The Aspiration Prayer of Mahamudra

By the third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje (1284-1339).

Homage to the Teacher

Roots of Inspiration and Accomplishment, Purified Essence of Experience,
Buddhas of past, present, and future with your children, 
With kindness and understanding for me,
Grant your inspiration so that my prayers may be accomplished exactly as I ask.

Sprung from the snow mountain of non-conceptual actions
Of myself and all sentient beings without limit,
May the river of virtue of the threefold purity [not conceptualizing action, actor, or recipient]
Be united with the ocean of the four dimensions of Awakening [Truth Body, Ecstatic Perception Body, Emanation Body, and Totality Body].

So long as this is not accomplished,
Through all my lifetimes, birth upon birth,
May the din of neurosis and suffering not be heard,
And may I enjoy the goodness of oceans of happiness and virtue.

Having obtained the precious human body endowed with energy and intelligence,
Having attended on a worthy master and received the pith of the holy instructions,
May I practice the holy Dharma properly as I have received it
All my lives without interruption.

Studying the scriptures, developing intellect, may I be freed from the obscuration of ignorance;
Contemplating the oral instructions, may the darkness of doubt be subdued;
In the light born of meditation, may what is shine forth just as it is
And the brightness of these three wisdoms grow in power.

Through the meaning of the ground, which are the truths of relative and pristine awareness free from the limits of extreme views,
And the supreme path of knowledge and merit, free from the limits of praise and blame,
Attaining the fruit of wellbeing for myself and others, free from the limits of patterned-based and spontaneously altruistic life,
May I meet the Dharma which cannot err.

The ground of purification is the mind itself, indivisible luminosity and emptiness;
The means of purification is the great indestructible yoga of mahamudra;
What is to be purified are the transitory contaminations of confusion;
The untainted pure fruit is the Truth Body of a Buddha-may I realize all this.

Resolving doubts brings conviction in the view,
Then keeping one's awareness unwavering is the subtle pith of meditation;
Putting all aspects of meditation into practice is the supreme action:
The view, the meditation, the action- may I be confident in these.

All things are phantoms of the mind,
And mind is no-mind-the mind's nature is empty;
Though empty, everything unceasingly arises from it-
Investigating well, may I discern the root.

Self-appearance, which never existed, has confused itself into projections;
Spontaneous intelligence, because of ignorance, has confused itself into a self;
By the power of dualistic fixation one wanders in the realm of existence-
May ignorance and confusion be resolved.

Since it does not exist, even Buddhas do not see it.
Since it is not non-existance, it is the origin of pattern-based experience and pristine awareness.
There being no contradiction between these two is the unity of the middle way-
May I realize the reality of boundless mind.

If one says "it is this", nothing represents it,
If one says "it is not this," there is no ground for denial.
May I gain conviction in the ultimate perfect truth,
The unconditioned reality transcending intellect.

When it is not realized, one circles in the ocean of conditioned existence,
Realizing it, Buddha is not other.
Since there is no support for affirming and denying,
May I understand the fallacy of the psycho-perceptual substrate.

Since appearance is mind and emptiness is also mind,
Since realization is mind and delusion is mind,
Since arising is mind and cessation also mind,
Let me see through all mind's doubts.

Not adulterating meditation with conceptual striving,
Unmoved by the wind of wordly bustle,
Knowing how to rest in the spontaneous, uncontrived flow,
Being skilled in the practice, may I continue it.

Let the waves of subtle and coarse thoughts calm down into their own place
And the waters of mind, without movement come spontaneously to rest,
Free from the contaminations of discursiveness and sloth,
May I establish a still ocean of shamatha.

Looking again and again at the mind which cannot be looked at,
Seeing vividly, just as it is, the meaning which cannot be seen,
May the "yes" and "no" of doubt be cut
And the genuine self nature understood.

Looking at objects, the mind devoid of objects is seen;
Looking at the mind, I see its empty nature, devoid of mind;
By looking at both of these, dualistic clinging is self-liberated-
May I realize the luminous mind of what is.

Being free from mind-productions, it is the Mahamudra,
Free from extremes, it is the great Central Reconciliation,
Since it is the consummation of everything, it is called the great Ati,
May I have confidence that by understanding one [of these means for actualizing mind's essence], all are realized.

The great bliss, unceasing and without desire,
Unfixated luminosity, free from the veil of obscurations,
The naturally fulfilled state of nonthought which transcends intellect-
May I continually enjoy these states without effort.

May clinging to the desire for good meditation be self-liberated
And the nature of evil thoughts and confusion seem to be non-conceptual like space;
With the ordinary mind, free from rejecting and accepting, loss and gain,
May I attain real simplicity.

The nature of beings is permanently awakened;
Not realizing that, we wander in endless conditioning.
For the boundless suffering of sentient beings,
May overwhelming compassion be conceived in my being.

Although such compassion be skillful and unceasing,
In the moment of compassion, may the truth of its essential emptiness be nakedly clear.
This unity is the supreme unerring path;
Inseperable from it, may I meditate day and night.

By the power of meditation, may I aquire clarity and hone perception,
May I ripen sentient beings and purify buddhafields,
May I perfect the aspiration which fulfills all the buddhadharmas.
Exercising these three- perfecting, ripening, and purifying- may I manifest utmost buddhahood.

O Buddhas of the three times in the ten directions and your children,
By your kindness and through the power of whatever pure virtue may exist,
Fulfill as I ask the pure wishes of myself and all sentient beings.

Meditation Quotes

Return To Easy Meditation Techniques

Basic Beliefs of Buddhism

Return From Mahamudra Prayer To Tibetan Life Homepage