Pema Rigdzin wrote:
I'm sure you're entirely well-intended, but this is the exact kind of thing that gives great masters no other choice but to stop teaching this stuff openly to westerners. It's happened before. Please don't cause Norbu Rinpoche to also have to come to such a conclusion.
Don’t worry, I won’t cause any problems. My focus is on my own practice, and on teaching meditation, Buddhism, and world religions in my local community. I was just trying to offer what I wish had been available to me 20 years ago. I was introduced to Dzogchen in the late 80s and the longde teachings in the early 90s, and I immediately felt that the four Da were key to my practice. What I really wanted was to focus on sitting meditation, with the four Da as a guide, However, the Dzogchen community doesn’t emphasize doing sitting meditation together; Rinpoche was around very rarely, and few people in the community (and no other Dzogchen teachers that I met) seemed to focus on longde. I didn’t really find anyone to connect with around it, and so I was on my own, and I had lots of questions. It took many many years, and finding a Zen teacher and community, as well as an unorthodox Thai Vipassana teacher, to really get the support I needed for my sitting practice, even though working with the four Da has still been on my own. After many years, my practice and clarity is settling in. I have become authorized as a meditation teacher and preceptor in a Zen lineage. However, I consider myself primarily a non-sectarian guy, and the four Da have always been central to my practice. When I saw Fa Dao’s questions, I recognized the kind of interest and questions that I had those many years ago. It’s so helpful to have someone to talk to, and ask questions of, around the subtleties of practice, and I never had that with the four Da. So that is where I was coming from in my comments, wanting to offer that kind of support. In my opinion the four Da are a really valuable teaching, and it’s too bad they are not more available. Meanwhile Vipassana and Zen and Shambala folks are out there teaching meditation in prisons, hospitals, schools, and local communities. Myself, I teach meditation to both teens and adults in my community, and counsel folks around their practice. I make no claims or explicitly teach anything that I have not been authorized to. But the four Da are with me always, informing my understanding. It’s too bad I can’t really give credit where credit is due.