"Vipassana" means clear insight into the real characteristics of body and mind. Vipassana bhavana (insight meditation) is sometimes called mindfulness meditation. The technique of vipassana uses mindfulness to note every detail of our mental and physical experience from moment-to-moment, with an unbiased attitude. By practicing mindfulness meditation we can see and actually remove the causes of suffering, which are within ourselves.
To focus impartial attention on the present moment is the hallmark of vipassana. There is awareness and acceptance of whatever is occurring in the immediate now, without judging or adding to it. We see things as they actually are, free of subjective associations. Systematic vipassana practice eventually eliminates the cause of mental and physical pain, purifies the mind, and results in a stable happiness that isn't affected by moods or outward circumstances.
Vipassana meditation comes from the tradition of Theravada Buddhism. (The Theravada school is based on a group of texts called the "Pali canon," which is widely regarded as the earliest surviving record of the Buddhist teachings). But you don't have to be a Buddhist to practice vipassana or benefit from developing mindfulness. It is not a religion. Vipassana is a simple, gentle technique suitable for men and women of any age, race or creed.