Pema Rigdzin wrote:I know how disheartening it can be to honestly appraise one's life and have to come to terms with the above realization. However, as I think you know, there is no immutable self. The compounded self is always changing based on the fruit of our own actions and our own efforts. Therefore, if we don't persevere in creating the causes for the 8 freedoms and ten endowments, from where will they ever magically spring on their own, falling into our lap? You have the ability, however long it may or may not take, to shape the destiny you want for yourself. I hope you'll take heart, man, and have some patience with your temporary conditions and circumstances and expectations of yourself and not feel that if you can't live up to those idealistic expectations of yourself now, that it's fruitless to stick with the path.
You're right, even if I really do need to do a lot of preliminary and purification practices like I think I do, self obsessing isn't going to help achieve it at all.
Mr. G wrote:I agree. I think Lhug-Pa has a connection to Dzogchen and can be successful at it. It may not be now, but maybe later. I went to a ChNNR retreat for the first time in 2006. From 2004 or 5 till late last year I was doing practices in another tradition. This year, I've got my bearings straight and am focusing on Dzogchen. There is a time for everyone and everything.
The thing about this is that there's no guarantee that we'll have the opportunity to practice in the future. At the same time, as we all know, we've got to work with circumstances. You know what I might just be able to make it happen if I sacrifice some more things in my life that I previously thought were necessities, but are actually not.
I don't think that a person can ever truly walk away from Dzogchen - at least, the underlying ontological and practical principles of it. We're all called to the practice of recognizing pure consciousness where the knower, knowing and that which is known are all one. This isn't just a predestined connection; this is the heart of all spiritual transformation.
I don't think it's any secret here on the forum that I no longer formally consider myself a Dzogchenpa nor do I follow the teachings of ChNN. You may have seen my thread from about a month ago where I tried selling my Shang Shung books. Ultimately, I returned most of them back to Shang Shung for a refund - which was pointless considering shipping costs to Italy. Ironically, in turning away from the formal Dzogchen practices, in studying other material, and in not trying to "be" a particular something or other, the ability to "let go" (tregchod) and relax is more possible than ever before.
So, whether you choose to pursue formal Dzogchen, Zen or esoteric Christianity, the end result is the same: pure consciousness.
May your path of spiritual transformation lead to you to the light.
Yes I remember that thread. I'm glad that you found some peace of mind, even if it was due to putting Dzogchen practice on hold. May you have the good fortune to practice and study enough to be confident in your Spiritual practice whatever it may be; and may it lead you to the Light as well.
Now I really doubt that Zen or Esoteric Christianity would have the same result as Dzogchen, although I suspect that they could get one a lot closer to some level of Liberation than many apparent Buddhist fundamentalists would think.
I think you should be very wary of selling Dharma books and using the money for your own purposes as it creates very heavy negative karma.
It would be better to sell the books and give the money to a Dharma Centre or to give the books to those who really need them.
We have to be VERY careful around our actions related to Dharma and not create any negative karma or inauspiciousness.
Also, regarding the conditions for your practice, you have clearly met Dharma, have an interest in it and have many books related to it - I would therefore say that you do have the conditions necessary for successful practice and you just need to follow the practices you have been taught. There's not likely to be a better opportunity than the one we have right now.
All the best to you
Well selling Dharma books for almost half of what one paid for them would probably be a neutral karmic act (neither bad or good per-se). Although I did consider lowering the price even more, or even donating them to a local Nyingma Ling. The only reason I'd considered selling them, is that we could use the money for our household, so it wasn't only self-consideration involved there. Yet since Dharma practice is more conducive to good fortune for ourselves and for anyone we come into contact with, then in the long run it would be much better for all, to keep the books and practice as soon as possible instead of selling them now in hopes that someday I'll be more successful in life in order to buy them again (and again, there's no guarantee that the latter would happen).
Anyway yeah, thanks again for your encouragement.