Samatha meditation teaching: “Resting the mind in the natural state,” video of session 1 of a Mahamudra weekend retreat

The first session of a teaching and meditation retreat on advanced Mahamudra, taught by H.E. Zasep Rinpoche, the author of Gelug Mahamudra: Enlightened Speech of Manjushri. In session one, Rinpoche introduces Mahamudra, then speaks about the nature of mind and its obstructions. He then gives detailed, and often humorous instructions on Samatha and on “resting the mind in the natural state.”

Mahamudra meditation is awareness and understanding of the true nature of mind; it is spacious, without beginning or end. It is like observing the sky without the trace of birds, or the criss-cross of jet planes. You can merge your consciousness in the state of Mahamudra, beyond words and thoughts. The true nature of the mind is raw or naked awareness. It is an uncovered, untamed and unaltered state, without fabrication.

Here, Rinpoche introduces us to the spacious mind through Samatha. In the weekend retreat, he covers both Mahamudra according to Sutra and Tantric Mahamudra.

 

Mahamudra is a practice that leads us to experience the true nature of our own mind, unmediated. The sources of the Mahamudra teaching go all the way back to the Buddha’s Prajnaparamita, or the Heart Sutra , and also to the Samadhi Raja, or the King of Concentration Sutra. In Tibetan it is known as Teng Nye Zin Gyalpoe Do. These Sutras state that the nature of all phenomena is Mahamudra. The Heart Sutra states:

“Mind is emptiness and emptiness is also mind. There is no mind other than emptiness, no emptiness other than the mind”.

Mahamudra is the method of realising the clear light wisdom of Shunyata and accomplishing directly and vividly what we call the ‘meaning clear light’. In its Tantric aspect, the clear light nature of the mind is called ‘ultimate short AH’. It means the uncultivated mind, the unspoiled and pure mind. As the Buddha himself said:

“Mind does not exist within the mind, but the true nature of the mind is clear light”.

After detailed instructions, he invites us to meditate. The teachings are continued in Session 2. Teachings were at the end of 2018 at Gaden Choling in Toronto. Venerable Zasep Rinpoche is the spiritual director of several meditations centres in Canada, Australia and the USA, and teaches around the world.

In the Mahamudra weekend retreat — which will be presented in a series of videos — Rinpoche teaches both Mahamudra according to Sutra, and Tantric Mahamudra. In this video, he begins with instructions in Samatha. In future sessions he teaches Vipashana, and finally Tantric Mahamudra methods.

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Gelug Mahamudra, Eloquent Speech of Manjushri by H.E. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche, illustrated by Ben Christian.

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Transcript to follow.

 

 

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Video teaching on Samatha and resting the mind in the natural state at a weekend retreat on Mahamudra with H.E. Zasep Rinpoche.

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Lee Kane

Author | Buddha Weekly

Lee Kane is the editor of Buddha Weekly, since 2007. His main focuses as a writer are mindfulness techniques, meditation, Dharma and Sutra commentaries, Buddhist practices, international perspectives and traditions, Vajrayana, Mahayana, Zen. He also covers various events.
Lee also contributes as a writer to various other online magazines and blogs.

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