Mahamudra Teachings and Medicine Buddha Teachings (Audio and Unedited Transcript)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Crestone, CO USA June 2008 (Archive #1711)

These teachings were given in June 2008 at the White Eagle Conference Center in Crestone, Colorado. Included is the oral transmission of the First Panchen Lama's Root Text for the Precious Gelug/Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra.

You can also listen to the Chinese translation of the teachings here. Read the edited transcripts of these teachings here.

Day Three Part A: Oral Transmission of the Mahamudra Text

... the graduate path of the lower capable being, middle capable being, higher capable being, so within that, the bodhicitta, the, Paramitayana path, then also it includes tantra, also includes tantra.

MUNÉ MUNÉ MAHAMUNA-YE, graduate path of the lower capable being, middle capable being, higher capable being, so within that also tantra, so this, maybe one simple way to _____.

So think, The purpose of my life is not to just achieve happiness for myself, so the, including liberation, that, so you can think also, not even that, then not even achieving enlightenment, to achieve enlightenment for yourself, to achieve enlightenment for your own happiness, not even that, so it’s good to, so to achieve enlightenment, but then the purpose is for your own happiness, yeah, somebody there’s a possibility of this motivation like that, so not even that. So the, I mean, to achieve enlightenment is for others, so, so, however, to free the numberless, the purpose of my life is to free the numberless hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, human beings, asuras, suras, free them from all the oceans of suffering of samsara and bring to enlightenment, okay, bring to enlightenment, bring to enlightenment, and even that, because this is tantra, think, this is tantric practice, so, it’s to bring to enlightenment quicker, to bring them to enlightenment as quick as possible, think that. Therefore I must achieve enlightenment as quick as possible, and therefore I need to actualize the mahamudra, therefore I’m going to take the oral transmission of the mahamudra teaching, okay, like that.

Then must pay attention, as much as possible, every single word, then this way, and sometimes I think the oral transmission is much more difficult than taking initiation. Taking initiation, even if you don’t understand the whole words, but the essence if you are able to think, or even the very last thing, when we were taking those many initiations very fast at Kopan, many years ago from His Holiness Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche, the Rinjung Gyatsa, the Sukya Gyatsa, these things, so many initiations, so Rinpoche said, sometimes you can’t, to visualize all the, and then think, “Whatever the lama says, I received.” So Rinpoche used to give us advice, because many, many initiations in one day, so, “Whatever the lama says, I have received,” the main thing is to generate faith, generate faith you have received.

So, I think, initiation in the essence, you understand the essence, the more important parts able to receive the, the most important ones, I mean, still you receive. But here, the oral transmission, oral transmission means every single word, I think supposed to hear every single word, otherwise you miss, then it doesn’t become perfect.

So, after taking so much oral transmission, trying to preserve Dharma, these recent years, many, so many great lamas like sun shining, in Tibet the great lamas like sun shining in the world, like incredible, unbelievable, those enlightened, who completed the path and who wrote many texts, so we try to preserve, I try to receive from some lamas, who, who preserve, who received the lineage, so, to, so to preserve, and later to, to spread. So, so, then, gradually realize, usually oral transmission is more difficult than initiations, because here you have to pay attention, also the lama has to recite clearly, so, then, okay.

And then think, each word I listen, it cuts, it destroys, it eliminates, destroys my samsara, each word cuts my samsara, destroy my samsara, so, all those oceans of samsara to cease, okay, to think that benefit.

And then, to actualize, the meaning within one’s own heart, and then each word that I listen may it be beneficial for all sentient beings, the minute when I say, they attain the path, so dedicate like that.

[Rinpoche begins the oral transmission of the mahamudra text.]

Namo ?Muna, I do the title now.

[Rinpoche continues the oral transmission of the mahamudra text.]

Gedun Kagyu, I’m not going to tell the whole thing, it takes time. The Gedun Kagyu, the Lama Tsongkhapa tradition, having virtue, it’s gelug or geden, the Lama Tsongkhapa tradition. Kagyu, the Kagyu, this Kagyu doesn’t mean the, many people might think this mahamudra text, in English the, how do you say it, how to say it in English, the mahamudra text? [Inaudible comment from Ven. Sarah Thresher.] So, many might think it’s a combination of Gelug, Kagyu, but it’s not that. Here in Tibetan it says Geden Kagyu, ka is teaching, gyu is lineage. Of course, it’s based on Buddha’s teaching, this is based, I mean, of course based on Buddha’s teachings, then all the pandits, great yogis, based on that, and then, on the great Tibetan lamas in Tibet, based on that, so, okay. So based on Nagarjuna, all these, those great pandits, like that, okay. Not something opposite from their teachings, not like that, something only happened in Tibet, no, or something only happened in Tibet or some corner in Tibet, some village or some, some cave.

Okay, that’s it.

“Namo Mahamudra…” [Rinpoche continues the oral transmission.]

Mahamudra is all the numberless past, present, and future buddhas, their [Tibetan] the very essence of their, the understanding, okay, the very heart. And then the, this is the very heart of extensive teachings of sutra and tantra, and this is, path that all the buddhas have gone through, all the yogis, all, those who achieved enlightenment, I mean those, see, that they have gone through this, you see, that, the mahamudra.

Okay, that’s it.

Here Panchen Losang Chokyi Gyaltsen explains some time later, all these various different lamas, their presentations from different traditions, the mahamudra, all the different levels, all these, Panchen Losang Chokyi Gyaltsen, who composed the Guru Puja, he said that, when you have a high realization, then you see everything’s just talking one thing, not separate, one thing.

So I guess it means when you have mahamudra realization, those high tantric levels, then you see, whatever the different lamas, the great yogis, what they’re talking different things, but it all comes to one thing, so one thing.

[Rinpoche continues the oral transmission.]

In the heart, must think, for all sentient beings, I’m listening to this, for everybody, for numberless hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, for all the sentient beings, feel in the heart that, for everybody, okay, for the happiness, enlightenment.

It says first to precisely taking refuge and bodhicitta, then next one says, even to realize the ultimate nature of the mind depends on collecting merits and purifying defilements. You must do preliminary many hundreds of prostrations by, the Thirty-five Buddhas, the Confessing Downfalls, and also 100,000 Vajrasattva mantras, even that much, as a preliminary, then, the root guru who is inseparable with all the three-time buddhas, from your heart, make requests, again and again and again and again. Then it starts about mahamudra ?there.

[Rinpoche continues the oral transmission.]

So already started the actual, the explanation, started the sutra mahamudra, the emptiness, the, same, I mean even the tantra mahamudra, simultaneously born great bliss, then seeing emptiness, meditating on emptiness, so he it talks about emptiness there, the actual ?teaching. Before talking the different views from different lamas.

[Rinpoche continues the oral transmission.]

Here I read one, one side of the page extra.

[Rinpoche continues the oral transmission.]

So it’s requested by the ?Kachu, extremely qualified, very high practitioner, ?Rabjampa Gelek Gyaltsen and _____ _______ Sherab Sengye, who has seen, living the life with eight worldly dharmas, it’s like act of craziness, like somebody who become crazy, so seeing, who discovered that, then living in the very isolated place, in the conduct of a sage, so very ascetic life, then living in this practice as a heart, so they requested to Panchen Losang Chokyi Gyaltsen.

So then, from Guru Shakyamuni Buddha down to his root guru, Sangye Yeshe, then the teaching of mahamudra never, all this directly practiced, so the blessing is not, lineage of the blessing is not degenerated from Buddha up to his guru, and there’s no corruption in samaya, so, from Buddha up to his root guru, pure samaya.

So Losang Chökyi Gyaltsen, who hold the essential instructions of the sutra, tantra, holy teachings, and who is ascetic, renounced this life, renounced the eight worldly dharmas, so he renounced that, but then on top of that, the self-cherishing thought, all those ?things.

[Rinpoche continues the oral transmission.]

This is the requesting prayer, the lineage lamas, but this is a short one, what you have got is what His Holiness, when His Holiness gives teachings, all that, the long request, this is during, I think, Panchen Losang Chökyi Gyaltsen’s his time, short. Of course, after that, many other lamas happened, that’s why it become long.

[Rinpoche continues the oral transmission.]

You listen but also you request all the lineage lamas to have this realization from Buddha Vajradhara, from there, you pray from the heart to have these realizations in this life.

[Rinpoche continues the oral transmission.]

From my side also request, same.

[Rinpoche continues the oral transmission.]

So requesting to cut the I-grasping, the ignorance, I-grasping, cut this mind, and then, train the mind in loving kindness, compassion, bodhicitta, and quickly achieve this, quickly achieve the path, path of unification, the great mudra, okay, mahamudra, the sublime realization.

[Rinpoche continues the oral transmission.]

Requesting to grant blessings to be able to see the guru, je lama, the perfect guru to be able to see buddha, and then to have, to pervade or to change the attachment, grasping the samsara, the place, samsara.

Then [Tibetan] then take the responsibility, by taking the responsibility to liberate numberless sentient beings, numberless mother sentient beings, numberless mother, numberless mother transmigratory beings, from the suffering, so carrying that responsibility, taking that responsibility on yourself.

Then to quickly achieve the common and uncommon, common path and uncommon, the glorified, the unification, the mahamudra. That’s the request.

[Rinpoche continues the oral transmission.]

So I have received this one first from Geshe Rabten Rinpoche, who is my first teacher when I escaped from Tibet through Bhutan to India, so I received this at Dharamsala. The first teacher, this concentration camp, called Buxa, where Mahatma Gandhi-ji and Prime Minister Nehru were imprisoned and many, so many people killed, so many people imprisoned there, during the British time, so, my first guru who taught me the very beginning of the philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, dura, the very beginning, introduction, so that.

So I received this from him at Dharamsala, in his room, so gave commentary on this, who is a great scholar, he is a great scholar and also a great yogi, inside, like that.

Then also received from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, after that, so, the, commentary so basically like that, there’s the lineage, what I can remember, so like that. So that’s it.

Due to all the past, present, future merits collected by me, three-time merits collected by others, then, may the bodhicitta be actualized within one’s own heart, in the hearts of all the sentient beings, okay, without delay even a second. Which is generated, may it be increased.

Then we, long life for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and all the holy wishes be succeed immediately.

So, this afternoon, there’s one guy, I don’t remember his name, so, his own, by taking full responsibility, responsibility by himself, put prayer flag and, so for to free all the Tibetans recent times, many thousands, so many thousands put in prison and killed, died, in Tibet, in recent times, so, so he was putting up all the prayer flags for that, so I went there, so then we did prayers, then the Tibetan ?lady ?Yangchen, she’s a singer so she sang, _____ prayer or something, and say, a few prayers, and, so we did that.

So we all pray, dedicate, so the, for the success of His Holiness’s holy wishes, then all the prisoners to be freed as quickly as possible, then the one guy who’s helping, also mentioned, so there are many prisoners in the United States from other countries, not only white people but many, also, so, then expand it to all the prisoners in the world, anyway, so, yeah.

Then, by generating bodhicitta in everyone’s heart, then this will happen. [pause]

Jang chhub sem chhog rin po chhe….

Gang ri ra wäi khor wä zhing kham dir….

Tong nyi nying je zung du jug päi lam….

Je tsün la mäi ku tshe rab tän ching….


Due to all the past, present, and future merits collected by me, three-time merits collected by others, may I and one’s own family members, then all the students in this organization, then all those organizers and, then, people, organizers, and then the center and so forth, all the teachings, then all the benefactors, and, then all those so many people who sacrifice their life to the organization, and to benefit for sentient beings, teachings of Buddha, so, and those who rely upon me, whom I promised to pray, whose names is given to me, including all those, then all sentient beings, may we meet only perfectly qualified Mahayana guru in all the lifetimes, and then, to see only enlightened being from every sentient being’s side, and from one’s own side, okay.

And then, then the, to do only actions most pleasing holy mind of the virtuous friend, from each sentient being’s side, and from one’s own side, and to do, to fulfill all the holy wishes of the virtuous friend immediately by every sentient being, by oneself, in all the lifetimes.

It’s an extremely important prayer to do every day. If you can do this, then, all the ?success, it can, see, like that, can happen.

Maybe just translate the last part about the guru, okay.

That oneself and all sentient beings, including your family, all sentient beings, then, in all the lifetimes to meet only perfectly qualified Mahayana guru, okay, and then each sentient being’s side, from your side, then to see only enlightened being, to be able to see only enlightened being, okay, no mistakes, only qualities.

Then the, from each sentient being’s side, from your side, all the, to be, to do only actions, fulfilling, to do only action most pleasing the holy mind of the virtuous friend, okay.

Then, next one, able to fulfill all the holy wishes of the virtuous friend immediately by each sentient being, by oneself, in all the lifetimes, to do that.

So today, that special prayer.

Due to all the past, present, future merits collected by me, three-time merits collected by others, that which, say, which appears real one, but is empty, but which is empty, [Chinese translation] may the I, who appear real one, but is empty from its own side, it’s empty one from its own side, [Chinese translation] achieve Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment, which again appears something real one, real one from there, from its own side, but, in fact, totally empty, from there, [Chinese translation] and lead all the sentient beings, again appearing something, again appearing real one from there, but, in fact, totally empty from there, [Chinese translation] by myself alone, who again appears something very real from there, but, in fact, is totally, completely empty from its own side, [Chinese translation] completely empty from its own side. [Chinese translation]

I dedicate all the merits to be able to follow holy extensive deeds of bodhisattvas Samantabhadra and Manjugosha, as they realizes.

I dedicate all my merits in the same way as the three-time buddhas, past, present, and future buddhas dedicate their merits.

Jam päl pa wö ji tar khyen pa dang….

Dü sum sheg päi gyäl wa tham chä kyi….

Chhö kyi gyäl po tsong kha päi….

Dag dang zhän gyi dü sum dang….


Okay, so, so good morning.