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Before Beginning Mahamudra Practice
Introduction I make heartfelt obeisance to the precious Kagyu line. Although manifestly enlightened countless ages ago, you have been emanating in whatever bodies have been suited for taming those needing to be tamed, so that even hearing your names eliminates the fears of...
Mahamudra Eliminating the Darkness of Ignorance
The Preliminaries and Bodhichitta Training
Points 1 and 2 “Lojong” is the Tibetan word usually translated as “mind training,” but I don’t find this translation terribly appropriate, because it seems to imply an exclusively intellectual activity to most people. “Lo” means “attitude” while “jong” means both “to cleanse”...
Commentary on “Seven Point Mind Training” – Dr. Berzin
Four Preparatory Thoughts for Tonglen: Giving & Taking
Background on the Text: Seven Point Mind Training We’re going to start the seminar with a very important and essential text that is found in all the Tibetan traditions from India, called Seven Point Mind Training, which I received teachings on primarily from two of my main...
The Two Bodhichittas in “Seven Point Mind Training” – Dr. Berzin
Karma Kagyu Mahamudra: Preparation
Introduction Mahamudra is a Sanskrit word and it means “the great seal,” and when we talk about a seal, we’re talking about these things that they used to have, where you dipped it in wax and then you made a stamp on something, and it guarantees the authenticity of a document...
Commentary on “Mahamudra Eliminating the Darkness of Ignorance” – Dr. Berzin
Mahamudra: General Presentation of Preliminaries
The Source of the Teachings Today many people have come, both Western and Tibetan, both laypersons and monastics, to listen to an explanation of mahamudra, the great seal of reality. For many of us, just hearing this word, "mahamudra," causes our ears to perk up. We think...
A Discourse on “Autocommentary to ‘A Root Text for Mahamudra’” – The Dalai Lama
Introduction and Mahamudra Preliminaries
Introductory Remarks Everyone wishes to be happy and not to suffer. Whether we are rich or poor, young or old, highly educated or illiterate, we all have this same hope and aspiration. A religious person uses spiritual means to attain this goal, while someone who does not...
Commentary on “A Root Text for Mahamudra” – The Dalai Lama
Sweeping and Cleaning the Meditation Room
Introduction The six preparatory practices (jorcho, sbyor-chos) derive from Atisha, who learned them from his teacher in Indonesia, Serlingpa, and then transmitted them to Tibet. They are preparation for any meditation session that we do. We find them discussed in the standard...
The Six Preparatory Practices before Meditation
The Preparatory Practices for Mahamudra
The Gelug-Kagyu Tradition This is a topic, which we find in many different traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. It derives from India. Specifically, we’re looking at the tradition that’s found in the Gelug lineage, and it is known as the Gelug-Kagyu tradition of mahamudra, which...
Commentary on “Root Text for Mahamudra” – Dr. Berzin
The Preliminary Practices for Mahamudra
Recognizing Our Mental Blocks The mahamudra teachings also emphasize the importance and need for extensive preliminary practice. The point of such practice, for example making hundreds of thousands of prostrations, is to purify ourselves of the grossest levels of obstacles...
The Practical Application of Mahamudra
Six-Session Yoga: Preparation for Practice
Review The six-session yoga practice is a way of helping us to fulfill our commitments from anuttarayoga tantra initiation, by reminding us of the vows that we’ve taken and also the nineteen closely bonding practices, or damtsig (dam-tshig), to make a close connection with the...
Commentary on "An Extensive Six-Session Yoga" – Dr. Berzin