Tilopa And The Path Of No Action
This Mahamudra Meditation is a practice for all people for all time.
Mahamudra is the path of simple truths and a simple meditation practice for all who wish to achieve enlightenment. It is the practice of mindfulness meditation based on the concept of "no self", which is the basis for all mindfulness meditation. Mahamudra is a practice for all people - for all time.
Maja-mudra/Mahamudra was passed down to us by the the great Tibetan teacher and meditation master, Tilopa, a 10th century Mahashiddi who is said to be the first teacher of the Mahamudra practice. This practice is historically known as the path to freeing yourself from suffering. It is the ultimate Buddhist meditation. It began in India, spread, and has flourished in Tibet. It teaches us to simply rest, naturally in the essence of our own mind.
Mahamudra is the highest form of meditation in Tibet, it’s an advanced meditation practice from the Tibetan School of Kagyu. It came into Tibet via the Mahasiddhi tradition from India which focused on meditation and self realization. This means that it emphasized actual personal experience within the meditation practice, rather than academic or intellectual understanding of the process. In Tibet, the Mahamudra meditation is embedded in the Kagyu tradition, or “The Practice Lineage”.
Simply Rest in Naked Awareness:
Maha-mudra is most often translated as “Great-Seal”. It is the ultimate form of meditation practice, containing all the other meditations within it. It is the most complete and powerful meditation there is. It teaches that the truth that transcends the intellect will not be seen by means of the intellect. It also teaches that the point of non-action will not be reached by means of deliberate action. If you want to achieve the point of non-action, transcending thought, sever the root of mind itself and rest in naked awareness. It is in this way that Mahamudra emphasizes the actual personal experience in meditation. This is the path of no action.
The Path of No Action:
Tilopa, the 10th century monk, tells us about the path of no action--that the truth that transcends the intellect will not be seen by means of the intellect. The point of non-action will not be reached by means of deliberate action. In order to achieve the point of non-action transcending thought, we must sever the root of mind itself, allowing ourselves to rest in simple naked awareness. What he is telling us is that we cannot reach enlightenment with intellectual study alone or with good actions. The mystic Sufi poet, Rumi, alluded to this profound realization when he told us,
“What you are seeking is what is doing the seeking.”
Tilopa also teaches us the concept of instant enlightenment, meaning that one does not need to acquire merit over numerous lifetimes in order to attain enlightenment, but that one might attain it through sudden realization or awareness. On this matter Tilopa tells us;
“Though darkness gathers for a thousand eons. A single light dispels it all. Likewise, one moment of sheer clarity dispels the ignorance, evil and confusion of a thousand eons.”
This means that through pure intention, right effort and diligent practice we may attain enlightenment anytime, anywhere, no matter what our life circumstance may be. We may experience enlightenment in a single lifetime--making Mahamudra a practice for all people for all time, no matter what our circumstance or station in life. Mahamudra offers each and every one of us the spiritual path of a simple meditator. In Tibetan it’s called the path of a Kusali, as opposed to the path of a scholar. In Tibetan, it is called a Pandita. A Kusali’s practise is the art of “Simple Practice”, and is uncomplicated. Above all, it is relaxed. It is the path of simple truths and meditation methods that lead to an enlightened state of being without dogma, expensive retreats, and formal institutions. It is the ultimate Buddhist meditation because it cuts to the heart of the matter.
All Buddhist mindfulness meditations are based around the realization of no-self, which is one of the main teachings and central themes of Buddhism. All Buddhist mindfulness meditations are based around the awareness of the truth of emptiness or the constructed idea of a separate self--an autonomous person, who from the Buddhist perspective, is just fictional. Mahamudra practice, on a consistent basis, enables one to see through this false sense of self, freeing one's self from the trouble and suffering caused by believing in a fictional self. In this way, Mahamudra naturally rests in the truth of no-self.
Mahamudra says that the truth of no-self or the truth of emptiness is actually who you are. This is who you were before you were conditioned to believe in the fabricated or false identity you have come to think of as “You”. Mahamudra allows you to rest in the ground of your being, your authentic self which is the truth of who you really are. Relaxing in the truth of your being severs the root of ignorance and illusion that has caused you to suffer and liberates you from that suffering. Mahamudra practice cuts right through the layers of conditions to the core of who you truly are.