How is Mahamudra different from Shikantaza

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How is Mahamudra different from Shikantaza

Post by DarwidHalim » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:56 am

I am thinking to continue the debate inside "How is Dzogchen/Mahamudra different from Zazen Samadhi"

However, I am thinking probably we can start it new, so we can more focus by consolidating all facts that we know. It depends on moderator view, whether it should stand alone or inside previous thread.

Let's debate based on the meaning instead of words.

There is also no point to debate if you come to the debate floor without fact. Endless and pointless.


What is Mahamudra?
Mahamudra is defined as great seal.
(Fine, this is the surface.)

What is the true meaning of Mahamudra?
"Mahamudra is beyond all words
And symbols, but for you, Naropa,
Earnest and loyal, must this be said."

What is Zen?
Zen is derived from the Sanscrit - dhyana, meaning at once concentration, dynamic stillness, and contemplation.
(Fine, this is the surface.)

What is the true meaning of Zen?
One day, Zen teacher Sekito Kisen came upon his student, Yakuzan Igen, as he sat in meditation. Sekito asked, "What are you doing?"
Yakusan replied, "I'm not doing anything."
"Then you are just sitting idly," said Sekito.
"If I were sitting idly," said Yakuzan, "then I'd be doing something."
"You say you're not doing anything. What is it that you're not doing?" asked Sekito.
"Even Buddhas don't know!," replied Yakuzan.

That is Zen beyong words until even Buddha cannot tell you.

Any different between the meaning of Zen and Mahamudra in term of their true meaning? Any proof to support your claim?


Ground of Mahamudra:
"The clouds that wander through the sky
Have no roots, no home; nor do the distinctive
Thoughts floating through the mind.
Once the Self-mind is seen,
Discrimination stops.

In space shapes and colors form,
But neither by black nor white is space tinged.
From the Self-mind all things emerge, the mind
By virtues and by vices is not stained.

The darkness of ages cannot shroud
The glowing sun; the long kalpas
Of Samsara ne'er can hide
The Mind's brilliant light.

Though words are spoken to explain the Void,
The Void as such can never be expressed.
Though we say "the mind is a bright light,"
It is beyond all words and symbols.
Although the mind is void in essence,
All things it embraces and contains."

The ground of shikantaza:
"This Mind is originally perfect and vastly illuminating.
It is clear and pure, containing nothing, not even a fine dust.
There is neither delusion nor enlightenment,
Neither birth nor death,
Neither saints nor sinners.
Sentient beings and Buddhas are of the same fundamental nature.
There are no two natures to distinguish them."
( Han Shan Te'-Ch'ing, Zen master)

Any difference in the ground? Please back up your answer with facts, not opinion.


The path of Mahamudra:"Do nought with the body but relax,
Shut firm the mouth and think of nought.
Empty your mind and think of nought.
Like a hollow bamboo
Rest at ease your body.
Giving not nor taking,
Put your mind at rest.
Mahamudra is like a mind that clings to nought.
Thus practicing, in time you will reach Buddhahood."

The path of Shikantaza:
Just sitting without focusing on any object or process.
(Meditation Now or Never, Steve Hagen)

Any difference in the path? Please back up your answer with facts, not opinion.

There is a song by Saraha about this in The Song for the King, where he mentioned meditation directly looking at the mind is the quickest. I can't remember how he described it.

Not dependent on the written word,
Transmission apart from the scriptures;
Directly pointing at one’s heart,
Seeing one’s nature, becoming Buddha.

Any difference in the directness? Please back up your answer with facts, not opinion.


All these are just a bit information that I know. Your sharing will be very valuable to expand our view.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

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