In Tibet there is what we call three great views: Mahamudra, Mahamadyamika, and Maha Ati. Maha Ati, Dzogchen. And these three are the main views of Tibetan Buddhism. And any practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism belongs to one of these three. Though these three look different, the main difference is the word. And the meaning is same. But sometimes there is a little bit different focus and different angle. For example with Mahamudra the first focus is meditation, and based on experience. Based on experience, step-by-step and learning from experience. And with Maha Ati, the main focus is view. And you first try to understand the view and from the view you learn meditation. With Mahamudra the first focus is meditation, and from the focus then you automatically realize the view. Of course both are good, meaning is the same but with a little different angle. If you directly go to the view like Maha Ati, but if you don’t understand view then everything becomes wrong. So there is also risk. Mahamudra is based on meditation but if you are attached to experience then it also becomes ??. And what is Mahamadyamika? There is a little bit of difference between Madyamika and Mahamadyamika. Mahamadyamika is the main view. And with Madyamika the main focus is through the emptiness aspect. And using analytical meditation; you begin with analytical meditation. But eventually it will lead to the same as Mahamudra and Maha Ati. But just Madyamika is not necessary to become main view. Not necessary. Because if you just become like, not special for vajrayana, not necessary to become special for vajrayana.
Second difference is between sutra mahamudra – in the mahamudra there is sutra mahamudra and tantric mahamudra. Actually there are three mahamudras. Sutra mahamudra, tantra mahamudra, and essence of mahamudra. There are three. The difference between these three–for example, sutra mahamudra is the same as madyamika–but the main focus is about the mind, not all the phenomena. Very similar to zen. And the vajrayana mahamudra, the tantric mahamudra is based on prana, bindu, and nadi: working with the body and automatically realizing wisdom. And the six yogas of Naropa, and so on. And essence Mahamudra is the direct introduction of nature of mind, directly.
Now, second question. Maybe you can read second question. [translator reads question in Chinese] That depends. If the sutra mahamudra, you just practice ??, and ask question. And tantric mahamudra, first you have to have one yidam, simple yidam, then prana, bindu, nadi. And essence mahamudra, you directly go to see the buddha nature. So it depends. Directly go to nature of mind. Not just vipassana, shamata. You go directly to nature of mind.
Third question. [translator reads question in Chinese]. I already mentioned, style of mahamudra, and maha ati. Mahamudra, first shamata, and vipassana, and nature of mind. First meditation, and automatically realize view. Maha Ati, first view. Everything is so, emptiness, ~ ~ . And through that you will realize meditation.
[translator reads question in Chinese] The madyamika, you must have to practice madyamika view. Otherwise you cannot eliminate kleshas, negativity by now. So all the theravada, mahayana, vajrayana, how to eliminate negativity is based on a view of emptiness. Emptiness, based on emptiness. But of course there are many different levels of wisdom.
[reads question in Chinese] Kadamapa is from Atisha. Mahamudra is coming from Milarepa. And these two [come] together with Gampopa. So two rivers become one. In Kadamapa the main focus is about training the mind. Compassion. ?? . ?? . Karma is important. Samsara is terrible. I need to achieve nirvana. And Mahamudra is: Samsara and nirvana are one. Suffering is wisdom. Obscuration, negativity is emptiness. Little bit of contradiction. Look likes contradiction. But if this joins together it is good for us. Mahamudra is very high. Beginner cannot understand it. But Kadampa is very basic. If there is only Kadampa then the mind becomes a little bit tight. Good, bad, right, wrong. Little bit tight sometimes. So how to join together: View [should be] big as Mahamudra, but your actions follow the Kadampa. Then these two become one.
All this practice is an accumulation of merit. With all the buddha dharma, any practice, the first important [aspect] is bodhicitta. And any [actual] practice is the middle. In the end, dedicate [the merit].