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Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004.
Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon

From today on, I will be teaching the Maha Mudra. Maha Mudra for practice, not for intellectual understanding only. Maha Mudra for practice.

Particular text that I am using to teach you the Maha Mudra practice is the text called Chagchen Ngedon Gyatso. It translates as Maha Mudra Ocean of Certainty.

The text is compiled by the ninth Gyalwa Karmapa, His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa, the ninth reincarnation. He did not write it but he compiled it from all the practices of Maha Mudra, that was there already, which came to him, which he had received and practiced and which had the unbroken lineage of transmission up to him. To continue this, he put this text in such way that the future followers, which mean us, will be able to practice step by step. The particular text starts with first teaching chapter and first practice chapter, which is precious human life. The text ends with last teaching chapter, which is chapter 98. But when it comes to the practice, the practice chapter 45th.

I was requested by Very Venerable Thutop Rinpoche to conduct this teaching here in Palpung Sherab Ling Monastery. And I with honor accepted his request and today I start the teaching. It is honor for me for a very simple reason, because the teaching of Maha Mudra is the all-encompassing teaching of Lord Buddha--Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana. The essence of all of it is taught in Maha Mudra, all taught as Maha Mudra, and practiced as Maha Mudra. I wanted to make it very clear that from the 45th practice chapter, then it cannot be taught as a course. It cannot be scheduled, because it depends on individual person's realization. Therefore we cannot teach further than 45 th practice chapter as an organized practice. I make it very clear and precise. Emphasize to all of you this is a practice teaching, because I received it as a practice teaching, therefore I will only give it as a practice teaching.

I received the reading transmission and some very important essential transmission from my supreme Vajradhara, His Holiness the 16 th Gyalwa Karmapa. And then I received the detailed transmission of the practice of the Maha Mudra Ocean of Certainty from my very precious, dear guru, late, Very Venerable Salje Rinpoche. He received the teaching from 16 th Gyalwa Karmapa as well as 11 th Tai Situ. But the detailed instructions he received from Palpung Khyntse Rinpoche. And Palpung Khyntse Rinpoche received the transmission, the full transmission from 15 th Gyalwa Karmapa, Khakhyab Dorje. So this lineage is very precious, like all the other lineages, of course. And this is alive, this is living lineage, like all the other living lineage.

I said it is for the practice because Maha Mudra is everything. Even you learn how to walk as a little baby, that is also Maha Mudra. And even you learn how to talk, that is also Maha Mudra. Even you learn how to think clearly, that is also Maha Mudra. Everything is Maha Mudra. But the difference between that kind of Maha Mudra and the practice of Maha Mudra Ocean of Certainty is Maha Mudra Ocean of Certainty is for the enlightenment, enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings to attain enlightenment. Therefore, there is nothing which is not part of Maha Mudra. You wanted to learn to get a job. You wanted to learn to get a PhD degree. You wanted to learn so that you would have worldly glory. There is many many many who can help you for these. And I am giving the transmission of Maha Mudra to all of you, doing my best as my masters taught me by doing their best.

I am very far away from Buddhahood, very far away. But I definitely received the transmission and blessing of my beloved gurus. I try my best to uphold their honor, up to today. No matter what happens, and no matter who says what. And I committed to do so unless I go mad. If I go mad, I have no control and I don't know what to do. I don't have any feeling or any sign that I am going mad. So I will be here for some time. But life after life, I wish to be part of this great teaching. And life after life, I wish to uphold the great honor and great Samaya of the Maha Mudra. So it will be similar to you as well. I believe that, therefore I accept to teach. Many of you I know personally for past some time, and I think you will be. But many of you I don't know that well. But I know Thutop Rinpoche, who brought you here, so I trust him because he trusts you. I'm serious. So I made lots of jokes. That is my habit. Sometimes good, sometimes a little too much. But it makes me feel happy. Even worst thing happened to me, I think I can have a good laugh at it. I think so. But when it really happened, I don't know. I have to pray that it would not happen. Then if it happened, I have to wait and see. So many little little pathetic things happened, I managed to laugh at it, up to today.

Now Maha Mudra is not here to play with. And Maha Mudra is not here for sale. And Maha Mudra is not here for a rent. Maha Mudra is here for practice. I have said it, so now it is up to you. Don't tell me I didn't say. I am not asking you for anything. I am not asking you for anything. I am asking you a very simple thing. You came here to learn Maha Mudra, then you uphold it and by practicing it, that's all. I am quite sure all of you know a lot about Maha Mudra, otherwise you wouldn't be here. But some of you, not a lot, but few pieces of puzzles are missing, I like to fill them up for you.

Now listen very carefully. Every sentient being is equal to Buddha in their essence ultimately. But relatively it depends on the individual realization of that. Everything is equally sacred as the environment of Buddha, the manifestation of Buddha. But it depends to the perceiver of the things whether it is or it is not, now. In Maha Mudra, there is no ultimate negativity. There is no ultimate evilness. There is no ultimate badness. Ultimately, everything and everyone is perfect. Relatively, I don't have to tell you. There is good thing, there is bad thing, there is evil thing, there is wonderful thing, there is kind thing, there is cool thing, so on and so forth. I don't have time to talk about them, too much to talk about. So I think each one of you knows much more than I do. The relative.

I personally don't know whether I have blessing or not, that's for you to perceive. But I can tell you one thing, the lineage of Maha Mudra has blessing, and limitless blessing. More than 2500 years ago, Prince Siddhattha became Buddha Sakyamuni because of the blessing of Maha Mudra. Before that on this earth, six Buddhas, six individuals became Buddha because of the blessing of Maha Mudra. And out of the seven, four of them, part of the thousand Buddha. From the fifth Buddha, Lord Maitreya, who is going to be enlightened about two million years from now. And there will be thousand Buddhas attaining enlightenment on this earth before the destruction of the earth by the sun. So all of them will be enlightened because the blessing of the Maha Mudra. And In between each one of these Buddhas, there will be countless sentient being will attain Buddhahood as the influence of the teaching by each of those Buddhas. That is by the blessing of the Maha Mudra.

In the past, everybody is calling their place is the center of the universe. Every religion, every community, every civilization describes their place and themselves as the best of all and center of everything and center of the universe. Regardless of their intention, whether it is out of wisdom, or whether it is out of ignorance, doesn't matter. It is true. You cannot find center of the universe except where you are. Otherwise, you will have to find the end of universe, too. There is no end of universe, therefore there is no center of universe. And space is filled with countless universes. Sky has no end. Space has no end. Therefore it doesn't have center neither. So every universe is the center of all universes. Now that is Maha Mudra as well.

And you can't find Buddha anywhere, truly, except inside you. True temple of Buddha is you. When you realize who you truly are, not because you become crazy. Not because you have a delusion, not because you become hallucinated. But if you truly realize and recognize your essence, then that is the Buddha. Of course, I am telling you this because I know your mind is clear. I believe, I believe, I don't know. I believe. Otherwise, I have interesting experiences. I know some people go into retreat, and they said they will not come out for ten years. After one week, they showed up. They said: I am enlightened. You tied them down to their bed, still they insisted they are enlightened. And I can laugh at it, because after sometime, they got well. Doing well right now. So this way that is not enlightenment. You have to be truly enlightened.

Now, in order to reach the true enlightenment, that is only through meditation, only . I can tell you only through meditation. You cannot just study and become Buddha. No. You only work and do things and become Buddha, no. And you research and research and research and become Buddha, no. And you build machines so you put somebody in and come out as a Buddha , no . You operate on somebody's brain and then wake up as a Buddha, no. And you give somebody something to drink and knock them out and wake up as a Buddha, no. And you hire the best lawyer and win the case and become Buddha, no. And you make everybody to call you Buddha and then everyone calls you Buddha, you become Buddha, no. You have to become Buddha by recognizing and realizing ultimate essence of you, which is ultimate essence of everything as it is. By yourself, non-dualistic, go beyond who is recognizing what and how and about whom. All answers are in you, in your essence.

When we get questions such as, "Does tree have mind ?" I don't know trees have mind or not. I cannot talk to tree, I don't how to talk to tree. There is people who hug trees, there is people who talk to trees . There is. I respect them. They are nice people. But I am not one of them. Especially, if I hug one of my trees, all of my clothes will be greened. They have saps that you cannot wash. Even you send your clothes to the best dry cleaner, it will still, cannot be washed. It will still, cannot be washed. I dare not hug my trees. But I can tell you one thing, that is, every tree, every rock, every handful of dirt is part of us.

Because of that, we see it. We perceive it. We have mind, we know. So therefore, if you say, "Does tree have mind or not ?" I t's like asking "Does my finger have mind or not?" "Does my hair have mind or not ?" b ecause they are part of us. When I give refuge to people, when I cut their hair, I am very careful. I just cut few strips from the top, because if I cut carelessly then they will be very upset for sometime. And same thing, if you have problem with your best jacket, you will be upset. The hair doesn't have mind, it doesn't urt when you cut. But it is part of you therefore you take lots of care, put in this way. Your cloth es doesn't have mind, but it is part of you, so you wear this kind, that kind. Same thing with your house, same thing with trees, same thing with plant.

Everything is part of everyone . So no problem to say they have mind. No problem. This is a big dream, a long dream lasts for maybe 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 years. Most people wakes up when they are about 80 and 90. I am not talking about they die, even they live . Those of us who are still dreaming think they are senile. T hey are talking funny. But it's a natural process of showing up the truth. So I ask you a question that you don't have to answer certainly . When in your shortest dream, which lasts about 4, 5, 6, 7 hours. You are in a beautiful countryside, with lots of horses, lots of cows, lots of trees, lots of birds flying in the sky, and lots of trees. Does these trees have mind? Difference between that tree and this tree is only the time. No difference whatsoever. I am not talking ultimate, even relatively, no difference whatsoever. And somebody have something in their brain, we call them crazy. They see these pillars walking, talking to each other and some of them even after them . T hey see the floor is getting up and walk around . T hey see the roof disappear. And in the coldest winter, they feel sunburned. And hottest summer they feel freezing cold. We call them crazy. But that is the way the ir brain works, it's different from ours. Some connections are short-circuited. Some connections are broken. So we call it crazy because we are majority. If we are minority, they would call us crazy. And they will lock us up, I guarantee you. So it is like that. Samsara is like that.

So Maha Mudra is to help all of us to realize the ultimate truth through the relative truth. And relative truth is the relative truth of the ultimate truth. Ultimate truth is the ultimate truth of the relative truth. Now this way, Maha Mudra. Although it is part of Vajrayana Buddhism, i t is actually far beyond any title, any label. Buddha Sakyamuni talked not only in tantra, and even in sutra. Buddha Sakyamuni in sutra he said, every moment, countless sentient beings attain Buddhahood in the endless universe, and countless universe in the endless space. Now this means : are they Buddhist? Buddhist, Buddhism, Buddhism is a very strange mixture of language. "Buddha" is Sanskrit; "ism" is English.

So Buddh, ism, is mixture. So do they speak English? Do they speak Sanskrit? The sentient beings who reach Buddhahood are million light years away from here right now. Do they speak English? Do they speak Sanskrit? It has nothing to do with Buddhism. But Buddhism has everything to do with it. You get the difference? Human race, our planet earth, if we are more than eight feet tall, we are odd. If we are four and half feet shorter, we are odd, very odd. You know I am talking, O.K. So average, you know, average is O.K. We have more than two arms, odd. And we have more than two eyes, odd too. But how can we be so presumptuous that all the human beings in all the universe just look like us.

I am not scientist, but if the earth is much, much, much bigger, the planet is much, much, much bigger than ours. It has less gravity pull than ours, then people will look totally different. And the requirement and the environmental process there, evolutionary process there, human beings will be totally different, they will not look like us . So does the language. Some of those universes can be so bright, so they cannot have our kind of eyes. Some of them are so dark, so our kind of eye doesn't work. So that way, the Buddha of their place will be that kind of being. But it will be perfect for them, just as Prince Siddhattha was perfect for us. But if Prince Siddhattha manifest there, it would be perfect for them. If their Buddha manifest here, it would be perfect for us. If Prince Siddhattha manifest there, they will hear the teachings in their language. If their Buddha manifest here, we will hear in our language. That is Maha Mudra. So it has nothing to do with the Buddhism that we know, but Buddhism that we know has everything to do with it. Maha Mudra describes that.

"Maha" means great." Mudra" has many meanings. One meaning is gesture, movement. Another meaning is harmony. Another meaning is seal. So all put together, it means the great seal, great gesture, great manifestation, great harmony. How it appears and what it truly is in harmony. What it sounds and what it means in harmony. Ultimate and relative in harmony, every relative manifestation bears the signature of the ultimate essence. Everything is masterpiece of the ultimate essence. Everything and everyone is sacred and perfect ultimately. So I think I have said a lot, so that now you have to get it.

Now I have to land somewhere. So when you land down on the planet earth and look around, because there is no reason to be timid and coward ly because we are perfect. I am not talking about, when I say we I don't mean Tibetans. You know, I am not talking about Tibetans are perfect. I am not talking about that. We, each one of us, the sentient beings, each one of us, whether we have yellow hair here, black hair there, brown hair there, curly hair there, big nose, small nose doesn't matter, we are all perfect ultimately. T herefore there is no reason for us to have our shoulders lower; we can stand tall. Shoulders up, we are perfect. And Smile, big smile on your fac e. There is no reason to be like that, you know. You know like moon up not down, Waving moon, not other way around. We stand like a mighty dragon, or mighty eagle, or mighty lion or might y tiger, or in India we have cobra. Not the venom, you know, forget about the venom, that is relative truth. Like a mighty cobra, we stand because we are perfect in our essence. That is our confidence. That is our self- esteem. Nothing can corrupt our ultimate essence, nothing. Nothing. One million atom bombs put together cannot destroy our Buddha nature.

Our body will be finished. B ut our Buddha nature, nothing can corrupt it. Nothing can destroy it. We'll never lose it. Even everybody say you are nothing, you will never become nothing. You are everything. Each one of us sentient beings, remember sentient beings, each one of us is better than the best that we can ever imagine. And we are immortal. Our flesh and blood body might last 60, 70, 80, 90 years, but our mind is timeless. People make such a big deal about immortality. I personally know we are all immort al. So why we have to look for immortality ? We are all immortal. When this body becomes bad and doesn't work anymore, aches here, aches there, then it will be gone. And we will have a new body . What's wrong with that. But it is guaranteed that as long as we are in this body, that we have precious human life. We should take good care of it.

We should try our best to live as long as possible. And taking very good care of it, I am not the best example. I am not the best example. My doctors tell me. So we do our best to take good care of it, and live as long as we can. When the time comes, go happily because we know we will come back. And if we have done our best, we will come back better. If we have done lots and lots of nice things, then I think we have no reason to be afraid . Then we have to whisper to our doctor, please, please, try everything that you know, so that I can get well and live another one year so that I can finish my four foundations. Something likes that. Something likes that.

So now, when we land down, then it comes down to Buddhism. In Buddhism, in Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. In Vajrayana Buddhism, the highest tantra, Anuttarayoga tantra. So the essence of the all levels of Anuttarayoga tantra is Maha Mudra. But it does not mean it is not the essence of Kriya tantra, it is not the essence of Uppa tantra, or it is not the essence of sutra, it is not the essence of Abhidharma, it is not the essence of Vinaya. It doesn't mean that. Because when we are the essence of the roof, that means you are the essence of all the floor including the basement and the foundation.

In Vajrayana Buddhism, there are eight major lineages. And all of these eight major lineages have some aspect of terminology and description about Maha Mudra. All of them. But out of the eight major lineage of Vajrayana Buddhism of Tibet , then two of them emphasize very, very clearly, precisely about Maha Mudra. So that is Marpa Kagyu and Shangpa Kagyu. So eight major lineages of Tibetan Buddhism are: Nyingma, one, Nyingma, first is Nyingma, and second is Kadampa . Kadampa until Tsongkhapa is Kadampa . And after Tsongkhapa is Gelu g pa. That is the second. The third is Lamdre. Until the great temple in Dsang Sakya is built, it was Lamdre, after great temple in Dsang Sakya is built, then it is Sakyapa. Then Mar p a Kagyu, from Marpa Lotsawa . The Shangpa Kagyu, from Khedrub Kyungpo Naljor of Shang. Then after that, now Nyingma, Kadam, Lamdre, Mar p a Kagyu, Shangpa Kagyu, then Shi Che. Shi Che is Phadampa Sangye, Machik Labkye Dolma, etc. and now there is people call it "chot". The seventh is jor druk. So now they have called it "jho nang pa". And the eighth is dorje nyen drub. And now they have also called it "Ugen pa". These are the eight major lineages of Vajrayana Buddhism. Out of which four are the main functioning. Superficially, they call it Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, Gelu g . Then Shangpa Kagyu lineage is continued and further flourished. Now jho nang pa is also reviving. But lineage is something that we have to have we cannot just revive it. So Shangpa Kagyu and jho nang pa have lineage, so that we revived. And Chot lineage is there, but it does not become one of the school yet. So on and so forth.

The Mar p a Kagyu, for example, the great master Tilopa, his main master, he has many great masters. And his main masters through their transmission, then one of them is Maha Mudra, one of them is known as tumo. The Tumo means, people describes it as fire. Another one is clear light, another one is great union, great unity. So these four main lineage transmissions, Tilopa has received from his great masters, such as Dombi Heruka etc, Guhyepa, Dharikapa, Dombi Heruka , etc. So this lineages that is continued from them. Then after Tilopa, in that the Maha Mudra is one aspect of the main lineage of transmission. And of course, Tilopa transmitted to Naropa, and Naropa transmitted Marpa Lotsawa, that is Marpa Kagyu. Maha Mudra, tumo, clear light, and great union. Never mind, Dharikapa, Dombi Heruka , etc. You can read it in Tilopa's life story. To read history, you don't need to have reading transmission exactly. You have it, very good; But even you don't have it, you can read history.

Now when it comes to the Shangpa Kagyu. The Khedrub Kyungpo Naljor received transmission from his great female master, enlightened Mahasiddi of India. Of course, Naropa is also India Maha Siddha. So the Niguma and Sukhasiddhe, from them, he received all the transmission. And plus many other masters. And these teachings are described with an example of a tree. The Shangpa Kagyu's teaching is described with an example of a tree. So root is six yogas of Niguma. The trunk is the Maha Mudra. The branch is the three practices which make everything as a path, which transform everything as a path. In Tibetan, describes as "lam kyer nam s o m", that one. In Tibetan, it is described as "lam kyer nam s o m" , the branch, "lam kyer nam s o m". And the flower , on the branch, is described as Khachotma, the Vajravarahi , Vajrayogini aspect. The white Khachotma and red Khachotma are like flower s. Yogini or Ginahamo, similar. And then the fruit is Chimay, Chukmay. Chimay means no death, Chukmay means no mistake. Never miss, no mistake, or never miss, accurate. So out of eight lineages of Vajrayana Buddhism of Tibet , then two, the Maha Mudra is the main teaching. All others also have Maha Mudra in their teaching.

Now with this, I think you have the basics of the Maha Mudra. And now the Maha Mudra being the essence of Lord Buddha's teaching, this I have to tell you briefly. After the enlightenment of Prince Siddhattha, then he became Buddha Sakyamuni. And after he became Buddha Sakyamuni, he manifested Dharma, he manifested teaching. For us, Buddha's teaching is not repeating somebody's word. Buddha's teaching is not his idea. Buddha's teaching is the manifestation of the limitless primordial wisdom. And according to the limitation of the receiver, then Buddha's teaching manifests. When Buddha manifests teaching, does not need translator. And when Buddha's disciples, many of them, when they receive teachings, it goes into them like recording. Don't have to make notes. We call it zung . Zung. So after Buddha's Pari nirvana, then his teachings were put on papers. All of these Bodhisattvas and Arhats , they all came together, and through their zung able to repeat Buddha's teaching, and put it onto paper.

My zung is terrible sometimes very embarrassing, because I know many people and I don't remember their names. And I know them very well, but sometimes I don't remember where they came from. But there is also positive side to it. My mind is quite empty. I must tell you I kind of like it. When someone gets offended, then I don't like it.

Anyway, Buddha's teaching is spontaneous manifestation of the primordial wisdom, which is outcome of his original aspiration. When he took the Bodhicitta, he said I wish to reach Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings to liberate them to Buddhahood.

So when he reached the Buddahood, that is what happens. He manifest in the form of teaching; he manifest in the form of Mandala; he manifest in Dharmakaya. No, I mean he manifest in Sambhogakaya, Nirmanakaya, l imitless manifestation. Buddha's manifestation is not limited to one good smiling, pleasant manifestation. It has no limitation. Whatever benefits beings, that way Buddha manifests. Buddha manifests in numerous manifestations, physical, oral and all kind of environmental manifestation.

Some of my very good friends, Buddhist professors, they describe Buddha as a very intelligent, little bit, how do you say, very intelligent. And ittle bit like going against what is there already. You know, what is there already, so going against it. So how do you say? Sort of progressive, progressive thinker. Intelligent progressive thinker and who somehow make a new thought, create a new way of thinking. They sincerely believe that and we discuss . And I tried to tell them from the Maha Mudra point of view. They are not convinced. So it's ok. They think that way, it's ok. But it's not true. But it's O.K. Makes them happy, it's ok. It's not terribly wrong. It's not accurate, but it's not terribly wrong.

So when Buddha manifested the Dharma, then at the beginning, it manifested to the beginners. Beginning, you have to manifest to the beginners, right? So four noble truths, manifested first for the beginners; then later manifested sutras, such as Prajnaparamita sutra, about emptiness, about compassion. All of these manifest. It is very clear to us how Buddha's teaching manifest.

First everybody has to have something very, very dualistic to the point, square right there. Then that square thing they can take home, clean it, put it on the head, look at it, appreciate it, again clean it, wrap it with cloth, the best cloth and keep it very, very, very precious and hold on to it, you know, guard it. It is the first thing. Now once that job is done, then you have to have the sharpest knife, say, that square is nothing. Because if you don't have that square nice thing, then you will be holding on to me, my friend, my enemy, my attachment, my anger, my jealousy, all these things. Now when you have this square thing, all those things somewhere disappear temporarily. And this square sacred thing, you know, it is positive attachment. But if you don't get that undone, then you get, you know, the positive attachment becomes negative attachment. You will guard that square thing. If anybody touches it you will kill that person. Anybody goes near it, you want it to do all kinds of things. And if anybody disrespects it, you get very offended, and you might do things for protecting that precious square thing. So when its job has done, it has to be dismantled. So emptiness. Everything is emptiness. No attachment. No clinging.

I am not saying I don't have attachment, I don't have clinging. I have my fair share of attachment and clinging. You know. But somehow, you know, one has to recognize that.

And my doctor tells me and helps me to overcome my attachment. You know what I mean. You guys can not be that dumb. I don't like to eat the food that I don't like for so many times. One time ok. Two time ok. Three time ok. But then I have to have what I like. And I don't like dirty clothes, you know, I have a washing machine. And I don't like to exercise, this is very bad problem, I know. I am doing my best. I tell you.

And also I have a lot of attachment for my lineage. I think I have to. I have, so no problem. If I don't have, and I think I have to then I have to force myself, it will drive me mad. Don't have to, I have it. But if I become Buddha, I have to overcome that also. But that is maybe after a few hundred life times. If I improve in this life by 1%, then in 100 life times. It is very ambitious. It will be only 100 life times for me to become Buddha. So up to today, each one of us live countless, countless, countless, times of countless life times, and we got it here so far. So for me to become Buddha, at least I have to do much as Milarepa did, Marpa did, Guru Rinpoche did, and Buddha Sakyamuni did, at least that much, right? I am not complaining, I am very happy, I am very happy with the way it is. In 100 life times I become Buddha, I would be very, very, very, very happy. On top of that, each life time, I will be 1% better. 1% more happier, 1% more wisdom, 1% more everything, you know, more positive. So I think will be very happy.

So then Buddha taught the second aspect - the emptiness. Then he taught, together with that, somehow somewhere there he taught about the Bodhicitta. So no Bodhicitta, and you know everything is nothing. Then where do you end up? You know everything is empty, right? Everything is nothing, and then no Bodhicitta. Then what happen? You know. So therefore, the teaching manifested spontaneously there was about the Bodhicitta.

But Bodhicitta, of course, is little bit misunderstood by many people these days, because Bodhicitta is a little bit politicized sometimes. Bodhicitta. Bodhicitta means I wish to reach Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings to reach Buddhahood. That is Bodhicitta. So if that is not there, just plain compassion does not mean Bodhicitta.

Bodhicitta is like a temple; Compassion is like cement. Loving kindness is like steel. Joy is like wood; Impartiality is like glass. So of course Bodhicitta in practice through compassion, loving kindness, joy, impartiality, because you cannot build a temple without wood, cement, glass and steel. But loving kindness, compassion, all of them are not necessarily the Bodhicitta. You can build a hotel with cement, wood, steel and glass. You can even build a factory with it, and factory will be making food, or factory will be making something, I better not say. But cement, steel, wood, glass will be the same. Even the wolf who eats everything has compassion to her baby. So even a snake who has venom that can kill you in 5 minutes, has compassion to his baby, who never bite the baby. Bodhicitta means unconditional compassion, unconditional loving kindness, unconditional joy, unconditional impartiality for the enlightenment of all sentient beings. For the sentient beings from highest heaven to lowest hell, you have compassion to all. And that is not limited to food, clothes or health, but it is limitless until they all are enlightened. So the second turning of the wheel, third turning of the wheel, Buddha taught all about these, including mathematics, astronomy, medicine, science, and psychology. Everything.

So now the last aspect of Lord Buddha's teaching is tantra. So once you have all of these, now what you need is transformation. You have to transform from how you appear to what you really are. So the cement, and steel, and glass, and wood have to transform into the sacred temple. All of us are big lump of rock. The sacred image of Buddha has to manifest from it. It's in there. It's in there. Everything is in there. We can also manifest monster out of the big lump of rock. So potential is limitless. So limitless potential is fully manifesting with its ultimate essence, uncorruptable, and undescriable, non-dualistic, that essence manifests. So when that happens, we call that reach the Buddhahood. So all of this is possible because of the Maha Mudra. If it is not Maha Mudra, then the Buddhism may be two thousand different. No more than that. Basic Buddhism will be 84 thousand different religions, because Buddha taught 21 thousand various methods and teachings to overcome attachment, 21 thousand for anger, 21 thousand for ignorance, and 21 thousand for all together. So put altogether 84 thousand. So each one of them will become one solid little square thing somebody holds so precious. There will be 84 thousand religions. So this way all teaching of Buddha, of the most basic, I am talking about Buddha Sakyamuni, from the most basic to the highest is all manifestation of the ultimate, limitless wisdom of the Buddha. So it is all Maha Mudra.

And now starting from this afternoon, I am going to teach you the practice of it, step by step. So all the 84 Mahasiddas of India and the 8 great, enlightened, learned masters like Nagarjuna of India, and also all of the female enlightened masters of the India . There are 20 of them. All of these great masters of India who attained enlightenment to the Vajrayana practice but started from the Theravada practice. So essence of all of their teachings put together. And the essence of all their teaching and practice put together. And the Ninth Gyalwa Karmapa put it together in order. So that is what you are going to learn. I want to make this very clear to you so that you know what you are getting involved to. And you know you have to practice. You have to. You know. Only one thing I am requesting all of you, is to spend two hours everyday practicing Maha Mudra what you are going to learn. It sounds a lot, but it is not. Because average people in developed country and in city life, they watch television five hours a day. And undeveloped society, outside the city life, average person gossips every day five hours. Talking about everybody, which is none of their business. Most of time causing lots of stress and problems. So still you can watch television three hours, you can gossip three hours, but practice two hours. One day has 24 hours, take out two hours for the practice of Maha Mudra. You have 22 hours. How many hours you are working, how many hours you are sleeping. There is plenty of extra time. Just get organized. Just get disciplined. And I can almost guarantee you, after little while you will enjoy it. I say that because I enjoy it. There is nothing like a retreat. It is absolute divine holiday. Good for mind, good for body. And very good for speech. You are not talking to anybody. That is the best speech: silence. All the good things that happen in the world also comes from talking and all the bad things that happen in the world also comes from talking. If you practice two hours everyday, you have average good physical health, then you will be able to complete the teaching that I am going to teach this time in one year. Little bit over one year. So next year's time will not be exactly the same as this year. Because I calculate everything, every minute, you know, and so that way little bit more, but not so much, not one and half year. Little bit over one year. This I will discuss with Rinpoche and he will make the schedule that fits with your schedule also. Now this is very interesting, you know? Dharma has to fit with your schedule. This is other way around. Your schedule has to fit with Dharma. But now, you know, in 21st century, Dharma has to fit in your schedule.

I respect that. I respect that. But it's not 100% correct. But a little bit of incorrectness is sometimes entertaining. Not so boring. Everything is perfect can be boring. So it's acceptable. But if some of you have real, true physical problem, then that is, of course, has to be taken into consideration. But I don't think so. Everybody looks very fit. Most of you are more fit than me. I tell you. So if you say you have problems, most of you, I will take it as an excuse, because you are more fit than me. But some of you might really have a problem, like knee problem, or hand problem, or something. That way practice like prostration might be difficult. That has to be adjusted. We are not fanatics, you know. We are serious, sincere, dedicated practitioner. But we are not unreasonable, blind, fanatics. O.K.? So this is for the morning. See you afternoon.


Mahamudra Ocean of Definitive Meaning~

Teachings in 2004



Four Ordinary Preliminary Contemplations

Precious Human Life Contemplation

Death Impermanence

Karma, Cause and Result

Suffering of Samsara

Four Extraordinary Preliminary Practices

The First:
Refuge, Prostration, and Bodhicitta Practice

The Second:
Dorjesempa Practice

The Third:
Accumulation of Merits

By Yogi Practice

Mandala Offering Practice

The Fourth:
Guru Yoga Practice

Four Special Conditions Contemplations

Causal Condition

Fundamental Condition

Objective Condition

Immediate Condition


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