Yidam and Dzogchen

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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:55 pm

Magnus,

Nice to hear he's your root master. Once I used a urinal next to him after attending a lecture by him on the different yanas. I feel karmic connection here. ;)

I think I can follow you about integrating Dzogchen view in all the usual practices and also understand the reason behind it. I also see this tendency of simplifying things to a "non-conceptual meditation" not just in Dzogchen but also in Zen and Theravada. Perhaps it is (partially) about how meditation is seen in Western cultures. And then a deity sounds quite supernatural, therefore unreal.

At the same time I think Dzogchen view may go simply with Dzogchen path. Although I agree it may not be good for everyone - just as there's no single teaching good for everyone - but there are people who can use it.

Also I feel that since Dzogchen is advertised as a separate path which deals directly with the nature of mind and does so effortlessly, mixing with tantric methods appears to be contradictory (or counter-intuitive) to the "spirit of Atiyoga".
"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: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby heart » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:14 pm

Astus wrote:Magnus,

Nice to hear he's your root master. Once I used a urinal next to him after attending a lecture by him on the different yanas. I feel karmic connection here. ;)

I think I can follow you about integrating Dzogchen view in all the usual practices and also understand the reason behind it. I also see this tendency of simplifying things to a "non-conceptual meditation" not just in Dzogchen but also in Zen and Theravada. Perhaps it is (partially) about how meditation is seen in Western cultures. And then a deity sounds quite supernatural, therefore unreal.

At the same time I think Dzogchen view may go simply with Dzogchen path. Although I agree it may not be good for everyone - just as there's no single teaching good for everyone - but there are people who can use it.

Also I feel that since Dzogchen is advertised as a separate path which deals directly with the nature of mind and does so effortlessly, mixing with tantric methods appears to be contradictory (or counter-intuitive) to the "spirit of Atiyoga".


Who is advertising Dzogchen as a separate path?
You seen my quote from Yeshe Lama above, did Jigme Lingpa got it wrong?

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:49 pm

Magnus,

See ChNN's categorisation of Sutra (detachment), Tantra (transformation) and Dzogchen (self-liberation). Plus it is the 9th yana and not the 8th or the 7th. Not to mention that this is the impression one gets from teachings about Dzogchen and of Dzogchen as they emphasise abiding in rigpa and dropping all efforts, while at the same time don't talk about other meditation forms but only as preliminary and techniques of lower vehicles.
"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: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby heart » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:05 pm

Astus wrote:Magnus,

See ChNN's categorisation of Sutra (detachment), Tantra (transformation) and Dzogchen (self-liberation). Plus it is the 9th yana and not the 8th or the 7th. Not to mention that this is the impression one gets from teachings about Dzogchen and of Dzogchen as they emphasise abiding in rigpa and dropping all efforts, while at the same time don't talk about other meditation forms but only as preliminary and techniques of lower vehicles.


Always ChNN, is that all you got? Maybe you can quote from a tantra or any Dzogchen text except his that use this categorization?

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:18 pm

heart wrote:Always ChNN, is that all you got? Maybe you can quote from a tantra or any Dzogchen text except his that use this categorization?


I think there was a small misunderstanding here. By separate path I simply meant as a set of teachings and practices on its own. I didn't mean it is not Vajrayana or makes other practices useless. In ChNN's Dzogchen Community they do many other practices besides tregcho and togal. The problem is that seeing the interconnectedness of Dzogchen methods with those of the other inner tantras requires a deeper familiarity with Nyingma teachings and not just those presented as Dzogchen exclusively. But in brief this is summed up in Sam van Schaik's "Approaching the Great Perfection". By talking about Dzogchen as a separate teaching I meant that it seems uncommon to me to have all the nine vehicles touched upon in a single work like in Dudjom Rinpoche's "big red book", which is clearly too much for anyone who is just looking for the meaning of Dzogchen he has heard about somewhere.

See what the Rigpa Wiki says, "Sogyal Rinpoche describes it as "the heart-essence of all spiritual paths and the summit of an individual’s spiritual evolution. As a way in which to realize the innermost nature of mind—that which we really are—Dzogchen is the clearest, most effective, and most relevant to the modern world."

What do you make of it that best selling authors on Dzogchen, including HHDL, talks about Atiyoga as an accessible, quite easy and simple method of "resting in the natural state" and there is nothing else to it? And this makes it popular. Even has its own forum. :tongue:
"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: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby heart » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:29 pm

Astus wrote:
heart wrote:Always ChNN, is that all you got? Maybe you can quote from a tantra or any Dzogchen text except his that use this categorization?


I think there was a small misunderstanding here. By separate path I simply meant as a set of teachings and practices on its own. I didn't mean it is not Vajrayana or makes other practices useless. In ChNN's Dzogchen Community they do many other practices besides tregcho and togal. The problem is that seeing the interconnectedness of Dzogchen methods with those of the other inner tantras requires a deeper familiarity with Nyingma teachings and not just those presented as Dzogchen exclusively. But in brief this is summed up in Sam van Schaik's "Approaching the Great Perfection". By talking about Dzogchen as a separate teaching I meant that it seems uncommon to me to have all the nine vehicles touched upon in a single work like in Dudjom Rinpoche's "big red book", which is clearly too much for anyone who is just looking for the meaning of Dzogchen he has heard about somewhere.

See what the Rigpa Wiki says, "Sogyal Rinpoche describes it as "the heart-essence of all spiritual paths and the summit of an individual’s spiritual evolution. As a way in which to realize the innermost nature of mind—that which we really are—Dzogchen is the clearest, most effective, and most relevant to the modern world."

What do you make of it that best selling authors on Dzogchen, including HHDL, talks about Atiyoga as an accessible, quite easy and simple method of "resting in the natural state" and there is nothing else to it? And this makes it popular. Even has its own forum. :tongue:


Which Dzogchen cycle is it you refer to as being "accessible, quite easy and simple method of "resting in the natural state" and there is nothing else to it"? Is it ChNN again?

/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
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:09 pm

I'm talking about available materials on Dzogchen. As in books:

Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche: Natural Great Perfection
Lama Surya Das: Natural Radiance
James Low: Being Right Here
Tsoknyi Rinpoche: Fearless Simplicity
Tenzin Wangyal: Wonders of the Natural Mind
Michael Hookham: Openness, Clarity, Sensitivity
HHDL: Dzogchen - The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection
"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: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Josef » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:17 pm

Astus wrote:I'm talking about available materials on Dzogchen. As in books:

Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche: Natural Great Perfection
Lama Surya Das: Natural Radiance
James Low: Being Right Here
Tsoknyi Rinpoche: Fearless Simplicity
Tenzin Wangyal: Wonders of the Natural Mind
Michael Hookham: Openness, Clarity, Sensitivity
HHDL: Dzogchen - The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection

This is all going to be pretty general and surface level.
Its important to keep in mind also that Norbu Rinpoche teaches trekcho publicly via webcast, not togal and other things like that. These are like "maps" to Dzogchen, the only doorway is a personal and direct experience with ones teacher.
I am with Magnus on this one.
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:22 pm

Nangwa, that's all right. But it's like when some talk about Buddhism as a therapeutic way to inner peace and all people can practice it, then when they get interested it turns out it is a religion like all the others full of moral commands and supernatural realms. Sounds like advertising a menu that makes you lose weight then adding you should also go to the gym twice a day. Thus confusion and misunderstanding is not surprising.

Although it raises the question: if they're all superficial teachings (contrary to their claim to be highest Vajrayana), they intentionally mislead people, or they're mistaken from the beginning.
"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: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby heart » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:33 am

Astus wrote:Nangwa, that's all right. But it's like when some talk about Buddhism as a therapeutic way to inner peace and all people can practice it, then when they get interested it turns out it is a religion like all the others full of moral commands and supernatural realms. Sounds like advertising a menu that makes you lose weight then adding you should also go to the gym twice a day. Thus confusion and misunderstanding is not surprising.

Although it raises the question: if they're all superficial teachings (contrary to their claim to be highest Vajrayana), they intentionally mislead people, or they're mistaken from the beginning.


There is nothing wrong with any of those books, that I know of. But they are not in the correct context because you are not their student. In Vajrayana, like Nagwa said, you first need a teacher. This is not so easy as it sounds as a certain amount of submission is necessary as well as a some serious good fortune to make a personal relationship. Then you have to get the transmission and complete practice instructions. It will for sure involve practice from the lower yanas. Then it is actually a life-long commitment to follow that path and get some results.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:02 am

So the books are OK. While it would be hard to become a disciple of all those authors, I guess they put their teachings into a written for in order to be known by many, inlcuding those who do not even live in the same country, or same continent, or speak the same language. A common thing in those books is that they present Dzogchen in a pretty accessible form and they also explain methods to practice it. Suppose I read one of them, understand it, then practise it - isn't that Dzogchen practice? If not, then what?

I'm bringing this up only to give an example how it is possible people don't necessarily associate Dzogchen with other tantric practices. And that is not because they don't want to but how Dzogchen is presented. Similar to Vipassana and Zen.
"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: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby heart » Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:55 pm

Astus wrote:So the books are OK. While it would be hard to become a disciple of all those authors, I guess they put their teachings into a written for in order to be known by many, inlcuding those who do not even live in the same country, or same continent, or speak the same language. A common thing in those books is that they present Dzogchen in a pretty accessible form and they also explain methods to practice it. Suppose I read one of them, understand it, then practise it - isn't that Dzogchen practice? If not, then what?

I'm bringing this up only to give an example how it is possible people don't necessarily associate Dzogchen with other tantric practices. And that is not because they don't want to but how Dzogchen is presented. Similar to Vipassana and Zen.


Well it is the world we are living in, cheap thrills all the way. Still none of the teachers and translators above think that reading a book can be considered a instructions in Dzogchen neither do they pretend that it is.

/magnus
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:56 pm

Well, a book is not like personal instruction for one cannot ask back. It is more like a lecture, a teaching on something, except that probably it is better composed. And if it is a teaching on Dzogchen one receives a teaching on that, including instructions for meditation. Definitely it has a less wider scope than years of training. But besides monks hardly one has time enough to hang around a teacher all the time, especially if he lives thousands of kilometres away. Therefore it is not negligible to consider materials distributed on Dzogchen - just like in case of any other Dharma teachings. For instance, in my country, there is no resident teacher one could turn to for Dzogchen practice, thus everyone depends on books, Internet and visiting teachers who come occasionally. Not to mention the fact that those few books and texts available are translations from English.
"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: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Sönam » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:54 pm

Books use mind (sems), alone they cannot make it.
Whatever the (Dzogchen) Master says, tells or acts he is doing it from dharmakaya ... and that makes it.

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby heart » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:29 pm

Astus wrote:Well, a book is not like personal instruction for one cannot ask back. It is more like a lecture, a teaching on something, except that probably it is better composed. And if it is a teaching on Dzogchen one receives a teaching on that, including instructions for meditation. Definitely it has a less wider scope than years of training. But besides monks hardly one has time enough to hang around a teacher all the time, especially if he lives thousands of kilometres away. Therefore it is not negligible to consider materials distributed on Dzogchen - just like in case of any other Dharma teachings. For instance, in my country, there is no resident teacher one could turn to for Dzogchen practice, thus everyone depends on books, Internet and visiting teachers who come occasionally. Not to mention the fact that those few books and texts available are translations from English.


Books are great but if you want to practice Dzogchen you need to see a master get the teachings in person and possibly, if you are lucky, receive some personal instructions. Not just once, as many times as you can. It is actually not a very comfortable path. I do understand your problem because I also have them.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:27 pm

Don't misunderstand me, I have no problem with Dzogchen in any way as I am not really a follower of it. I was only talking about a situation as I see it.

Sönam, if Dzogchen teachers can act and talk from Dharmakaya, can't they not write?
"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: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Sönam » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:58 pm

Astus wrote:Don't misunderstand me, I have no problem with Dzogchen in any way as I am not really a follower of it. I was only talking about a situation as I see it.

Sönam, if Dzogchen teachers can act and talk from Dharmakaya, can't they not write?


From Dzogchen view no things are impossible ... but the direct interaction is essential

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby muni » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:07 am

Sönam wrote:Books use mind (sems), alone they cannot make it.
Whatever the (Dzogchen) Master says, tells or acts he is doing it from dharmakaya ... and that makes it.

Sönam


Let me bow for this post. :buddha1:
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:23 am

Astus wrote:So the books are OK. While it would be hard to become a disciple of all those authors, I guess they put their teachings into a written for in order to be known by many, inlcuding those who do not even live in the same country, or same continent, or speak the same language. A common thing in those books is that they present Dzogchen in a pretty accessible form and they also explain methods to practice it. Suppose I read one of them, understand it, then practise it - isn't that Dzogchen practice? If not, then what?

I'm bringing this up only to give an example how it is possible people don't necessarily associate Dzogchen with other tantric practices. And that is not because they don't want to but how Dzogchen is presented. Similar to Vipassana and Zen.


Hi Astus :)

It's simply impossible to practice Dzogchen without a qualified vajra guru. And books and even webcasts are wonderful exposure, but don't arm a student with the blessings and introduction needed to practice tantra. Reading books or hearing podcasts, or watching Internet events are not equivalent of receiving the abhishekas. You have to literally be in front of the guru for that.

So while reading and studying is good, it's very good! It's not the same as practicing under a qualified guru. For this one must seek out the proper initiations. And that is what will make the difference for the student. A big difference!

People may try to present it otherwise. I've seen folks try to say otherwise, in fact. Perhaps out of wishing, or misunderstanding. But it's just not so.

Kindly,
Laura

ps. please excuse any repeats here, I haven't read through the whole thread
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby wisdomfire » Mon May 24, 2010 11:59 am

thanks all for your replies... i had the apparently wrong idea that this forum was inactive due to some repeated posts at the time when i posted this question initially, so did not check back until recently... so many posts! Thanks!

My conclusion is that yidam practice does not interfere with Dzogchen and you can either do yidam practice or not, but there are certain other benefits from yidam practice besides the ultimate goal of liberation...also Dzogchen is considered the accumulation of wisdom and there is also a need to accumulate conceptual merit in order to actualise the form-kayas to benefit beings... in other words, need both conceptual and non-conceptual practice to actualise complete Buddhahood and accomplish both self-benefit and benefitting others.

Hope i'm not wrong in my understanding... i will try to consult a genuine teacher ... thanks !!!
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