Btw, I mean Karmapa 16
If we look into the path of Mahamudra, we can see clearly that the path of Mahamudra is "doing nothing" meditation. Mahamudra is looking at this mind barely and nakedly.
Mahamudra has nothing to with this kind of tantric visualization, and so on.
When we do a tantric practice, there is a generation step and completion stage.
The generation step is not Mahamudra practice. Because they are conflicting each other. In generation stage, we create or visual a deity. Mahamudra is a meditation that ask you please do nothing. We can see here, they are conflicting each other. In the visualization process, which is samantha, the process of visualization really create a lot of merit where it removes obscuration for omniscience. This process also help a lot in stabilize the mind during that visualization. In higher yoga tantra, the bindu, nadi, and so on are modified in such a way that the intense sense of bliss is generated.
Up to this point, this generation step do nothing in raising the realization of emptiness. There is no Mahamudra part. Again, this process is conflicting with the path of Mahamudra.
If we just stop here, this meditation, besides creating a lot of merit, it brings no realization. Only if we can use this bliss intensity in higher yoga tantra to go to the next step - completion stage, they are extremely powerful.
The completion stage is the Mahamudra stage, where all our visualiazation or sound or whatever they are, are seen as the display of mind which is empty. In this sense, vipashana. Mahamudra path then play its role by simply looking this mind nakedly. When the bliss is already so intense from the generation stage, these 2 combinations are extremely powerful.
Only people who need to do the visualiation of deity, need ceremony, such as 4 vases empowerment and so on. Because we need to enter the mandala, receive blessing from the deity, etc.
In several songs regarding Mahamudra, the visualization is actually mentioned as some sort of hindrance for Mahamudra practice
In the song of Mahamudra by Tilopa, he mentioned that:
"The practice of Mantra and Paramita,
Instruction in the Sutras and Precepts,
And teaching from the Schools and Scriptures will not bring
Realization of the Innate Truth
For if the mind when filled with some desire
Should seek a goal, it only hides the Light."
"Some are completely tortured with empowerment rites,
some always count their rosary saying hūm phat,
some consume shit, piss, blood, semen and meat,some meditate the yoga of nadi and vāyu, but all are deluded
I remember clearly that Saraha actually also mention about this visualization method as a sort of hindrance when we are doing Mahamudra, but I really forget where it is. Sorry about it. But I believe some of you may be able to find it.
It is true that there are so many Mahamudra, which are related to bindu, nadi, etc, but that is the combination of tantric practice with this Mahamudra.
Ponlop Rinpoche gives a very good article about the types of Mahamudra in this link: http://dpr.info/media/www.DPR.info-Thre ... amudra.pdf
Mahamudra is classified into 3:
1. Sutra Mahamudra
We can achieve even ten Bhumis. THere is no such things called visualization, ceremenony, etc. Extremely simple and direct.
2. Mantra Mahamudra
This is where, we need ceremony, visualization, etc, because of generation path, where we need to visualize deity.
3. Essence Mahamudra
Mahamudra through special blessing.
At the end, I just want to say that Mahamudra meditation is a meditation free from visualization, it is a direct path to realize this clear light. Can you see the conflict with Tantra - generation Path, where actually we PURPOSELY do visualization? They are conflicting each other.
They definitely can be combined, where the Mahamudra is the last part of the Completion part.