username wrote:ChNNR uses the term "presence"...
Is ChNN's translation of dran pa i.e. mindfulness.
Following is what the french translator Jean-Luc Achard says about presence for rigpa ...
"I personally think that "Presence" is the worst word ever to use in order to translate Rigpa. Presence is a sensation, so it belongs to the aggregate of sensations. It, of course, involves consciousnesses (both sensory and mental) and that's precisely where the problem lies. Rigpa is beyond sensations and consciousnesses. It does not depend on these. It is the knowledge of the natural state. What does that mean really ? It means that the Natural State has two qualities : Emptiness and Clarity. Emptiness means absence of inherent existence and Clarity means that this state is self‐discerning ("it knows itself by itself", as Lopon often puts it). In other words, the Clarity of the natural state corresponds to what Rigpa is. This Rigpa is that through which one knows the natural state (when being introduced to it by the master) and that through which our natural state knows itself (just like a lamp illuminates both itself and what is around). And how does it knows itself since it's not a mental consciousness? It precisely discerns (rig) itself from the ordinary mind (sems), from consciousness (rnam‐shes), intellect (blo), intelligence (blo gros), mental (yid), etc. So when you are in the state of Rigpa, you clearly discerns (rig) what pertains to Mind (sems‐nyid, the ultimate nature of Mind) from what pertains to ordinary, conditioned mind (sems). In Thogel context, Rigpa corresponds to the fourth Lamp — the Lamp of the Self‐Arisen Sublime Knowledge (shes‐rab rang‐byung gi sgron ma) — which is, precisely, the Sublime (rab) Knowledge (shes) corresponding to the state of Trekchö. In all of this, there is a very active and dynamic aspect of total Discernment (rig‐pa) or real Knowledge (shes rab) of the natural state, not a mere state of sensing a presence (of what by the way?).
The use of Presence apparently came up about 15 years ago (in printed material, it must have been there orally sometime before, I actually don't know) in the context of the Dzogchen Community from some "translator" (known for indulging quite a lot in the use of smoking illegal substances and in mixing the teachings with other non‐Buddhist/Bon traditions) who put this essentially "New Age" concept into the brain of the masters. The success of the word is actually tragic: people identify inner sensations of quietness and pervasiveness as a state of Presence which they think is Rigpa. This is really far from what Rigpa is."
and to the question : So which translation for rigpa do you like?
"Well, so far in English I haven't found anything I’m really crazy about. In the English translations i do i use Awareness because it's practically impossible to change the usage now. But, as we've discussed elsewhere, etymologically (the high‐German gewhar from which Awareness is derived) does not really fit with the context. In French I use another word. I use "Discernment" because it fits with the simplest definition of Rigpa found in the ZZNG where it is said that Rigpa discerns (rig) or distinguishes (phyed)
the pure (dag = Mind, the nature of mind) from the impure (ma‐dag = mind, the conditioned mind). In this discerning aspect (rig‐cha), there is no duality, simply the ever‐pure, lucid, vivid and fresh knowledge of the natural state. In such a state, the arising of thoughts is not a problem at all, on the contrary they may be more than welcome, especially for investigating the meaning of the teachings, spreading them, etc."