The Tergar Meditation Community, founded by the revered Dharma teacher and master of the Karma Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, has announced that Mingyur Rinpoche will lead an online retreat titled “Tilopa’s Song of Realization: The View of Mahamudra Retreat” from 11–14 August.
“This retreat marks the beginning of Tergar’s 2023/24 transmission, “Mahamudra: A Song of Realization,” on Tilopa’s famous Mahamudra text, The Ganges Mahamudra,” Tergar shared with BDG. “In this first retreat, Mingyur Rinpoche will guide us through the view of Mahamudra, centering the teachings around Tilopa’s root verses.”
Through live teaching and practice sessions, Q&A sessions, and group meditation, this four-day retreat, which expands on Mingyur Rinpoche’s introductory public teaching, “Mahamudra: Songs of Realization from the Indian Masters,” given on 5 August,* introduces Tilopa’s The Ganges Mahamudra and expands on the view of Mahamudra, with practice guidance given directly by Mingyur Rinpoche.
“To be able to receive the profound instructions of Mahamudra from the convenience of your own home is a rare opportunity,” Tergar explained. “This is the first time that Mingyur Rinpoche will offer a retreat on The Ganges Mahamudra in English to a Western audience, so we welcome you to join us on this precious occasion.”
Prerequisites for participation in the retreat:
• To have have attended a Tergar Path of Liberation Level 2 retreat with Mingyur Rinpoche or Khenpo Kunga.
• To have received ngondro transmission and nature of mind pointing out from a qualified lineage holder, and to have had at least five years of regular meditation practice.
Tilopa (988–1069) was an Indian mahasiddha, or great tantric adept, who is known in Tibet as the originator of the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and the teacher of the mahasiddha Naropa (1016–1100). Tilopa was an accomplished meditator with a profound understanding of the nature of mind, and was a key figure in the development of many core tantric practices.
For example, in space, what is resting on what? In one’s mind, Mahamudra, there is nothing to be shown. Rest relaxed in the natural state without attempting to alter anything. If this fetter of thought is loosened, there is no doubt that you will be liberated. (Tilopa)
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, the founder of the Tergar Meditation Community, which has centers and practice groups across the world, is a renowned Dharma teacher and best-selling author whose books include: The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret & Science of Happiness (2007); Joyful Wisdom: Embracing Change and Finding Freedom (2009); and Turning Confusion into Clarity: A Guide to the Foundation Practices of Tibetan Buddhism (2014).
Born in 1975 in the Himalayan border region between Tibet and Nepal, Mingyur Rinpoche received extensive training in Tibetan Buddhist meditative and philosophical traditions from his father, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (1920–96), considered one of the greatest modern Dzogchen masters, and subsequently at Sherab Ling Monastery in northern India. After just two years, at the age of 13, Mingyur Rinpoche entered a three-year meditation retreat and then completed a second immediately afterward, serving as retreat master. At 23, Rinpoche received full monastic ordination.
Mingyur Rinpoche famously undertook a four-year solitary wandering retreat through the Himalaya from 2011–15. In recounting how he came to terms with the realities of his ambition to practice in the manner of a wandering yogi, Rinpoche revealed that he confronted many personal and spiritual challenges—including, at one point, his own mortality. Rinpoche has described the years he spent wandering in the Himalaya as “one of the best periods of my life.”**
The habit of thinking that things exist “out there” in the world or “in here” is hard to give up, though. It means letting go of all the illusions you cherish, and recognizing that everything you project, everything you think of as “other,” is in fact a spontaneous expression of your own mind. (Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, 101)
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. 2007. The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret & Science of Happiness. New York City: Harmony.
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