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NaroGatehouseResizedThe three-year retreat is a traditional program of intensive meditation practices intended for serious students wishing to train in the core teachings and practices of the Kagyu Lineage. Learn more about this profound program.

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Not too long ago, I reflected on which remembrance of Rinpoche, if any, to share with the sangha. A few days later this poem by the Karmapa (which I hadn't recited in many months) popped into my mind and knew this is what I needed to share.

Pointing Out Mahamudra

Like the illusory face of this appearing world, the movement of mind is not touched by artifice; it is not altered by action, freedom, or realization. To remain in the depths of mind free of reference, is known as Mahamudra.

Notes: The Karmapa gave this verse to Lama Tenam to use in his meditation practice. Within the Kagyu lineage, the practice of Mahamudra is the deepest form of meditation. It is deceptively simple to describe and quite difficult to practice. Mahamudra practice could be described as remaining settled into the nature of mind, immersed in its nature that is awareness and emptiness inseparable, not touched by artifice, which means that there is no effort to do anything, and free of reference, which means that the mind is not grasping at anything at all. If you were working with this verse, you would first memorize it and reflect on its meaning until it became very clear. Then resting in meditation, you would float the verse in your mindstream, keeping a gentle focus, much as a koan is held. Then, after a while, you would let it go and rest in the space it has opened out, free of referent or mental activity. When thoughts arose again, you would fold them into the verse, which would become your referent again, and so you would continue, naturally shifting between resting in meditation and reflecting on the verse.236 Music In the SkyMusic_REV0709 7/7/09 12:36 PM Page 236