Development of Mahamudra

source: Teachings of the Buddha, chapter 3, 29 minutes remaining (about page 176)

Development of Mahamudra

21 meditations

  1. Stare at twig or pebble one pointedly, neither straying from it nor identifying with it
  2. Image of the Buddha, syllable to symbolize his speech, or a glowing dot to symbolize his mind
  3. Disk of the Moon, size of a fingernail, inscribed on it, ‘haum’ as fine as if it were written with a single hair
  4. Glowing dot, the shape of an egg and the size of a pea
  5. Count your breaths as they move in and out
  6. Follow your breath. Note how long an exhale is, and how long an inhale. Note how far in your body it moves
  7. Let your awareness move with your breath, from the tip of your nose down to your navel. Watch how it goes and comes, and is held within.
  8. Examine individually the elements of earth, air, fire, water, and space which make up your body, and become aware of how your breath increases and decreases as it moves in & out
  9. Sense the air to be white as it is exhaled, blue as it is inhaled, and red as it is held within. The motion of the breath will become obvious
  10. Breathe out forcibly three times, then gently draw in the upper air through your nose and draw up the lower air from your intestines. Try to hold it as long as you can, until your thoughts are stopped and your mind no longer strays to external objects.
  11. Meditate on no object. Contemplate as before, but discipline yourself with mindfulness and try to eliminate every single thought. Contemplate cutting off at its very root any thought that occurs.
  12. It will seem as if thoughts become more numerous, coming one after another in a continuous stream. This is what we call recognizing our thoughts as we might observe an enemy. It is what we call the first state of calm, like the rushing of a mountain cataract.
  13. Now let the thoughts do whatever they want. Not trying to cut them off, but not falling under their spell
  14. Now your thoughts can no longer move you, and you can remain one pointedly in a continuous state of calm. Now the sediment of your mind will settle
  15. Keep your mind as if you’re spinning a thread, keeping an even tension on it. For if your attention is too taut, it will snap, and if it is too loose, you’ll fall into indolence
  16. Keep your mind as if it is a snapped rope. It is a thought to think you must impose no constructs upon reality. You’ve substituted one thought for another. This is what we call mindfulness chasing an object. Cast aside your mindfulness itself. Keep your mind free of all effort. Let it flow naturally and spontaneously in a state of calm.
  17. Keep your mind as if it were a child staring at paintings on a temple wall. You may see visions, neither think they’re important nor fear them.
  18. Keep your mind as if it’s an elephant being pricked by a pin. For while your mind is fixed, mindfulness is automatically recognizing thoughts. What is casting aside and what is cast aside meet each other, for mindfulness is automatic. You feel your thoughts occur, but you do not react to them in any way.
  19. Analyze the changeless within the changing, and achieve meditationless meditation.
  20. Cannot see the changeless apart from the changing. Watched and watcher are the same.
  21. Realization of insight. Recognize every thought for what it is, let it spontaneously become emptiness all on its own, without casting it aside. Making a hindrance into the path itself - just by recognizing a thought it becomes emptiness. I neither keep nor cast aside anything which happens on the path.

Conclusion: you’ve realized every event is innate and spontaneous. The passions are finished, and the antidote that cast them aside is finished.

Adapted from the manual of the spontaneous great symbol. Translated by Stephen Byer.