Do "dzogchen practices" help or hinder your thinking ability

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Re: Do "dzogchen practices" help or hinder your thinking ability

Postby Malcolm » Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:51 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:
So, having a very good teacher is important, especially because western life brings a lot of challenges if we are to practice more or less "traditionally". It's not like we can go to a retreat and people take care of us while we practice. :smile:


It is also important to remember that we are Mahāyāna practitioners, and engaging in the activities connected with the six perfections is important.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Do "dzogchen practices" help or hinder your thinking ability

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sun Sep 11, 2011 3:12 pm

Indeed, that's undeniable.
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Re: Do "dzogchen practices" help or hinder your thinking ability

Postby Kelwin » Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:07 pm

padma norbu wrote:??

I typically read stuff about mediation that it helps you to deal with stress and clears your head, allowing you to think much better.

Well, non-meditation might be different. How does it affect you?

I personally seem to find that my brain doesn't want to think about stuff, which is difficult when I am trying to figure out some programming stuff and my brain just seems to put on its brakes.

I don't know what's going on or if it related to my practices, but my brain is on vacation and doesn't look like it ever wants to come back.

Excellent question!

Before meditation I used to be intelligent in a very focused/limited way. Basically, analytic skills were through the roof, bordering on the autistic/savant kinda thing. Having meditated in Mahamudra and Dzogchen traditions for some years now, I find that it changes. Because I used to identify so strongly with my thoughts, this was also the force I knew how to use. Getting more distance to them seems to have taken away some of their punch as well.

So what's happening now? I've improved communication, emotional life, self esteem, and a broader intelligence. Losing some of my near-autistic intelligence, I got back a lot more. At the same time, I feel that there is more waiting. A certain direct knowledge which is beyond usual intelligence. A sharpness that connects directly with intuition. As Namdrol rightly mentioned, it's supposed to bring us to omniscience after all. Not there yet, but you can feel it right?

So yes, intelligence to me seems to be affected by the practice of meditation. Positively overall, but negatively in some limited ways. I have no doubt about it all being worth it. And then when there is specific situations where a very sharp mind is needed, there's always Manjusri to think about. That really works for me, have you tried that?

All the best,
Kelwin
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Re: Do "dzogchen practices" help or hinder your thinking ability

Postby Sönam » Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:36 pm

as far as I am concerned, I can relate to that thread http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=5100

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.
- Longchen Rabjam -
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Re: Do "dzogchen practices" help or hinder your thinking ability

Postby Dechen Norbu » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:31 am

Fellows, as I said above you actually may get more intelligent if you do things right. There are many reasons for this to happen.
It doesn't hinder your thinking ability in any way. Only makes it better. Now, if one gets stuck in a deep relaxing torpor (thus stuck at an obstacle), one may damage our intellectual performance. But that is because one is not going the right way. If done correctly, it only helps.
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Re: Do "dzogchen practices" help or hinder your thinking ability

Postby Dechen Norbu » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:54 am

I would also like to add that "intelligence" is not a clear cut construct. But perhaps it's not important to get technical about it. Let's use the expression "thinking ability" instead. And meditation, correctly done, doesn't impair it in any way. Very much the opposite. Of course I am not one authority to talk about meditation, but I had the good circumstances that allowed me to devote nearly 9 years of intensive practice, while having what I consider good guidance. It's not much, it's not impressive and I know that, especially because the starting point was not that special since I was just a regular Joe interested in Dharma practice (but straight A student). Yet, there was a time when I could devote hours a day to it, so without wanting to sound presumptuous, I have a little experience. And I only talk about this experience because I don't want anybody to feel frightened about meditation damaging our thinking ability. Don't think I'm a good practitioner. At best, I'm more or less a devoted practitioner, being an arsehole in part time! :lol:

If done properly, nothing of the sort happens. This doesn't mean that improperly done there aren't some perils. There are and there's a point when one sinks in such a pleasant relaxation where vividness is lacking. It's very, very comfortable and you don't want to stop doing it. In fact, you want to spend hours at it. Such state damages your thinking ability. In a hard way if not corrected. But this only happens if one is a maverick without guidance and a lot of available time, being able to retreat from social activities for long periods. Most don't have these circumstances, so it's not a problem. The biggest problem for those with a westernized lifestyle is learning how to relax properly. Then gross and medium torpor will present themselves and may become a problem, but they can be overcome without a lot of difficulty.
Basically, and that is what I'm trying to say, have no fear about meditation impairing your thinking ability. It's very unlikely and it can be solved if the above described situation occurs. :smile:

Best wishes.
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