Mahamudra in Theravada?

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Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby ashtanga » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:31 pm

...is there a similarity between Mahamudra and contemplation of Mind in Theravada?

Thanks!

Tony...

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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:03 pm

explain mahamudra in detail and we'll let you know, but probably
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby ashtanga » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:33 am

Hi,

Mahamudra meditation practice works to directly reveal emptiness to one's own direct experience in one's own mind. This is achieved by meditating directly on one's own mind. This is known as "taking the path of direct valid cognition"—it emphasizes directly experiencing the phenomena of one's own mind and experiencing emptiness. This is done by actually seeking the minds, colour, shape, location, size...etc. This of course leave no option but to realise the Empty nature of the mind.

Regards,

Tony...

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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:41 am

The OP asks if there is a parallel to this in the Theravada .

Until someone more qualified comes forward witha reply, I would say that on the surface there appears to be no obvious parallel in the Theravada. I wonder if Mahamudra takes its impetus from Yogacara teachings ? If so this appears to be problematic in terms of the Theravada. I would be happy to stand corrected however.
Last edited by Sanghamitta on Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:54 am

ashtanga wrote:Hi,

Mahamudra meditation practice works to directly reveal emptiness to one's own direct experience in one's own mind. This is achieved by meditating directly on one's own mind. This is known as "taking the path of direct valid cognition"—it emphasizes directly experiencing the phenomena of one's own mind and experiencing emptiness. This is done by actually seeking the minds, colour, shape, location, size...etc. This of course leave no option but to realise the Empty nature of the mind.

Regards,

Tony...

It is called vipassana.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:59 am

Can you add a little Tiltbillings ?
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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:16 pm

there are several hundred books on Vipassana and several interperetation on how it is done, theravada has 2 different satipatthana suttas and other satipatthana texts which are aspects of these two, buddhism as a whole has 6 different verions all with similarities but differing content to an extent, each have body feeling, mind & dhamma sections.
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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:27 pm

The parallel between Mahamudra and Vipassana is not immediately clear to me.
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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:16 pm

one would take mind as an object of mindfulness. thus one would realize its true nature
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:20 pm

What in terms of the Theravada is " mind" apart from the functions of the skandhas ? And how could its true nature be other than anicca and anatta ?
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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:40 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:What in terms of the Theravada is " mind" apart from the functions of the skandhas ? And how could its true nature be other than anicca and anatta ?


Cittànupassanà
Contemplation of the Mind
Kathaÿ-ca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu citte cittànupassã viharati?
And how, monks, does a monk dwell contemplating (the nature of) the mind in the mind?
Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu saràgaü và cittaü ßsaràgaü cittanû-ti pajànàti,
Here, monks, a monk when a mind has passion knows ßthe mind has passionû,
vãtaràgaü và cittaü ßvãtaràgaü cittanû-ti pajànàti;
or when a mind is without passion he knows ßthe mind is without passionû;
sadosaü và cittaü ßsadosaü cittanû-ti pajànàti,
or when a mind has hate he knows ßthe mind has hateû,
vãtadosaü và cittaü ßvãtadosaü cittanû-ti pajànàti;
or when a mind is without hate he knows ßthe mind is without hateû;
samohaü và cittaü ßsamohaü cittanû-ti pajànàti,
or when a mind has delusion he knows ßthe mind has delusionû,
vãtamohaü và cittaü ßvãtamohaü cittanû-ti pajànàti;
or when a mind is without delusion he knows ßthe mind is without delusionû;
saïkhittaü và cittaü ßsaïkhittaü cittanû-ti pajànàti,
or when a mind is collected he knows ßthe mind is collectedû,
vikkhittaü và cittaü ßvikkhittaü cittanû-ti pajànàti;
or when a mind is scattered he knows ßthe mind is scatteredû;
mahaggataü và cittaü ßmahaggataü cittanû-ti pajànàti,
or when a mind has become very great he knows ßthe mind has become very greatû,
amahaggataü và cittaü ßamahaggataü cittanû-ti pajànàti;
or when a mind has not become very great he knows ßthe mind has not become very greatû;
sa-uttaraü và cittaü ßsa-uttaraü cittanû-ti pajànàti,
or when a mind is surpassable he knows ßthe mind is surpassableû,
anuttaraü và cittaü ßanuttaraü cittanû-ti pajànàti;
or when a mind is unsurpassable he knows ßthe mind is unsurpassableû;
samàhitaü và cittaü ßsamàhitaü cittanû-ti pajànàti,
or when a mind is concentrated he knows ßthe mind is concentratedû,
asamàhitaü và cittaü ßasamàhitaü cittanû-ti pajànàti;
or when a mind is not concentrated he knows ßthe mind is not concentratedû;
vimuttaü và cittaü ßvimuttaü cittanû-ti pajànàti,
or when a mind is liberated he knows ßthe mind is liberatedû,
avimuttaü và cittaü ßavimuttaü cittanû-ti pajànàti.
or when a mind is not liberated he knows ßthe mind is not liberatedû.
* * *
Iti ajjhattaü và citte cittànupassã viharati,
Thus he dwells contemplating (the nature of) the mind in the mind in regard to himself,
bahiddhà và citte cittànupassã viharati,
or he dwells contemplating (the nature of) the mind in the mind in regard to others,
ajjhattabahiddhà và citte cittànupassã viharati,
or he dwells contemplating (the nature of) the mind in the mind in regard to himself and in regard to others,
samudayadhammànupassã và cittasmiü viharati,
or he dwells contemplating the nature of origination in the mind,
vayadhammànupassã và cittasmiü viharati,
or he dwells contemplating the nature of dissolution in the mind,
samudayavayadhammànupassã và cittasmiü viharati,
or he dwells contemplating the nature of origination and dissolution in the mind,
ßatthi cittanû-ti và panassa sati paccupaññhità hoti
or else mindfulness that ßthere is a mindû is established in him
yàvad-eva ÿàõamattàya patissatimattàya,
just as far as (is necessary for) a full measure of knowledge and a full measure of mindfulness,
anissito ca viharati, na ca kiÿci loke upàdiyati.
and he dwells independent, and without being attached to anything in the world.
Evam-pi kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu citte cittànupassã viharati.
In this way, monks, a monk dwells contemplating the (the nature of) the mind in the mind.
Cittànupassanà Niññhità
Contemplation of the Mind is Finished
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:48 pm

So, that is the nature of contemplation of the mind in the Theravada. Is there not some implication within the Vajrayana that this can be achieved by the receiving of an initiation of some kind from a guru ? My understanding was that this was the modus operandi of Mahamudra. If so, how does this have a parallel with the Theravada ? I am struggling with this a bit.
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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby ashtanga » Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:44 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:What in terms of the Theravada is " mind" apart from the functions of the skandhas ? And how could its true nature be other than anicca and anatta ?


'Mind' is defined in Vajrayana and the Sutra teachings (Tibetan) as 'that which has clarity and knows'.

Tony...

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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:13 pm

Ok...I am not being awkward here I am trying to understand..how does that relate to the OP " Mahamudra In Theravada " ?
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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby IanAnd » Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:41 pm

ashtanga wrote:
Sanghamitta wrote:What in terms of the Theravada is " mind" apart from the functions of the skandhas ? And how could its true nature be other than anicca and anatta ?


'Mind' is defined in Vajrayana and the Sutra teachings (Tibetan) as 'that which has clarity and knows'....

Mahamudra meditation practice works to directly reveal emptiness to one's own direct experience in one's own mind. This is achieved by meditating directly on one's own mind. This is known as "taking the path of direct valid cognition"—it emphasizes directly experiencing the phenomena of one's own mind and experiencing emptiness. This is done by actually seeking the minds, colour, shape, location, size...etc. This of course leave no option but to realise the Empty nature of the mind.


And how is that different from what Manapa has already pointed out with regard to the practice of the awareness of mind in satipatthana practice? There may be a different way of expressing it, but the outcome is the same. As a matter of curiosity, where do you think the Tibetan Buddhists (via Nagarjuna) got their ideas about this practice if not from the Pali suttas or the Chinese Agamas?

from the Satipatthana Sutta wrote:And how, monks, does a monk dwell contemplating (the nature of) the mind in the mind?
Here, monks, a monk when a mind has passion knows "the mind has passion",
or when a mind is without passion he knows "the mind is without passion"...

or when a mind has delusion he knows "the mind has delusion",
or when a mind is without delusion he knows "the mind is without delusion"...

or when a mind is collected he knows "the mind is collected",
or when a mind is scattered he knows "the mind is scattered"...

Thus he dwells contemplating (the nature of) the mind in the mind in regard to himself,
or he dwells contemplating (the nature of) the mind in the mind in regard to others,
or he dwells contemplating (the nature of) the mind in the mind in regard to himself and in regard to others,
or he dwells contemplating the nature of origination in the mind,
or he dwells contemplating the nature of dissolution in the mind,
or he dwells contemplating the nature of origination and dissolution in the mind,
or else mindfulness that "there is a mind" is established in him
just as far as (is necessary for) a full measure of knowledge and a full measure of mindfulness,
and he dwells independent, and without being attached to anything in the world.
In this way, monks, a monk dwells contemplating the (the nature of) the mind in the mind.

Contemplation on the impermanent nature of these phenomena is of the utmost importance in the practice epitomized by early Buddhism, and thence of the Theravada (and also by implication the Tibetan practice of Mahamudra). As Ven. Analayo points out in his book Satipatthana, The Direct Path to Realization: "Within the framework of early Buddhist philosophy, both impermanence and conditionality are of outstanding importance. In the course of the Buddha's own approach to awakening, recollection of his past lives and the sight of other beings passing away and being reborn vividly brought home to him the truths of impermanence and conditionality on a personal and universal scale. The same two aspects contributed to the realization of the previous Buddha, Vipassi, when after a detailed examination of dependent co-arising (paticca samuppada), satipatthana contemplation of the impermanent nature of the five aggregates led to his awakening."
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:04 pm

That raises two points for me, the first is that as I understand it the difference is that that direct perception of mind in the vajrayana is said to happen after or as a result of initiatory processes by a guru. So the end result may be the same, but the proposed methodology is very different from the Theravada. Secondly there is an assumption made here that the philosophy of Nagarjuna is derived from the Pali Canon...what is the evidence for this view ? I do not know where the Tibetans derived their view of this practice, I do know that there are Theravadin teachers who point to the Vedas as the actual source of Vajrayana philosophy. After all if we really believe that there is a "shortened path" whats keeping us here ? I ask this in all sincerity and metta.
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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby LauraJ » Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:06 pm

Mahamudra

Mahamudra meditation practice works to directly reveal emptiness to one's own direct experience in one's own mind. This is achieved by meditating directly on one's own mind. This is known as "taking the path of direct valid cognition"—it emphasizes directly experiencing the phenomena of one's own mind and experiencing emptiness.

As in all Buddhist schools of meditation, the basic meditative practice of Mahamudra is divided into two approaches: śamatha ("tranquility") and vipaśyanā ("insight").

The meditation manuals (in particular those of The 9th Karmapa) are among the most detailed and precise in the Buddhist literature. For tranquility practice they enumerate the stages of settling the mind and specify many common problems (eg. excitement, torpor, doubt, apathy) and practices to remedy these problems. The objects of meditation are simple objects, statues of the Buddha, the breath, mantras, complex visualizations and deities and Yidams. These objects of meditation are common throughout Tibetan Vajrayana practice.

The detailed instructions for the Insight practices are what make Mahamudra (and Dzogchen) unique.

The meditator is instructed to observe the mind at rest and then during the occurrence of thought. In some practices disturbing emotions are deliberately invoked and the meditator is directed to experience their "empty" nature. The meditator is further instructed to observe that which is looking for the nature of the mind: to observe the observer.

Lineages


Mahamudra is most well-known as a teaching within the Kagyu lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. However the Tibetan Buddhist Gelug and Sakya schools also practice Mahamudra, as does Shingon Buddhism, the other major sub-school of the Vajrayana. The Nyingma and Bön traditions practise Dzogchen, a cognate but distinct method of direct introduction to the empty nature of mind. Nyingma students may also receive supplemental training in Mahamudra, and the Palyul Nyingma lineage preserves a lineage of the "Union of Mahamudra and Ati Yoga" originated by Karma Chagme.

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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby LauraJ » Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:10 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:That raises two points for me, the first is that as I understand it the difference is that that direct perception of mind in the vajrayana is said to happen after or as a result of initiatory processes by a guru. So the end result may be the same, but the proposed methodology is very different from the Theravada. Secondly there is an assumption made here that the philosophy of Nagarjuna is derived from the Pali Canon...what is the evidence for this view ? I do not know where the Tibetans derived their view of this practice, I do know that there are Theravadin teachers who point to the Vedas as the actual source of Vajrayana philosophy. After all if we really believe that there is a "shortened path" whats keeping us here ? I ask this in all sincerity and metta.


Hi Sanghamitta,

If it's okay, I'd rather not get into it too much about the shortened path or just what keeps us here. But if this is any help, vajrayana takes the result as its path. I really hope that makes sense and answers your question. So enlightenment is possible without the guru, we ourselves are entirely responsible for our progress or lack thereof. But in Vajrayana, we use many methods and the guru is one of them. Vajrayana is described as a snake in a hollow bamboo; a short path up or down. Hopefully we go up :)

Kindly,
Laura
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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:37 pm

In all honesty Laura taking the results as the path neither makes sense ( to me ) nor does it answer my question, but I am sure we can maintain a friendly difference of view.
:smile:
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Re: Mahamudra in Theravada?

Postby LauraJ » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:01 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:In all honesty Laura taking the results as the path neither makes sense ( to me ) nor does it answer my question, but I am sure we can maintain a friendly difference of view.
:smile:


Oh shoot. I'll think a bit, maybe try again :)
Though we may have different view I think I'm also not explaining well.

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Laura
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