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Mahamudra Studies

Updated March 15, 2011

An ideal text for NEW COMERS to Buddhism.

The Karma Tashi Ling Mahamudra Study Group focuses on Kagyu Mahamudra, the highest understanding of our true nature, and follows a program of study developed by Peter Barth (Lama Thapkhay) and recommended by Thrangu Rinpoche. The Study Group will start a new cycle of study on April 11, 2011. We will begin with a classic text of Tibetan Buddhism and a core text for the Kagyu lineage, Je Gampopa's The Jewel Ornament of Liberation. This accessible text is ideal for new comers and is a necessary prerequisite to further Mahamudra study. The second text, Thrangu Rinpoche's important commentary on the Jewel Ornament of Liberation will be studied at the same time, along with Peter Barth's Meditation Guide for Mahamudra (MGM).

Study and meditation practice will be offered Monday evenings, 7 to 9 pm, at the Karma Tashi Ling Centre, 10502 - 70th Ave. Please, arrive on time! There are no fees; anyone is free to participate and may join at anytime but they must be willing to commit to the program of study, contemplation and meditation. As this is not a lecture course, disciplined self-study is necessary. It is expected that you will have read and prepared the materials beforehand for relaxed discussion. The three texts to be used will not be provided. You have a month to order and receive then before our first meeting. Each meeting will conclude with a meditation exercise as outlined in the MGM. Contact Charles Schweger at 780-439-2492 or Visit the Karma Tashi Ling web site for updates in the schedule.

The Mahamudra book list provides publishers. The Study Group focuses on the numbered and bolded books on the list. The other materials listed are supplementary texts. Many of the books to be used are in the Karma Tashi Ling library and are available to members but it is best if you have your own copies. Your copy of Barth's A Meditation Guide for Mahamudra (MGM) may be printed from the Mahamudra Center's web site ( Make sure you have paper and toner for the 98 pages.

Starting Mahamudra Study Group Cycle Two, 2011 - present.
1) Je Gampopa's The Jewel Ornament of Liberation - The Wish-fulfilling Gem of the Noble Teachings. Commentary by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche 2003. Zhyisil Chokyi Ghatsal Trust Publications, also from Namo Buddha Publications.

2) Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche Translator, 1998, The Jewel Ornament of Liberation - The Wish-Fulfilling Gem of the Noble Teachings. Snow Lion Publications.

3) Barth, Peter, A Meditation Guide for Mahamudra. (MGM) Print copy available at

April 3, Sunday: Shamatha meditation, 1:00 to 6:00pm

April 9, Saturday: Mahamudra meditation, 8:00am to 6:00pm

April 11: Jewel Ornament of Liberation, 13 - 46
Rinpoche's Commentary, xix - 6
MGM, 8 - 16, (1) Joyful Resting

April 18: Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Chapter 1, 49 - 55
Rinpoche's Commentary, 9 - 26; (2) Attending to Visual Appearances

April 25: Easter Monday, no Study Group

May 2: Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Chap. 2, 59 - 66
Rinpoche's Commentary, 29 - 37; (3) Blue Light at the Heart

May 9: Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Chap. 3, 69 - 75
Rinpoche's Commentary, 41 - 49; (4) Sounding AH

May 16: Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Chap. 4, 79 - 91
Rinpoche's Commentary, 53 - 68; (5) Counting Breath

May 23: Victoria Day, no Study Group

May 30: Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Chap. 5, 95 - 109
Rinpoche's Commentary, 69 - 77; (6) Following the Breath

June 6: Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Chap. 6, 111 - 121
Rinpoche's Commentary, 79 - 89; (7) Gentle Vase Breath

June 13: Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Chap. 7, 125 - 132
Rinpoche's Commentary, 91 - 114; (8) Just Sit

June 20 - August 8: Monlam, teachings, holidays, no Study Group

Completed Mahamudra Study Group Cycle One, 2008 - 2011.
Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche 2002 Showing the Path of Liberation (The Kagyu Lineage Prayer). Namo Buddha.
p. 73-91 in Rinpoche's Essentials of Mahamudra - Looking Directly at the Mind, and the Dorje Chang Prayer in English.
Thrangu Rinpoche, "The Life and Teachings of Gampopa", and Gampopa, "The Jewel Ornament of Liberation", Appendix A. p. 304-332.

Gampopa, The Jewel Ornament of Liberation
Thrangu Rinpoche's commentary on The Jewel Ornament of Liberation
Thrangu Rinpoche 1990 The Tibetan Vanaya: A Guide to Buddhist Conduct
Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche 2001 Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness

Santideva 1997 A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (Tran. V. and B. A. Wallace) Snow Lion
Thrangu Rinpoche 2002 A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life - A Commentary (Tran. K. Holmes & T. Doctor) SRI Satguru Publ.
Heart Sutra and Taranatha A Textural Commentary on the Heart Sutra, 1 - 11, to be supplied
Peter Barth A Meditation Guide for Mahamudra. Available at, used throughout the study program on a weekly basis as a meditation guide.
Chenrezig sadhna, to be supplied
Thrangu Rinpoche 2003 The Uttaratantra - A Treatise on Buddha-Essence, Namo Buddha Publ.

Lobsang P. Lhalungpa (trans.) 2006 2nd ed. Mahamudra - The Moonlight - Quintessence of Mind and Meditation by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal, Wisdom Publ.
Erik Pema Kunsang, tran. 2001 Clarifying the Natural State by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal, Rangjung Yeshe Publ.
Thrangu Rinpoche 2003 Crystal Clear: Practical Advice for Mahamudra Meditators (tran. Erik Pema Kunsang) Rangjung Yeshe Publ.

Schedule Archives - Winter/Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Winter/Spring 2008/2009,
Winter/Spring 2009/2010, Fall/Winter 2010/2011

Study Materials

Study Material by Sequence of Use | Study Material by Publisher

The above materials provide the basis for the mahamudra study program outlined by Lama Thapkhay (Peter Barth), Mahamudra Meditation Center, Petaluma, CA (see their web site through links), and approved by Thrangu Rinpoche. I have listed the material according to the sequence of recommended use and again according to publisher/source. This is a lot of material to acquire but the course clearly is a long term commitment extending over years.