Vipassana can be identified if the method gives rise to vipassana nana (insight knowledges) and not otherwise. Since there is no mention or even a hint of vipassana nana in Sayadaw U Tejaniya's teachings it leads me to the conclusion that he is teaching samatha/cittanupassana as you say (and his descriptions of the fruits of the practice fall squarely in the samatha camp).
He talks of curiosity- of mind states- but that is pretty mundane. There is no talk of vipassana nana.
I might be mistaken but I would be interested in seeing anything he has said/written about vipasana nana.
To add another off topic post..., I think it's not easy to make assessment of a teacher merely through bits of informations about him. As I've practiced directly under U Tejaniya, I can say that your understanding of his teaching is quite far from what he actually teaches (supposing that mine is closer to it as yours, though for sure it's also filtered through my own, biased understanding).
First, SUT didn't develop his teaching from the western point of view. His teacher was Shwee OO Min, one of the two biggest disciples of Mahasi Sayadaw, the other one being Sayadaw U Pandita. However, SOM was more inclined to give emphasis on the mind, instead of the body. That's why he left Mahasi Yangoon center and founded his own meditation center. U Tejaniya was the one, among his disciples, to be designated as his successor and was even allowed to teach when SOM was still alive.
It's not something that can be straightforwardly done to describe SUT's method, as it has evolved over the years and will certainly still change again, as life it self.
Currently, his method can be summarized as follow (as far as I can understand and describe):
- Natural awareness of any object that arises at the six sense door. Not purposedly focusing in any object in particular
- Maintaining the awareness continuously as much as one can by constantly checking whether one is aware.
- More attention on the mind that is aware versus the object of that awareness. When we pay attention tho the awareness, the object is naturally known also.
-Constantly checking the attitude of the mind. The purpose is to establish right view (everything is dhamma),and to prevent lobha and dosa from invading the mind that meditates
- Keep the mind interested (investigative mind- or dhamma vicaya) - this is to give the mind a direction to go: toward understanding, panna.
It's true SUT doesn't talk about vipassana nana, but it's because he considers it to be not a trivial matter. Mostly people think they get the nana but they actually don't. He only tries to make people understand how to cultivate the right causes. When the right causes are sufficient, the right effects- wisdom will arise.
It's misleading when you only read his books. He actually teaches differently according to the yogis' level of understanding. For most yogis, he keeps bringing them back again to the basic practice, for those who have gone a little bit further - because they have understood the basic practice, he also brings them back to the basic practice
to understand it even more and actually does explain more about the nature of wisdom. However, again, he never make yogis satisfy with what they have understood. He always says, understanding is not yet complete, keep going....
Many experienced yogis and even meditation teachers come to him because of his thorough understanding of the mind and of the Path.
When his method is practiced correctly, it can lead to vipassana samadhi, which is built up from understanding, and becomes the ground for wisdom to unfold up to the highest level.
Well, that's more or less a better presentation of his teaching. It's one of the most vipassana flavour kind of teachings that I've known.... All misinterpretations will be mine...
And nothing can be compared to being under his direct guidance.
So this is one of the most "vipassana" way of practice that I know