Dzogchen Study

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Dzogchen Study

Postby mint » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:35 pm

So, I've decided that the best course of action for me is to study the words of ChNNR, who I will take to be my teacher. I have been reading his books such as "Dzogchen The Self Perfected State," "The Crystal," "Song of Vajra," "Guruyoga.". But, what is the best way to study his books and truly reap fruit from that study? Should I be taking notes?

On a similar note, is it okay to write and mark in the restricted books which are to be treated with respect?
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Re: Dzogchen Study

Postby Mr. G » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:40 pm

Don't forget "The Precious Vase" :smile:
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Dzogchen Study

Postby mint » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:44 pm

Mr. G wrote:Don't forget "The Precious Vase" :smile:


I didn't list all the books I have of his, but I do have it. I just want to make sure I get the most out of his books/words.
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Re: Dzogchen Study

Postby Sönam » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:49 pm

I do not take notes, and Rinpoché did talk about those who take notes. I do not take notes because most what he says is in books and because if necessary you can listen again to the teachings. Therefore I feel it better to listen, only listen.
About to mark on books, I would say that if you feel to do so, there is a way to do it with respect ... just being mindful, then respectful.

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: Dzogchen Study

Postby Josef » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:00 pm

I would suggest reading The Precious Vase first and then using the more specific texts to fill in the gaps as you develop your experience through practice.
This way you build the skeleton and then add the meat.
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Re: Dzogchen Study

Postby asunthatneversets » Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:00 am

Studying and taking notes is all well and good in it's place, but only serves to build a mountain of intellectual knowledge for one to become attached to. Everything in those books is "the finger pointing at the moon"... don't fixate on the finger, look where it's pointing.
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Re: Dzogchen Study

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:45 am

Well, if you don't look at the finger, how will you see where it is pointing? :lol:

This is a common problem.
Some people don't take the time to look at the finger carefully and immediately try to look to where it's pointing. They end up looking to a passing cloud and miss the moon. Sometimes they don't bother checking the finger any longer, they just look to the cloud in awe, thinking it is very special! Then they go and tell everyone that they already know where the finger points to, but sadly this is a mistake. I'm not talking about anyone in particular, just saying that it happens.

So look carefully to the finger, mint, ( :lol: sorry couldn't help it...) so that you discover where it points. Then you'll really be able to look past the finger and see the moon.
It's a good idea to use the precious vase as the main trunk. in the end, when you read all the books you already have, you'll have a general picture. There may be the case that you decide to reread some of them again. Meanwhile, keep up the practice. And take it easy on yourself, mate! :thumbsup:
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Re: Dzogchen Study

Postby asunthatneversets » Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:47 am

I actually never said "don't look at the finger"... that would be an ignorant statement. I said reading and understanding intellectually is all well and good in it's place.. because it is.. my point was just don't fixate on the finger, as in don't become too attached to it. But you're right, if you dont know where to look or the nature of what it is youre looking at, so you can be discriminative you're stuck/lost. It's a thin line.

And do make sure you revisit what you've read as you go along, because a lot of times in the beginning you might have difficulty assimilating a certain text, which at a later time when revisited is understood much more clearly. And that's due to the fact that statements and texts will start to either mirror your own sentiments or will describe your own experience, and that will validate your own path. A clear/concise intellectual understanding is incredibly important and serves as an unparalleled supplement to practice in that way.

So don't get me wrong, an intellectual understanding can be very useful. I mean, personally I consumed texts like a wild fire in the beginning, and i still appreciate them just the same. But one needs to know when to/how to divorce the experience from the intellectual understanding. And beware of a misinterpreted intellectual understanding acting as a suggestive force, because ultimately that obviously becomes counterproductive.

"Just as the Buddhas have spoken of "I" and "mine" for a practical purpose; Likewise they spoke too of "aggregates", "Elements" and "sense-fields" for practical purposes. " - Nagarjuna

And further, once the 'moon' (which the finger was pointing to) is identified in actual experience. There still needs to be keen discriminative openness to the practice. As you progress things will become subtler and subtler, and the tricks the mind will play to reinforce the conditioning will become subtler and subtler. So that's where fixation becomes an issue, on whatever level. Everything will come apart, and everything you once knew will be turned on it's head. This is the point ChNN is making in that quote you have as your avatar "It wasn't until later that I came to realize that I hadn't really understood anything at all."

"For those who are suppressed by false knowledge. And grasp the untrue to be true; In them arises from attachment; a series of grasping and contentions" - Nagarjuna

Never become fooled into thinking "I get it"... because truly you can't "get it" conceptually. It can't be known within the traditional confines of acquiring intellectual knowledge. But the more concise the intellectual understanding; the more concise the pointing out is. So it's a thin line and this is where skillful means will help. Ultimately it's just like all those sayings though, just as the eyes cannot see themselves, just as one's teeth cannot bite themselves and just as fire cannot burn itself... you will not be able to intellectually understand the real meaning.

And also be keen on distinguishing Dzogchen from the lower vehicles. Don't get caught up in the bullshit.

"Dzogpa Chenpo is the fortress of view, It's paths and stages are completed instantly. It is not comparable to the lower yanas" - Garab Dorje

"This (Dzogpa Chenpo) is the only resultant yana and it is the summit of all the yanas. Except for this one, other yanas are accompanied by accepting and rejecting, defending and negating; And are created by mind. They are the stairs (leading) to this yana. All the different tenets, divisions of yanas and the paths and stages - by accomplishing the great confidence in this realization - will be perfected in the equalness state without efforts." - Mipham Namgyal

*Edited like wild
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Re: Dzogchen Study

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:52 am

asunthatneversets wrote:Don't get caught up in the bullshit.


Oh, do I hear someone's voice in this one :-)

asunthatneversets wrote:Never become fooled into thinking "I get it"... because truly you can't "get it" conceptually. It can't be known within the traditional confines of acquiring intellectual knowledge. But the more concise the intellectual understanding; the more concise the pointing out is. So it's a thin line and this is where skillful means will help. Ultimately it's just like all those sayings though, just as the eyes cannot see themselves, just as one's teeth cannot bite themselves and just as fire cannot burn itself... you will not be able to intellectually understand the real meaning.


I know that your intentions are as pure as they can be. Still, I can't help thinking: are we really entitled to offer public advice on receiving direct introduction/recognizing the state? Would one be entitled to do so simply because one is a long-term practitioner devoted to the teachings?
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .
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Re: Dzogchen Study

Postby asunthatneversets » Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:56 am

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:Don't get caught up in the bullshit.


Oh, do I hear someone's voice in this one :-)

asunthatneversets wrote:Never become fooled into thinking "I get it"... because truly you can't "get it" conceptually. It can't be known within the traditional confines of acquiring intellectual knowledge. But the more concise the intellectual understanding; the more concise the pointing out is. So it's a thin line and this is where skillful means will help. Ultimately it's just like all those sayings though, just as the eyes cannot see themselves, just as one's teeth cannot bite themselves and just as fire cannot burn itself... you will not be able to intellectually understand the real meaning.


I know that your intentions are as pure as they can be. Still, I can't help thinking: are we really entitled to offer public advice on receiving direct introduction/recognizing the state? Would one be entitled to do so simply because one is a long-term practitioner devoted to the teachings?


That wasn't my intention I think I was just trying to convey the limits of the intellect in the teaching. I don't think anyone's entitled give advice on direct introduction unless they're a teacher. But even at that advice on direct introduction would be leading the student. Everything I writes just my opinion... Take it with a grain of salt :)
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Re: Dzogchen Study

Postby sangyey » Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:08 pm

His Holiness also has a book teaching on the key points of Dzogchen from Patrul Rinpoche's commentary ' Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious King' based on Garab Dorje's 'Hitting the Essence in Three Words'. I don't practice Dzogchen myself (at least not yet) but the book is very insightful and a good resource for understanding basic concepts discussed in Dzogchen teachings. I have the book on my Kindle app.

http://www.amazon.com/Dzogchen-Heart-Essence-Great-Perfection/dp/1559392193/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324728114&sr=8-1
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Re: Dzogchen Study

Postby Sönam » Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:34 pm

I have an infinite respect for His Holiness, and I know he gives teachings on Dzogchen ... and yet, as a Gelugpa monk, how could he gives real Dzogchen teachings? is it not somehow contradictory (concept of existing reality, and so on ...)?
Please fill in my ignorance ...

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: Dzogchen Study

Postby sangyey » Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:03 pm

Not intended to recommend as a teaching to put into practice per se but just as some general knowledge that may help one's understanding on the subject matter. The book contains a translation of Garab Dorje's ' Hitting the Essence in Three Words' and Patrul Rinpoche 's commentary 'Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious King' which maybe useful to read along with His Holiness own commentary on the basics of the Dzogchen teachings. I found the book helpful for being introduced to some basic features and teachings of Dzogchen.

The fifth Dalai Lama I believe had a special connection to the Dzogchen teachings.
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Re: Dzogchen Study

Postby Adamantine » Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:04 pm

Sönam wrote:I have an infinite respect for His Holiness, and I know he gives teachings on Dzogchen ... and yet, as a Gelugpa monk, how could he gives real Dzogchen teachings? is it not somehow contradictory (concept of existing reality, and so on ...)?
Please fill in my ignorance ...

Sönam


Because HH is a Rime master, and is not a simple-minded individual that can only comprehend/assimilate one lineage-philosophy or path of practice. The Dalai Lamas have been Dzogchen masters for generations-- starting with HH the Great 5th, who was himself a Terton. In this life, HH was a Dzogchen student of both HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, himself a Rime master, and HH Dudjom Rinpoche. In the Rime tradition, as you must know, the masters would teach and transmit the teachings in their entirety according to the tradition they came from, not mixing them up in any way.

In this book, HH clarifies many Dzogchen concepts for people who come from a New Translation School background, by comparative examples. This could help everyone from either side of the equation appreciate the similarities and the diversity of the lineages. But I believe despite HH's external appearance and political exoteric role-- he is foremost a practitioner of Dzogchen.
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Dzogchen Study

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:22 pm

:good:
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Re: Dzogchen Study

Postby Malcolm » Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:24 pm

asunthatneversets wrote:

And also be keen on distinguishing Dzogchen from the lower vehicles. Don't get caught up in the bullshit.



Lower vehicles are not bullshit.

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Re: Dzogchen Study

Postby pemachophel » Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:00 pm

Sonam-la,

Someone has already answered about H.H.'s being Gelugpa and a Dzogchen practitioner/Teacher. Are you suggesting being a monk is somehow antithetical to being a "real" Dzogchenpa?
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Re: Dzogchen Study

Postby sangyey » Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:37 pm

What is the significance of Garab Dorje's ' Hitting the Essence in Three Words' to the Dzogchen teachings? I am wondering if there was a first teaching of Dzogchen transmitted to this realm. Perhaps that is it?
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Re: Dzogchen Study

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:08 pm

Sangyey

That is the foundation of the Dzogchen teaching on this physical planet, at least within the Buddhist tradition.

Although the Böns had Dzogchen teachings from Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche, before Garab Dorje.

Some would argue that the Bönpo Dzogchen teachings before Garab Dorje were incomplete, but that implies a contradictory notion: An incomplete Great Completion (!?!)

So obviously they either didn't have Dzogchen Transmission or the Böns did have Dzogchen Transmission.
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Re: Dzogchen Study

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:32 pm

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche wrote that the Bönpo's Twelve Small Tantras of Thigle Chenpo clearly evince the fundamental principle of Dzogchen.
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