Mahamudra Meditation Center
was established at the encouragement of one of the leading Kagyu teachers, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, to facilitate the study and practice of Mahamudra. For several years, Rinpoche has been at the forefront of teaching the theory and practice of this simple and direct Buddhist path of liberation. He is a recognized master of the view and path of Mahamudra and is well known for his ability to make the teachings and transmission of this lineage easily accessible.


"In my experience and my judgement Mahamudra is especially appropriate and beneficial in this modern age, in particular for people in the West who are very busy....it is a path that is extremely simple, meaning that it does not require alot of preparation or devices, so it can be practiced at any time or in any situation, provided one possesses mindfulness and alertness."

Mahamudra Study and Practice Programs

We offer regular study and practice programs with emphasis on the path of Mahamudra. For ongoing and/or scheduled programs, please click here or on the following link:

In general, MMC's study and practice programs are organized into four series:
  • Jewel Ornament of Liberation - The Teachings of Gampopa
  • Moonbeams of Mahamudra - The Mahamudra Teachings of Dakpo Tashi Namgyal
  • Eliminating the Darkness of Ignorance - The Mahamudra Teachings of Wangchug Dorje
  • Songs of the Mahasiddhas - Heart Instructions from the Lineage
To see MMC's curriculum and recommended reading list, please click here or on the following link:

In Summer of 2003, Rinpoche approved a proposal for Mahamudra Meditation Center to offer the following certificate/diploma programs:
  • Meditation Teacher Certificate - Two-year minimum program involving completion of "Jewel Ornament of Liberation" and "Moonbeams of Mahamudra" and successful student teaching of 8-week "Introduction to Tibetan Meditation" class.
  • Dharma Teacher Diploma - Five-year minimum program additionally involving completion of "Eliminating the Darkness of Ignorance" and "Songs of the Mahasiddhas" and successful student teaching of 9-month class.
Please note that there are additional certificate and diploma program requirements. If interested, please contact us for further information.

For further details on nine-month programs, please see MMC's Member Meditation Manual, which is now available online at An Online Guide to Mahamudra Meditation. This is a detailed example of how a typical nine-month program is structured and facilitated.

Programs are led by Lama Thapkhay and other senior members of MMC. Since founding the center and developing and directing its activities, Lama Thapkhay received an official letter from Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche expressing thanks "from the bottom of the heart" for his sincere and genuine commitment to the practice of Mahamudra.

Summary of Historical Activities

Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche serves as the Senior Spiritual Advisor to MMC. For more information on Rinpoche and direct links to Namo Buddha Publications, please click here.

Our founding member is a Western lay Buddhist who has had a life-long interest in Mahamudra. He started studying the dharma in 1970 and has studied with leading masters of the Karma, Drukpa, and Drikung Kagyu lineages. He met Rinpoche in 1989 when Rinpoche was teaching Moonbeams of Mahamudra by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal, which has been called "one of the most important sacred texts." In 1986, this text was published in English under the title Mahamudra: The Quintessence of Mind and Meditation. Over a period of several years, Rinpoche gave extensive teachings and transmissions on this classic and a number of related texts. One evening, on a porch overlooking Lake Big Bear, he shared his thoughts. "Now that it had been translated into English, as per His Holiness's request, and the corresponding teachings have been given, as I have been doing, the most important thing is to put it into practice." It was with this idea in mind that Mahamudra Meditation Center (MMC) was established in California in 1991 as a non-profit religious corporation. Our mission is to facilitate the instruction, study, and practice of this path of awareness and kindness.

Since its inception, we have conducted annual nine-month mahamudra study and practice programs under his guidance. In addition, we have held a variety of retreats ranging anywhere from 1-to-10 days long. Texts which have served as the basis for programs include:

  • Moonbeams of Mahamudra - Dakpo Tashi Namgyal (1512-1587)
  • Eliminating the Darkness of Ignorance - Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje (1556-1603)
  • Aspiration of Mahamudra - Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje (1284-1339)
  • Jewel Ornament of Liberation - Gampopa (1074-1153)
  • Pointing-out the Dharmakaya - Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje
  • Clarifying the Natural State - Dakpo Tashi Namgyal
  • The Illusory Body - Drikungpa Dharmakirti
  • Songs of Tilopa, Naropa, and Milarepa
  • Pointing Out the Great Perfection - Dudjom Rinpoche
  • The Three Statements of Garab Dorje
  • Maha Ati - Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
  • The Cycle of Day and Night- Namkhai Norbu
  • Time, Space and Knowledge - Tarthang Tulku
  • The Heart Sutra - Commentary by Reverand Obora
  • The Song of Meditation - Hakuin Zenji

During a visit to San Francisco in 1999, we were extremely moved when Rinpoche expressed his sincere appreciation to us for practicing Mahamudra. It is only thanks to Rinpoche's kindness that we have had an opportunity to even begin to establish a glimmer of practice of Mahamudra. It is our true hope that this simple and warm expression of appreciation will serve to encourage us, and all others who are interested in this path, to genuinely and fully explore the ground, path, and fruition of Mahamudra.

Since the start, our efforts have also been strongly supported by Khenchen Könchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche, a wonderful Drikung Kagyu master. Some of our members regularly participate in his programs. His personal example and delightful teachings on Mahamudra, Bodhicitta, Jewel Ornament, Illusory Body, Chod, Medicine Buddha, Chenrezig, Tara, and Lord Jigten Sumgon's songs have been a constant source of inspiration to us. We have also felt extremely fortunate to receive his teachings and for his continuous support and guidance.

As a note of interest, most of our members are lay practitioners and so one area of focus is the integration of practice with daily life/issues. We come from every walk of life. Some members have gone on to become dharma teachers and/or have helped establish other centers in California and other States. We typically meet at a member's house in Petaluma or Sonoma, California, and occasionally rent facilities for practice space or short retreats. Beginners and experienced practitioners are welcome.

For Further Information

Please contact Peter (Lama Thapkhay) at info@mahamudracenter.org if you have any further questions.


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