Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:38 pm

heart wrote:
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



Well, familiar terms jump out like "gaze at a garland of thigles in cloudless space" and so on.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby heart » Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:34 am

Malcolm wrote:

Well, familiar terms jump out like "gaze at a garland of thigles in cloudless space" and so on.


So, thögal in tantric mahamudra?

/magnus
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby udawa » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:35 am

heart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:

Well, familiar terms jump out like "gaze at a garland of thigles in cloudless space" and so on.


So, thögal in tantric mahamudra?

/magnus


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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby mutsuk » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:58 am

heart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:

Well, familiar terms jump out like "gaze at a garland of thigles in cloudless space" and so on.


So, thögal in tantric mahamudra?

/magnus

In the Kalacakra daytime yoga. But there you don't have similar visionary developments (at least they are not using the scheme of the 4 visions, etc.).
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Simon E. » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:00 am

mutsuk wrote:
heart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:

Well, familiar terms jump out like "gaze at a garland of thigles in cloudless space" and so on.


So, thögal in tantric mahamudra?

/magnus

In the Kalacakra daytime yoga. But there you don't have similar visionary developments (at least they are not using the scheme of the 4 visions, etc.).

:good:
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby thigle » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:43 am

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.


Link to some sections: Ornament of Stainless Light. Thank's for this text. You're right, it sounds in a way like "thögal". But if people look at the sky for a while, some "visions" appear for everybody, even if there is "one-pointed-concentration", therefore an artificial focus. It's not only about "visions" as you know. Are these "visions" the immediate "expression" of knowledge/transparency? Are they really "self-originated" in a non-reified way? If there is any "artificial focus", I said no. It's hard to detect, if one "practice" or "remain in" "looking at the sky" and calls it "natural", or if one looking at the sky, like one looking at the sky, therefore neither distracted nor focused. This gives you two different "outputs". One is called "ignorance", one is called "knowledge". In the end, for me it's not about "dzogchen vs. mahamudra", because I'm not in any way sectarian.


(Sincerely "sorry for my bad english")
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby thigle » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:51 pm

mutsuk wrote:
heart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:

Well, familiar terms jump out like "gaze at a garland of thigles in cloudless space" and so on.


So, thögal in tantric mahamudra?

/magnus

In the Kalacakra daytime yoga. But there you don't have similar visionary developments (at least they are not using the scheme of the 4 visions, etc.).


No similar visionary developments like in "thögal", maybe because there's "grasping", which interrupts such visionary developments, therefore this "daytime yoga" produces a different "artificial output", as I said before. And if there's no "visionary development" like in "thögal", pure visions are never "mixed up" with the environment (and body). Therefore "the straw appears the senses in a glas of water".


(Sincerely "sorry for my bad english")
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby mutsuk » Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:30 pm

In the Kalacakra daytime and nighttime yogas, the so-called "visions" are not described as "visions" but as signs (rtags). They are not associated with the dynamism of Awreness (rig-pa'i rtsal), but rather with the winds of the elements. They are not associated with the arising of the wisdom wind but rather with the insertion of the winds inside the central channel. Tsongkhapa has an interesting text on the subject. Klongchenpa criticized the insertion of the winds into the central channel as a cause for problems. For him this is clearly no thogel at all.

Furthermore, you have some similar sky-gazing practice in the Prajnaparamita literature, as explained by Tsongkhapa, and moreover, in Bon you have the entire allegory of the long-beak bird (the allegory containing the 52 key-points of Thogel) in one text of the Bon Prajnaparamita.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:40 pm

mutsuk wrote:In the Kalacakra daytime and nighttime yogas, the so-called "visions" are not described as "visions" but as signs (rtags).


Tagtsang Lotsawa makes the argument, and a very interesting one at that -- he asserts that if wisdom is not the basis, the visions of pratyāhāra will not arise. He then states it is because wisdom is merged with emptiness that the visions can arise:

    "Great bliss and empty forms [śunyatābimba, stong gzugs] are shown to exist in the basis with this wisdom element of the basis [gzhi]...and it is established through the citation of the root text and commentary of “wisdom merged into emptiness." The reasoning is that it is because the visions of the empty forms when mediating on withdrawal [pratyāhāra, so sor sdud pa] and so on will therefore be without a cause."

I find this to be a credible account for explaining the genesis of thogal visions as well.

Mipham states in his commentary on the Wisdom Chapter of Kalacakra (as translated by Ives Waldo):

    Depending on the great perfection, the path of thod rgal is still a procedure of the completion stage that involves effort. In general establishing the kāya of illusion etc. teaches the display [rtsal] of the illusory body, a teaching which also arises in the father tantras and in the mother tantras. Depending on bliss and bindu, it is taught relying on luminous display. In the Dzogchen tantras there is insight from emptiness the natural state, the wisdom of reality. From mere direct resting in luminous appearance, the conventions of the illusory body etc. are taught.

    In all these [teachings], by practicing the intrinsic radiance of the luminous nature of mind as the special pith of the quick path of mantra, both dharmakāya and rūpakāya, in their respective ways are made into real objects, and one seems to enter into them. However, by the distinction of [this experience] having or not having subtle contaminations of karmic prā.na, whichever it may be, there is the ultimate of all completion stages, the effortless great perfection, the secret path of the Oral Instruction Class, up to the four appearances of thod rgal, with paths ever higher and higher, the vast way of attaining truth that cannot be taken away. There is that explanation, but it is not presented by many writings.


I agree that the daytime yoga in Kalacakra is not thogal, but they even describe buddhaforms showing up in the center of thigles, use of postures and gazes, etc.

Of course there are differences in the two systems, but it is my present opinion (which could change tomorrow based on some reliably datable text) that it is unlikely that thogal developed until after the Kalacakra was introduced to Tibet (1027). My speculation is that these entopic visions were given a context by the elaborate internal anatomy presented in Kalacakra, and this was further developed by yogis in Dzogchen circles.
Last edited by Malcolm on Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Jikan » Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:13 pm

Sorry to go temporarily off-topic, but if anyone can direct me to a copy of the translation of Mipham's commentary on the Kalacakra that Malcolm just referenced, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:27 pm

Jikan wrote:Sorry to go temporarily off-topic, but if anyone can direct me to a copy of the translation of Mipham's commentary on the Kalacakra that Malcolm just referenced, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thank you.



If you participated in the recent Longsal Kalacakra, you can apply for membership in the international kalacakra website and you can find it there among the restricted texts.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby mutsuk » Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:38 pm

Malcolm wrote:Of course there are differences in the two systems, but it is my present opinion (which could change tomorrow based on some reliably datable text) that it is unlikely that thogal developed until after the Kalacakra was introduced to Tibet (1027). My speculation is that these entopic visions were given a context by the elaborate internal anatomy presented in Kalacakra, and this was further developed by yogis in Dzogchen circles.

Both Geluk and Jonang authors concur in saying that the source of the night-time and day-time yogas is in the Prajnaparamita. It's the same in Bon.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:03 pm

mutsuk wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Of course there are differences in the two systems, but it is my present opinion (which could change tomorrow based on some reliably datable text) that it is unlikely that thogal developed until after the Kalacakra was introduced to Tibet (1027). My speculation is that these entopic visions were given a context by the elaborate internal anatomy presented in Kalacakra, and this was further developed by yogis in Dzogchen circles.

Both Geluk and Jonang authors concur in saying that the source of the night-time and day-time yogas is in the Prajnaparamita. It's the same in Bon.



We will see what the Sakyapas have to say about it when I get that far.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:40 pm

heart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:

Well, familiar terms jump out like "gaze at a garland of thigles in cloudless space" and so on.


So, thögal in tantric mahamudra?

/magnus


Yes, so it seems.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:32 pm

Malcolm wrote:
heart wrote:So, thögal in tantric mahamudra?

Yes, so it seems.


Interesting. I have always had this impression that thögal with its channels and visions is a "step back" to tantra from the direct simplicity of trekchö and mahamudra.
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“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
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Does marvelous nature and spirit
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This face, the face at birth."

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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:37 pm

Astus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
heart wrote:So, thögal in tantric mahamudra?

Yes, so it seems.


Interesting. I have always had this impression that thögal with its channels and visions is a "step back" to tantra from the direct simplicity of trekchö and mahamudra.



The problem I have always had articulating the unique feature of Vajrayāna view to you sutra guys is precisely summed above: wisdom merged into emptiness is the basis [sthana, gzhi], and this is what accounts for the visions in both Dzochen [klong sde and man ngag sde] as well as Kalacakra.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:58 am

Malcolm wrote:The problem I have always had articulating the unique feature of Vajrayāna view to you sutra guys is precisely summed above: wisdom merged into emptiness is the basis [sthana, gzhi], and this is what accounts for the visions in both Dzochen [klong sde and man ngag sde] as well as Kalacakra.


But that's only those two systems. And even in thogal the fourth vision is the total dissolution, like going through creation and completion stages again. Mahamudra is complete with non-meditation, and there is no point in repeating the whole process of mandalas, mantras and buddhas based on the final realisation. So, I don't think I base my understanding on sutra, since that's how it looks like to me in Vajrayana.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby anjali » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:04 am

Malcolm wrote:The problem I have always had articulating the unique feature of Vajrayāna view to you sutra guys is precisely summed above: wisdom merged into emptiness is the basis [sthana, gzhi], and this is what accounts for the visions in both Dzochen [klong sde and man ngag sde] as well as Kalacakra.


Hm. I think the thing that some people wonder is whether, when wisdom is merged into emptiness, the visions will arise naturally/spontaneously, without further "effort". Expressed in a somewhat different way, one could ask, even though wisdom is merged into emptiness, is the path somehow incomplete? One still needs to recognize the nature of the expression, and that is where the visions come in, no?
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:05 am

Astus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The problem I have always had articulating the unique feature of Vajrayāna view to you sutra guys is precisely summed above: wisdom merged into emptiness is the basis [sthana, gzhi], and this is what accounts for the visions in both Dzochen [klong sde and man ngag sde] as well as Kalacakra.


But that's only those two systems. And even in thogal the fourth vision is the total dissolution, like going through creation and completion stages again. Mahamudra is complete with non-meditation, and there is no point in repeating the whole process of mandalas, mantras and buddhas based on the final realisation. So, I don't think I base my understanding on sutra, since that's how it looks like to me in Vajrayana.


Its not only those two systems, it is merely articulated most clearly in those two systems.

Also Astus, the four yogas are sūtra mahāmudra. If you do not practice the completion stage, mahāmudra according to the upadeṥas is a slow path, or so it is asserted by the Sakyapas. This is the reason why vase breath is used extensively even in so called sems sde.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:31 am

Malcolm wrote:Its not only those two systems, it is merely articulated most clearly in those two systems.


You mean you know some teachings from other schools too that give similar methods?

Also Astus, the four yogas are sūtra mahāmudra. If you do not practice the completion stage, mahāmudra according to the upadeṥas is a slow path, or so it is asserted by the Sakyapas. This is the reason why vase breath is used extensively even in so called sems sde.


Yes, the criticism of the White Self-Sufficient Remedy. But from the Dagpo Kagyu perspective, the path of liberation is as valid as the path of transformation, and both are transmitted without putting one above the other. And I'm not trying to prove anyone's right here, there are enough versions of Dharma to satisfy all needs. I'd rather like to understand the reason behind considering the appearance of drops and buddhas - that result in their return to the natural state anyway - is the necessary next step.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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