Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

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Re: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby Pero » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:56 pm

ngodrup wrote:Seems to me the thing is, although Dzogchen is perfect, the practitioner
may be less than ideal, so studying Mahamudra is like an insurance plan.

More like need or usefulness. Thinking in terms of insurance is IMO a failure already. "Oh Dzogchen might work, might not, I better study Mahamudra just in case."
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Re: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby heart » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:33 am

mindyourmind wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Better safe than sorry


Kind regards


That would imply that one of the paths has a defect(s).
No-one that matters is saying that, so I cannot see how that can be the answer.


Most teachers today have so many transmissions and they also have many students of various caliber. They will then of course teach many different kind of teachings in order to help their students.

Also it is not a question of Mahamudra vs Dzogchen as you think. There are so many traditions and teachings and various styles of presenting it. Without leaving the Nyingma tradition you can find termas that teach everything from Dzoogchen, Chö, Six yogas, Mahamudra, Shije and much more. Even a single Terton might have all these traditions and more. Nyingmas practice Mahamudra within their own tradition. Kagyus don't need to leave home to get Dzogchen teachings. Your idea of Vajrayana in Tibet might be a little lacking foundation in reality if you think there is something lacking in Mahamudra if your teacher also teach Dzogchen.

/magnus
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Re: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby mindyourmind » Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:05 am

heart wrote:
mindyourmind wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Better safe than sorry


Kind regards


That would imply that one of the paths has a defect(s).
No-one that matters is saying that, so I cannot see how that can be the answer.


Most teachers today have so many transmissions and they also have many students of various caliber. They will then of course teach many different kind of teachings in order to help their students.

Also it is not a question of Mahamudra vs Dzogchen as you think. There are so many traditions and teachings and various styles of presenting it. Without leaving the Nyingma tradition you can find termas that teach everything from Dzoogchen, Chö, Six yogas, Mahamudra, Shije and much more. Even a single Terton might have all these traditions and more. Nyingmas practice Mahamudra within their own tradition. Kagyus don't need to leave home to get Dzogchen teachings. Your idea of Vajrayana in Tibet might be a little lacking foundation in reality if you think there is something lacking in Mahamudra if your teacher also teach Dzogchen.

/magnus


'Lacking foundation in reality'?

Really, Magnus?

Rather read my question properly and spare me the lecture.
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Re: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:21 am

I'm not very learned, especially about Mahamudra, but it seems to me that combining Mahamudra and Dzogchen is a matter of practicality and usefulness. Dzogchen Nyingthig seems pretty much direct. Yes, it has preliminaries that are designed to help one distinguish the primordial state, but compared to Mahamudra it still seems like a "you either got it or you don't" situation until one eventually has a breakthrough. For the most part, the way Nyingthig is presented seems to concern itself with continuing in that state and how to go even deeper into one's realization through togal.

Of course Mahamudra also obviously talks plenty about continuing in the primordial state, but it seems to have much more emphasis on the part where one is going about discovering it and gaining certainty about it, so it has many step-by-step methods for leading one to that point. I think most students, whether of Dzogchen or Mahamudra, need such step-by-step guidance in order to gain absolute certainty that they've distinguished rigpa from the many mental states that can really fool one into thinking "ah, this must be it." Distinguishing the primordial state and gaining certainty that one has not gone astray is difficult! Even for people with a clear karmic connection with Dzogchen. And it seems like many Dzogchen masters nowadays - at least in the West - teach in this more gradual way even if the Dzogchen they're ultimately aiming at teaching is Nyingthig.

Also, the other obvious reason for combining Mahamudra and Dzogchen is that in this combo tradition, just as in Nyingthig, the main point is ultimately to progress through the four visions of togal.
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Re: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby heart » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:46 am

mindyourmind wrote:'Lacking foundation in reality'?

Really, Magnus?

Rather read my question properly and spare me the lecture.


I read your question and answered it extensively in several posts although already the question seems to come from a certain lack of experience in both Mahmudra and Dzogchen. If you don't understand or don't like the answers you get maybe you should try and reformulate the question.

/magnus
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Re: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby mindyourmind » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:12 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:I'm not very learned, especially about Mahamudra, but it seems to me that combining Mahamudra and Dzogchen is a matter of practicality and usefulness. Dzogchen Nyingthig seems pretty much direct. Yes, it has preliminaries that are designed to help one distinguish the primordial state, but compared to Mahamudra it still seems like a "you either got it or you don't" situation until one eventually has a breakthrough. For the most part, the way Nyingthig is presented seems to concern itself with continuing in that state and how to go even deeper into one's realization through togal.

Of course Mahamudra also obviously talks plenty about continuing in the primordial state, but it seems to have much more emphasis on the part where one is going about discovering it and gaining certainty about it, so it has many step-by-step methods for leading one to that point. I think most students, whether of Dzogchen or Mahamudra, need such step-by-step guidance in order to gain absolute certainty that they've distinguished rigpa from the many mental states that can really fool one into thinking "ah, this must be it." Distinguishing the primordial state and gaining certainty that one has not gone astray is difficult! Even for people with a clear karmic connection with Dzogchen. And it seems like many Dzogchen masters nowadays - at least in the West - teach in this more gradual way even if the Dzogchen they're ultimately aiming at teaching is Nyingthig.

Also, the other obvious reason for combining Mahamudra and Dzogchen is that in this combo tradition, just as in Nyingthig, the main point is ultimately to progress through the four visions of togal.


I think that is getting us a bit closer. Mahamudra in general of course does not aim for togal's four visions.

I accept ecumenical reasons, or even experimentation, trying to find what works for a particular practitioner. I am however interested in the variety of reasons why this combination is practiced. Why someone would practice two complete, inherently sufficient paths together.

If we accept that the one does not need the other, why practice both? Are there other reasons in addition to these mentioned?
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Re: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby mindyourmind » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:20 pm

heart wrote:
mindyourmind wrote:'Lacking foundation in reality'?

Really, Magnus?

Rather read my question properly and spare me the lecture.


I read your question and answered it extensively in several posts although already the question seems to come from a certain lack of experience in both Mahmudra and Dzogchen. If you don't understand or don't like the answers you get maybe you should try and reformulate the question.

/magnus


I could never aspire to reaching your levels of knowledge and experience, Magnus, of course. No-one can.

So first you answer my question 'extensively' and then in a later post you wade in with a commentary on my 'lack of experience'? All the other posters clearly understood the question. I have no problem with the answers I am getting, the comments all assist me in forming my own opinion on this. What I do have a problem with are your assumptions and unsolicited, off-topic comment.

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Re: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby username » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:06 pm

Mahamudra and Dzogchen compliment each other perfectly as Magnus and others explained. It's like saying someone should either drink red wine or white. And it's not just resorting to Mahamudra if in dfficulty as it's easier, which is not true, but it can help the other way too. It depends on the individual's circumstances on the path. That is why it is often recommended.

From the normal practitioner or ordinary monks' point of view usually only one is chosen due to being a busy lay person or if the local monastery/gurus might only be teaching one of the two or recommending only one due to the person's circumstances/characteristics and/or karmic connections. Or aiming to accomplish or make substantial progress with one first.

From the point of view of the greatest meditation masters in history till recent times, probably the majority but not all, great renowned meditation masters/mistresses learned and/or practiced both when they didn't have to. As Dilgo Khyentse answered about why recite mantras/sadhanas if one achieves being in the real nature of mind most of the time by saying doesn't hurt and what is better to do then? So the real question, if there is one, is why not? For these reasons and what others have said and is well known, the thread title is surprising to me as others mentioned too.
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: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby mindyourmind » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:23 pm

username wrote:Mahamudra and Dzogchen compliment each other perfectly as Magnus and others explained. It's like saying someone should either drink red wine or white. And it's not just resorting to Mahamudra if in dfficulty as it's easier, which is not true, but it can help the other way too. It depends on the individual's circumstances on the path. That is why it is often recommended.

From the normal practitioner or ordinary monks' point of view usually only one is chosen due to being a busy lay person or if the local monastery/gurus might only be teaching one of the two or recommending only one due to the person's circumstances/characteristics and/or karmic connections. Or aiming to accomplish or make substantial progress with one first.

From the point of view of the greatest meditation masters in history till recent times, probably the majority but not all, great renowned meditation masters/mistresses learned and/or practiced both when they didn't have to. As Dilgo Khyentse answered about why recite mantras/sadhanas if one achieves being in the real nature of mind most of the time by saying doesn't hurt and what is better to do then? So the real question, if there is one, is why not? For these reasons and what others have said and is well known, the thread title is surprising to me as others mentioned too.


The question itself surprises you? And others? Good, let it be asked then.
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Re: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby username » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:39 pm

Magnus, If a person practices Dzogchen or Mahamudra, then it is not based in reality as you said to exclude the other as a general rule for the following reasons. Since it is impossible for them not to read or even if illiterate not to take teachings on other parts of the dharma. This, someone only doing either Dzogchen or Mahamudra and no other parts of dharma, just does not exist. So a Dzogchen or Mahamudra pactitioner will undoubtedly be exposed to teachings/texts/practices on other Vajrayana systems or lower yanas. It is simply a fantasy and unrealistic as you said that they only do Dzogchen or Mahamudra. And nothing else. Now once we accept this basic rule of reality as it exists in TB, then when studying or taking a teaching apart from one's main practice of either of the two, as proven inevitable above: why not some of the inevitable other dharma teachings one will be exposed to should not be Mahamudra for a Dzogchenpa and why not Dzogchen for a Changchenpa? Specially as they compliment each other perfectly as taught to even beginners. So your assertion was very true both in actual reality as well as simple logic.
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: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby heart » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:31 pm

username wrote:Magnus, If a person practices Dzogchen or Mahamudra, then it is not based in reality as you said to exclude the other as a general rule for the following reasons. Since it is impossible for them not to read or even if illiterate not to take teachings on other parts of the dharma. This, someone only doing either Dzogchen or Mahamudra and no other parts of dharma, just does not exist. So a Dzogchen or Mahamudra pactitioner will undoubtedly be exposed to teachings/texts/practices on other Vajrayana systems or lower yanas. It is simply a fantasy and unrealistic as you said that they only do Dzogchen or Mahamudra. And nothing else. Now once we accept this basic rule of reality as it exists in TB, then when studying or taking a teaching apart from one's main practice of either of the two, as proven inevitable above: why not some of the inevitable other dharma teachings one will be exposed to should not be Mahamudra for a Dzogchenpa and why not Dzogchen for a Changchenpa? Specially as they compliment each other perfectly as taught to even beginners. So your assertion was very true both in actual reality as well as simple logic.


I am glad you see my point, sorry I upset mindyourmind anyway.

/magnus
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Re: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby narraboth » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:04 pm

Pero wrote:
ngodrup wrote:Seems to me the thing is, although Dzogchen is perfect, the practitioner
may be less than ideal, so studying Mahamudra is like an insurance plan.

More like need or usefulness. Thinking in terms of insurance is IMO a failure already. "Oh Dzogchen might work, might not, I better study Mahamudra just in case."


but if it's like need or usefulness, it's the same?
dzogchen might be needed/useful for me, might not, so i better study mahamudra.

i think the difference used to be mainly on lama's side, he decides which is better for you, and you just do what he said.
but nowadays people start worrying about which path they should go... i mean, how can we know?
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Re: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby Pero » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:20 pm

narraboth wrote:
Pero wrote:
ngodrup wrote:Seems to me the thing is, although Dzogchen is perfect, the practitioner
may be less than ideal, so studying Mahamudra is like an insurance plan.

More like need or usefulness. Thinking in terms of insurance is IMO a failure already. "Oh Dzogchen might work, might not, I better study Mahamudra just in case."


but if it's like need or usefulness, it's the same?
dzogchen might be needed/useful for me, might not, so i better study mahamudra.


Yes, the way you put it it would be the same. But I didn't mean it like that. More like "Dzogchen works but Mahamudra seems like it would be helpful/useful to me at the moment."
So I meant need/usefulness more from the perspective of one's dzogchen practice. I think it should come from one's awareness of one's situation/condition, not from doubt.

but nowadays people start worrying about which path they should go... i mean, how can we know?

By observing one's condition. :smile:
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Re: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby heart » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:03 am

I think Namdrol mentioned it in an other thread. Study the Dharma wide and deep. If you do that you will find your teacher. Finding a teacher is paramount. Thinking it is about choosing between Mahamudra and Dzogchen is a little superficial in comparison to that.

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Re: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby mindyourmind » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:40 am

And so the thread continues on which of the two paths are best - which was not the question at all.
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Re: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby mindyourmind » Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:39 am

I have just received a large order of Dharma books, amongst them is "The quintessence of the union of Mahamudra and Dzokchen" by Karma Chakme Rinpoche, with commentary by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. That should clear this up.

I see that early on in the book KKR says "If you are going to uphold a specific lineage, you need to understand the terminology and methods of that specific system - its view, meditation and conduct. On the other hand, if you just want to practice for your own liberation, it is more effective to combine these things into one."
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Re: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby muni » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:18 am

Only an awakened (who sees how dream is and remains undistracted) can see sharply what miperception/how misperception in a students' nature is by examinating this. This is probably the base of what is needful. In groups, I don't know. Also many masters also are rime. Yongye Mingyur La, great teacher his only concern is "to help nature see nature".
Then careful seeks how to introduce nature depend on this. Then there is not a question in why combining or merely nature recognizing but to use what is waking up in pure honesty, unconditioned love and skills at that moment.
To remain stable master can give you extra practices, one must be sincere, and able to remain in trust, and secrecy, respect what is sacred.

Ask it a Dzogchen-Mahamudra master, friend in Africa, in all honesty. Even the sharings here can be general info for all of us, no any master is going to tell you: ask it on internet.
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Re: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby heart » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:45 am

mindyourmind wrote:And so the thread continues on which of the two paths are best - which was not the question at all.


Eh? :alien:

/magnus
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Re: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby daelm » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:03 am

mindyourmind wrote:
I could never aspire to reaching your levels of knowledge and experience, Magnus, of course. No-one can.

So first you answer my question 'extensively' and then in a later post you wade in with a commentary on my 'lack of experience'? All the other posters clearly understood the question. I have no problem with the answers I am getting, the comments all assist me in forming my own opinion on this. What I do have a problem with are your assumptions and unsolicited, off-topic comment.

When you have nothing to say, say it.



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Re: Why combine Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Postby daelm » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:06 am

mindyourmind wrote:And so the thread continues on which of the two paths are best - which was not the question at all.



also, that's an awesome signature you have there :smile:


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