Vicara (Sanskrit and Pali, also vicāra; Tibetan phonetic: chöpa) is a Sanskrit term that is translated as "discernment", "sustained thinking", etc. It is an essential element of dhyana, meditation, both in the Buddhist and the Hindu traditions.
In the Theravada tradition, it is defined as the sustained application of the mind on an object. In the Mahayana tradition, vicara is defined as a mental factor that scrutinizes finely to discern the specific details. In Hinduism, it is part of Patanjali's Samprajatna samadhi, and also well known as atma-vichara or self-inquiry.