Bodhi Path – a Mahamudra Teaching-Centre

Until now, there has not been any properly established Mahamudra teaching-centre. I am now organizing Bodhi Path centres to teach Mahamudra. The first Bodhi Path centre has been set up in America, and since then several more centres have been established there. Here in Europe, this is the first Bodhi Path centre. Herbert Giller's Foundation has purchased this house in Remetschwiel, which is now the first Bodhi Path Buddhist Centre in Europe. I hope that the Centre will be very useful and beneficial for the people in Europe.

I myself will teach at these centres. Of course H.H. the Gyalwa Karmapa will also come here to give initiations and teachings. In addition, Jigmela Rinpoche, Khenpo Chödrak Tenphel Rinpoche and other Khenpos, many Rinpoches and lamas, Drubplas of Le Bost who are well experienced in the Mahamudra teachings, will on occasion, visit and teach here as well.

A suitable Mahamudra practice

When the Mahamudra teaching is combined with Tantra, it is generally the Tantric practice of the Four-armed Chenrezig (or Avalokiteshvara in Sanskrit), or the Two-armed Chenrezig, or Chakrasamvara. With respect to the Four-armed Chenrezig, there are two: white or red. Gyalwa Gyamtso is the red one. The Two-armed and Four-armed White Chenrezig combined Mahamudra practice is also mixed with Maha Ati (Dzog Chen). The Chakrasamvara or the Red Chenrezig is combined only with Mahamudra practice.

When a disciple arrives at a certain stage, the guru will select a yidam for the disciple. The selection is based on the disciple's own qualities. The disciple will then do the Mahamudra practice according to his designated yidam.

When I was first organizing a Bodhi Path practice, I did quite a number of predictions to determine which Yidam would be suitable for the disciples in general. Every time the result showed me that it would be the White Avalokiteshvara combined with both Mahamudra and Maha Ati.

The Karma Kagyü's White Avalokiteshvara lineage comes from the 9th Karmapa – it is a combination of all lineages of the White Avalokiteshvara. There are many White Avalokiteshvara lineages. In Tibet, for example, there is the lineage from the Bodhisattva King of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo. There is the lineage of Guru Padmasambhava. There are also other lineages from the later Sakya and Kagyü masters. It was the 9th Karmapa who combined all of them into the one White Avalokiteshvara practice.

Karma Chagme was a very great Bodhisattva of the Karma Kagyü lineage. He taught the 9th Karmapa's White Avalokiteshvara combined with Mahamudra and Maha Ati. This combination practice became immensely popular among the Kagyü, Nyingma and also Sakya practitioners. For most of the genuine meditators of Kagyü and Nyingma, it was their heart practice. They still did the Guru Yoga on Padmasambhava, on Milarepa, or on Karmapa. They still received teachings and initiations on many yidam practices and then, practised them. But in the end, they chose and kept this combination practice to be their heart or goal practice.

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