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Sadhana of Mahamudra - November 12
with Christopher St. John
November 12 / 5:30 PM - November 12 / 6:30 PM
Trungpa Rinpoche, the founder of the Shambhala centers, wrote a practice called the Sadhana of Mahamudra, which is chanted aloud in a group session on the new and/or full 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. They are discovered by tertons, special teachers who are able to find these teachings during the auspicious times when they are most needed. 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 and 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.
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 (although it is always lead by a person who has received the permission blessing and teachings about this practice). The practice is done on full and 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!