A scroll painting of Saraha, surrounded by other Mahāsiddhas, probably 18th century and now in the British Museum

The Mahamudra Practice – Unveiling the True Nature of the Mind

is a form of that emphasizes the nature of .

In Mahamudra, practitioners aim to see the true nature of their minds, which is said to be empty and open.

Origin of the Mahamudra Practice

The main text of Mahamudra is “The Root Text of the ” by the Indian  (not to be confused with the earlier philosopher).

The actual practice and lineage of mahāmudrā can be traced back to wandering  or great adepts during the Indian Pala Dynasty (760-1142), beginning with the 8th century siddha .

Explaining the core teaching

The goal of Mahamudra practice is to see the emptiness of all things and to attain liberation from the cycle of rebirth.

Mahamudra is often described as being “like a ”, in that it allows practitioners to see the “true nature” of their and emotions.

The core teaching of Mahamudra is that all things are empty of inherent existence.

In this short video Yongey Mingur explains with simple words how to point out the true nature of the mind:

The practice of Mahamudra

The practice of Mahamudra can lead to the attainment of liberation from the cycle of rebirth.

The practice of includes both meditation and the of .

In order to see the emptiness of all things, one must first develop a deep understanding of the nature of mind.

The practice of Mahamudra also includes the cultivation of and the development of bodhichitta.

The Mahamudra practice can be divided into two main stages:

  • the stage of settling the mind
  • the stage of seeing the nature of mind

The first stage of Mahamudra practice is known as , which means “ abiding.”

The second stage of Mahamudra is known as vipashyana, which means “insight.”

In order to progress through the stages of Mahamudra practice, one must first receive the proper transmission and instructions from a qualified teacher.

The Tibetan Mahamudra tradition

The Mahamudra are not limited to any one tradition or school of thought.

There are many different Mahamudra traditions, each with its own unique approach to the practice.

The Mahamudra tradition includes several lineages, each with its own unique approach to the practice.

The most well-known Mahamudra lineage is the lineage, which was founded by the great master .

Other important Mahamudra lineages include

The Mahamudra tradition has also influenced other traditions, such as the tradition.

Impact of the Mahamudra’s teachings on

Mahamudra is open to all who are interested in the teachings, regardless of their affiliation but the Mahamudra teachings are often said to be the heart of the ’s teachings.

Mahamudra is sometimes referred to as the “Great Seal” of Buddhism, due to its emphasis on the importance of meditation in achieving .

The detailed instructions for the insight practices by teachers such as Wangchuck Dorje are what make Mahāmudrā (and Dzogchen) unique in Tibetan Buddhism. 

For instance Wangchuck Dorje was a renowned teacher of the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and author of Mahāmudrā vipaśyanā, a key text on the practice of Mahāmudrā providing instructions on the four main stages of practice:

  • the development of single-pointed
  • the investigation of the nature of mind
  • the cultivation of insight
  • the achievement of the fruits

Wangchuck Dorje’s Mahāmudrā vipaśyanā also contains instructions on the practice of the Six of Nāgārjuna, which are designed to help practitioners purify their minds and achieve liberation from the cycle of rebirth.

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