The Art of Looking, Resting, and Living Presence
A one-year journey starting in January 2021
OPEN TO ALL
Live Webcast or Recorded eJourney
Mahamudra Resting Meditation of a Kusulu
Rest in Sky-Like Awareness
"Rest like a cloudless sky, without even a speck of hope or fear!”
- Khenpo Gangshar
“Abandoning all bodily activities,
Remain like a bunch of straw cut loose.
Abandoning all verbal expressions of speech,
Remain like a lute with its strings cut through.
Abandoning all mental activity.
This is Mahamudra.”
- Machik Labdron
ABOUT THE JOURNEY
This one-year journey of aspiration offers an individual practitioner an extraordinary opportunity to go directly and deeply into the heart of the matter, the profound practice of Mahamudra, the Path of Freedom (drol-lam). Through in-depth study and practice, the emphasis of the Mahamudra Journey will be on intimate, direct, “naked” and authentic recognition of one’s true nature and ordinary mind; from that recognition, an experience of living presence, moment-to-moment in life whatever we encounter, will unfold.
The supportive container of this journey will allow each pilgrim to experience transformation and to actualize awakened presence in their unique expression of life and in the world. Sharing experiences and discussing and refining insights will help to clarify any confusion, doubts, mistakes, and sidetracks on the journey. Learning to increasingly rest in the confidence and the direct experience of who we are and how things unveil the capacity to “show up” in a life of both sorrow and joy— to live presence fully in benevolence for all beings in the world
As Khenpo Gangshar said:
“It is taught that in these times when it is difficult to tame beings
through the vehicles of effort,
The teachings of effortless mind will appear.
By the power of the times, if you practice these points,
They are teaching that is easy to apply and devoid of error.”
TEACHINGS AND TEACHERS
The path we undertake on this journey is traditionally called the Path of Freedom and entails Calm-Abiding (Shamatha), Special Insight (Vipashyana), and Union (Mahamudra). Adapting both traditional time-proven and contemporary inquisitive approaches, the year-long journey will proceed step-by-step through an extraordinary set of the classical texts, experiential commentaries, pith instructions, and realization songs.
Our spiritual guide, Choying Khandro, will bring to this journey her four decades of deep dharma study, practice, and teaching of sutra and tantra. She holds the complete transmissions of Machik Dakini Ear-Whispered lineage and the Ear-Whispered lineage of Mahamudra from her teacher, the Late His holiness Ninth Khalkha Jetsun Dampa. She has completed many personal retreats, including the traditional 108 Spring Wandering Retreat and a three-and-a-half-year solitary Great Retreat (nyen chen).
With great appreciation of the living traditions of “Presence,” we are also inviting great living meditator yogis in the modern era from the Mahamudra, Dzogchen, and Zen traditions as guest teachers to our journey. Our journey will be also enriched and inspired by these streams of traditions that all share the common ground, the mind-essence.
PILGRIMS ON THE JOURNEY
This program offers a unique and accessible opportunity for all levels of practitioners, from beginners in meditation practice to long-term Vajrayana meditators. It will provide each individual with a foundation and a framework for lifelong practice, applicable to any spiritual path. Most importantly, the Mahamudra Journey will reveal and strengthen one’s radically transformative life journey of living as an immense and benevolent presence in the world.
For beginners, this journey provides the basic framework of their spiritual journey, from mindfulness to complete, full awakening, in a simple and methodical way. The Mahamudra path is praised especially for being appropriate for contemporary practitioners who engage in the world because it can be practiced and realized in the context of virtually any lifestyle. Without elaborate explanations and rituals, the practical and direct advice of Mahamudra teachings nourishes and deepens one’s infinite capacity to directly realize the source of sorrow and joy every moment.
For long-term practitioners, this journey is a key and indispensable companion to Cho (Chod) and Vajrayana practices such as the creation phase practice that helps to transform habitual patterns of ordinary experiences into the awakened life. Together they serve directly as a means to realize the true nature of mind.
PLEASE JOIN US ON THE MAHAMUDRA JOURNEY
Ultimately, with deep trust in this indwelling goodness, this Buddha-nature, the Mahamudra Journey will clarify and enrich the unfolding of and confidence in the inner guru. The journey will offer a non-authoritarian, non-discriminative, safe environment where each fellow traveler is offered support, respect, and companionship on the same journey. Dakini’s Whisper cherishes the opportunity to traverse this extraordinary journey with devoted practitioners, starting in January 2021.
DATES, TIMES, AND LENGTH OF JOURNEY
Monthly Group Retreat: Last Sunday of each month, 9:00 – 11:30 am Pacific Time
One year beginning Sunday, January 31, 2021
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS
To allow an intimate dialog of one’s personal experience to unfold and be explored, the number of participants will be limited to 12. New participants in Dakini’s Whisper and those who register before December 31, 2020, will be prioritized.
Monthly group retreats: will be held the last Sunday each month, 9:00 – 11:30 am Pacific Time, January 2021 - December 2021.
Recordings on eLearning: All the retreats will be recorded. Registered participants can access the previous retreats on eLearning. Since each of the monthly retreats is sequentially designed to build upon each month’s content, any missed monthly retreat will need to be reviewed via the recordings prior to the next scheduled retreat.
Regular daily meditation, to the best of one’s ability, will be practiced personally, 20 minutes in the morning and evening. Some months there will be other specific meditation practices or assignments based on particular instructions. Some specific preliminaries will be introduced as the journey proceeds.
Daily body-oriented practice: Instructions for Pranayama and simple Subtle Body Training will be given during retreat and integrated into daily practices.
Reading and study assignments: See below for recommended readings, some of which may be assigned for personal study and reflection between retreats.
Interview with Khandro-la: Each student will meet privately 3 times per year (February 2021, June 2021, & January 2022) with Khandro-la for personal questions, inquiries, sharing.
Guest teachers: Meditators and teachers from the living traditions of Mahamudra, Dzogchen, and Zen will participate during some monthly retreats as guest teachers.
Annual Mahamudra Weekend Retreat: An annual weekend retreat for more intensive teachings and practice will be planned for the summer of 2021
Personal Meditation Retreat: The retreat is the backbone of this journey. Through a personal retreat, we hear ourselves intimately, touch deeply, and directly into the depth of being and come home again.
OPTIONAL: Free Self-Directed DW Master Courses - MC 1 Foundations, MC 2 & 4 Mahamudra Shamatha, MC 5 Topography of the Path (lam-rim Inquiries)
OPTIONAL: Group meditation session(s) and discussion session will be offered monthly or bi-monthly, and students are encouraged to participate.
OPTIONAL: Students are strongly encouraged to participate in Dakini’s Whispers’ various additional offerings of Pranayama, Subtle Body Training, Tibetan Yoga, and Tsa-lung practice as well as Restorative Sessions throughout the year.
PLEASE NOTE: The upcoming NEW YEAR SUBTLE BODY TRAINING - The Art of Moving and Resting, Jan 7 - Feb 9, will provide the well-structured ground and movement to support meditation on this journey and all Mahamudra Journey applicants are encouraged to register!
DW Sangha Membership: Participants in the Mahamudra Journey will be members of the DW Sangha on the same as the Cho Mastery Member Level. (Please see the sangha membership page for the details.)
Registration is required by all applicants, whether you are currently a DW member or not.
Please complete your preliminary registration by using the form below, submitting a required base registration fee of $30, AND THEN complete your registration as follows:
Current Active Cho Mastery, Dakini, and Sponsor Level members: No additional fee required. Your registration is complete. Of course, dana is welcomed and encouraged.
Current Supporting Level members: Please go to the membership page to upgrade your membership level to Cho Mastery/Mahamudra Level or above.
All Other Applicants: Please go to the membership page. Complete and submit the Membership Registration Form at the bottom of that page by choosing the Cho Mastery/Mahamudra Journey Level or above (Dakini Journey or Sponsor, which includes Cho Mastery/Mahamudra Journey). Next, click the Paypal button (above the registration form) to set up AUTOMATED MONTHLY MEMBERSHIP PAYMENTS or remit the ONE-TIME ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP PAYMENT.
(NOTE: Dakini's Whisper generously offers a sliding scale for the membership fee in the hopes that finances will not be an obstacle to dharma practice with Dakini's Whisper. Please choose the amount which you feel most reflects your capacity. Those unable to pay the full amount may have an opportunity to give of their energy and talents through volunteer support that would be coordinated by the DW Volunteer Coordinator.)
Dakpo Tashi Namgyal, Clarifying the natural state: a principal guidance manual for Mahamudra. Translated by Erik Kunsang. Hong Kong: Rangjung Yeshe, 2001.
Supplementary Practices, Dakini's Whisper's Daily Chant Book
Other materials will be shared in PDF once the Journey has started.
If you have further questions, please contact Ellen Green at email@example.com).