abdomen.
So to sum up the technique. The meditator sits in a comfortable position and anchors the attention on the rising and falling sensations of the abdomen noting "rising, rising" or "falling, falling". When other phenomena arises e.g. thoughts, feelings, sounds, sights, volitions etc. then one notes accordingly to the arisen phenomena. If there is e.g. both a loud sound arising and a strong itchy feeling on the nose then one chooses the object that is most dominant and notes that. In the beginning of practice the meditator can limit the observation to only e.g. the form aggregate. With practice the meditator can note more and more phenomena.
The reason for observing and noting the aggregates of clinging is so that the meditator can develop insight into how reality functions, i.e. the 3 signs of existence; annica, dukkha and anatta. By observing and noting phenomena the meditator comes to see that phenomena are impermanent. They arise and cease without any control. One sees that phenomena are uncontrollable and ungovernable. Then ones sees that phenomena are unsatisfactory and oppressing. When that is truly realized one comes to realize anatta, i.e. that phenomena have no inner core, no self. Realizing the signs of existence ultimately leads to realizing Nibbana.
For more information and books on the Mahasi Sayadaw Method the following books are available for free:
These are questions and answers that will explain the process of meditation. These explanations will assist, guide and inspire the meditators starting in their meditation practises. It is extracted from the "Fundamentals of Vipassana Meditation" by Mahasi Sayadaw.
An extensive guideline through the practice of Vipassana meditation and explanation of the Satipatthana medthod, including how Nibbana is realized through this method of practice.
This book includes an explanation of the difference of Samatha and Vipassana meditation, how Vipassana is practiced, the theory behind the practice, and how the practice achieves the goal of Nibbana and fulfills the Eightfold Noble Path.
This is a brief look to the Vipassana meditation along with a few exercises to begin with.
Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw explains the two kinds of meditations taught by the Buddha as well as a brief teaching on how to practice the two methods.
This book explains the Satipatthana Vipassana meditation method that's taught by the Buddha in the Satipatthana Sutta. It explains extensively the instructions given by the Buddha in the Satipatthana sutta, the practice, and the theory behind it.
This is a collection of discourses given by the Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw on the subjects of purity and insight.
This is yet another discourse to extensively discuss the Satipatthana meditation method prescribed by the Buddha in the Satipatthana Sutta.
Current well known meditation teachers who teach this style of meditation include:
Ven. Yuttadhammo who teaches in person and online via youtube.
For more information about Ven. Yuttadhammo the following sources are available:
In here one can find a categorized selection of Youtube-videos made by Ven. Yuttadhammo. There are a total of 757 videos within a wide range of topics such as "Daily Life, Enlightenment, Mental Problems, Buddhist Theory, Karma, Morality, Monasticism etc.".
Most notably is the meditation category which holds 209 videos.
Here one can find a wide range of different videos. Most notably is the series of "Ask A Monk, Monk Radio, The Dhammapada". There is also teachings for kids which takes place in Second Life.
Here one can find audio talks by Ven. Yuttadhammo. They are sorted by year and ranges from 2006-2015.
"Live Sessions of Monk Radio.
Our Monk Radio program is an interactive broadcast allowing the audience to ask questions and receive answers about meditation, Buddhism, and the monastic life.
To watch the broadcast, you can visit this page, which will show the video shortly before we start. To participate, you can ask questions below or on Google Moderator."
Here one can follow Ven. Yuttadhammo's blog. One can see his blog posts, schedule and more.
Here one can find text materials by Ven. Yuttadhammo. Currently there are 2 books available for download in PDF, Ebook and Kindle and comes in a wide variety of languages.
Book 1: How To Meditate: A Beginner's Guide to Peace
"This book is meant to serve as an introductory discourse on how to meditate for those with little or no experience in the practice of meditation, as well as those who are experienced in other types of meditation but interested in learning a new meditation technique."
Book 2: Lessons In Practical Buddhism
"This book is based on a sample of audio and video teachings originally given via YouTube and as part of various local meditation courses."
"My hope in putting together this book is that more people may benefit from the teachings of the Buddha on a practical level; it seems to me proper that if one wishes to live in peace and happiness, it behoves one to work to spread peace and happiness in the world in which one lives.
May all beings be happy."
Book 3: How To Meditate II
"This is where the sequel to my booklet on how to meditate will live. Below is a table of contents that will become an active list of links as chapters are added and finished."
Currently there are 2 chapters available which are "Benefits of Meditation" and "Nature of Reality".
Here one can follow the life and teachings of Ven. Yuttadhammo.
Recommended videos in random order: