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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