Mahamudra and Emptiness – An Experiential Approach

One day the great master Padampa Sangye asked his students to express their realization. Lama Charchung said:

Discarding Guru and Buddha together,
I can’t find such a thing as faith or devotion!
Destroying both divine Dharma and worldly opinion,
I have no effort or practice!
Mixing Buddhas together with sentient beings,
I can’t find anything to accept or reject!
I don’t know how to speak of realization!
Ask those of Central Tibet to explain!
~from Lion of the Siddhas: The Life and Teachings of Padampa Sangye (trans. David Molk)

Lama Mipham (1846-1912), a great teacher in the lineage to which I belong, spelled out 4 stages of realization that apply to both Mahamudra and Dzogchen:

1. All appearance resolves into consciousness.
2.  Consciousness resolves into emptiness.
3. Emptiness resolves into awareness.
4. The union of bliss and emptiness, or bliss and awareness.

In the  talk reproduced below, inspired by the  above quote from Lama Charchung, and working with Lama Mipham’s 4 stages, I attempt to speak experientially about consciousness resolving into emptiness and realization in Mahamudra. This talk and discussion occurred at Real Dharma Sangha on December 6, 2012.

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Mahasiddhas, Mahamudra and Awakening in the West

Mahasiddha Saraha The Mahasiddhas were unclassifiable and often eccentric yogis of medieval India and Tibet who pointed out ultimate reality in direct and unconventional ways. Non-monastic, and not depending on dogma or ritual, their approach toward Mahamudra and Dzogchen teaching may hold the key to the transmission of genuine awakening to the West.

Hal Blacker gave the following talk on Mahamudra, the Mahasiddhas and their inspiring example and potential significance for the modern West at Real Dharma on November 29, 2011. To listen, use the flash driver:

or download or listen by clicking here.

Milarepa at Yolmo Kangra-Part 4

Speaking of fruition,
There are three pith instructions:
There is no nirvana to attain beyond this.
There is no samsara to abandon.
Be completely resolved that your own mind is the Buddha.  ~ Milarepa, Song of View, Meditation and Action at Yolmo Kangra

Listen to part 4, the concluding talk in a series by Hal Blacker, on The Song of View, Meditation & Action at Yolmo Kangra, by Milarepa. This talk discusses the  fruition of Mahamudra. Given at Real Dharma Sangha on February 15, 2011:

If you are unable to use the flash player, listen or download here.

Milarepa at Yolmo Kangra-Part 3

Errant thoughts are liberated in the Dharmakaya;
The awareness, the illumination, is always blissful;
Meditate in a manner of non-doing and non-effort.
These are the key points of practice.
~Milarepa

Listen to part 3 in a series of talks by Hal Blacker, on The Song of View, Meditation & Action at Yolmo Kangra, by Milarepa. This talk discusses the meditation practice of Mahamudra. Given at Real Dharma Sangha on February 8, 2011:

If you are unable to use the flash player, listen or download here.

Milarepa at Yolmo Kangra-Part 2

You who are the way of view, meditation, and action,
Grant your blessings so that I may dwell within the self-existing nature.
~Milarepa

Listen to part 2  in a series of talks by Hal Blacker, on The Song of View, Meditation & Action at Yolmo Kangra, by Milarepa. This talk continues to discuss the view of Mahamudra. Given at Real Dharma Sangha on February 1, 2011:

If you are unable to use the flash player, listen or download here.

Milarepa at Yolmo Kangra-Part 1

All the manifestation, the Universe itself, is contained in the mind.
The nature of mind is the realm of illumination
Which can neither be conceived or touched.
These are the key-points of the view.

~Milarepa, The Song of View, Practice & Action at Yolmo Kangra (trans. Garma C.C. Chang)

Listen to part 1 of a series of  talks by Hal Blacker, on The Song of View, Practice & Action at Yolmo Kangra, by Milarepa, covering the view of Mahamudra.  Given at Real Dharma Sangha on January 25, 2011:

If you are unable to use the flash player, listen or download here.

When mind is spacious, liberation can occur

When mind is tight,
There is suffering.
When mind is spacious,
Liberation can occur.
—Tsangpa Gyare (1161-1211)

Listen to a talk inspired by the above quote by Mahamudra master Tsangpa Gyare, given by Hal Blacker  at Real Dharma Sangha on September 21, 2010, in the flash audio player, below:

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