Saturday, October 18, 2008
Pointing Out the Great Way
The Stages of Meditation in the Mahamudra Tradition
Mahamudra is the pinnacle of practice in the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and this book is a timely examination of a subject of which there has been little published in easily accessible formats. Closely following core commentaries of the Kagyu Mahamudra lineage, the author has written a detailed manual of the meditation process and the mental states it produces. This book is different in the systematic way it draws from a variety of sources to construct a complete, graded path of practice informed by an understanding of the particular obstacles faced by meditators in the West. It attempts to capture the inner experience of the stages of mahamudra meditation in sufficient detail to convey its richness. Brown describes mahamudra from the perspective of the gradual path. The gradual path is a progressive process of training that is often contrasted to sudden realization. There are step-by-step descriptions of the ways to practice, precise descriptions of the various stages and their intended realizations, and the typical problems that arise along with their remedies. Simply put, mahamudra meditation involves penetrative focus, free of conceptual elaboration, upon the very nature of conscious awareness.