Community Full Moon Practice: Sadhana of Mahamudra

November 16th

Date details +
    Room: Main Shrine Room

    The Vidyadhara, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche received the Sadhana of Mahamudra in a time of great uncertainty after he had fled Tibet, watching the dissolution and destruction of his rich Tibetan culture. Under these adverse circumstances, the Sadhana of Mahamudra is the glistening jewel of genuine wakefulness amongst the blazing mountains of materialism. 

    The practice lasts about an hour, and involves both chanting and silent meditation. Texts are provided at the Center. No prerequisites, everyone is welcome - new and especially more experienced practitioners. 


    Suggested Donation: $10



    More info about the Sadhana of Mahamudra:

    In The Sadhana of Mahamudra, the seed syllable HUM plays a major role in invoking the power of sanity to overcome the forces of materialism in the world. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche explains what mantra practice is not. It is not, he informs us, "a magical spell used in order to gain psychic powers for selfish purposes, such as accumulation of wealth, power over others, and destruction of enemies." He explains that the genuine usage of mantra arises from an understanding of the teachings of the Buddha on the four marks of existence: impermanence, suffering, emptiness, and egolessness. Mantra is the invocation of egoless or nontheistic energies of wisdom and insight. He also distinguishes the Buddhist understanding of mantra from its usage in Hindu tantra, explaining that the divinities invoked in Buddhist tantra are not external but rather represent "aspects of the awakened state of mind." 

    Trungpa Rinpoche then describes a number of ways in which the mantra HUM has been used. It was employed by Guru Padmasambhava "to subdue the force of the negative environment created by minds poisoned with passion, aggression, and ignorance." For beginning meditators, he suggests that chanting the sacred music of HUM can quiet the mind and ease the force of irritating thoughts. For advanced meditators, he states that the syllable HUM is a means of developing the wisdom of the five buddha families, innate wisdoms arising from emptiness, which one finds within oneself, not somewhere in the external world. He also describes HUM as the "sonorous sound of silence" and as "that state of meditation when awareness breaks out of the limits of ego."

    The history of the Sadhana is quite unique.  While in England, Chogyam Trungpa had been tutoring the crown prince (now the king) of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuk, while the prince was studying at Ascot. At the invitation of the queen of Bhutan, Trungpa Rinpoche journeyed to Bhutan in 1968 and went on retreat at Taksang (pictured below) where he received the Sadhana of Mahamudra.  Ever since Trungpa Rinpoche's journey to America in the early 70's, the Sadhana of Mahamudra has been encouraged to be practiced at Shambhala Centers with the community during the full moon.