Jes Bertelsen?

Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators

Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby heart » Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:43 pm

LhodroeRapsal wrote:Because I would like to understand how the understanding of consciousness presented in this book by Jes Bertelsen is related with the understanding in classical Dzogchen. I meantioned in a previous post that Bertelsen originally (in the mid seventies) started categorizing his own and others experiences within the Theosophical/Vedanta understanding that divides the levels of existence into seven levels, and he still uses these levels.

These levels are:
1)Physical
2)Etheral/prana/vital energy
3)Astral/emotional
4)Mental/typical dual ego consciousness

The first four levels are sometimes catagorized as the 'outer' levels, because the mindstream is identified with the outgoing mindflow that includes the idea of ouside objects (outside is also ideas, selfimages and feelings).

5)Spiritual sphere
6)Sphere of joint consciousness
7)Sphere of unity consciousness (also what he names Rigpa)

The last three are levels where the mindstream starts recognizing a inward flow toward the source of everything. Each level has often a kind of initiation that indicates a deepening of this recognition. This is why these levels sometimes are called the 'inner' or 'higher' levels.

From what I understand from Jes Bertelsen many people when they recieve a pointing out instruction from a realized master they do not recognize the seventh level, Rigpa, that is actually extremely rare. Many people don't see the fifth level, but often mainly see a higher formless silent aspect of the fourth level that is in between thoughts.


Hi Henrik,

For sure these levels have nothing to do with Dzogchen. Also in my experience there is no levels of direct introduction, either you get it or not. This recognition of the natural state can be very short or longer but the most probable long experience is the three experiences of non-thought, clarity and bliss. I think, from my own experience, there is a big possibility to mix things up there. Also, after getting direct introduction it is quite possible to feel like you loose it completely. This is why we need a qualified Guru and continuous teachings from him/her.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
User avatar
heart
 
Posts: 3097
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby LhodroeRapsal » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:20 pm

Thank you Barney for your summing the thread up so excellent. I don't agree with that the examination so far has been thorough enough to conclude that the root are different (I will gladly find more precise quotes about what he says about the root in other books, if you are curious about them). I also disagree about what you say that the later books just are saying the same, true the essence is the same (but have we really examined what Jes Bertelsen in essence is saying, and how is that done?) but the way it is presented is different and more elaborated eg. the terminology from Dzogchen is much more present - so it is meant for another type of readers, and I find that is a significant difference.

heart wrote:For sure these levels have nothing to do with Dzogchen. Also in my experience there is no levels of direct introduction, either you get it or not. This recognition of the natural state can be very short or longer but the most probable long experience is the three experiences of non-thought, clarity and bliss. I think, from my own experience, there is a big possibility to mix things up there. Also, after getting direct introduction it is quite possible to feel like you loose it completely. This is why we need a qualified Guru and continuous teachings from him/her.


Thank you for your reply Magnus. I find this very interesting.
I think I have misquoted Jes Bertelsen about the pointing out and the levels of direct introduction.
Jes Bertelsen distinguishes between at least two different levels of teaching within his students. He usually doesn't give dzogchen teachings and associated pointing outs before you have had a deep intensive continuous meditation practice for many years and have done longer retreats, but it is somewhat unclear to me what the actual criteria are before you receive this deeper training. In the training level before, which I know of and have attended the last eight years, he teaches a kind of preliminary pointing out in which he points out that which he calls bidirectional consciousness (Erik Pema Kunsang actually has a comment in the notes (nr. 16) on this preliminary way in the book called 'Bevidstheden inderste - Dzogchen' by Jes Bertelsen) and this is combined with a basic preliminary training in meditation somewhat similar to shamatha, cultivation of heart feelings, existential attitudes, energy exercises, body and breathing awareness.

The preliminary bidirectional pointing outs (if you can call it that) is a way where he points the students towards how to examine nonverbally a looking/feeling towards the source of the mind, and from that attitude and arrangement the student is just resting in or listening towards wakefulness itself.

Bidirectional consciousness means that consciousness remembers itself, remembers the thinker while observing a thought, remembers the observer during the observation. Bidirectional consciousness means being open to the source of consciousness, aware of both magnetic poles in the field of subject-object experience.

Bertelsen, Jes (2013-06-04). Essence of Mind: An Approach to Dzogchen (p. 10).

In time, the mirroring observation that does not say yes or no spontaneously expands into a state of nondiscriminating awareness. Bidirectional consciousness gradually becomes clearer and clearer. One direction is the ordinary form and direction of consciousness: judging, focusing, being active and verbal. The other direction is toward the naked essence of consciousness. Bidirectional consciousness is a way to describe this openness.

Bertelsen, Jes (2013-06-04). Essence of Mind: An Approach to Dzogchen (pp. 15-16).

You might get the impression that this is a model with two poles or two directions, one pointing into the world (judgment , focusing, activity, language— samsara) and one pointing away from the world toward the divine (neutral observation , defocusing, etc.— nirvana). However, this is not the idea. That kind of polar, dualistic model would be a classic example of a prioritized and focused use of ordinary consciousness.
Transcendence— the realization of naked awareness— is equidistant from both poles. Put differently: the two descriptive columns are equally valid expressions of naked nondual consciousness. Just as the ocean is not more oceanlike in the waves than it is in a calm surface, so essential consciousness is not closer to neutral observation or bidirectional consciousness than to the focused and choosing consciousness. However, it is usually not possible for us human beings to realize nondual consciousness, just like that, directly from and with the focused, choosing, active, verbal consciousness. Only the slow process of many years of wordless prayer and meditative deepening at different levels creates the practical reality for this realization to bloom and mature. The divine presence is no closer in the quiet bidirectional consciousness than in the busy focused consciousness . But it is extremely unlikely that the busy, focused, and restless consciousness can awaken. On the other hand, it is much more likely that the quiet, well -trained, and open consciousness, with a crucial bit of help from on high, can awaken to a nondual realization. The cosmos, so to speak, cannot get through to the busy, active consciousness.

Bertelsen, Jes (2013-06-04). Essence of Mind: An Approach to Dzogchen (pp. 17-18).

The idea, as I understand it, is that bidirectional consciousness opens up a towards a more calm, balanced, wider and deeper state of mind and where recognition of the natural state is more likely to happen at first. But Jes Bertelsen distinguishes this bidirectional instruction from the instruction where there is established a true recognition of the natural state. So I think it is mainly in the bidirectional 'pointing out' instructions that Jes Bertelsen finds it relevant to distinguish between levels of insight. Jes Bertelsen agrees with that regards to Rigpa you either 'get it' or you don't. And when there has been a true recognition of the natural state, from then the training are more directed towards increasing frequency, stabilization and recognizing this natural state in all kind of different moments in life (I have quotations about this further down).

This discussion about levels or nor reminds me of the distinction between the relative and the absolute perspective. From a analytical perspective it seems natural, at least for me and my studies so far, that before you actually 'get it' some kind of 'purifying'-process often happens which often deepens a intuitive understanding that the dualistic mindset is wrong (or incomplete), and this intuition or purification makes the mind more transparent, receptive and soft for its capacity of recognizing its natural state.
If there are no similar distinction like the described levels at all in Dzogchen and its preliminaries, or in the general Buddhadharma, then it is truly in deep conflict with Jes Bertelsens teachingperspective. But I thought the perspective in the Dharma on development and completion stages was about this specific matter, and that there were the levels that are relevant in the development stage with the preliminary practice like ngondro but not in the completion stage - but this my own reflections and ways of trying to loosely translate into matters where my knowledge still is sparse.

The spiritual (the three inner levels of consciousness) is more an attitude than it is any particular content. There are no experiences that are inherently spiritual, whether they are transpersonal experiences or visions of different kinds. It is more one’s attitude to such experiences, and toward the events of everyday life, that may be understood as spiritual. But it would probably be even more precise to say that spirit, understood as the higher consciousness that is hidden by ordinary consciousness, is a kind of perspective or a way of looking.

Bertelsen, Jes (2013-06-04). Essence of Mind: An Approach to Dzogchen (p. 64).

Let’s imagine that consciousness and the mind is a vast and complex labyrinth. There are thousands of rooms... Every door leads to a new modification of consciousness : astral dimensions, trance states, hypnotic states, experiences of flowing vivacity and radiant energy; every variation of every kind of experience can be found in this vast labyrinth of the mind of life. Let us assume that only one door— and by the way, it is a completely anonymous door— opens entirely out of the labyrinth and into transdual unity consciousness. This ultimate door to freedom is always open just a crack, but it doesn’t look like much, next to all the golden and aesthetically harmonious and beautiful doors around it.
That very moment, when an individual is standing right in front of the open door of freedom, that moment is the first initiation. Light is pouring in through the door, numinosity, love. It is this sparkle of luminosity from the opening to freedom’s infinity that gives the teacher the pulsating energy aura of organized bands of color and insight. And it is the condition of eternity focused in the door opening that gives consciousness the sense that there is a teacher present. Which at this level is quite true. After a while, the door again closes almost all the way. And the individual then spends years in further integration and training, wordless prayer and meditation, to assimilate spirituality in his or her existential process of transformation.
And suddenly, one day, for a brief moment the door is open again, and the individual is right in front of it, on that elastic spot where the leap can happen. For a split second consciousness is outside, is free. The next split second, the person is inside again, in the dualistic labyrinth, but then once again the door is just barely open and the moment is gone. In this second initiation, the individual has not yet gained control over the exit. Everything went so fast that consciousness did not have time to orient itself and register what was going on, and how it happened. But the perspective inside the life-labyrinth has changed. ...
In the third initiation, our person has once again been transported outside. But this time, metaphorically speaking, it is happening in slow motion. Consciousness is now able to follow the unfolding of events; it discovers exactly how it is positioned and oriented on the elastic spot in front of the humble door. Consciousness observes what it is that makes the door open ... And the movement itself, through the door and out into freedom, happens with so much awareness that this path and this mechanism from now on become conscious and volitional. After a while, consciousness is back again in the duality of the labyrinth of life. But from now on the individual can initiate this movement by himself and on his own...
The strange door in this metaphor has the special property that inside it, the difference between being inside and outside is unimaginably vast. But outside the humble door there is simply no difference between outside and inside.

This is the point and the event that signify the beginning of the process of enlightenment. After this event, the individual first practices bringing his or her consciousness— in glimpses and moments, anywhere and everywhere— to transduality. After a while, consciousness begins to feel familiar with this process. And the individual slowly discovers that the nondual glimpses lengthen and become transdual states. Usually, this process takes years. In time, consciousness becomes able to rest stably in its own essence. This stabilization, too, takes years and years of practice and existential transformation.
The method of training here is quite simple: it consists of being still, of doing nothing and leaving all processes and all things to themselves.
In the enlightenment process itself, there are only two motives. One stems from the spontaneous compassion with those living beings that have not yet discovered their divine essence. This motive results in a spontaneous learning process, with the goal of helping others acquire insight into transdual consciousness. And insight of this nature can only be transmitted in a context of kindness and love. The second motive in the enlightenment process is the spontaneous urge, again and again, to let consciousness rest in its source.

Bertelsen, Jes (2013-06-04). Essence of Mind: An Approach to Dzogchen (p. 54-57).

Sincerely
Henrik
User avatar
LhodroeRapsal
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:59 pm

Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby heart » Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:40 pm

LhodroeRapsal wrote:This discussion about levels or nor reminds me of the distinction between the relative and the absolute perspective. From a analytical perspective it seems natural, at least for me and my studies so far, that before you actually 'get it' some kind of 'purifying'-process often happens which often deepens a intuitive understanding that the dualistic mindset is wrong (or incomplete), and this intuition or purification makes the mind more transparent, receptive and soft for its capacity of recognizing its natural state.
If there are no similar distinction like the described levels at all in Dzogchen and its preliminaries, or in the general Buddhadharma, then it is truly in deep conflict with Jes Bertelsens teachingperspective. But I thought the perspective in the Dharma on development and completion stages was about this specific matter, and that there were the levels that are relevant in the development stage with the preliminary practice like ngondro but not in the completion stage - but this my own reflections and ways of trying to loosely translate into matters where my knowledge still is sparse.


You know Henrik I know nothing about Jes and his methods. What I know about Dzogchen is that even if ngondro is called a preliminary it really isn't a preliminary to pointing-out/direct introduction even if some Lamas do it like that. But not Tulku Urgyen nor any of his sons do it like that. Like this summer CNR gave an amazing Dzogchen teaching to anyone that showed up, no restrictions or strings attached. In the family style of teaching you don't do ngondro for getting to some other level of teaching, you do it for your own benefit. Ngondro is easy to integrate with resting in the natural state and it contains a number of practices that all are essentially Guru yoga and have the spin-off effect to generate the circumstances that will make us do the most out of this life, from a practice point of view of course. To do ngondro, a sadhana and integrating it with resting in the natural state at the same time is something completely normal. Truly, the only levels I really noticed in our tradition is the levels of intellectual understanding and maturation of getting used to the natural state and that is really something private. The teachings seems to be happening rather haphazardly in general in the Tibetan tradition and I know many beginners that got really high teachings because they just happened to be there. :smile:

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
User avatar
heart
 
Posts: 3097
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby LhodroeRapsal » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:49 pm

You know Henrik I know nothing about Jes and his methods. What I know about Dzogchen is that even if ngondro is called a preliminary it really isn't a preliminary to pointing-out/direct introduction even if some Lamas do it like that. But not Tulku Urgyen nor any of his sons do it like that. Like this summer CNR gave an amazing Dzogchen teaching to anyone that showed up, no restrictions or strings attached. In the family style of teaching you don't do ngondro for getting to some other level of teaching, you do it for your own benefit. Ngondro is easy to integrate with resting in the natural state and it contains a number of practices that all are essentially Guru yoga and have the spin-off effect to generate the circumstances that will make us do the most out of this life, from a practice point of view of course. To do ngondro, a sadhana and integrating it with resting in the natural state at the same time is something completely normal. Truly, the only levels I really noticed in our tradition is the levels of intellectual understanding and maturation of getting used to the natural state and that is really something private. The teachings seems to be happening rather haphazardly in general in the Tibetan tradition and I know many beginners that got really high teachings because they just happened to be there. :smile:


Thank you for that Magnus for your kind reminder of this summer :smile: and your elaboration on how the preliminaries actually are seen and integrated with the natural state. It touches me just to think of the events this summer at Gomde. I am extremely grateful for those teachings and the ones I received in Nepal last year with CNR. I remember Erik saying that it is the first time, that there are no restrictions or strings attached, and even for beginners - like me - were welcome, at such a high teaching. I find that very remarkable and freeing, and some might say alarming that the times now are like that - but I am deeply grateful for being there, and I very much hope and is aiming at being there next summer.

I could imagine why it is Jes Bertelsen isn't giving high teachings in crowds, partly because he has to follow they way of giving the high teachings more strictly because he is a western newcomer in the lineage that even has been given permission to teach the preliminaries in another way, and partly because Jes Bertelsen style of teaching is very sober and careful, and he also wants to teach the students to be sober in their own practice and worldview as well. Sometimes it is a bit too much soberness for my personal temper but I understand why he puts so much emphasis on this, because he wants to avoid selfdelusion and new age ideas. And that approach might be very needed especially when he doesn't directly teach the buddhadharma view.

As far as I know from his books, Jes Bertelsen teaches in a direct dialogue with the more advanced students, where in the teachings in the bigger crowds with hundreds of people he is more careful with what he introduces. I don't know for sure if the pointing out he gives in the big crowds are any different from the ones he gives on more advanced retreats - but the mutual dialogue in receiving the pointing outs is of course very different, and he doesn't teach Trekcho or Thogal to the bigger crowds, as far as I know.

I can try to find some references in other of Jes Bertelsens books that deals more specifically with the above topic if anyone wants that.

Sincerely
Henrik
User avatar
LhodroeRapsal
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:59 pm

Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby Barney Fife » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:43 am

Namaskar,

From Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche’s book, “Rainbow Paintings” p.120:
"Some people believe that they should just keep on meditating, and
someday their egg will hatch and they will fly out of the shell and ascend
to a completely different level. Actually, it’s not like that at all. We should
not think, “The awakened state must be something really special. If I
practice this long enough, one day a door will open and I will see it and all
the qualities will pour into me.” It’s pointless to have this kind of attitude.

If we really want something spectacular, we will indeed have opportunities
for that, in what is called the ‘temporary meditation moods’ of
bliss, clarity and nonthought. These can occur, but such sensational
experiences do not help to cut through thoughts. On the contrary, they
generate even more fixation
because we start to think, “Wow! What is
that? This must be it!”. Many subsequent thoughts arise in response to the
fascination with these experiences.
"

Lhodroe Rapsel wrote:
From Jes Bertelsen (2013-06-04). Essence of Mind: An Approach to Dzogchen (p. 54-57):

"Let us assume that only one door— and by the way, it is a completely anonymous door— opens entirely out of the labyrinth and into transdual unity consciousness. This ultimate door to freedom is always open just a crack, but it doesn’t look like much, next to all the golden and aesthetically harmonious and beautiful doors around it.
That very moment, when an individual is standing right in front of the open door of freedom, that moment is the first initiation. Light is pouring in through the door, numinosity, love.
It is this sparkle of luminosity from the opening to freedom’s infinity that gives the teacher the pulsating energy aura of organized bands of color and insight. And it is the condition of eternity focused in the door opening that gives consciousness the sense that there is a teacher present. Which at this level is quite true. After a while, the door again closes almost all the way. And the individual then spends years in further integration and training, wordless prayer and meditation, to assimilate spirituality in his or her existential process of transformation.
And suddenly, one day, for a brief moment the door is open again, and the individual is right in front of it, on that elastic spot where the leap can happen. For a split second consciousness is outside, is free. The next split second, the person is inside again, in the dualistic labyrinth, but then once again the door is just barely open and the moment is gone. In this second initiation, the individual has not yet gained control over the exit. Everything went so fast that consciousness did not have time to orient itself and register what was going on, and how it happened. But the perspective inside the life-labyrinth has changed. ...
In the third initiation, our person has once again been transported outside. But this time, metaphorically speaking, it is happening in slow motion. Consciousness is now able to follow the unfolding of events; it discovers exactly how it is positioned and oriented on the elastic spot in front of the humble door. Consciousness observes what it is that makes the door open ... And the movement itself, through the door and out into freedom, happens with so much awareness that this path and this mechanism from now on become conscious and volitional. After a while, consciousness is back again in the duality of the labyrinth of life. But from now on the individual can initiate this movement by himself and on his own...
The strange door in this metaphor has the special property that inside it, the difference between being inside and outside is unimaginably vast. But outside the humble door there is simply no difference between outside and inside."

From Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche’s book, “Rainbow Paintings” p.120:
"Some people believe that they should just keep on meditating, and
someday their egg will hatch and they will fly out of the shell and ascend
to a completely different level. Actually, it’s not like that at all. We should
not think, “The awakened state must be something really special. If I
practice this long enough, one day a door will open and I will see it and all
the qualities will pour into me.” It’s pointless to have this kind of attitude.

If we really want something spectacular, we will indeed have opportunities
for that, in what is called the ‘temporary meditation moods’ of
bliss, clarity and nonthought. These can occur, but such sensational
experiences do not help to cut through thoughts. On the contrary, they
generate even more fixation
because we start to think, “Wow! What is
that? This must be it!”. Many subsequent thoughts arise in response to the
fascination with these experiences
."

thank you,

b.f.
User avatar
Barney Fife
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:53 am

Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby LhodroeRapsal » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:37 pm

Namaskar,

Barney that is a well found quotation in a very inspiring chapter. It seems almost opposite of the one of Jes Bertelsen. But I think especially in teachings the quotations depends on the context of whom the listeners are. To whom is Jes Bertelsen speaking to and to whom is Tulku Urgyen speaking to, in this specific case?

Jes Bertelsen book is a introductory book loosely presenting a slow approach from the bottom to the spiritual perspectives of Dzogchen, and therefore it deals mainly with the preliminaries and its pitfalls, including how, from a relative or dualistic perspective, the spiritual typically is perceived. Jes Bertelsen would agree in your quote from Tulku Urgyen:

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche’s book, “Rainbow Paintings” p.120
such sensational experiences [bliss, clarity, non-thought] do not help to cut through thoughts. On the contrary, they generate even more fixation because we start to think, “Wow! What is that? This must be it!”


I have never heard Jes Bertelsen say that you should hold on to any mystical experiences or sensations whatsoever, but he emphasizes that they can happen, and if they do, you shouldn't suppress them either. Whatever arises is a chance to recognize that which is not it (or not only it). One of the main preliminary trainings is neutral observation.

Bertelsen, Jes (2013-06-04). Essence of Mind: An Approach to Dzogchen (p. 64).
There are no experiences that are inherently spiritual, whether they are transpersonal experiences or visions of different kinds.


And then Jes Bertelsen also touches slightly in this book the highest perspective, the great perfection, when he speaks about the recognition in the seventh level and some of the training there and how to integrate it.

Bertelsen, Jes (2013-06-04). Essence of Mind: An Approach to Dzogchen (p. 64).
The method of training here is quite simple: it consists of being still [not understood as a clinging to the quality of stillness], of doing nothing and leaving all processes and all things to themselves.


Tulku Urgyen is in the chapter you are referring to, from what I understand from the quotes below, speaking about Mahamudra and Dzogchen teachings to people who already has been introduced to and recognized the natural state and view, and therefore he addresses the main pitfalls there (Jes Bertelsen maybe has one and a half book that addresses those listeners).

Urgyen, Tulku Rinpoche (2011-12-13). Rainbow Painting (pp. 114-115).
Buddha nature is something we already possess. It is not a product of meditation practice; nor is it something we need to accumulate or achieve. However, unless we recognize it, we gain no benefit whatsoever from possessing it. All of our thoughts come out of the buddha nature as its expression, like rays of sunlight emanate from the sun. It is not that the sun comes out of the rays. That’s why, in the beginning, you should look into mind essence until you have clearly “established the natural state.” Once the natural state is established, there is no point in looking here or there. It does not make any difference any longer.


Urgyen, Tulku Rinpoche (2011-12-13). Rainbow Painting (p. 120).
The realization of natural emptiness is the only thing that can cut through thoughts.
...
As I said before, deliberate mindfulness is like pressing the switch to turn on the light of nonconceptual wakefulness. It is the preliminary, not the main part. To think that pressing the switch is the main part of practice is mistaken. Just as we cannot approach the main practice without undergoing the preliminaries, we cannot approach mind essence without deliberate mindfulness.


Urgyen, Tulku Rinpoche (2011-12-13). Rainbow Painting (p. 116).
People who have never received a teaching like this never even understand that they are being carried away. But someone who has received this teaching, and who has seen that there is no “thing” to see, will also notice when their attention wanders away from this. They can recognize distraction . Then they can look into “ Who is being carried away?” That immediately brings about the meeting with buddha nature. At that moment, leave it as it is.


I think it is in this above context Tulku Urgyen is giving his advice, which Barney quoted.

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche’s book, “Rainbow Paintings” p.120
We should not think, “The awakened state must be something really special. If I practice this long enough, one day a door will open and I will see it and all the qualities will pour into me.”


I don't think the above quote by Urgyen Tulku necessarily is in a contradiction to the metaphor from Jes Bertelsen. The metaphor about the anonymous door is used to avoid the pitfall of the idea that it is something special within the mind (but of course it shouldn't be any form at all, like I heard him saying at a teaching), and he is trying to show that it has nothing to do with any of the fancy states that the mind can get into.

Jes Bertelsen also describes some deep psychological dualistic mechanisms in the metaphor; that there are moments it seems like the qualities are pouring in through the door and moments it seems as if there is a doorentrance you step through, this is as long as you are identified with the dualistic mindset. He says there are initiations that shows the deepening of this insight. From my understanding he doesn't say they are true from an absolute perspective. He describes that before the true recognition people have a inherent mechanism to interpret the meeting with the natural state as something related to the dualistic mind as something either outside or inside, but both perspectives are incomplete - or you could call them part of the relative perspective. It is only when the dualistic fixation is seen through and then natural state can be recognized as pervading it all, as unconditioned.

Jes Bertelsen (2013-06-04). Essence of Mind: An Approach to Dzogchen (p. 57)
The strange door in this metaphor has the special property that inside it, the difference between being inside and outside is unimaginably vast. But outside the humble door there is simply no difference between outside and inside.


Another point; It is not always that Tulku Urgyen or other dzogchen teachers presents the awakened state as something nothing really special? Sometimes the metaphor is that is like a sun (like in one of the above quotations), or a diamond. So somehow the awakened state can spoken about in different ways depending on the pedagogical aim of the metaphor.

Sincerely
Henrik
User avatar
LhodroeRapsal
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:59 pm

Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby Barney Fife » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:51 pm

Namaskar,

O.K., in summary:

This is (metaphorically) Jes Bertelsen’s astral body:

Kool Aid.jpg
Kool Aid.jpg (7.47 KiB) Viewed 518 times


And this is (metaphorically) the (pedagogical) message
of Jes Berteslsen and his partisan adherents:

keep smiling kool aid.jpg
keep smiling kool aid.jpg (7.31 KiB) Viewed 519 times

And for those newly arrived sincere seekers of
the Dzogchen teachings and the Buddhadharma,
the actual tradition recommends
without any doubt or hesitation:

don't drink the kool aid.jpg
don't drink the kool aid.jpg (10 KiB) Viewed 519 times

Thanks so very much to all you great folks
for a deeply interesting, very helpful and beneficial discussion.

Dharma Wheel rules!!! :hug:

b.f.
User avatar
Barney Fife
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:53 am

Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby Rune Lacroix » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:32 pm

Thanks everybody for contributing to this discussion, i have followed it with curiosity.
I think that Barney's last response was strange. What do other people think?

Personally i will stick to the fact that CNR told me to trust Jes Bertelsen, and that i simply find his teachings helpful.

But the question is whether what he points to (in pointing out instructions) is dharmakaya or not? I can't clarify that, and it seems no one in this forum can, so why don't we end this discussion with a sober open question rather than the pictures Barney linked to?
Rune Lacroix
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:16 pm

Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby Otsal » Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:47 pm

Having been away for a few weeks, it is has for the most part been a pleasure to return and see how this thread has developed. I want to begin by thanking especially “Barney Fife” for his insistent questioning. It appears to have given ample occasion to discuss, how one might understand some of the points raised by quotes from Bertelsen when compared with quotes from other, more traditional sources. As this thread seems to have run its course – b.f.’s last post indicates as much – I will try to provide a few more bits of information and clarification regarding some of the issues that have come up. Perhaps this will be of some use to some. Again I want to make it clear that I do not represent or write at the instigation of Bertelsen or the Vaekstcenter foundation. Nor do I seek to convince anyone of the merits of his approach or his status as a teacher. See what is useful to you. Leave the rest.

First, the book “Essence of Mind” is about preliminaries. It is not about Dzogchen proper. It says as much in the subtitle. Other books by Bertelsen present Dzogchen, both from “subitist” and “gradualist” perspectives, and do so in a way that would be more easily digestible for those with a predilection for orthodoxy.

So, second, why this book? “Essence of Mind” was translated and published at the initiative of one of Bertelsen’s students, a psychologist specializing in neuro-affective development who teaches internationally and who, as far as I have understood, wanted to share something about Bertelsen’s preliminary teachings with her audiences. So, in this sense, Henrik, it is entirely coincidental – although of course Bertelsen gave his consent for its publication.

Third, perhaps worth remembering in all this exitement, the publication of “Essence of Mind” is not part of some grand scheme to launch Bertelsen on the international stage. He is 67 years old, rarely travels, teaches exclusively in Danish, and has no plans to change that. As it is, it is difficult enough for him to meet the genuine needs of the existing numbers of students looking for his guidance, and spends ever increasing amounts of time in retreat.

Fourth, although his own task in this life is to help develop forms of preliminaries and ways of presenting Dzogchen in a manner compatible with a contemporary world view, so as to reach the likes of some of us who otherwise might get stuck on outer forms and romantic projections onto the screen of Tibet and Tibetans, Bertelsen has great respect for those same traditional forms, for those who teach them, such as Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, whose efforts to make, among many other things, classical monastic style training in Vajrayana available to us, he regards as an important and extremely valuable element in establishing a secure base for the Dharma in the West. In fact, Bertelsen suggests entirely orthodox practices to students if and when those are relevant to their particular process. And will encourage people to seek out qualified teachers for those practices.

Fifth, a note on the question of authorization. As I understand it, it is not possible to be authorized a little bit to teach Dzogchen (proper) – much like it is impossible to be a little bit pregnant. Either you are able to enter reliably into recognition of dharmakaya rigpa, remain in that recognition unwaveringly for a sufficient amount of time, and have developed the ability without losing this recognition to move and speak and interact with students, or you are not. If not, you cannot give introduction nor guide students on that level. Even if these criteria are met – and this is something only your teacher can assess in meetings that take place within rigpa – this does not mean you can teach everything. During that first visit, Bertelsen received only authorization to give introduction and teach trekchö; authorization to teach tögal came several years later during his penultimate (as far as I recall) meeting with Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. The reason for this, as I understand it, is that there is a long and challenging path of training, with regular adjustments necessary from your (authentic, realized) teacher, that follows on the initial, full and unmistaken recognition of rigpa. You must gradually gain familiarity and stability. Then, the visionary process of tögal can begin its natural unfolding as your ability to remain in rigpa for longer periods of time, without a moment’s wavering, increases. (I do realize that there are Dzogchen lineages where tögal is taught earlier.) Teaching tögal requires that you must be able to be there with the student to guide her or him up the path through those visionary displays. The guide must have walked that path her- or himself to be able to show it. I personally have no idea what this means “really”, of course.

On the question of ever gaining certainty about Bertelsen’s authorization: this is not a matter that can ever be resolved finally on the web, through pieces of paper or witness accounts. Dzogchen proper – what Bertelsen calls the dimension of rigpa – is beyond language. In the end, our certainty about a teacher, her relationship to the lineage of realized Dzogchen masters, and our connection with them through her, comes from practice. We cannot change reality.

So, let’s all calm down and get on with practicing according to our respective teachers' instructions. If you find something of use in Bertelsen’s writing, use it. And leave the rest. If it's all anathema to you, just ignore it, keep calm and carry on with your practice.

To conclude, I offer a brief excerpt from Bertelsen’s latest book, a volume of edited teachings in 2011-12 and covering everything from foundations to Dzogchen proper (no tögal, mind you). In this excerpt, he uses the analogy of the three-dimensionality of conventional reality – when experienced with our ordinary mind – to provide a sense of the difference and unimaginability of the dimension of rigpa. And its paradoxical all-pervasive presence. Along the way he clarifies the relationship between “spiritual experiences” (nyams) and rigpa. Perhaps it will be of some use. Again, this is my own quick translation, within what I expect the publisher will agree are the bounds of fair use. I have added a couple of hopefully helpful bits in square brackets.

Otsal

From "Det drejer sig om kærlighed", Rosinante, 2013

p. 177 ff.:
“In relation to this [ordinary, dualistic] consciousness, rigpa is by contrast a fourth dimension.
Rigpa does not have length, breadth and height. It is not like the astral dimension. And neither is it, as the higher astral dimension is, replete with gold and angels and masters and so on. Because all such so-called higher experiences are still symbolic formations and still three-dimensionality.
All spiritual experiences, all light and empathy and masters and gods and the Virgin Mary and angels and Buddhas and Buddhafields and you name it are all three-dimensionality.
Rigpa, by contrast, is a fourth or fifth dimension.
It always passes through or touches every part of our being. But where it can be most clearly sensed is in consciousness.
Our completely ordinary consciousness, the one we find ourselves in right now, just as it is, is exactly the point, the rigpa-point, the place where rigpa touches our three-dimensional reality. [. . .]
In a certain sense, this other, enlightened dimension, is unchanging. But in another sense, which is equally true, it is an unceasing, creative dynamic from which our three-dimensional reality is continuously being projected.
Rigpa is not a particular place. It is not primarily in the heart, or primarily in consciousness. It is as much in your little finger as it is in this piece of crystal. There is nowhere, where rigpa isn’t present. [. . .]
So, what one is looking for is everywhere and in everything. The one who searches is rigpa. What you are searching for is rigpa. To search is rigpa. The one who is not in rigpa, is in rigpa.
No human being is ever anything but 100%, always and everywhere, in the rigpa-dimension.
To discover this, that is the game. To discover this fourth or fifth basic dimension that we are set within and from which we live our lives, to discover this from our three-dimensionality is what the recognition of the nature of mind is about.”
Last edited by Otsal on Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Otsal
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:20 am

Previous

Return to Dzogchen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Anders, Norwegian, Nosta, supermaxv and 16 guests

>