A definitive study of one of the most important practices in Tibetan Buddhism, with translations of a number of its key texts.
Mahamudra, the “great seal,” refers to the ultimate nature of mind and reality, to a meditative practice for realizing that ultimate reality, and to the final fruition of buddhahood. It is especially prominent in the Kagyü tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, so it sometimes comes as a surprise that mahamudra has played an important role in the Geluk school, where it is part of a special transmission received in a vision by the tradition’s founder, Tsongkhapa. Mahamudra is a significant component of Geluk ritual and meditative life, widely studied and taught by contemporary masters such as the Dalai Lama. Roger Jackson’s Mind Seeing Mind offers us both a definitive scholarly study of the history, texts, and doctrines of Geluk mahamudra and masterful translations of its seminal texts. It provides a skillful survey of the Indian sources of the teaching, illuminates the place of mahamudra among Tibetan Buddhist schools, and details the history and major textual sources of Geluk mahamudra. Jackson also addresses critical questions, such as the relation between Geluk and Kagyü mahamudra, and places mahamudra in the context of contemporary religious studies. The translation portion of Mind Seeing Mind includes ten texts on mahamudra history, ritual, and practice. Among these are the First Panchen Lama’s root verses and autocommentary on mahamudra meditation, his ritual masterpiece Offering to the Guru, and a selection of his songs of spiritual experience. Mind Seeing Mind adds considerably to our understanding of Tibetan Buddhist spirituality and shows how mahamudra came to be woven throughout the fabric of the Geluk tradition.