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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:45 am 
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Hi everyone, this is my first time posting on here!

I'm traveling to India soon to work on a project briefly in the south. I'll then have almost 2 months to spend in the north, I would like to find a place in Sikkim to practice Dzogchen or Mahamudra. I've read a lot of introductory material on each school of Vajrayana and at this point I need to find a teacher. So if anyone knows of a teacher in the area or how I would go about finding one that would be greatly appreciated.

I've had practice in shamatha, bodhicitta, and some vipassana (looking into the nature of experience). I would hope to be able to sit with someone who's years more experienced than I who can help point me towards a recognition of the natural state.

I'd like to bring along a couple books that I can read while I'm traveling there and to reference for practice. I'm looking at "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning" and "Quintessential Dzogchen" "Natural Great Perfection: Dzogchen Teachings and Vajra Songs". The Ocean of Definitive Meaning is a Mahamudra text but I'd like something that is more gradual to work with in conjunction with the pointing of Dzogchen texts.

Thanks,
Jonathan


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:21 am 
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JonathanB wrote:
Hi everyone, this is my first time posting on here!

I'm traveling to India soon to work on a project briefly in the south. I'll then have almost 2 months to spend in the north, I would like to find a place in Sikkim to practice Dzogchen or Mahamudra. I've read a lot of introductory material on each school of Vajrayana and at this point I need to find a teacher. So if anyone knows of a teacher in the area or how I would go about finding one that would be greatly appreciated.

I've had practice in shamatha, bodhicitta, and some vipassana (looking into the nature of experience). I would hope to be able to sit with someone who's years more experienced than I who can help point me towards a recognition of the natural state.

I'd like to bring along a couple books that I can read while I'm traveling there and to reference for practice. I'm looking at "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning" and "Quintessential Dzogchen" "Natural Great Perfection: Dzogchen Teachings and Vajra Songs". The Ocean of Definitive Meaning is a Mahamudra text but I'd like something that is more gradual to work with in conjunction with the pointing of Dzogchen texts.

Thanks,
Jonathan


Dodrupchen Rinpoche lives in Sikkim. He is one of the leading Dzogchen masters alive today.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:22 am 
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Dodrupchen is excellent, but maybe not so easy to meet right away, though you might have accumulated enough merit, who knows? It is also usually not too easy to get Dzogchen instruction right off the bat, from him or anyone else. At the VERY LEAST, finishing ngondro is still generally required in Asia in most cases (as far as I know), in contrast to how it is presented in the West these days. Still, some teachers in India and Nepal will give a dilute form of Dzogchen to students as an upaya. Anything could happen, but don't be disappointed if what does happen doesn't meet your expectations.

Moreover, I'm not sure you'll be able to get a Sikkim permission for two months, unless you've got something special going (but again, my information may be dated). Chatral Rinpoche has a practice gomba a little south of Darjeeling, close to Sikkim, and there are probably some excellent practitioners there, too.

The best of luck to you.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:05 am 
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Thank you all for the quick replies! I knew there was some paperwork to get into Sikkim but now that I look into it further, wow! It might not be possible. I would need to contact the office that oversees travel and explain my circumstance. They say anything beyond 40 days is rare. My time is incredibly flexible and I'm willing to go anywhere in northern India to meet a teacher (Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, even Nepal if I could get a visa in time).

Also would anyone have a couple books they could recommend? I'm looking for something that has a more gradual style of different meditations that look at mind. Something like "Pointing out the Dharmakaya" or "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning" and then something more poetic that points at rigpa.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:32 am 
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I know he's currently traveling, but Kyabje Yangthang Rinpoche lives in Yuksom most of the time and is an incredible Dzogchen master. And someone already mentioned Dodrupchen Rinpoche in Gangtok.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:38 am 
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It's easy and cheaper to get a visa for Nepal simply by flying in and obtaining one at the airport although I'm not sure how long you can stay on a tourist visa.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:46 am 
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I think Karma Chagme's Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, published under the English title "Spacious Path to Freedom," with commentary by Gyatrul Rinpoche, has just what you're looking for. And anything by Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, such as Crystal and the Way of Light.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:19 am 
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JonathanB wrote:
Thank you all for the quick replies! I knew there was some paperwork to get into Sikkim but now that I look into it further, wow! It might not be possible. I would need to contact the office that oversees travel and explain my circumstance. They say anything beyond 40 days is rare. My time is incredibly flexible and I'm willing to go anywhere in northern India to meet a teacher (Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, even Nepal if I could get a visa in time).
In my experience, standard visas into Sikkim are two week inner line permits you get in Darjeeling. They only allow access to southern Sikkim. Still good for visiting Gangtok, Tashi Ding, Pemayangtse and various caves blessed by Guru Rinpoche. HH Dodrupchen accepts visitors daily if he's in, at a set time. Best ask monks in the gompa.
Nepali tourist visas are two months, or mine was, you may be able to stay longer.
Indian visas (from UK) last six months. Which gives more opportunity to get teachings. When it runs out you can have a break in Kathmandu for a month or so, and renew your Indian visa there.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:48 pm 
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Just to add, Sikkim is a great place to visit if you can. There are a few articles here: http://www.thlib.org/reference/spt/SPT--BrowseResources.php?ParentId=1052 which give information on the spiritual significance of this blessed hidden land.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:48 pm 
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Again thank you all for the replies, if I can't be in Sikkim for that entire duration, which teachers in nearby Nepal or India would you recommend?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:52 pm 
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Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Chokling Rinpoche and Phachok Rinpoche at Ka Nying Shedrup Ling in Boudha. You can attend weekly teachings and stay in contact via their distance learning thing they've got.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:02 am 
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There are many qualified teachers living near Bauddha. Lama Rinchen (Dudjom Lineage) and Tulku Rigdzin Pema (Longchen Nyingthig and Dilgo Khyentse) come immediately to mind. Ask around.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:50 pm 
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Plans have changed, I will be in Himachal Pradesh around Dharmsala and north further into Kashmir. I've been trying to search for Dzogchen teachers but I haven't been finding much. Would anyone know of any in that region? Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:53 pm 
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JonathanB wrote:
Plans have changed, I will be in Himachal Pradesh around Dharmsala and north further into Kashmir. I've been trying to search for Dzogchen teachers but I haven't been finding much. Would anyone know of any in that region? Thanks.


Dzongsar Khyentse and Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche are in Bir.

/magnus

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:35 pm 
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Thank you Magnus! That's the spot then, I'm going there.

I mostly have been studying and practicing the Dharma on my own the past 3 years so I'm not sure how it works in the context of a monastery or center like in Bir. If I went there and told them I'm very serious and committed to practice, would they let me stay there for 5 or 6 weeks? I could pay or help clean and do maintenance.

I would really like to sit and talk to a teacher who can help point me towards a recognition of the natural state. Even if I only receive ngondro instructions that will be ok, I just need some guidance, someone qualified who can show me I'm on the right path.

-Jonathan


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:49 am 
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JonathanB wrote:
Thank you Magnus! That's the spot then, I'm going there.

I mostly have been studying and practicing the Dharma on my own the past 3 years so I'm not sure how it works in the context of a monastery or center like in Bir. If I went there and told them I'm very serious and committed to practice, would they let me stay there for 5 or 6 weeks? I could pay or help clean and do maintenance.

I would really like to sit and talk to a teacher who can help point me towards a recognition of the natural state. Even if I only receive ngondro instructions that will be ok, I just need some guidance, someone qualified who can show me I'm on the right path.

-Jonathan


There are several monasteries around Bir. There are places you can stay around the monastery and sometimes they have a hostel on the monastery. You pay like everyone else. There will be other westerners around so you ask them about joining some teaching that is going on.

/magnus

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- Longchenpa


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:14 pm 
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Magnus: Dzongsar Khyentse and Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche are in Bir.

Well, they both have a base there but DJKR spends most of the year travelling (see http://www.siddharthasintent.org/teachi ... edule.html for a small sample of what he manages to cram in) and OTR seems to travel a bit too.

I'm not saying don't go there, just don't assume they'll be there when you are. The Deer Park Institute has a good year round program http://deerpark.in and as Magnus says there other monastries in the area.

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Unless the inner forces of negative emotions are conquered
Strife with outer enemies will never end.
~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:30 pm 
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Neten Chokling Rinpoche is also in Bir, isn't he? He was when I went there. Also, nearby is Sherab Ling (just a short walk away, unless you get lost like I did.)

Tashi Jong isn't far. Home of the famous Togdens, as well as Khamtrul Rinpoche, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo and Chogyal Rinpoche. I was very impressed by all of these.

Then there's Tso Pema, a great choice in my opinion. Lho Ontrul Rinpoche lives there and teaches dzogchen from a terma popular in the Drikung Kagyu tradition. There is also Wangdor Rinpoche and others lamas pass through. It's a really blessed place (much like Boudha and Sikkim) and as such as great place to practice.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:32 pm 
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Also, Bir is only a bus ride away from Dharmsala so easy to access both. You used to be able to get the bus from the main square in McLeod Ganj. Ask around.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:41 pm 
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Tso Pema was where I was first thinking a few months ago. It seemed like there would be long established monasteries considering Guru Rinpoche was from there.


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