Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the founder of the Shambhala centers, wrote the Sadhana of Mahamudra practice, which is chanted aloud in a group session on the new moon of each month. This practice text is a terma, one of the teachings magically concealed by the great Tibetan teacher Padmasambhava for the sake of future generations. Terma are discovered by tertons, special teachers who are able to find these teachings during the auspicious times when they are most needed. These, are indeed, auspicious times as we are besieged by indications that “the river of materialism has burst it banks.”
The Sadhana of Mahamudra is both a practice and a teaching on overcoming obstacles and degraded spiritual practices in our time. As a result, the blessings of this practice are particularly strong because it was uncovered for this specific time and place. The Sadhana of Mahamudra explains how to transmute the phenomenal world directly into enlightenment through meditation in action. Thus, this chant contains the essence of Trungpa Rinpoche’s teachings for the West. Its discovery represented a major turning point in his presentation of the Buddhadharma to Western students. Prior to finding this terma, Trungpa Rinpoche still wore the robes of a monk. But afterwards, he gave up his vows to lead the life of a lay teacher, inviting his students to dance, awake, within the chaos of ordinary, daily life rather than aspiring to the special, sequestered life of monasticism.
During this time of the coronavirus pandemic we will be doing the Sadhana of Mahamudra online. Check the dates listed below for the next session and be sure to email us to receive a Zoom link in an email the day before.
This practice is full of symbolism which may seem very strange to new practitioners. Don’t expect to understand it fully the first time you do it. As with all Dharma teachings, understanding develops through patience and contemplation. So we encourage newcomers to come in and experience how a sadhana practice feels. The chant leader is also available to answer any questions and will give a brief explanation of how to do the practice before it is begun.
Sadhana practices are usually very secret, but this one is unusual because it is public: a person walking in off the street can come in and participate in the practice. Given the challenges of these times, we have an opportunity to explore the online practice experience. The practice is done as a group on new moons days, when our moods and thought patterns tend to be most unruly. Instead of running away from the chaos of a busy mind, we invite you to join us for this practice!
Everyone is welcome to this online community practice.
Sessions will be held on-line, sponsored by the Los Angeles Shambhala Meditation Center. The monthly schedule for 2022 is: March 21, Wednesday––April 19, Friday––May 19, Saturday––June 17, Monday––July 17, Wednesday––August 16, Thursday––September 14, Saturday––October 14, Monday––November 13, and Tuesday––December 12. Explanations, questions, and commentaries are welcomed (optional) beginning at the close of the sadhana.
Please email Darryl Burnham at [email protected] in advance of the program to request the zoom link.