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Posts from the ‘mahamudra’ Category


A prayer…

Once while I was in india, my dear friend Margaret Causmann, a German Tibetologist, and long time student of Bokar Rinpoche helped me locate a text that I needed.  We shared a house several times in Mirik, West Bengal- spending time eating, talking and reflecting upon various aspects of Tibetan history, lineage histories, and other topics together.  Over time, I realized that there was an extra page in the beginning of the text that she lent me which I was curious about- it turned out to be a beautiful prayer that I slowly translated.  I want to share it with you.  May it prove to be inspiring!
In the palace of the immaculate Buddhafield of Ankanista, Buddha Akshobya Vajrasattva, the most excellent, remain present until the very final limits, I supplicate.  Please bestow the supreme siddhi of Mahamudra.

In the Eastern land of Sahor in the jeweled gompa, Buddha Akshobya Tilopa, ultimate yogin, I supplicate. Please bestow the supreme siddhi of Mahamudra.

In [Kahora] from the perfected gompa, Buddha Akshobya pandita Naropa, ultimate accomplishment, I supplicate. Please bestow the supreme siddhi of Mahamudra.

In the warm Lho, land of herbs, Buddha Akshobya Marpa Lhodrak, ultimate blessing, I supplicate.  Please bestow the supreme siddhi of Mahamudra.

In the west where the wholesome king mount Kailash [resides], Buddha Akshobya yogin Milarepa, the ultimate tantra of meaning, I supplicate.  Please bestow the supreme siddhi of Mahamudra.

In the eastern residence of the summit of mount Gampo, Buddha Akshobya venerable Gampopa, ultimate transmission of the teachings, I supplicate.  Please bestow the supreme siddhi of Mahamudra.

In the sacred place of Tsurphu gompa, Buddha Akshobya glorious Dusum Khyenpa,the ultimate practice lineage, I supplicate.  Please bestow the supreme siddhi of Mahamudra.

In the realm of supreme secret delight, Buddha Akshobya glorious Guyasamaja,ultimate illusory manifestation, I supplicate.  Please bestow the supreme siddhi of Mahamudra.

In the bhaga of the supreme Vajra Queen, Buddha Akshobya glorious Chakrasamvara,ultimate Chakrasamvara, I supplicate.  Please bestow the supreme siddhi of Mahamudra.

Retreatant in the assembly of [the secret abode of the dakinis], Buddha Akshobya Bhagavan Hevajra, ultimate creator of happiness [bliss], I supplicate.  Please bestow the supreme siddhi of Mahamudra.

In the gathering of purified completely blazing bliss, Buddha Akshobya Mahakala, with his consort and retinue gathered, ultimate guardian of the teachings, I supplicate.  Please bestow the supreme siddhi of Mahamudra.

Having been supplicated, please transmit your blessings. Please totally remove all  obscurity everywhere.  To great liberation may I tread the highest path.  Through this path of insight, may I immediately achieve Buddhahood!


Maitripa on mahamudra

Today I’d like to share an essential instruction of mahamudra by the great Indian mahasiddha Maitripa.  Maitripa was a student of the mahasiddha Shavaripa, an early master of the Mahamudra lineage, and originator a mahakala transmission lineage based upon his visionary experiences in a cave on a mountain just north east of Bodh Gaya.  This site is also the location of Śītavana charnel ground, also known as Cool Grove charnel ground.  It was commonly believed that Cool Grove was a place frequented by ghosts, a place where strange things happened, and where wild animals would come and eat the remains of people who were brought here after death.  Śītavana is listed as one of the eight great charnel grounds.  It was a place for profound meditation, but also a place of danger.


Maitripa was one of the central teachers of Marpa Lotsawa, the great Tibetan translator who brought the early Kagyu lineage instructions from India to Tibet.  Maitripa’s mahamudra instruction was unique and goes back to the great siddha Saraha, who is credited with being the source of the Mahamudra lineage.  It is believed that Maitripa spent a good deal of time in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas, near the town of Mirik, in West Bengal.


Maitripa’s Essential Mahamudra Verses

To innermost bliss, I pay homage!

Were I to explain Mahamudra, I would say—
All phenomena? Your own mind!
If you look outside for meaning, you’ll get confused.
Phenomena are like a dream, empty of true nature,

And mind is merely the flux of awareness,
No self nature: just energy flow.
No true nature: just like the sky.
All phenomena are alike, sky-like.

That’s Mahamudra, as we call it.
It doesn’t have an identity to show;
For that reason, the nature of mind
Is itself the very state of Mahamudra
(Which is not made up, and does not change).
If you realize this basic reality
You recognize all that comes up, all that goes on,
as Mahamudra,
The all-pervading dharma-body.

Rest in the true nature, free of fabrication.
Meditate without searching for dharma-body—
It is devoid of thought.
If your mind searches, your meditation will be confused.

Because it’s like space, or like a magical show,
There is neither meditation or non-meditation,
How could you be separate or inseparable?
That’s how a yogi sees it!

Then, aware of all good and bad stuff as the basic reality,
You become liberated.
Neurotic emotions are great awareness,
They’re to a yogi as trees are to a fire—FUEL!

What are notions of going or staying?
Or, for that matter, “meditating” in solitude?
If you don’t get this,
You free yourself only on the surface.

But if you do get it, what can ever fetter you?
Abide in an undistracted state.
Trying to adjust body and mind won’t produce meditation.
Trying to apply techniques won’t produce meditation either.

See, nothing is ultimately established.
Know what appears to have no intrinsic nature.
Appearances perceived: reality’s realm, self-liberated.
Thought that perceives: spacious awareness, self-liberated.
Non-duality, sameness [of perceiver and perceived]: the dharma-body.

Like a wide stream flowing non-stop,
Whatever the phase, it has meaning
And is forever the awakened state—
Great bliss without samsaric reference.

All phenomena are empty of intrinsic nature
And the mind that clings to emptiness dissolves in its own ground.
Freedom from conceptual activity
Is the path of all the Buddhas.

I’ve put together these lines
That they may last for aeons to come.
By this virtue, may all beings without exception
Abide in the great state of Mahamudra.


This was Maitripa’s Essential Mahamudra Instruction (in Tibetan: Phyag rgya chen po

tshig bsdus pa), received from Maitripa himself and translated by the Tibetan translator

Marpa Chökyi Lodrö.

© Nicole Riggs 1999. Reproduction welcome
if not for profit and with full acknowledgement.