KATHMANDU RETREATS 2024: Receive key Buddhist teachings in person from Mingyur Rinpoche at his home! Learn more.

KATHMANDU RETREATS 2024: Receive key Buddhist teachings in person from Mingyur Rinpoche at his home! Learn more.

Mahamudra: A Song of Realization

The Ganges Mahamudra of the Mahasiddha Tilopa

From Tilopa to Mingyur Rinpoche:

Experience Mahamudra Across Centuries in a Year-Long Transmission

Mahamudra is considered the most profound and direct path to awakening in the Kagyu school of Vajrayana Buddhism. This lineage of oral instructions enables individuals to recognize the clarity of awareness in every aspect of their lives.

1,000 years ago, the great master Tilopa sang a song of realization to his student Naropa, instructing him on the essential points of Mahamudra. This song, or doha in Sanskrit, has come to be known as The Ganges Mahamudra.

For the first time, Mingyur Rinpoche will offer teachings on the root verses of this Mahamudra text in English to a Western audience. We welcome you to join this precious transmission!

Learning Path for 2023‒24 Transmission

The Tergar annual transmission is an offering of direct lineage teachings that can be absorbed through study and practice. Some of the offerings are open to all levels of students, while others may be restricted to those students meeting certain prerequisites.

You meet prerequisites to attend all teachings if:

  • Option 1: You have attended any in-person Tergar Path of Liberation Level 2 retreat with Mingyur Rinpoche or Khenpo Kunga
  • Option 2: You have received ngondro transmission and nature of mind pointing out from a qualified lineage teacher, and have at least 5 years of regular meditation practice

Doubts? 

Subscribe to Vajrayana Online

All of our courses are available on demand and included in your subscription. You can join the course at any time and engage with the materials at your own pace.


After the free trial, you will be charged for a monthly subscription, and the subscription will automatically be renewed each month. You can unsubscribe anytime, and no additional fees will be charged.

Tergar is committed to making the benefits of meditation available to everyone. To ask about subscription assistance, contact us at [email protected].


After the free trial, you will be charged for a monthly subscription, and the subscription will automatically be renewed each month. You can unsubscribe anytime, and no additional fees will be charged.

Tergar is committed to making the benefits of meditation available to everyone. To ask about subscription assistance, contact us at [email protected].


Tergar Lineage Society

The Tergar Lineage Society was established in 2021 to recognize generous students and community members who are invested in the mission of Tergar. Lineage Society members play a critical role in making the annual lineage transmission possible, supporting the development of courses and events, and expanding access to meditation training for all.

For centuries, offering important lineage transmissions has been a central part of Vajrayana Buddhism, and transmission patrons have been inspiring beacons of generosity. By making an annual gift of $7,500 or more, individuals who join the Lineage Society help ensure the vitality and authenticity of Mingyur Rinpoche’s experiential lineage.

Questions and Answers

Mahamudra, or “The Great Seal” in English,  is one of three nature of mind lineages within the Vajrayana, the other two being Dzogchen and Mahamadhyamaka. The Mahamudra lineage of the Kagyu School can be traced back to the great Indian mahasiddha Tilopa, who systematized the teachings he received from many gurus into what is now known as Mahamudra.

“Song of realization” is a translation of the Sanskrit word doha. In contrast to other texts, these songs were spontaneously sung by yogis and yoginis, known as siddhas, to share their spiritual realization for the benefit of the listener. These songs were written down afterward in an unedited fashion.

Absolutely! The elements of the transmission function together as a cohesive whole, but each one also stands alone. Join in whatever elements work for you!

Tilopa was a great yogi or mahasiddha living in India in the 10th and 11th centuries CE. He is most famous for being the founder of the Mahamudra lineage and the founding forefather of the Kagyu lineage. His most famous work is the Ganges Mahamudra, and his closest student was Naropa.

To receive a transmission can mean different things — everything from receiving a blessing to fully realizing the nature of reality. In the Tergar context, “transmission” means that Mingyur Rinpoche passes on important lineage teachings to students so that we can recognize the buddha within and stabilize this recognition. In addition to teaching and meditation instructions, a transmission may include reading transmissions (lung) for important texts, empowerments (wang), and opportunities to receive vows.

This transmission has courses and events open to all who wish to better understand the Vajrayana world, its practices, and the workings of the mind. The transmission will also contain events and courses that are open only to those practitioners that have received pointing out instructions on the nature of mind from a lineage teacher as well as a ngondro transmission.

For the open events and courses, prior experience in meditation is suggested but not required. Mingyur Rinpoche teaches in a highly relatable way, so much of this transmission is based on exploring our lived experience. If you wish to acquire a foundation for these practices, attending a Joy of Living program online is a good option.

Vajrayana Online will run the Nectar of the Path and Retreat courses with full support of Tergar guides. The Tergar guides will conduct weekly practice and discussion sessions. These live sessions are available as part of your Vajrayana Online subscription.

Alternatively, you might want to consider engaging in any of the other on-demand courses in Vajrayana Online or explore the Joy of Living program. Completing the full Joy of Living program and corresponding homework will qualify you to attend a Path of Liberation Levels 1 & 2 retreat in the future, where you can receive the pointing out instruction and transmissions required to join restricted Vajrayana Online courses.

You can join Vajrayana Online at any time. New material will be released on the first day of each month, and you can engage in it at your own pace. In the case of the online retreats, however, it is highly recommended that you attend the live events rather than watch the recordings. Recordings will be made available, but only for a limited time.

“For example, it is like looking in the middle of the sky and not seeing anything.In the same way, when your mind looks at your mind,Thoughts stop and you will attain unsurpassable awakening.”

— Tilopa’s Ganges Mahamudra