Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby Pero » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:41 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:Right, I'd actually meant Longsal practices.

Ah, sorry.

With having the Lung for Longsal preliminaries, can I practice the preliminaries until I receive the Longsal Empowerment as well?

Or would I have had to have received the Longsal Empowerment in order to practice the Longsal preliminaries, even though I've received the Lung for the Longsal preliminaries.

There is not really something called "Longsal Empowerment". Longsal is Rinpoche's cycle of revealed teachings, it includes a variety of empowerments. Sorry, couldn't resist. :D
Seriously though, there is Longsal root initation but this is not what Namdrol was talking about. What he was talking about is really a way of giving direct introduction. You don't have to receive any kind of specific Longsal empowerment to practice Longsal Ngondro, just the lung and even that is not totally necessary like I explained previously.
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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby Lhug-Pa » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:47 pm

Namdrol wrote:yes.


Thanks. I've got enough 'practices' lined up as it is, but if upon reading about the Longsal preliminaries we decide that it's more effective, then it can only help to adjust our practice for the better. Of course it's important too to work with what we have and stick to it, instead of going something like "Oh, I now have a Lung for this other better practice, I'd better learn it first before I start practicing." (note to self)


Pero

No worries lol

Ah I see, thanks again. :thanks:
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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:09 am

Lhug-Pa wrote:
Namdrol wrote:yes.


Thanks. I've got enough 'practices' lined up as it is, but if upon reading about the Longsal preliminaries we decide that it's more effective, then it can only help to adjust our practice for the better. Of course it's important too to work with what we have and stick to it, instead of going something like "Oh, I now have a Lung for this other better practice, I'd better learn it first before I start practicing." (note to self)


Pero

No worries lol

Ah I see, thanks again. :thanks:



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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby Lhug-Pa » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:22 am

Anyone who receives a transmission for Longsal preliminaries.

I was thinking out loud basically, but was also addressing my post to anyone reading who might possibly benefit from it.
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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby wisdom » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:58 am

This is my opinion, which is likely to be less profound than many practitioners who have studied Buddhism far longer than I have. There may also be many mistakes or misconceptions, I don't know, but here it is-

padma norbu wrote:We still have the end result of buddhahood which is expressed in spontaneous manifestations which then, if human manifestations, must re-awaken to buddhahood all over again. This is why the historical Buddha was a display and why Padmasambhava, Garab Dorje and everyone else pretty much has to re-learn and re-train to have realization for themselves.


In a sense. Except that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas reincarnate for the benefit of all beings (not because they have to), and they don't exactly have to relearn *everything*. There are many things that are carried over, such as an ability to understand the Dharma, practice it, faithfully follow a teacher, various siddhis, and so forth. Some even incarnate with knowledge of their past life, even if its not a total knowledge. This isn't even to consider the merit they bring with them, allowing them to easily find Dharma and so forth.

padma norbu wrote:Also, if we see our guru as the Buddha, doesn't that mean we should really believe it? If we do, doesn't that mean Namkhai Norbu is a Buddha and so he (and all other real human gurus) are examples of those who have already gone beyond and come back as displays to re-learn it all again in a different incarnation? I think the real answer to this question is "no" because our modern gurus are not really Buddhas (and surely someone will say that my lack of seeing them as such is part of my problem!), but if we are to see them as such, then we should believe this is the case. So, then, what is the point? Endless cycles of this crapola to realize buddhahood, manifest new incarnations and undergo amnesia in the next incarnation to re-train, re-learn, re-awaken and do it all over again forever and ever?


Once we realize emptiness as an experience (the sixteen moments of the Path of Seeing) the fires of wisdom will burn away our innate obscuration and most of this stuff won't matter anymore. That we incarnated will not matter, nor will the prospect of doing it again matter, nor will it be possible for us to not see enlightened beings as enlightened. Absolute bodhicitta will arise, and with that we will willingly come back to benefit all beings. As for seeing gurus as enlightened, part of this is skillful means. If we don't think its possible for them, it won't be possible for us.

Faith in the guru is also important because otherwise how can we faithfully practice anything? We are told to do this or that, but if we doubt the source, we will doubt the practice, which in turn will just cause us to doubt a lot of things. Then in the end, we will not have accomplished anything because we are so worried about the authenticity of a teaching or a teacher, when in reality, in the first place, we should examine the teacher thoroughly and see if they fit the bill of an enlightened being. As many authors say, the primary and most important quality in a teacher is bodhicitta in action, they must be acting for others benefit.

padma norbu wrote:It is just really a lot of stuff that doesn't make much sense and there is little comfort in the worn out idea that it is beyond conceptual limitation. Other traditions say the same thing about God.


True, but with major differences that appear minor. For one, God is a belief that is often based on "knowing" one of the imponderables, such as the origin of the universe, its age, and so forth. Its beyond concepts but not experience, whatever is taught in Buddhism you can experience directly. Then you *can* put it into words, but you will realize in doing so that words are a limitation. However, once wisdom (the experience of emptiness) arises many things you've learned about and read will bear fruit immediately. Not only that, but all these texts that sound like contradictions and so forth, you will understand perfectly even while realizing the limitations of conceptual thought in expressing the inexpressible. It will no longer matter for you because, having experienced it yourself, any words that describe the ultimate truth will not merely be fingers pointing at a moon, but will cause you to remember and realize the moon again, because you've experienced it already and know for yourself that its true.

In essence, Buddhism deals entirely with what can either be known or experienced. There may be an element of faith involved, but its not an eternal blind faith, even if it might feel that way.

padma norbu wrote: The truth according to Dzogchen is so simple it's basically pointless; this is how things are and whether you like it or not it will be this way for eternity and there is really no escape.


I would say "this is the truth whether or not you like it, and there is nothing to escape from".

padma norbu wrote:The world has become a place of (in sequential order from hinayana to dzogchen): look but don't touch


I would say "Dont look, don't touch". Looking is in itself a form of attachment, and the goal of renunciation is to remove all attachments, all subtle attractions, even down to the habitual ways in which we think about things we are attached to. For example, once we conquer our attachment to an object, we will find our eyes are naturally drawn to it whenever its around, even if we have no desire for it and are not thinking about it. Thats still a level of attachment which we should seek to remove at the level of Hinayana.

padma norbu wrote:, touch but don't feel


I would say look but don't touch. Now you have to look at many things, but you are to do so without attachment, and whatever you do that appears to violate the 5 precepts, you are doing with bodhicitta for the benefit of another being, which frees you from doing something with attachment.

padma norbu wrote:, feel but don't care,


I would say look and feel, without attachment. Now you can let anything arise, any passion, thought, anger, emotion. But by this point (Vajrayana) you've ideally already experienced emptiness on the path of Mahayana, therefore have absolute Bodhicitta, and are ready to begin moving towards the non dual state. Here you see all things as pure. In Hinayana there is black and white, pure and impure. In Mahayana, there are grey areas because of Bodhicitta. Here all is pure. Dzogchen, pure and impure are transcended entirely.

padma norbu wrote: care but don't cling, correct your desire-passions but don't correct too much or you have strayed from the path. Rest in the present moment undistracted by thoughts, but of course you can think, too, because in fact if you don't, then something is wrong...


I believe the teaching about not thinking is taught in order to prevent people from forcing themselves not to think and believing that "not thinking" is Dzogchen. In my opinion, someone in the natural state might or might not be thinking, whatever the case they just let it happen and it makes little difference. Its not like if no thoughts arise, a Dzogchenpa is going to force thoughts, but in the same way, they are not going to go (Oh no theres thoughts!) and try to suppress them, which I believe is the intention behind this and what is trying to be avoided here.

In general though I feel that many people get into Dzogchen without really appreciating the "lower" vehicles, failing to realize that any vehicle can be practiced as a method of skillful means while realizing it as a manifestation of primordial wisdom, even Hinayana levels of practice. Recognizing our true nature mostly means seeing just how ignorant we are, not how realized we are. So, thats why many Dzogchen practitioners, for example, practice Vajrayana. And Vajrayana is great because Ngondro embodies the Hinayana and Mahayana levels if properly practiced, then leads you through Vajrayana towards the Great Perfection.

padma norbu wrote: Seems like a series of exercises to discombobulate your brain, really, and accomplish nothing except detachment with a pleasant disposition. One could easily argue it is just another opiate of the masses. This one is so powerful people are actually okay with sitting in cold caves in the himalayas with nothing but some robes and a mala.


Many people might use it as an opiate of the masses, sure there are people of blind faith, little devotion, little learning, no practice, who verge on being either orthodox practitioners which is a hilarious idea, or have no intention to realize ultimate truth for themselves or others. Its not an opiate because it just teaches the truth. It doesn't contrive some fantastic story about how Buddha is gonna come save us all. The message is- everything is suffering, heres the path, save yourself. Even believing in the Guru as Buddha is skillful means performed in order to save yourself, because in the end the Guru cannot liberate you, cannot make you Buddha, otherwise all Gurus would just do this, and everyone would be a Buddha. Its up to us.

Also the doctrine of emptiness is outright frightening to many people, which is why its not revealed to everyone even though in this day and age anyone could access it if they wanted. There are stories about Buddha teaching emptiness and people with heavy obscuration becoming terrified, vomiting blood and dying. Even if its symbolic, the message is clear. Buddhism is not for the light hearted. There is a Bodhisattva Bhumi called "Able to bear the truth". In other words someone believed that a person must have a high degree of realization to merely bear the truth because its that difficult. You won't find that kind of stuff in world religion-opiates.
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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:29 am

padma norbu wrote: When we achieve our goal of ultimate liberation, we then spontaneously manifest for the benefit of other beings. We then have perfect control of our incarnations and may manifest as multiple beings... although, for some reason, despite this ultimate liberation and perfection of wisdom, these human incarnations we have "perfect control of" seem to display amnesia and must re-learn all the wisdom which their previous incarnations have already learned and which was known perfectly when the spontaneous manifestation occurred.

Somewhere beyond time, outside of time, this perfected Buddhahood someone has recognized which is not different from any other buddha, exists for the benefit of beings in perfect wisdom while its many manifestations incarnate with amnesia to help others to become buddhas and, by the way, to become buddhas themselves. So, the manifestations of the buddhas apparently need to become buddhas, too.



Guys, PN has mentioned the bolded concept above in multiple posts, in different wording, trying to make this concern of his clear, yet no one (edit* except our friend Wisdom, above) seems to have noticed. Instead, he's mostly been given the exhortation to "keep plugging away practicing."

If I was under the illusion that the complete realization of Dzogchen, once gained, would be lost in every successive incarnation, and would have to be re-discovered over and over forever, I too might be thinking it sounds like a waste of time, and that worldly, pleasurable aims might seem more worthwhile. No one has spoken to this, which is why PN is obviously a bit frustrated with all the irrelevant advice.

PN,

Someone who gains complete realization of Dzogchen will not ever "get amnesia." However, not all people referred to by others as "Dzogchen masters" have gained complete realization of Dzogchen, which would equate to the completion of the 4th vision of togal. According to Khenpo Ngakchung and others, it is only at the point of togal's 3rd vision that one becomes an arya. And then, my understanding is that it is not until something like the equivalent of the 8th bhumi onward that aryas can incarnate with no covering up of their realization. Aryas below that level will still be somewhat obscured upon reincarnating and need to re-awaken their realization to some degree, although for them I think it's more like re-learning to ride a bicycle for someone who hasn't done it in years, rather than starting over from scratch.

When fully enlightened buddhas incarnate, however, such as Padmasambhava or Garab Dorje, it would be impossible for them to inwardly have a need to re-learn or re-awaken anything. Such beings have removed all emotional and knowledge obscurations. However, incarnated buddhas have been known to manifest the display of "traversing the path and attaining buddhahood" in order to demonstrate how to properly walk the path; they've also been known to make such a display in order to fit the pre-conceptions and conceptual constraints of beings they were trying to tame and guide (i.e. displays such as appearing to follow expected protocol in order to appear legitimate and PC according to their audience's concepts).
Last edited by Pema Rigdzin on Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby Lhug-Pa » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:42 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Guys, PN has mentioned the bolded concept above in multiple posts, in different wording, trying to make this concern of his clear, yet no one (edit* except our friend Wisdom, above) seems to have noticed.


:hi:

*Click on the above emoticon*
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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:56 am

Sorry, Lhugpa, forgot about your post. Nevertheless, the idea that buddhas can "choose to get amnesia and walk the path again to gain even more knowledge the second time around" is hogwash. Buddhism does not teach this. Buddhism teaches that complete Buddhahood means the eradication of all knowledge and emotional obscurations. Dzogchen further specifies that truly complete buddhahood also means realizing all appearances to be the radiance of one's own state. Thus, nothing more to learn, no talents or skills to further perfect beyond that.

Anyhow, my point still stands - if we want to help PN, we should start by addressing his stated concerns. Telling him to just practice more when one of his main concerns is that the ultimate result of such practice is impermanent doesn't make much sense. We have to explain how and why complete realization of Dzogchen is in fact permanent, unobstructed, uninterrupted.

PN of course had some other concerns, too, but this seemed like the most crucial one.
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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby Lhug-Pa » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:39 am

Well "amnesia" isn't a good way to word what I was getting at. And what I was getting at is actually something also related to the teachings of Gurdjieff, but I wouldn't expect many here to accept it as being compatible with orthodox (so to speak) Buddhism, so I digress.
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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby Adamantine » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:56 am

Lhug-Pa wrote:Well "amnesia" isn't a good way to word what I was getting at. And what I was getting at is actually something also related to the teachings of Gurdjieff, but I wouldn't expect many here to accept it as being compatible with orthodox (so to speak) Buddhism, so I digress.


How is it compatible with Gurdjieff? I am not recognizing what you are referring to. . .
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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby Adamantine » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:54 am

padma norbu wrote: whether it's true or not, one thing I'm definitely sure of: one could easily waste an entire lifetime in sitting contemplation and wind up with nothing but a calloused ass.



yup. but maybe it's worth the risk. i mean, what are the other options?

----> join some much more absurd and less-likely-to-be-true belief system (scientology, catholicism, adidam, take your pick)

or go to the other extreme and adopt scientific materialism / nihilism, and focus on the pursuit of wordly temporary pleasure,
or simply remain agnostic about all of it.

no matter which option you choose, or don't choose, you will inevitably be wasting a lifetime - in that you will come to the end of it with nothing, ass calloused or not will rot or burn away, along with the rest of the flesh and accumulated stuff you associate with I and mine.

the thing that gives me confidence in the Buddhadharma is having spent time with some of the yogis from old-tibet, who spent many years in retreat, and i'm sure their asses are more calloused than yours could hope to become! One of them spent over 30 years in retreat. Others were in retreat by default, by virtue of the PRC prison camps. .

but having close contact with even one or two people like this is what makes all the difference, because as much as they don't flaunt themselves as great masters as some ego-tripping cultish gurus might, it becomes clear as day that they are beyond ordinary, know your mind better than you do yourself, and have the ability to guide you into recognition of it.

however the intellectual element of these teachings is framed, once you've sat in the presence of a being like this and had them respond to thoughts that you hadn't vocalized, or given you transmissions beyond language or request-- everything else becomes less pronounced. I don't know how many people can find yogis like this to spend time with, but I am just recounting my experience of what gave me incontrovertible confidence in the path-- and it sure as hell was not just a seamless intellectual framework-- although that part does work better for me than any other tradition I've encountered.. If you're hell bent on knowing for sure then travel to India, Nepal, and Tibet and seek out some of these people. Or you could just take my word for it!

As for the amnesia thing, for an example of a master who appeared to not have this type of problem look into Dudjom Lingpa (whose autobiography was just translated and published) and his following emanation/incarnation Dudjom Rinpoche. I do understand being discouraged by seeing some very high tulkus seeming to not have any recollection of who they were, etc. but this is certainly not always the case.. and tulkus are not always realized enough to have total clarity-- or on the other hand they are not always who they are supposed to be..
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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:48 am

:good:

I could give many similar examples re: being in the presence of undeniably sublime lamas who inspired great faith in me, but one easy one is one of my Dzogchen gurus who was imprisoned by the communist Chinese gov't for 22 yrs and also tortured, though he is the most joyful, confident, giving, carefree individual one could ever meet.

Also, what Adamantine mentioned about supposed realized tulkus sometimes not being who they're said to be, that is another possibility that I forgot to mention. Sadly, it has surely happened.
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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby heart » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:59 am

Yeah, great post Adamantine. My Guru never made any long retreats but once, maybe 15 years ago, he accidentally made spend an afternoon with him in his reception room. His incredible kindness and skillfulness while constantly receiving people from all walks of life and all parts of the world and serving them without bias and without a moment of rest for himself was a very convincing display of enlightened activity. It was at that time that he also took time giving me the direct introduction for the first time.

/magnus
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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby asunthatneversets » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:26 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Sorry, Lhugpa, forgot about your post. Nevertheless, the idea that buddhas can "choose to get amnesia and walk the path again to gain even more knowledge the second time around" is hogwash. Buddhism does not teach this. Buddhism teaches that complete Buddhahood means the eradication of all knowledge and emotional obscurations. Dzogchen further specifies that truly complete buddhahood also means realizing all appearances to be the radiance of one's own state. Thus, nothing more to learn, no talents or skills to further perfect beyond that.

Anyhow, my point still stands - if we want to help PN, we should start by addressing his stated concerns. Telling him to just practice more when one of his main concerns is that the ultimate result of such practice is impermanent doesn't make much sense. We have to explain how and why complete realization of Dzogchen is in fact permanent, unobstructed, uninterrupted.

PN of course had some other concerns, too, but this seemed like the most crucial one.


I noticed this reoccurring concern too, and i agree with what you're saying here, although I can't say whether or not there would be more to learn or not. I remember someone asking Lama Lena a question along the same lines the last time she was here, and she said that the depths and dimensions of this really goes as far as one wishes to take it. I take Lama Wangdor to be the "real deal" so her word seems something to trust.

As for this "entity" which is said to transmigrate, if buddhahood is the full and total removal of the misconception of "I", and upon the dissolution of this ignorance ones true nature exists unobscured shining timelessly in it's fullness, then "that" which buddhahood reveals was never born and thus cannot die.

The feeling of being a separate individual is the product of habitual conventionalities being engrained into ones view to such a perverse level, that the conventionally influenced tendencies then become subconscious conditioning which fully dominates one's perception. So what is mere conventionality is then paraded as inherency and this delusion completely envelops one's perceptions to the point that the unreal becomes a common sensical point of reference which makes apperceiving one's true nature a seemingly impossible task. I think what you're feeling is completely normal PN. But I would agree with Pema Rigdzin in his statement that complete realization of Dzogchen is in fact permanent, unobstructed, uninterrupted.

PN I was in your same position maybe a year and a half ago. I'd come to the conclusion that whatever it was i was seeking wasn't going to be found in dzogchen the way it had been presented to me and implemented in the group practices i'd been attending. I lost faith in it because all i knew of it was ideas which had to be adopted and "believed in".... and for all I knew could be an "opiate to the masses" like you worded. I felt that believing in all this "stuff" that went along with the teaching was no better than believing in any other system of belief. And i didn't want belief, i still feel that belief is slavery... so i gave up on dzogchen, i mean i still thought it was a grand teaching and respected it... I still kept a giant thangka of Ekajati hanging on my wall and i remained open to it but I went a different route for awhile. I dibbled and dabbled in other nondual teachings and philosophies and pursued grokking these other teachings for a bit... until one day i had a really intense experience which pretty much knocked me on my ass... and I had a "f*ck this is what dzogchen was talking about" moment, and i saw first hand what it had been pointing to... and saw that it pointed to pretty much close to the same thing the other nondual teachings were pointing to but just in a different way... and i discovered other dzogchen teachings which were much more clear than those i'd been reading and learning about before... and i learned to appreciate the practices i'd abandoned before and formed a new found love for the teachings.

But it took me deviating from it to rediscover it's amazing qualities in a different light... and that deviation proved to deliver a much deeper and more profound relationship with the dharma, buddhism and dzogchen.

So i think what you're feeling is completely natural, and totally normal, and i can completely relate. But just let it be a signal that maybe a change of some kind is appropriate, what that is i don't know, and at this point I could never suggest that a different teaching would be more appropriate but maybe learning about other nondual teachings and comparing the similarities you find to what you already know could deepen your connection to the dharma. But at the same time perhaps not! You'll know what's right for you... but listen to that feeling inside and do what you need to do... i believe that "something" leads us in the right direction we need to go in to reach liberation... I've personally had waaaayy to many "coincidences" pop up and opportunities arise which i ended up taking advantage of resulting in auspicious circumstances and realizations to say otherwise. But listen to your heart, it knows the way!
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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:37 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:

Guys, PN has mentioned the bolded concept above in multiple posts, in different wording, trying to make this concern of his clear, yet no one (edit* except our friend Wisdom, above) seems to have noticed. Instead, he's mostly been given the exhortation to "keep plugging away practicing."

If I was under the illusion that the complete realization of Dzogchen, once gained, would be lost in every successive incarnation, and would have to be re-discovered over and over forever, I too might be thinking it sounds like a waste of time, and that worldly, pleasurable aims might seem more worthwhile. No one has spoken to this, which is why PN is obviously a bit frustrated with all the irrelevant advice.


Buddhahood, AFAIK is irreversible.

If it wasn't and we had to do realize it again at the beginning of a new kalpa because we had failed to recognize the display of our wisdom, this would still be better than the alternative: samsara. Worse, hellish experience of samsara, that seems to be the most common according to the teachings.

Maybe Namdrol cares to speak a little further about this.

As appealing as wordily pleasurable aims may seem the have two inherent problems. The first is that they end. Things change permanently. The second is that their power to bring satisfaction is limited so they never really remove the lack of plenitude we suffer from, rooted in avidya. So it would never be a good deal to trust them as a panacea to solve our fundamental problem.

Nevertheless, all these transcendental doubts, stated that there is a Buddhahood, are pretty much irrelevant. We can't know for sure what happens at the end or the beginning of a kalpa. Not right now, not from our perspective. These are things we may take based on doctrine. Are they a mount meru kind of thing? Are they not? Honestly, it's too far away (in terms of time and attainment) for me to care much. If I was attained and the kalpa about to end, that could be a matter of concern, I don't know.
But the picture of someone without stable shine worrying about what will happen to his Buddhahood at the end or the beginning of the kalpa, I'm sorry, is a bit ridiculous.

The type of crisis PN is suffering, Pema, has nothing to do with this, in my opinion. It is not uncommon to see fellows whose practice is failing going through this sort of episodes. PN is not the first, neither will be the last. This lack of trust has nothing to do with doctrine. Once the practice starts bringing fruition, doctrine will have value, but only as a support, a secondary thing, like the map compared to the real terrain. Lofty concepts like those lose a bit of importance. I am convinced, this is what PN needs: insight. Insight only comes through practice. When someone considers the possibility of Dzogchen being another sort of opium for the masses, that means one thing: Dzogchen is still just intellectual. As with any intellectual system of beliefs, to each thesis we may find an antithesis. Dzogchen, Christianity, Islam it doesn't really matter. One day I like this, the other day I'll have a change of heart. It goes on like this for a long time until Dzogchen becomes a practical experience. ChNN addresses this problem often.

The solution is not just keep practicing. It doesn't reside in intellectual explanations either. It's practice better. Like someone making a diagnostic based on symptoms, PN's doubts and speech reveal the underlying problem. It doesn't go away with more intellectual fabrication. Just better practice will do it. Now, he is free to disregard my advice, to yawn, whatever.
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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby Mr. G » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:49 pm

Is Buddhahood in Dzogchen reversible? I found this thread:

Namdrol wrote:
Kai wrote: First of all, I believe that its highly speculative but I suspect the reversible effect if occurs, only lasts for a split second or less. In the book "Dzogchen practice", it was stated that the Adi-Buddha, Samantabhadra/Samantabhadri, experienced two of the three innate unelightenments at the start of universe and was able to overcome the delusions by the arising of His wisdom to recognize the eight appearances from the basis. Hence He retains his Buddhahood and become the Adi Buddha. And this might be the same event that happens to all Buddhas eventually if the Dzogchen tantras are to be believed.


There are three explanations possible, given that Dzogchen tantras and traditions definitely state that Samantabhadra was intiallly subject to either one or two ignorances (ma rig pa, avidyā):

1) The Dzogchen assertion that all sentient beings attain "full awakening (sangs rgyas)" at the end of a given mahākalpa requires interpetation and must not be taken literally.
2) Buddhahood is, up to a point, in fact reversible.
3) Buddhas and sentient beings newly form at the beginning of a mahākalapa.

All three possibilities present problems in terms of traditional Indian Mahāyāna Buddhology.

This controversy first came to my attention when my Sakya khenpo mentioned it in passing in the early '90's.


viewtopic.php?f=48&t=1154&p=56145#p56145

And this thread:

Namdrol wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:
Namdrol wrote: The basis is not rigpa.


you said earlier:

at the time vāyu stirred in the basis, the three wisdoms were not recognized


wisdoms = ye shes? If ye shes/rig pa is a "knowingness", then who or what did or didn't recognize them?


Wisdom = ye shes.

This is a subtle point of Dzogchen most people do not pay attention to. There is very little difference between Dzogchen cosmology and Abhidharma cosmology. But there is a slight difference. In Dzogchen cosmology all sentient beings achieve buddhahood.

But....there are two kinds of buddhahood discussed in Dzogchen; buddhahood that reverts to the cause and the buddhahood that does not revert the cause.

Those whose buddhahood was incomplete can still fall into sentient being hood if they do not recognize the arising of the basis as being their own display.

According to the commentary on the སྲས་གཅིག་པུ་རྒྱུད by Garab Dorje in the Vima Nyinthig, the basis arises because of traces of latent affliction and action left over from the previous eon. At that time, one either recognizes the stirring of the basis or not.

N


viewtopic.php?f=48&t=6283&hilit=Samantabhadra&start=40#p74404
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby Mr. G » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:57 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:

Guys, PN has mentioned the bolded concept above in multiple posts, in different wording, trying to make this concern of his clear, yet no one (edit* except our friend Wisdom, above) seems to have noticed. Instead, he's mostly been given the exhortation to "keep plugging away practicing."

If I was under the illusion that the complete realization of Dzogchen, once gained, would be lost in every successive incarnation, and would have to be re-discovered over and over forever, I too might be thinking it sounds like a waste of time, and that worldly, pleasurable aims might seem more worthwhile. No one has spoken to this, which is why PN is obviously a bit frustrated with all the irrelevant advice.


As appealing as wordily pleasurable aims may seem the have two inherent problems. The first is that they end. Things change permanently. The second is that their power to bring satisfaction is limited so they never really remove the lack of plenitude we suffer from, rooted in avidya. So it would never be a good deal to trust them as a panacea to solve our fundamental problem.



I think it's fairly obvious to most that living a hedonistic lifestyle will bring more misery than pleasure. How many times have we heard these rather depressing stories of the young, rich and famous basically just increasing their addictions and making their loved ones miserable in addition to themselves. How many wind up dead or on skid row? The world is their oyster, and they are just like us - afflicted. The difference is they have the resources to aggravate and increase their craving.

    Child, it is not by appearances that you are fettered
    but by craving.

    - Tilopa
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby Paul » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:25 pm

heart wrote:Yeah, great post Adamantine. My Guru never made any long retreats but once, maybe 15 years ago, he accidentally made spend an afternoon with him in his reception room. His incredible kindness and skillfulness while constantly receiving people from all walks of life and all parts of the world and serving them without bias and without a moment of rest for himself was a very convincing display of enlightened activity. It was at that time that he also took time giving me the direct introduction for the first time.

/magnus


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Look at the unfathomable spinelessness of man: all the means he's been given to stay alert he uses, in the end, to ornament his sleep. – Rene Daumal
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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby padma norbu » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:21 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Guys, PN has mentioned the bolded concept above in multiple posts, in different wording, trying to make this concern of his clear, yet no one (edit* except our friend Wisdom, above) seems to have noticed. Instead, he's mostly been given the exhortation to "keep plugging away practicing."

If I was under the illusion that the complete realization of Dzogchen, once gained, would be lost in every successive incarnation, and would have to be re-discovered over and over forever, I too might be thinking it sounds like a waste of time, and that worldly, pleasurable aims might seem more worthwhile. No one has spoken to this, which is why PN is obviously a bit frustrated with all the irrelevant advice.


Thanks for noticing (and Wisdom and Lhug-Pa, too). It's not so much that I think realization will be lost but the fact that once gained one realizes that one does not REALLY exist, anyway, in the way one is used to experiencing, but then incarnates as one or many who DO have that very convincing sense of self and THOSE incarnations need to start over. Those incarnations are in some way a continuation of "your" existence.

If it's as you say and it really is just a pure display (ie. not actually re-learning, re-training and re-awakening), then that is cool. That is what I would like to believe. But, is that really the case? In the film My Reincarnation, it is quite apparent that Namkhai Norbu's son has amnesia and, as I sat through it twice, enjoyably, it did however occur to me suddenly how a skeptic might view this film and then it suddenly dawned on me that perhaps I was viewing the film through rose-colored glasses. It is apparent that Yeshi became frustrated with his career and worldly pursuits. How he develops an interest in Dzogchen is a chunk of the film that is almost entirely missing, but it could be argued that "what the thinker thinks, the prover proves." The magic of belief! Suddenly all these daydream type fantasies Yeshi had as a child become a lot more important, the daydreams are not just delusions or wishful thinking (what they are exactly is not revealed; a skeptic would certainly not be convinced). Many others have spoken similarly about coincidence of a supernatural variety who have absolutely no connection to Dzogchen teachings (and therefore often absolutely no credibility in the eyes of some). Suddenly, Yeshi begins to believe in Dzogchen, a subject which both he and his father Namkhai Norbu clearly have difficulty communicating to their students in the film, as the students come to them to express their difficulties and receive brief answers which clearly puzzle them and me, too, as the observer with similar questions of my own.

Namkhai Norbu himself has had that same amnesia. He is still receiving information in dreams, etc. from other beings. This whole concept about "other" being a manifestation of one's real nature is confusing as frak. We are told that if we have visions of deities not to hold too much importance to that and yet here we have world-famous teachers writing entire series of books based on visions from deities. Make sense? I'm sure someone can reason it out, but it doesn't make sense. It is a complete contradiction. The very fact of writing a series of books based on such visions is making it mucho importante.
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Re: Yeah, Dzogchen is confusing

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:35 pm

padma norbu wrote: We are told that if we have visions of deities not to hold too much importance to that


Because those visions are mental projections, based on mind.

and yet here we have world-famous teachers writing entire series of books based on visions from deities.


Because this teacher has knowledge of his real state, and because he is expert in dream yoga, the display of his wisdom manifests as teachers and deties that communicate knowledge which he then commits to writing.

And he also has provided the method by which we may know the difference between karmic dreams (based on on mind) and dreams of clarity (based on wisdom).

N
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