Calm and Bodiless: First Exposure to Mahamudra

Clarifying the Natural State | Photo courtesy of Ferdinand Stohr

All the crazy longing and upheaval seems to have subsided. Now is like the calm warm flutter of a breeze after hard rain. I’m now concerned with morality, gratitude, uprightness, reverence. Sits are simple but profoundly something. 

First Exposure to Mahamudra

I started looking through this Mahamudra book that Daniel recommended to me for its beauty — some really heavy-duty stuff in here that I will have to slowly read in small, repeated doses. My friend Barry says one cannot DIY Mahamudra. Well, but I can read, so I can try, can’t I? All the instructions for teacher and student are here in the book. Barry always makes everything sound hushed and dangerous, especially where Teacher or No Teacher is concerned.

Progress on MCTB2

Mahamudra aside, I sat in the wee hours because this weekend was to be consumed with editing MCTB2, and so it was, way into the night and beyond. It is exciting to see how much different this book will be from MCTB1, how much deeper, more mature, more seasoned, more balanced, more poetic, more classic, richer, multifaceted this one will be. Gratifying work and a privilege, truly, to have anything at all to do with bringing it forth into the best light.

The Sit in Equanimity

Oh, the sit! I think that I am somewhere on the low to medium side of Equanimity. I feel that some opening is close. I wonder if I need to dramatically increase my meditation time. I’ve never put much time in, never been on retreat, though my motivation to practice is extremely high now. Anyway, on the assumption that I’m in Equanimity, I decided to sit with samatha first and then switch to the gentlest insight practice that I could manage, with eyes softly open. Not ready for this Mahamudra jazz, but I reviewed in my head beforehand the biggies Daniel listed from before:

♦ Attraction and aversion

♦ That everything moves, flows

♦ The rocking of peace

♦ The movement of attention itself

♦ That awareness is space

♦ That space is awareness

The first three didn’t take me anywhere. No. 4, the movement of attention, is strange. It really is a way, I think, of examining intention, or so it seemed today. ‘Twas a trace quite ghostly. 

After this segment, I sort of slipped into some daydreams and then suddenly realized that I was not aware of my body, which is a frequent occurrence these days, as I even wake up in the morning in Boundless Space, but not usually with my eyes open as they were for this sit. The next instant came the realization that I could not distinguish body or attention from the surround-space. And then there was a kind of swath of something bright black and turning but not completing.

Sleepy. Faithful. Fine.

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