Dusum Kyenpa, the first Karmapa 18th c. © Himalayan Art Collection

Karma Kagyu Mahamudra practice

  1. Take Refuge, Pratimoksha (the lay or monastic vows), and Bodhisattva vows.  Cultivate Shamatha during one month, focusing on the image of the Buddha with devotion in order to mature the mind.
  2. Either: Accomplish the preliminary practice of the 35 Buddhas (100,000 prostrations and Mandala offerings), and 100,000 recitations of the Vajrasattva mantra.
    Or: Accomplish the Karma Kagyu 4 foundations practices written by the 9th Karmapa.
  3. In order to subdue mental agitation, cultivate Shamatha during one month, focusing on counting the cycles of the breath.
  4. Do the Tonglen practice of The 7 Points of Mind Training during three months.
  5. Study the 3 subjects of Vajrayana.
  6. Study the instructions on lovingkindness and compassion by the 8th Karmapa and do the training during one month.
  7. Receive the empowerment of the Guru Yoga of Milarepa and practice the Sadhana daily.
  8. Study and practice “Dispelling the Darkness of Ignorance,” the profound Mahamudra instructions by the 9th Karmapa.

Those who wish to enter strict retreat should:

  1. Receive the empowerment of the 9 Deity Red Avalokiteshvara (Gyalwa Gyamtso).
  2. Study the instructions by the 5th Shamarpa as well as those by Karma Chagme on the Sadhana of Red Avalokiteshvara.
  3. Accomplish the required recitations of the mantra of Red Avalokiteshvara.
  4. Cultivate the completion phase according to the profound instructions of Mahamudra by the 9th Karmapa continuously, like the flow of a river.

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