Pointing out instructions

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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby mindyourmind » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:08 am

conebeckham wrote:In some sense, Kagyu Mahamudra is gradual and experiential, yes. The "investigations" one makes are in steps, or are laid out in steps, in the guidance manuals. But individual situations vary, and skillful teachers who know their students will give appropriate instructions.
When it comes to the "Birth of Meditation Practice," however, which is the recognition of nondual samatha/vipassana, the basic natural state, so-called "Ordinary Mind," Mahamudra..... I'm not sure words such as "gradual" or "immediate" really apply.



I think part of my question came from my possible misunderstanding of what the "months" referred to - I thought that the Dzogchen POI that takes seconds were being compared to the Mahamudra POI and that the latter was a process that took months, and on that I for some reason thought that one would then have to be present in a retreat type of situation for the POI to be transmitted.
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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby Sönam » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:36 am

mindyourmind wrote:
conebeckham wrote:In some sense, Kagyu Mahamudra is gradual and experiential, yes. The "investigations" one makes are in steps, or are laid out in steps, in the guidance manuals. But individual situations vary, and skillful teachers who know their students will give appropriate instructions.
When it comes to the "Birth of Meditation Practice," however, which is the recognition of nondual samatha/vipassana, the basic natural state, so-called "Ordinary Mind," Mahamudra..... I'm not sure words such as "gradual" or "immediate" really apply.



I think part of my question came from my possible misunderstanding of what the "months" referred to - I thought that the Dzogchen POI that takes seconds were being compared to the Mahamudra POI and that the latter was a process that took months, and on that I for some reason thought that one would then have to be present in a retreat type of situation for the POI to be transmitted.


As Cone said it, it depends on teacher ... Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche is quite "immediate" in his POI when teaching ...

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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby muni » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:38 am

adinatha wrote:[
So, Atiyoga is beyond all this, and and is like being stricken by a sudden fever out of nowhere. The primordial unity and presence of all buddhas qualities is nothing anyone can point out. You get it when you get it and then before and after have no meaning.


Out of nowhere? Unfabricated.

I agree (without that having any importance) in fabrications about Dzogchen is no wisdom. The elaborations by mind to find naturally peace are like stirring with a stick in the clear water to find clarity. By doing so, the water will only become muddy, in same way we will only increase disturbance in mind. As what already is, is naturally unfabricated. No way to find by fabrications.

"Debate in mind" is keeping bussy with fleeting clouds about. The recognized Dzogchen master (naturally pure, warm appaering "humility") breaks the clouds.

So is told: then unfabricated nature reveals itself.

Ps. Once a master gave me a white paper.
I took the bag of pencils and started to write in each color and different languages: "this is a white paper".
We have to go beyond theories no matter how sacred they might seem.
Theories can create an illusory distance between us and enlightenment.
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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby Jinzang » Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:08 am

the typical Mahamudra pointing out instruction is long transmission that last several months


That hasn't been my experience. The pointing out is fairly brief. But I can't say if my experience is typical or not.
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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby Silent Bob » Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:44 pm

Jinzang wrote:
the typical Mahamudra pointing out instruction is long transmission that last several months


That hasn't been my experience. The pointing out is fairly brief. But I can't say if my experience is typical or not.


In the 9th Karmapa's text, "Mahamudra--the Ocean of Definitive Meaning", which is the Kagyus' standard MM manual, the traditional 'script' for the pointing-out of ground MM is only a page long (p. 145). There are numerous vipashyana investigations that may also be taught in order to enhance this recognition, but as Jinzang says, the actual pointing-out of the nature of mind by the teacher is brief.

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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:27 pm

Silent Bob wrote:
Jinzang wrote:
the typical Mahamudra pointing out instruction is long transmission that last several months


That hasn't been my experience. The pointing out is fairly brief. But I can't say if my experience is typical or not.


In the 9th Karmapa's text, "Mahamudra--the Ocean of Definitive Meaning", which is the Kagyus' standard MM manual, the traditional 'script' for the pointing-out of ground MM is only a page long (p. 145). There are numerous vipashyana investigations that may also be taught in order to enhance this recognition, but as Jinzang says, the actual pointing-out of the nature of mind by the teacher is brief.

Chris



My point was that prior to this there are many introductions.

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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby conebeckham » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:35 pm

There CAN be many "introductions" or investigative periods prior to the Ground being introduced as per Silent Bob's comment.....But again, such is not always the case.
Even in presentations of the Four Yogas of Mahamudra, it is said that they don't necessarily occur sequentially. But when one is studying these things, as texts, or as "methods," one is introduced to them in sequence. Same with the "investigations" found in Ngedon Gyamtso, and in Dakpo Tashi Namgyal's works, and even in other Mahamudra guidance manuals.

In practice, though, the "Pointing Out" may seem like an instantaneous thing--but I think most of us have trained in methods that would be considered "preliminary investigations" on the path of Mahamudra, even though we may not realize that such methods were leading to "NgoTro." Good teachers will know where the student's minds are "at," so to speak.....
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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:56 pm

conebeckham wrote:There CAN be many "introductions" or investigative periods prior to the Ground being introduced as per Silent Bob's comment.....But again, such is not always the case.
Even in presentations of the Four Yogas of Mahamudra, it is said that they don't necessarily occur sequentially. But when one is studying these things, as texts, or as "methods," one is introduced to them in sequence. Same with the "investigations" found in Ngedon Gyamtso, and in Dakpo Tashi Namgyal's works, and even in other Mahamudra guidance manuals.

In practice, though, the "Pointing Out" may seem like an instantaneous thing--but I think most of us have trained in methods that would be considered "preliminary investigations" on the path of Mahamudra, even though we may not realize that such methods were leading to "NgoTro." Good teachers will know where the student's minds are "at," so to speak.....


That is not what I meant. I meant introductions as I mentioned before, introductions to movement, to stillness, etc. All of which need to be experientially maximized which come long before mahamudra pointing out.

Mostly this kind of thing is done in retreat

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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby conebeckham » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:51 pm

I understand you, Namdrol. And yes, mostly it's done in retreat. But not always.

I personally think that, although we can "point" to a specific instruction in the Mahamudra tradition(s), as Silent Bob has, and as I have, elliptically, in an earlier post about the "Birth of Meditation," what you're saying is that this instruction depends, really, on prior preparation. I think this is the case, and, therefore, I think we can say Mahamudra is a "gradual path" in some sense.

But I also think that the "Rigpa'i Tsel Wang," for example, depends on prior preparation, as well, does it not? So, in that sense, wouldn't Dzokchen also be a "gradual path" in the same way?
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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby ray » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:23 am

Going back to an earlier question, on pointing out in Dzogchen and in Zen, actually there is pointing out in Zen, and this is what the interactions in Koans are. An example of pointing out in Zen that is also a Koan is that the Buddha went to the front of the assembly, sat down, and held up a flower and smiled. Mahakashyapa's mind opened--he saw what was being pointed out. Sometimes a teacher would tell the students to leave. When they were all leaving, he would ask them where they were going. When they turned around, he would say, "What is it?" or shout "Katz!" When students asked a question or gave an answer and the teacher shouted, "Katz!", this functions to stop the thinking and bring awareness out clearly, sserving the same purpose as "PHAT!" does in Dzogchen practice or empowerment. All the different ways of pointing out or direct introduction that Longchen Rabjampa mentions in the Treasure Trove of Scriptural Transmission are used in Zen for the same purpose. But in Zen it is also said that phenomena themselves can point out the nature to us, not only a teacher. Then the teacher would confirm. But a teacher makes it a whole lot more likely it will happen, and by being around him and him or her using the methods of pointing out, we may get it. Both in Zen and Dzogchen, they say that the teacher is always pointing out the nature directly. And after really getting the pointing out in Zen, ones practice changes completely, because then the point is to become more accustomed to ones true nature, the true nature of things, either by further koan study or just sitting and resting in that nature. Much like in Dzogchen.

I say this on the basis of practice in the Zen and Vajrayana/Dzogchen traditions, getting the pointing in each (having satori confirmed by a Zen teacher, practicing koan and getting the nature pointed out, getting the pointing out in the context of the fourth empowerment).
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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby Malcolm » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:58 am

ray wrote:Going back to an earlier question, on pointing out in Dzogchen and in Zen, actually there is pointing out in Zen, and this is what the interactions in Koans are.



This is not what pointing out means in Vajrayāna. The koan process and the process of pointing out instruction in Dzogchen is completely different.



An example of pointing out in Zen that is also a Koan is that the Buddha went to the front of the assembly, sat down, and held up a flower and smiled. Mahakashyapa's mind opened--he saw what was being pointed out. Sometimes a teacher would tell the students to leave.


No, Mahakashyapa was already awake. In Zen, transmission is given by one awakened person to another (theoretically). Transmission is never given to a complete beginner, as in Vajrayana.

When they were all leaving, he would ask them where they were going. When they turned around, he would say, "What is it?" or shout "Katz!" When students asked a question or gave an answer and the teacher shouted, "Katz!", this functions to stop the thinking and bring awareness out clearly, sserving the same purpose as "PHAT!" does in Dzogchen practice or empowerment.


Sorry, but this is incorrect. Zen completely lacks the presentation of the basis, the introduction of the three kāyas, etc., etc.

All the different ways of pointing out or direct introduction that Longchen Rabjampa mentions in the Treasure Trove of Scriptural Transmission are used in Zen for the same purpose.


No, this is an incorrect assertion.

But in Zen it is also said that phenomena themselves can point out the nature to us, not only a teacher. Then the teacher would confirm. But a teacher makes it a whole lot more likely it will happen, and by being around him and him or her using the methods of pointing out, we may get it. Both in Zen and Dzogchen, they say that the teacher is always pointing out the nature directly.


This is a misconception. Zen does not go beyond sutra. There is no experiential direct introduction in Zen or Chan.

And after really getting the pointing out in Zen, ones practice changes completely, because then the point is to become more accustomed to ones true nature, the true nature of things, either by further koan study or just sitting and resting in that nature. Much like in Dzogchen.


It is not like Dzogchen at all.

I say this on the basis of practice in the Zen and Vajrayana/Dzogchen traditions, getting the pointing in each (having satori confirmed by a Zen teacher, practicing koan and getting the nature pointed out, getting the pointing out in the context of the fourth empowerment).


There is no equivalent to the fourth empwowerment in Zen. Doesn't exist.

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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby booker » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:57 am

Namdrol wrote:The basic difference is as follows. With Dzogchen, right in the very beginning your primordial state is pointed out to you with words, symbols and personal experience. You then work with this, integrating into this knowledge.

In Zen, you practice for many years, discover your real nature, awaken, and then your awakening is signed off on by an awakened master, someone who is capable of recognizing the experience you have had and verifying it for you.

So, completely different.

The teaching and methods are surely not the same, even tough they both agree on few essential points (ie. the true nature is beyond causes and conditions, beyond time and space, pure and clear, already endowed with all qualities so that without cultivation we are already complete however we have to discover and actualize it).

It's not everywhere in Zen you "practice for many years, discover your real nature, awaken, and then your awakening is signed off on by an awakened master". I was introduced to the Buddhanature on my first personal interview with the Master (in Kwan Um School which is Western Sǒn tradition) through explanation and direct pointing along with the method of sort of a gate which lets one to be present in it, known as "don't know" and along with the method of kongan practice which allows to actualize it. Haven't attained Dzogchen introduction yet, however I strongly don't believe it will be the same. There's no transmission of the state of knowledge in Zen, what they do is pointing out to you how to discover it within yourself on your own only. However, if you have the capacity then without a problem you can taste it on the first retreat and get a confirmation of that fact from the Master. This happens because Master will confirm "passing" the kongan, which can not be opened or resolved by any other way but wisdom. Hence it's not like taking years to find it. Obviously full actualization or maturation is completely different story.

What's obvious is in Zen there's nothing like introduction beyond action known to Dzogchen. Not to mention advanced stuff like Tögal you won't ever find in Zen. Forget yoga.

Namdrol wrote:This is a misconception. Zen does not go beyond sutra. There is no experiential direct introduction in Zen or Chan.

Again this depends what is meant by Sutra. If it's meant the way through intellectual study first then Zen is far away from that. Infact in pure Zen, there's no Sutra study at all. You can burn them. Sutras do accompany Zen, but the essence of Zen is to directly perceive one's true nature and actualize it to Buddhahood in the same moment. Hardly there are people who have such capacity.
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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby Malcolm » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:17 pm

booker wrote:]
Again this depends what is meant by Sutra.


Sutra means the method is taught. The method of Chan/Zen is ultimately grounded in the Lanka-avatara sutra's sudden approach.

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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby narraboth » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:25 pm

There are a lot of comparisons between Dzogchen and Zen in China/Chinese Buddhists since Dzogchen was introduced to China.
Surely there are lots of differences in methods, but I personally think the similarity is quite obvious, probably in some ways they are closer than Dzogchen method with Sarma anuttarayoga method.
Quite several great tibetan masters accept that the essense of zen approach is similar to trekcho, even not totally the same.

In a word, I don't really think that there are different recognising. There is only different method to let you recognise. Mahamudra, Dzogchen, or zen, you don't recognise a different mind nature, otherwise it would be like you have different kinds of buddha to accomplish.
Khenpo Ngachung said that the 'power' and qualities of vajrayana led recognition is superior than sutrayana led one, base on his own experience, but still it's not two rigpa being recognised. I think it's just how 'revealed' the mind nature is.
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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:40 pm

narraboth wrote:There are a lot of comparisons between Dzogchen and Zen in China/Chinese Buddhists since Dzogchen was introduced to China.
Surely there are lots of differences in methods, but I personally think the similarity is quite obvious,


Read Nubchen -- he states that Mahayoga (not to mention Dzogchen) is superior to Chan because of the means of introduction, even though Chan is a sudden school and Mahayoga is gradual.
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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby username » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:56 pm

narraboth wrote:In a word, I don't really think that there are different recognising. There is only different method to let you recognise. Mahamudra, Dzogchen, or zen, you don't recognise a different mind nature, otherwise it would be like you have different kinds of buddha to accomplish.


There is a lot of talk about all yanas or all religions and ideologies being the same in books and conferences. But it's good deeds for harmony to benefit beings. When was a recent Zen rainbow body? Apart from the missing Vajrayana complete cycles for full enlightenment as well as the unique methods of Dzogchen and Mahamudra, no lineage of transmission of DI/PO: no comparison.

narraboth wrote:Khenpo Ngachung said that the 'power' and qualities of vajrayana led recognition is superior than sutrayana led one, base on his own experience, but still it's not two rigpa being recognised. I think it's just how 'revealed' the mind nature is.


Yes, after suffering and letting others one could have helped suffer too meanwhile and waiting for three incalculable eons or billions of years if not trillions with no guarrantees and possible falls during that long time anyway.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby booker » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:20 pm

Well, at least Zen seems to give a strong foundation for development of spiritual materialism in Vajaryanists/Maha-Mudra/Ati community :D
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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:04 pm

booker wrote:Well, at least Zen seems to give a strong foundation for development of spiritual materialism in Vajaryanists/Maha-Mudra/Ati community :D



Not really. The point is not to convert people, or feel superior. The point is to help people wake up (if that's what they want to do) as fast as humanly possible. This is also the motivation of Chan and Zen based on the sudden approach taught in the Lanka-avatara sutra.

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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:10 pm

Namdrol wrote:My point was that prior to this there are many introductions.
I believe that this idea of gradual vs immediate is a null point. One must consider that for somebody to arrive at the point where they are being directly introduced to the nature of their mind "off the bat" that somewhere, during their infinite previous lifetimes, they have received instructions again and again, accumulted infinite merit, etc... Just coz it happens to mature in this lifetime, in this manner, does not mean that it happened suddenly and without a gradual progression.
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Re: Pointing out instructions

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:22 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Namdrol wrote:My point was that prior to this there are many introductions.
I believe that this idea of gradual vs immediate is a null point. One must consider that for somebody to arrive at the point where they are being directly introduced to the nature of their mind "off the bat" that somewhere, during their infinite previous lifetimes, they have received instructions again and again, accumulted infinite merit, etc... Just coz it happens to mature in this lifetime, in this manner, does not mean that it happened suddenly and without a gradual progression.
:namaste:


Agreed.

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