Gampopa 18th c. © Himalayan Art Collection

Kagyu Mahamudra

The Stages of Practice in relation to the Blessing received from the Short Supplication to Vajradhara and the Lineage Holders
  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. Study the instructions on the short supplication to Vajradhara and the lineage holders (the Dorje Chang Toungma).
  3. Either: Accomplish the preliminary practice of the 35 Buddhas (100,000 prostrations and Mandala offerings) and the recitation of the Vajrasattva mantra (100,000).
    Or: Accomplish the Kagyu 4 foundations practices written by the 14th Kunzig Shamarpa, based on instructions of the 8th Karmapa.
  4. Cultivate basic Shamatha focusing on the cycles of breath during one month.
  5. Do the Tonglen practice of The 7 Points of Mind Training during three months.
  6. Study the three subjects of Vajrayana.
  7. Receive the empowerment of the Guru Yoga of Milarepa and do the Sadhana practice.
  8. Study the instructions on lovingkindness and compassion by Tsangpa Gyare, the Mahamudra instructions by Pema Karpo, the Mahamudra instructions by the 3rd Karmapa, and the Ronyom Kordruk according to the instructions written by the 2nd Shamarpa.

Those who wish to go into strict retreat should:

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