Mahamudra Meditation

In this interesting article, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche gives a clear explanations on what Mahamudra is and how to do mahamudra meditation. Mahamudra is one of the practices that comes from the Nalanda Buddhist tradition in India, and translates as being “the great seal.”

He mentions:

Mahamudra teaches us with a number of special techniques for looking at our mind to see its true nature. When we look inside with a clear, steady focus, the mind we see is transparent, spacious, and open. It feels like something’s there, but when we look for it, there’s no “thing” we can find. Our thoughts and emotions are vivid, yet we can’t put our hands on them. They melt away as soon as we notice them. Even sights and sounds, which seem to be real, distinct entities, evade our grasp when we search for their true identity. When we recognize the flowing, open, and spacious quality of all our experiences, even for a moment, that’s the emptiness side of the wisdom of emptiness.

When we look at our mind, however, we see that it’s not just spacious. There’s a luminous, clear, and creative energy that’s the source of our compassion and joy. There is also a quality of wakefulness, of all-encompassing awareness. This is the wisdom side of the wisdom of emptiness.

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7 Point Mind Training

As the 7 Point mind Training states, all of the Buddhist teachings can be condensed into doing two things: reducing self grasping and reducing self cherishing.

The 7 point mind training is a lifetime practice for doing these two things, and is systematic its in approach to do this. While one can simply read the root text, its quite helpful to read commentaries and receive teachings on this text because while it is succinct, there is still much to unpack.

Two useful resources include:

Buddhist Monk’s View on Veganism

Matthieu Ricard, who scientists have called the “world’s happiest man”, gives his take on living on a vegan diet. He explains:

Today, 150 billion land animals and 1.5 trillion sea animals are killed for our consumption. We treat them like rats and vermin and cockroaches to be eliminated. This would be called genocide or dehumanization if they were human beings. We even go one step further with animals: we instrumentalize them. They become objects. They become the pig industry, sausage or meat factories. Ethically you cannot imagine progressing toward a more altruistic or more compassionate society while behaving like this

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Commentary on the Foundation of All Good Qualities

 

The Foundation of All Good Qualities is a short text composed by Lama Tsongkhapa, which covers the entire path to enlightenment in concise verses. When recited daily, it plants many imprints of how to proceed in practice and is an aid in daily life, similar to how one would rely on a walking stick.

Khunu Lama Rinpoche, who was considered to be a bodhisattva and who composed eloquent verses on Bodhichitta called Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea, gave teachings on the Foundation of All Good Qualities, which can be read here.

 

Dharani of Interdependence

Ringu Tulku gives a teaching on the dharani of interdependence:

In Tibetan:

ཆོས་རྣམས་ཐམས་ཅད་རྒྱུ་ལས་བྱུང་། །
དེ་རྒྱུ་དེ་བཞིན་གཤེགས་པས་གསུངས། །
རྒྱུ་ལ་འགོག་པ་གང་ཡིན་པ། །དགེ་སྦྱོང་ཆེན་པོས་འདི་སྐད་གསུངས། །

In Sanskrit:
ye dharmā hetu prabhavā hetun teṣāṃ tathāgato hy avadat teṣāṃ ca yo nirodha evaṃ vādī mahāśramaṇaḥ
In English:

All dharmas originate from causes.
The Tathagata has taught these causes,
And also that which puts a stop to these causes—
This too has been taught by the Great Shramana.

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More Ringu Tulku…

Finding a spiritual guide

In this interesting transcript of a talk given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, he explains the qualities of a qualified spiritual guide, and the downsides of finding an incorrect one. He mentions:

Some wrong guides show a path that agrees with our delusions and makes our delusions and attachment happy. I’m not saying anger is happy, but the wrong guides show a path that agrees with our delusions and develops the delusions rather than decreasing them. That guide says, “Oh you can do this, you can do that, it doesn’t matter. You can do everything, all the actions of the delusions you can do,” and many people come, without any announcements in the newspapers or on the radio or television. Many, many people easily follow that guide, because he is easy to accept. It is a confused path, but people don’t feel this, due to ignorance. It is easy to listen, but difficult to understand this confusion.

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