Commentary on “A Root Text for Mahamudra” – The Dalai Lama

Mahamudra meditation requires intensive practice of preliminaries to cleanse the mind of negative potential and build up the positive potential enabling us to identify the conventional and deepest natures of the mind. “Mind” refers to our individual, subjective mental activity. We can only recognize its conventional nature as “mere clarity and awareness” from personal meditative experience in quieting down our thoughts. Once we have gained a stilled and settled state of shamatha on this conventional nature of mental activity, we need to distinguish mental activity from the objects of that activity and the person, “me,” as its agent. None of the three has independent existence that can be established by some findable nature on its own side. Having attained total absorption on the void nature of the mind, we need to subsequently recognize and understand that the deceptive appearances of self-established existence that our mental activity gives rise to are like an illusion. They do not correspond to how anything actually exists.