Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tilopa's Mahamudra Instruction to Naropa

Homage to the Great Ones!
Homage to Mahamudra!
Homage to What Is!

What is, is.
What more can one say?
Mahamudra cannot be taught or learned.

Still, Naropa, you have practiced earnestly,
so here’s a tip:

Does space have a foundation?

Like space, Mahamudra depends on nothing;
relax in the flow of essence --
All Is Well.

Staring into the empty sky, vision ceases;
just so, when mind attends to mind itself,
repetitive and obsessive thought peters out
and Awareness peeks out from under blankets
of delusion and reveals its innocent nakedness.

Like morning mists evaporating in bright sunshine,
waves of mental creations dissolve when
you behold your own original nature.

Space has no color or shape
and cannot be stained either black or white;
just so, mind's essence is beyond the play of opposites
and can neither be tainted by darkness, nor
embellished by light.

The mechanics of time is powerless
to tarnish the crystal clarity of the sun's heart;
likewise, clouds of ignorance have no power
to obstruct the clear light of mind's essence.

Although space is called "empty",
actually it is inexpressible;
although the nature of mind is called "clear light",
that’s really just a play of words.
The mind's primal nature is like space --

Be still, easy, and relaxed,
let sound reverberate as an echo in
silence and observe the whole thing
come down in natural harmony.

The body is like a hollow bamboo,
the mind, like space, extends

relax into your intrinsic nature without resistance -
mind with no purpose is Mahamudra -
yes, that’s it!

The clear light of Mahamudra cannot be found
in the realm of the known.

By clinging to the known, practice fixates, yet
when all interpretation on perception ceases, when
the heave of the ocean is one with its peaceful depth,
when the chronic argument with oneself is forgotten,
the unbroken focus of our practice is a lamp lit in
spiritual darkness. Right now, let it shine!

Free of intellectual conceits, abandoning dogma,
the truth of every school and scripture is revealed.

Absorbed in Mahamudra, you are free from illusions;
Poised in Mahamudra, guilt and negativity burn off;
you, just as you are, are the Great Emancipation!

The fool in his ignorance, ignoring Mahamudra,
only beats a paper head against non-existent walls.
Have compassion for those who suffer constant anxiety!

Sick of restlessness and trusting one’s own heart,

find a true Guide, for when their blessing
touches your heart,  the mind is liberated.

The heart rejoices –
you will not know it, you will be it!

Hey now! Hey now! Listen with joy!

It’s just as you are right now!

Investment in this dream body is futile;
it is the cause of every worry.
Since such involvement is pointless,
let’s be realistic!

Nonduality is our obvious condition;
a silent mind is real meditation;
spontaneity is genuine action;
when hopes and fears have
been incinerated,
what remains is

what has ever been –


Beyond identification with any image
the mind is naturally clear:
follow no path if you want to walk in the
footprints of the Free;
employ no strategies to gain
what has never been lost.

Hey now! Hey now! Listen with a little sympathy!
With insight into your pretense of lack,
realizing that nothing lasts, that all is
a kind of fiction, a meaningless trick provoking
frustration and boredom,
turn around and abandon your
house of cards.

Be surgical with attachments and consider
wherever you are as the solitude of the
forest or mountain retreat;
abide there in a state of non-meditation and,
attaining no-attainment, you
attain Mahamudra.

A tree branches out and sprouts leaves, yet
when its root is severed its foliage withers;
just so, when the core of the personal story is

seen through and recognized as an error of
vision and appreciation, what is there left
to affirm or defend?

A single lamp dispels the darkness

of a thousand blind alleys;
likewise, a single flash of the
mind's clear light unravels
bundles of conditioning and
fixed habit patterns --

let it shine!

Hey now! Hey now! Listen with joy!
Mind cannot grasp itself;
non-doing cannot be understood by
compulsive doing;
to realize the truth of non-action and no-mind,
cut the mind at its root and
rest in naked awareness.

Allow the mud of thinking to clear;
stop projecting -
leave appearances alone:
this very world,
without addition or subtraction,
is Mahamudra.

The Mystery itself dissolves your confusion:
don’t try to change things, just rest in the unborn essence,
allowing all conceptions of yourself and the universe

to melt away.

True vision opens every gate;
True meditation plumbs the infinite depths;
True activity is unpredictable yet decisive;
the true goal is ordinary being
devoid of hope and fear.

At first your practice is like a river falling through a gorge;
in mid-course it flows like a gently meandering stream;
finally, as a river merges with the ocean,
it ends in consummation like the
embrace of lover and beloved.

If you can’t comprehend what I’ve told you,
simply persist as you truly are –

Awareness itself.

Don’t be distracted,
your very own mind is
what makes all this real.

In selfless service to all beings,
happiness will arise:
breathe deeply and let the breath of compassion
circulate through your heart, be a blessing to

all you meet by meeting yourself in all!


This translation into English has been done by Kunzang Tenzin in 1977, after transmission of the oral teaching by Khamtrul Rinpoche in Tashi Jong, Kangra Valley, India, and then foolishly transliterated by Bob, one seasonal morning in 2003, amidst old-growth Redwoods in the Northern California Cascades.

No comments:

Post a Comment