This coming weekend, we are very fortunate to be hosting Kunga Dawa (Richard Arthure), who became a close student of Vidyadhara, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1966. He was the first Westerner trained by the Vidyadhara as a meditation instructor and authorized by him to teach the Dharma. He traveled to India, Sikkim and Bhutan with Trungpa Rinpoche, was present with him at Tagtsang when the Sadhana of Mahamudra was revealed and co-created the English language version of it.
The Sadhana of Mahamudra is an important text composed by the Vidyadhara and a turning point in his presentation of the buddhadharma in the West. The Sadhana is practiced at the Shambhala Center on the new and full moon days.
The Sadhana of Mahamudra is one of the first practices that the Vidyadhara encouraged his students to do, and has a number of important characteristics. This sadhana is a binding factor for our community because students at all levels of practice can participate and receive a true experience or understanding of the spiritual path. Its essential teaching is that the nature of the practice itself undercuts any ideas of spiritual materialism. The practice consists of meditation and chants, and lasts about an hour.
These teachings are precious in many ways. The Tibetan text is itself terma, and the translation was considered by the Vidyadhara to be terma because of the ease with which the English translation happened. Terma are teachings that were concealed by the great Tibetan teacher Padmasambhava for the sake of future generations, and are rediscovered by a terton (a teacher able to find these teachings), at the auspicious time when they are needed. Such is the case of the Sadhana of Mahamudra, a teaching on overcoming obstacles and degraded spiritual practices in our time.