Mark your calendars for the Mahamudra Retreat: August 15 – 18, 2008, Reston, Virginia

UPDATE ā€” Rinpoche has decided that everyone can attend all four days of the teachings. Also, the Friday night class will run from 7:30 – 9:30 PM. Please see the following blog post for more information:

Mahamudra is the ultimate meditation in Buddhism; it’s the practice that all other Dharma practices lead one towards. Mahamudra refers to meditation on the nature of your own mind. The practice of Mahamudra is therefore the means for experientially discovering your own deepest nature.

“Mahamudra, emptiness, is always here. It is unchanging, permanent. It is not something special in some special place If you think that samsara is your ordinary life and emptiness is up here somewhere–no!”
~ Lama Yeshe

The direct, unmistaken antidote to ignorance, to suffering, and to the unenlightened state of existence is Mahamudra meditation.

The great Buddhist teachers of India such as Nagarjuna, Naropa and Saraha were famed for having mastered Mahamudra practice. Similarly, great Tibetan lamas such as Milarepa, Sakya Pandit, and Je Tsongkhapa were renowned as masters of Mahamudra.

Je Tsongkhapa transmitted a unique lineage of Mahamudra meditation that combined the practices he’d learned from his teachers with other things he’d learned in direct visions of the archetypal Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri.

Gyume Khensur Rinpoche is a holder of this unique lineage of Mahamudra famed as the Gelug-Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra. It’s extremely rare to be able to receive teachings and meditation instructions on this lineage, which is part of the ear-whispered lineage coming from Je Tsongkhapa. Gyume Khensur Rinpoche will fully teach Mahamudra practice using an important root text from the First Panchen Lama of Tibet.

“When I practice Mahamudra,
I rest myself in the intrinsic state,
Relaxing without distraction or effort.
In the realm of voidness,
I rest myself with illumination.
In the realm of blissfulness,
I rest myself in awareness.
In the realm of non-thought,
I rest myself with a naked mind. …Free from both hope and fear, I feel very joyful.”

~ Jetsun Milarepa

The first two days of this retreat (August 15 & 16), Rinpoche will teach on the approach to Mahamudra based on the Buddha’s Sutra teachings. These two days are open to all sincere students.

For the second two days ( August 17 & 18), Rinpoche will teach on the approach to Mahamudra based on Buddha’s Tantric or Vajrayana teachings. Rinpoche has indicated that these two days of teachings will only be open to those who have previously received a Highest Yoga Tantra Initiation (such as the full initiation of Guhyasamaja, Yamantaka, Chakrasamvara, Hevajra, or Kalachakra).

These teachings will include an explanation of a unique method for gaining calm abiding based on the skillful means of Tantra. (For those have attended the Bliss of Inner Fire retreat in June, the Mahamudra retreat will be an excellent follow-up to that. Also, please note that it will be difficult to fully appreciate or benefit from the last two days of this retreat without attending all or most of the first two days.)

A Restriction: FPMT is currently creating a new policy on that issue in accordance with the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Lama Zopa Rinpoche has expressed the wish “not to have a guru-disciple relationship with anyone who is practicing Shugden.” Likewise, Gyume Khensur Rinpoche has recently made a commitment at Sera Monastery with respect to the Shugden issue. Therefore, those who are doing this practice are requested not to attend any initiations or tantric teachings with Rinpoche.

Please consult our website for a detailed schedule, registration forms, and other important information about this retreat.


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