What has been the benefit of participating in the year-long Mahamudra transmission? What was most memorable?

By Tergar Meditation Community Team • 3 min read

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Vajrayana Online students share how they benefited from the 2023-2024 Tergar Lineage Transmission focused on Tilopa’s Ganges Mahamudra

Joseph Belardo from Tampa, Florida:

Knowing that in the past, teachings like these would similarly have been taught to students over an extended period of time, I feel like we’re truly receiving them the way they ought to be — step by step and integrating them into our lives gradually and thoroughly. Listening to the teachings and working with the meditations, I felt as if the blessings of Tilopa, Naropa, and their lineage heirs were right there with me in my own home.

I appreciate that when doubts and fears come up, as they have for me working with these teachings, there’s so much richness available there to draw from to help me revitalize and develop conviction. That’s what it feels like to me. It has been at the heart of this year’s transmission: “You are a buddha — have no doubt about that. Your Kagyu foremothers and forefathers have practiced and realized this, and so can you. You can do it.”

What was most memorable for me were the online retreats with Rinpoche. I’m sure many of us who had the extremely good fortune to attend one could attest that something very special was happening. They marked for me that this path is absolutely doable. It’s within our reach.

Maria Atamanova from Moscow, Russia:

For me, the year-long Mahamudra course has been a great support on the path, an opportunity to be a part of the whole and to touch the dharma instructions of the greatest masters of the past in a clear, accessible form familiar to modern people.

Thanks to Rinpoche’s and the course teachers’ explanations, my practice is not limited to just the meditation cushion but comes through everyday situations, and this is the most valuable thing. After all, the teaching comes to life in the simplest of actions that we do every day, and it’s impossible to be too busy or lazy to practice Dharma — as Rinpoche jokes!
For example, when I walk, I practice open awareness. Now, I remember the practice every time I go outside or to the supermarket. When I look at the sky, I remember that it has no center or edge, just like the space of the mind. This is very valuable.

When you receive the teachings once, at a retreat or seminar, this is great, but there is a risk that the inspiration for practice will pass quite quickly, and other things will take its place. But when you receive Rinpoche’s instructions for a year, get acquainted with the primary sources, and most importantly, practice with a community of like-minded people, this creates the basis for regular practice, and effort becomes much easier.

Kelly Ekman from Summerland, Canada:

Participating in the year-long Mahamudra course has offered a unique opportunity to dive deep into the Ganges Mahamudra, Tilopa’s pith instructions to his heart student Naropa.

I have received teachings on this extraordinary text from a number of teachers over the years, and as wonderful as those teachings were, I barely scratched the surface of understanding. As a result, my ability to apply them to my practice was limited.

This year-long program has allowed me to explore this text in depth and incorporate it into both my formal and informal daily practices. The balance between study and practice materials has really enhanced my practice, which is currently my main focus.

Another benefit of a year-long course is the opportunity for more interaction with instructors and fellow students. Interacting with those participating in our study group has really strengthened my connection to the sangha, and the different perspectives people bring to the group are truly inspiring. Having a group of people that one can discuss these teachings with is extremely helpful as we inspire and support each other in our studies and practice.

May 2024

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