Mahamudra, literally "the great gesture," is often looked upon as the highest manifestation of consciousness known within the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition. In Yoga of the Mahamudra, Will Johnson explains how it is possible to bring forth the condition of mahamudra naturally by utilizing the mystical yoga of balance to create what he calls the embodied cross.
He presents three simple yogic principles from Tilopa's Song of Mahamudra. The first principle, "do nothing with the body but relax," forms the vertical axis of the embodied cross. It is an internal process that focuses on the upright structure of the body, which opens up our relationship to the divine source. The second principle, "Let the mind cling to nothing," allows the horizontal flow of energy to our mind. This horizontal axis represents our relationship to the world: what we see and hear, and what our mind does with the objects we perceive. The establishment of these vertical and horizontal flows of energy allows us to embody the third principle, "to become like a hollow bamboo." In this way the body and mind become extraordinarily fluid, surrendering to the currents of the life forces that constantly flow through them like air through a flute. The author concludes with a number of somatic koans, exercises that allow the direct experience of balance and lead to the creation of the embodied cross.