Boundless Wisdom: a mahamudra practice manual
“Realize that there is no other occupation in life more worthwhile than meditation. It doesn’t matter whether it takes a lifetime or just a day for good results to come. You should carry on with your meditation at a relaxed pace without distractions. If you do not feel pressured, you will find it easier to continue. There is no particular need to set aside a specific time for daily meditation. Just meditate whenever possible during the day, firmly understanding that there is absolutely nothing more important in life than the practice of meditation. In fact, there is nothing else to achieve in life.”
This book offers precise guidelines for meditation. In it, Shamar Rinpoche extracts the meditation-oriented teachings from Moonlight of Mahamudra, a comprehensive treatise on the practice of Kagyu Mahamudra composed by Dagpo Tashi Namgyal, a renowned sixteenth-century master of the Kagyu tradition. Shamar Rinpoche produced this book in order to compile a written manual for his students, which incorporates teachings and transmissions that he gave on the source text in the 1990s. He provided new explanations for the final manuscript and continued refining it up until close to his death in 2014.
Shamar Rinpoche, Mipham Chokyi Lodro (1952–2014), was the 14th Shamarpa. Born in Derge, Tibet, Shamar Rinpoche was recognized by the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa in 1957 and by the 14th Dalai Lama. He was an accomplished Buddhist master and teacher, respected and cherished by many students of Buddhism the world over. In one of his last interviews, Shamar Rinpoche said that things would change because everything and everyone is subject to impermanence. He encouraged his students to focus on their spiritual practice and emphasized that the cure to the suffering associated with change is within oneself. Meditation, he said, is the natural antidote to all delusion and ignorance. Boundless Wisdom: A Mahamudra Practice Manual was one of the important and precious instructional texts that he authored with these sentiments in mind.
A preface to this book was written by Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa. In this letter, Karmapa highlights the extraordinary depth of Shamar Rinpoche’s knowledge of the Buddha Dharma, and the way in which he was able to put it into almost any context that was understandable and engageable for all of us.
Also featured is a short Mahamudra prayer by Shamar Rinpoche, handwritten by him in Tibetan and translated into English. The editor and translator for this book, Tina Draszczyk, was a longtime student of Shamar Rinpoche, who received guidance and inspiration from him for over thirty years.