Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:14 pm

In the bone yard wrote:There is only one path, and it must be "pointed out" to us.
Then we will understand what we cannot understand intellectually and was not meant to be understood intellectually.


All Buddhists teachings have three prajñās: the prajñā of hearing, when one listens to the teachings and understands them intellectually; the prajñā of reflection, when one integrates what one has understood; and the prajñā of meditation, where the meaning one has gathered through hearing and reflection is brought to realization.

To claim that we are not meant to intellectually understand the path does not correspond with my education and training. The Tantra of the Union of the Sun and Moon states:

    Prajñā is three-fold: the prajñā of hearing severs external reification; the prajñā of reflection severs internal reification; and the prajñā of meditation severs secret reification.

Vimalamitra states:

    The characteristics of prajñā:
    The characteristic of the prajñā of hearing is a great quantity listening and understanding words without interpolation.
    The characteristic of reflection is investigating the words and meanings of the mind, and giving explanations.
    The characteristic of meditation is distancing oneself from afflictions through meditation.


We should pay respect to intellectual learning, not dismiss it.

M
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby In the bone yard » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:16 pm

I was writing in terms of the 4 (or sometimes 5) yogas of Mahamudra.
We weren't discussing sutra.

Whether it's Mahamudra or Dzogchen the path is the same after realization.
The 4 yogas of Mahamudra encompass the path before and after realization.

I couldn't agree more with respect to intellectual learning but it must be applied intelligently (to sutra not tantra).
Learning sutra doesn't mean much though if you just learn the words. It's a teaching. :smile:
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:25 pm

In the bone yard wrote:I couldn't agree more with respect to intellectual learning but it must be applied intelligently (to sutra not tantra).


It must be applied to both, that is why I cited a Dzogchen tantra as well as a Dzogchen master.

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby In the bone yard » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:57 pm

Well that's true but the tantras are teachings for those on the path (after realization).
There is outer tantra (Ngondro), but it should be taught by a lama when we are closer to the path.

And the meaning (or view) of prajna is different after realization. The true meaning of prajna won't be realized until after realization.
You might have read Chogyam Trungpa talk about prajna.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby fckw » Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:13 pm

I find it quite interesting, that none of the responses so far really said anything about the cited passages from Berzin. It's okay to criticize my limited understanding, and it might even be true that I misinterpret him - but it's a whole different category to criticize someone like Berzin on that topic. After what he has written, there clearly are several differences in Mahamudra and Dzogchen. And that's the original question of this thread. If you don't agree, go on, point out Berzin's mistakes on that topic. I am eager to learn more about this.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:37 pm

In the bone yard wrote:Well that's true but the tantras are teachings for those on the path (after realization).
There is outer tantra (Ngondro), but it should be taught by a lama when we are closer to the path.

And the meaning (or view) of prajna is different after realization. The true meaning of prajna won't be realized until after realization.
You might have read Chogyam Trungpa talk about prajna.


There are two kinds of prajñā, contaminated, and pure. The former exists in common practitioners, the latter in realized practitioners.

As for this distinction:

Well that's true but the tantras are teachings for those on the path (after realization).
There is outer tantra (Ngondro), but it should be taught by a lama when we are closer to the path.


The path of Varjayāna is taught so that a common, ordinary person can traverses all the paths and stages in a single life, and ideally, within the rite of empowerment itself, or at least so I have been taught (I am someone who has done a three year retreat).
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby smcj » Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:46 pm

Malcolm wrote:The path of Varjayāna is taught so that a common, ordinary person can traverses all the paths and stages in a single life, and ideally, within the rite of empowerment itself, or at least so I have been taught (I am someone who has done a three year retreat).

If this is not too personal a question, may I ask in which tradition you practiced in your retreat? For some reason I have the impression it was Sakya. But if it is too personal, never mind.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby In the bone yard » Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:52 pm

Within the rite of empowerment itself, yes.
Otherwise how can we understand something that transcends the mind?

I reserve further comment since we are getting off base here as the last poster pointed out.
My apologies to the original poster. :smile:
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:25 pm

smcj wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The path of Varjayāna is taught so that a common, ordinary person can traverses all the paths and stages in a single life, and ideally, within the rite of empowerment itself, or at least so I have been taught (I am someone who has done a three year retreat).

If this is not too personal a question, may I ask in which tradition you practiced in your retreat? For some reason I have the impression it was Sakya. But if it is too personal, never mind.



Yes, it was in Sakya. Most of my training in Sutra and Tantra is in the Sakya school. The rest in Nyingma.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:27 pm

In the bone yard wrote:Within the rite of empowerment itself, yes.
Otherwise how can we understand something that transcends the mind?


If you do not attain awakening during empowerment, then you have sadhana practice, cause that's what it is for, i.e., sadhopaya, "method of accomplishment".
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:59 pm

fckw wrote:Claiming that the two systems are "basically the same" is therefore only true on a superficial level, but not in terms of various aspects of the practice - at least for the Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug-Systems. Unfortunately, Berzin does not elaborate on the Bons or the Nyingmas.


It seems to me all Berzin says is that Dzogchen deals only with rigpa while Anuttarayogatantra's clear light is a more inclusive term. That is, while AYT encompasses the Dzogchen teachings, that's not true the other way around. However, Mahamudra has more than one meaning or one interpretation, and that's not addressed in Berzin's article at all. On the other hand, previously there were several quotes given right from the beginning of this thread how the view of Dzogchen and Mahamudra can be the same.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:04 pm

fckw wrote:I find it quite interesting, that none of the responses so far really said anything about the cited passages from Berzin. It's okay to criticize my limited understanding, and it might even be true that I misinterpret him - but it's a whole different category to criticize someone like Berzin on that topic. After what he has written, there clearly are several differences in Mahamudra and Dzogchen. And that's the original question of this thread. If you don't agree, go on, point out Berzin's mistakes on that topic. I am eager to learn more about this.
I already answered your question here. Astus also answered it saying almost exactly the same thing. What do you want? A third opinion?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby thigle » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:08 am

One possible task: Don't focus anything. But now you focus "non-focusing". Why? Because you make a concept and thing out of "don't focus anything". Why? Because there's an expectation, who want's something from "don't focus anything". This is "grasping". Grasping is artificial conceptualisation, artificial conceptualisation is reification, and if there's grasping, there's "something" like "non-focusing'nes". It's like anything "behind", it's like an "entity" which "monitors all". It's like a "big brother", reified identified with "non-focusing".

If you focus on "non-focusing", this artificial conceptualisation tend's to a reified "state" of consciousness. Every "state" of consciousness is impermanent, therefore it carries the germ of suffering in itself. What do to? Stop "non-focusing", ergo stop "non-focusing'nes". Cry: Stop! Interrupt this artificial focus. You can't stop, because you are afraid, you can't "see something", what you expect from doing "don'focus anything"? That's grasping, that's the "big brother", that's ignorance. Great, you detect it once again. At some point one has enough.

You stop "practice" and "non-practice", neither distracted yet focused. So what you will be left? Naturaly relaxed, neither as "practice" nor "nonpractise" - as a self-obvious fact, not constructed, not "made" by anything or anyone. Now, transparency/knowledge is self-obvious.

"Self-obvious" doesn't mean "automatic". 'It's just without any need for an extra artificial knowledge-focus like this: "Transparency is self-obvious". You can't tell "from where" immediate knowledge comes from, because it doesn't matter from itself from where it comes from. The fact that "it doesn't matter" is immediate "knowledge", not to distinct from what appears, therefore everything is obviously transparent and insubstantial, primordially without any base.

When i talk with "mahamudra-disciples", I have the impression, that most of them "practice" non-focusing. And they believe, that's the "ultimate point". But it's only ignorance. When i talk with "semde/longde-context-dzogchen-disciples", I have the impression, that some of them "practice" non-focusing to. And they believe, that's the "ultimate point". But it's only ignorance. When i speak with "menngagde-context-dzogchen-disciples", I have the impression, that most of them neither "practice" nor "non-practice".


(Sincerely, "sorry for my bad spoken english")
This is the time of Kaliyuga, the time of great degeneration
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby muni » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:54 am

:namaste:

"If, when relaxed completely, one observes what happens, this very act in itself produces strength".
— Jetsun Milarepa

Sure, this is not the conceptual mind observing solid things, nor going blank.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby tobes » Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:00 pm

thigle wrote:When i talk with "mahamudra-disciples", I have the impression, that most of them "practice" non-focusing. And they believe, that's the "ultimate point". But it's only ignorance. When i talk with "semde/longde-context-dzogchen-disciples", I have the impression, that some of them "practice" non-focusing to. And they believe, that's the "ultimate point". But it's only ignorance. When i speak with "menngagde-context-dzogchen-disciples", I have the impression, that most of them neither "practice" nor "non-practice".


(Sincerely, "sorry for my bad spoken english")


And what kind of status do your 'impressions' have? Are they neither practice nor non-practice?

:anjali:
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby muni » Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:46 pm

Silence is teaching.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby thigle » Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:43 pm

muni wrote::namaste:

"If, when relaxed completely, one observes what happens, this very act in itself produces strength".
— Jetsun Milarepa

Sure, this is not the conceptual mind observing solid things, nor going blank.


I'm not sure. Maybe. But he's dead, therefore I can't ask him the question, what he really meant with this sentence, because it's not about "to be naturaly relaxed" in a "reified" way. It's not about doing or practicing "to be naturaly relaxed". It's not about "to remain" naturaly relaxed. But some people do that in perfection. Therefore they believe, they are "naturaly relaxed" and that's the big goal. As I said in the text before, such a "reified non-practice" tends to a special "state" of consciousness. Now the disciple maybe think: "It's really the big goal, because of my true "natural relaxation", there's some-"thing" like "clarity" or "bliss" or "openness" or "nothingness" or whatever. But his "clarity", "bliss" or "openness" or "nothingness" or whatever are only reified concepts, based on grasping/ignorance. All of this is really different from the terms "naturally relaxed"or "naturally loosed", I meant in the context of the last text. What sounds the same, may also be different.

Another point is "thögal", which you can not find in mahamudra, maybe because mahamudra content sounds like dzogchen, but in fact it's different, with different "output". Why thögal is imporant? Even if immediate transparency/knowledge is obvious, for the senses it does not appear in that way. Metaphor to understand: If you put a straw in a glas of water, the straw appears broken, even if you know, that the straw isn't broken. With "thögal", "the straw appears the senses in the exact way". That's important, because if "the straw is out of the water and appears in the exact way", there's no chance for the "big brother-concept" to conceal transparency/knowledge. But I have discussed this topic enough in a german buddhist-forum, therefore that's all what I wanna say.

(Sincerely, "sorry for my bad spoken english")
This is the time of Kaliyuga, the time of great degeneration
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:41 pm

thigle wrote:Another point is "thögal", which you can not find in mahamudra...


Not so fast, Kimosabe. My recent studies of Kalacakra and sadaṇgayoga have caused me to revise my opinion about this.

Please examine Ornament of Stainless Light by Norsang Kalsang Gyatso, the section on the daytime withdrawal yoga.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby heart » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:06 pm

Malcolm wrote:
thigle wrote:Another point is "thögal", which you can not find in mahamudra...


Not so fast, Kimosabe. My recent studies of Kalacakra and sadaṇgayoga have caused me to revise my opinion about this.

Please examine Ornament of Stainless Light by Norsang Kalsang Gyatso, the section on the daytime withdrawal yoga.


Could you elaborate a little Malcolm?

/magnus
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby conebeckham » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:15 pm

..while you're at it, maybe talk a bit about Illusory body in DuKhor and it's relation to Togal and the Body of Light?

If that's not asking too much.....ha!
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