Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

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Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby padma norbu » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:04 am

What is the best practice for developing a change of heart once a real character flaw is noticed? I'm sure we could answer "guru yoga" to everything, but how about Tonglen, the 4 contemplations, prayer wheel, etc.? I'm sure they're all good, but does anyone have any specific experiences and recommendations based on these experiences? Or is there some specific dzogchen practice which perhaps has been taught by Namkhai Norbu and which I may be able to practice?
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby Clarence » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:03 am

padma norbu wrote:What is the best practice for developing a change of heart once a real character flaw is noticed? I'm sure we could answer "guru yoga" to everything, but how about Tonglen, the 4 contemplations, prayer wheel, etc.? I'm sure they're all good, but does anyone have any specific experiences and recommendations based on these experiences? Or is there some specific dzogchen practice which perhaps has been taught by Namkhai Norbu and which I may be able to practice?


What is the character flaw?
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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:36 am

padma norbu wrote:What is the best practice for developing a change of heart once a real character flaw is noticed? I'm sure we could answer "guru yoga" to everything, but how about Tonglen, the 4 contemplations, prayer wheel, etc.? I'm sure they're all good, but does anyone have any specific experiences and recommendations based on these experiences? Or is there some specific dzogchen practice which perhaps has been taught by Namkhai Norbu and which I may be able to practice?


I'd say awakening true compassion is the absence of acceptance or rejection, allowing what-is to appear as it does. The breakthrough for me came with realizing that, "that" which I reject or repress in another is exactly "that" which I reject or repress within myself. So what you're fighting is really an aspect of yourself which you are ignorant of due to subconscious suppression. It's not always apparent but when you locate it within yourself it is immediately accounted for and brought from the subconscious to the conscious level and dispelled. Because in truth the other is a projection, and you yourself are a projection, the 2 sides of the coin reflect each other. You've heard the saying to change the world you must first change yourself... It's 100% true. If there's at any point in your experience something you are dissatisfied with in the context of another's negative action, belief, habits, etc.. It is a part of you which is being projected out and taken to be an objective "problem" or "flaw". If you can be open you'll find that the character flaw mirrors an aspect of yourself you have not come to terms with. I know it sounds kinda harsh! But it's flawlessly true, and it's the road to true healing and purification. Combine this with your other practices and you'll excel swiftly I promise


*edit: spelled excel wrong
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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby padma norbu » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:40 pm

asunthatneversets wrote:I'd say awakening true compassion is the absence of acceptance or rejection, allowing what-is to appear as it does.


This is how I used to basically see it, since all is the display of the illusion of self and other. But, I think if you suddenly realize what you're allowing to appear is essentially pleasure at someone else's misfortune, then that is a problem. You could not indulge it and let it dissolve, but if it keeps coming back, then it seems to me like it's never really being addressed. It is strange, but something like this just occurred to me, I guess because I may have finally been more mindful than usual and so I noticed my thoughts. And I thought, "wait a minute, I am actually enjoying this thought of another's misfortune" and I began to wonder about this... if, knowing everything I know about samsara, I still take pleasure in another's misery despite generally thinking I feel compassionate toward people and frequently thinking throughout the day how everything is illusory projection, then how do you change something like that? To reduce it to something really simple so you can get my point: it's like enjoying the taste of pizza; if you like the taste of pizza, how could you ever not like it? You may stop eating it for dietary reasons or whatever, but you will never stop liking the taste of pizza.

This is basically self-cherishing and there are certainly many ways to change it, but I don't know... it worried me because I had the realization that over time it seems maybe I have become more calloused and selfish than I was when I first started looking into Buddhism seriously half a lifetime ago. I think 15-20 years ago I had similar ideas pop into my head but I probably either felt justified because I disliked whoever I was thinking about and so didn't really notice or else felt guilty about it and depressed with shame (I was quite down on myself back then, in general). But, yesterday, as my mind was wandering recently into these self-cherishing thoughts, I noticed a complete lack of guilt about it, but that it was just sort of compartmentalized in a "safe zone" like I had become used to saying to myself "just thinking, no harm done" so much so that I could really indulge such thoughts without guilt while enjoying the idea of someone else's misfortune. I've also noticed that as I've gained experience, I've become more hateful of certain attitudes and personality traits rather than more accepting of them. Sure, I'm more patient and accepting in some ways, but I'm more fed up and impatient in other ways.

I want to change all this ASAP. This dawning realization felt like a climactic scene in some b-movie where, after acting like a psycho for an hour and twenty minutes, the bad guy suddenly realizes he's nutso only when he accidentally kills someone he truly loves and then he gasps, "What have I become?!" before blowing his own head off. I don't want to have a secret place in my head where I can entertain hateful attitudes privately. The more these habits are repeated, the stronger they become, I believe. Maybe pizza was the wrong metaphor before— maybe it's more like coffee or cigarettes; an acquired taste, but one that quickly becomes addictive and is reinforced with every imbibing.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:12 pm

Perhaps complete, or, if you have already completed, revisit a purification practice or two found in the Dzogchen Community. My reasoning for suggesting this, is the idea that through the removal of what in us is contrary to Compassion, Compassion will naturally arise.

If you have The Precious Vase, there are also specific practices for Compassion such as Lojong, the Four Immeasurables, etc.

You've probably thought about all this already though....
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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby padma norbu » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:10 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:Perhaps complete, or, if you have already completed, revisit a purification practice or two found in the Dzogchen Community. My reasoning for suggesting this, is the idea that through the removal of what in us is contrary to Compassion, Compassion will naturally arise.

If you have The Precious Vase, there are also specific practices for Compassion such as Lojong, the Four Immeasurables, etc.

You've probably thought about all this already though....


Not really, so thanks!
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:37 pm

Then in that case, let's brainstorm what are the purification practices.

You already mentioned Guru Yoga, so: Purification of the Six Lokas, Longsal preliminaries and Rushen in general, Vajrasattva practice, Ganapuja, Korwa Tontrug, Narag Tontrug....

Are there any others that we've not yet mentioned?


*Edit* found this from an older thread:


Pero wrote:And the 25 Spaces of Samantabhadra (Longsal, Vima Nyingthig or Changhub Dorje's) is also a great purification practice.
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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby dakini_boi » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:37 pm

padma norbu wrote:But, I think if you suddenly realize what you're allowing to appear is essentially pleasure at someone else's misfortune, then that is a problem. You could not indulge it and let it dissolve, but if it keeps coming back, then it seems to me like it's never really being addressed. It is strange, but something like this just occurred to me, I guess because I may have finally been more mindful than usual and so I noticed my thoughts. And I thought, "wait a minute, I am actually enjoying this thought of another's misfortune" and I began to wonder about this... if, knowing everything I know about samsara, I still take pleasure in another's misery despite generally thinking I feel compassionate toward people and frequently thinking throughout the day how everything is illusory projection, then how do you change something like that? To reduce it to something really simple so you can get my point: it's like enjoying the taste of pizza; if you like the taste of pizza, how could you ever not like it? You may stop eating it for dietary reasons or whatever, but you will never stop liking the taste of pizza.



In addition to whatever techniques you use - make very clear aspirations. Example, you find yourself taking pleasure at another's misfortune - as you said, you can't automatically will yourself to stop, BUT you can say: "Even though right now I am afflicted with this very undesirable flaw of taking pleasure at another's misfortune - may I be able to let go of these feelings, and may I be able to spontaneously and authentically wish happiness on all others and take pleasure in their success." And then, with humility, you have to acknowledge your present limitations and have compassion for yourself, realizing that these feelings you're having are due to your own pain and suffering. I have found that this works over time. . . you have to realize that feelings like this are a sickness that we all share. :namaste:
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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:44 pm

padma norbu wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:I'd say awakening true compassion is the absence of acceptance or rejection, allowing what-is to appear as it does.


This is how I used to basically see it, since all is the display of the illusion of self and other. But, I think if you suddenly realize what you're allowing to appear is essentially pleasure at someone else's misfortune, then that is a problem. You could not indulge it and let it dissolve, but if it keeps coming back, then it seems to me like it's never really being addressed. It is strange, but something like this just occurred to me, I guess because I may have finally been more mindful than usual and so I noticed my thoughts. And I thought, "wait a minute, I am actually enjoying this thought of another's misfortune" and I began to wonder about this... if, knowing everything I know about samsara, I still take pleasure in another's misery despite generally thinking I feel compassionate toward people and frequently thinking throughout the day how everything is illusory projection, then how do you change something like that? To reduce it to something really simple so you can get my point: it's like enjoying the taste of pizza; if you like the taste of pizza, how could you ever not like it? You may stop eating it for dietary reasons or whatever, but you will never stop liking the taste of pizza.

This is basically self-cherishing and there are certainly many ways to change it, but I don't know... it worried me because I had the realization that over time it seems maybe I have become more calloused and selfish than I was when I first started looking into Buddhism seriously half a lifetime ago. I think 15-20 years ago I had similar ideas pop into my head but I probably either felt justified because I disliked whoever I was thinking about and so didn't really notice or else felt guilty about it and depressed with shame (I was quite down on myself back then, in general). But, yesterday, as my mind was wandering recently into these self-cherishing thoughts, I noticed a complete lack of guilt about it, but that it was just sort of compartmentalized in a "safe zone" like I had become used to saying to myself "just thinking, no harm done" so much so that I could really indulge such thoughts without guilt while enjoying the idea of someone else's misfortune. I've also noticed that as I've gained experience, I've become more hateful of certain attitudes and personality traits rather than more accepting of them. Sure, I'm more patient and accepting in some ways, but I'm more fed up and impatient in other ways.

I want to change all this ASAP. This dawning realization felt like a climactic scene in some b-movie where, after acting like a psycho for an hour and twenty minutes, the bad guy suddenly realizes he's nutso only when he accidentally kills someone he truly loves and then he gasps, "What have I become?!" before blowing his own head off. I don't want to have a secret place in my head where I can entertain hateful attitudes privately. The more these habits are repeated, the stronger they become, I believe. Maybe pizza was the wrong metaphor before— maybe it's more like coffee or cigarettes; an acquired taste, but one that quickly becomes addictive and is reinforced with every imbibing.



Same thing I'm talking about, so I'm saying you'd go to the root of that projected indulgence in another's misfortune, what you start to realize (more often than not) is that you, yourself are exactly the same as the other person you dislike (or that you're no better). Say for example; in my personal experience I had a hard time getting over those who inflict harm onto animals, or who dehumanize other people for their sexual preferences. I would loathe and abhor these people to the point that if one of them came to receive some kind of misfortune or pain, I would actually enjoy their suffering. And as you said this became deeply engrained, and in my eyes I was "right" because I felt that what they were doing was wrong. So I felt that any misfortune that came to them was deserved, and that misfortune was justified, and I took joy in what I saw as redemption for their wrong-doings.

Once I started to learn of the Dharma I started to realize this wasn't a right view, I knew it was counter-productive to progress in the teachings but I didn't know what to do about it. I still felt that my views were "right" because those other people we're harming or dehumanizing other sentient beings, and I felt I wanted what was best for all sentient beings, so retribution for any wrong-doing done to animals and those persecuted for their race, or sexual preference etc.. was justified in my eyes. Almost to the point where I'd see that church in the south who promoted that "god hates fags" agenda, and I hated them for that, and I seriously would think that if these people were all wiped off the face of the earth the world would be a better place for it. Or if I saw anyone hurting an animal in a documentary or anything like that I would become enraged (even today there is lingering sentiments of this due to it's thorough reification over time).

So what had to happen, is that I had to start to see that I was hating them for their hatred, except my hatred was justified for some reason. They hate and inflict pain on others because of their afflictions, and in turn I was approaching them just as they approach those they hate. In their eyes, they feel justified in their actions, they feel it's ok to harm others... and then I taking the opposite view, feel justified for hating them and feel it would be ok to see harm inflicted on them. To the circle just becomes more and more perverted. No answer is ever reached and I am no better than they are... I am them, and they are me. So I had to be open with myself and see directly and fully that this was going on, and I had to step back and account for this in my experience.

Once that happened it was forever diminished, I would see that they hated or inflicted pain due to afflicted views, so instead of hating them for that, I knew that they didn't know any better (and in fact felt justified) and my heart opened to them. I understood that they were ignorant of their actions, and while this wouldn't stop me from intervening if I saw them hurting an animal or abusing another person. I would do it from a more mindful approach, not driven by rage or anger, and instead of inflicting pain or abuse myself I could disengage the situation and then attempt to speak to them, if they wouldn't want to listen there's nothing I could do, but at least the chain would be broken because I wouldn't be reactive. The reactivity is a subconscious explosion, so me bringing that to my conscious attention within myself, I am not victim to my own ignorance anymore and can act with compassion.

Another example (and this may not be true on all levels, I'm not attempting to offend anyone or start some political discussion I'm merely using this for an example) of this on a macrocosmic level is the United States attitude towards policing the world, as a collective people the majority might feel justified for occupying other countries to ensure that they aren't furthering some agenda etc... but what we don't see is that we, the U.S. are the ones furthering an agenda, and starting war, killing others for our own ideology. We are the "terrorist" in the eyes of those countries we police. We become that which we reject in the world and then project that onto those we objectify. And our occupation doesn't "end" the circle, it just perverts it. Because it further upsets those who have hate for the west. We actually reify the hatred within those who hate is through our actions. So the "enemy" is ever recreated and solidified, and no peace will ever come to the world (even though we would feel we're attempting to create peace). Hate breeds hate.

So the hate ends with you. You are the answer. The peace isn't reached by changing your environment, your environment is changed by changing and finding peace within yourself.

From there, later in my personal journey I found the emptiness of self, and therefore the emptiness of other, directly in experience. And this forever made these subconscious movements conscious, they rarely arise but if they do arise I see them at once and they are dropped, dispelled and they self-liberate. They're no longer about an other who is a dream, and they no longer belong to the dream "me". It's all a dream born of ignorance of the true state of perfection.

This excerpt from the documentary Kymatica talks about the attitude of those who wish to inflict harm on others for their actions. And how this just perverts the problem.


Direct link to video on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnyBb5858sE
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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby padma norbu » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:45 am

There are some kinds of nastiness that aren't motivated by moral outrage. The sadist, as an extreme example, takes pleasure in harming others just because he likes it.

dakini_boi, thanks for the word "sickness." That's how I felt at the moment of recognition: wow, I'm twisted. My mother, though, who is a pretty okay lady these days and tries her best to be a good person is 65 and recently told me about these thoughts that pop in her head and asked if I thought she was a sick person for thinking these things. I think she only confided in me because at the time I probably was making some actual progress in my self-transformation (that progress seems to be on pause for the last quite a long while, but I digress...). I told her, "Nah, no way, our brains just think stuff all the time and they get carried away before we even realize what we're thinking about." Glad I remembered that just now, but I feel differently about it now. Still, it is slightly reassuring.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby asunthatneversets » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:00 am

padma norbu wrote:There are some kinds of nastiness that aren't motivated by moral outrage. The sadist, as an extreme example, takes pleasure in harming others just because he likes it.


Right but why is this? Because they suffer from afflictions derived from ignorance. A lot of sadistic acts are predicated on power. It is a display of power much like rape is. For some reason they (either now, or have in the past) feel helpless and powerless, usually from being a victim themselves. So they inflict harm as an act of power so that they are now the one in control. They can now act as the giver of pain, and be the controller. And this control and power serves as an emotional catharsis and release of their own pain they harbor and feel tormented by. It is the projection of their own subconscious shadow fully manifested into the physical and expressed through the torment of another. While this doesn't mean their actions are justified or acceptable, knowing the root cause of their predicament allows you to approach it effectively and mindfully. Knowing that due to their attachment and identification with their own pain they are a victim, and their display of their own pain in the torture of others is an expression of this victimization which further victimizes. It continues the circle and perverts the fundamental ignorance which persists endlessly. That is being trapped in a hell realm. And those people are the pretas with small mouths and insatiable appetites. Their pain can never be satisfied or satiated. So you acting with compassion use skillful means to remedy their pain. Your heart has to open to all beings and knowing that there are fundamental causes to these expressions of samsara is the key to ending the cycle of ignorance. You act from love, you embody love. Compassion is knowing that wherever you look you see yourself and whoever you encounter you encounter yourself. When this blossoms in its fullness and the reference point predicated on the false "I" is seen as utterly empty, the reference point used to judge others and their actions is liberated and compassion remains. This is the great bodhicitta.
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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:13 am

padma norbu wrote:My mother, though, who is a pretty okay lady these days and tries her best to be a good person is 65 and recently told me about these thoughts that pop in her head and asked if I thought she was a sick person for thinking these things. I think she only confided in me because at the time I probably was making some actual progress in my self-transformation (that progress seems to be on pause for the last quite a long while, but I digress...). I told her, "Nah, no way, our brains just think stuff all the time and they get carried away before we even realize what we're thinking about." Glad I remembered that just now, but I feel differently about it now. Still, it is slightly reassuring.
"distressing thoughts pop in her head"? Perhaps it's caused by OCD, and not by her personality? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intrusive_thoughts
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 am

Another Dzogchen technique: as soon as you gain mindfulness of whatever you're indulging in--say for instance your hateful or judgmental thoughts or whatever--you just drop everything right then and there and relax into instant presence. You don't even take a second to judge the thought or emotion or think how you shouldn't be thinking/feeling whatever you are... no conceptual elaboration at all. You just drop everything and relax into contemplation, neither indulging in your thoughts/feelings nor fighting them. It takes some practice so as to be able to relax into contemplation while doing activities and going about the course of one's day or night, but of course we're already training in that, so it's more of the same. This really does gradually purify the very root of the problem. And we can do this over and over throughout the day any time we realize we've become distracted.

Also, in the beginning, if the sense of your wrongdoing (or wrong-thinking) is too strong for you to just relax and allow it to self-liberate, you can try gently looking right at the emotion/thought and then you'll see how it has no substance at all and just evaporates that very instant. And then you just relax in your knowledge without holding on to anything conceptually.

Also, we shouldn't be afraid of making aspirational prayers or doing relative level practices that will supplement our Dzogchen practice while our knowledge is in the process of gaining its strength. So whatever does it for you, Chenrezig, Tara, tong len, meditating on relative bodhicitta, etc.
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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:23 am

:good: ^^^


Konchog1 wrote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intrusive_thoughts


Very interesting article.

I've suffered from OCD throughout my life, and have experienced a lot of trauma related to this section of the above article: "Blasphemous religious thoughts." It started when I was about 20 years old, which was around the time when I became convinced that the white man is the devil. That isn't necessarily the cause of my OCD-driven intrusive thoughts complex, but I'm getting there. So being convinced that I was the devil was on the one hand a source of much self-loathing, yet on the other hand a source of terrible pride because of what a Masonic Nation of Islam member who I used to talk to online told me, that my kind (i.e. white people who are truly sympathetic towards the current situation of the Original Asiatic Black Man) are as rare as a needle in a haystack (quoting Elijah Muhammad I believe). So of course I was one of the few white people in the whole world who is truly interested in "Real Knowledge". His theories were really interesting though. He said that YHVH, Shiva, and Kubera are all symbolic of who the Nation of Islam calls Yakub, the black scientist who took 59,999 black followers to the Island of Patmos/Pelon in order to graft the white devil through selective-breeding (he cited Gregor Mendel's Punnet Squares in support of this theory, along with the writings of Masonic authors such as Albert Pike, Godfrey Higgins, H.P. Blavatsky, Gerald Massey, etc.) Anyhow, he did also say that in seeking Enlightenment, to look towards Buddhism :buddha1: (so here I am :twothumbsup: ). He also was the first one to introduce me to the idea that within Tantric Sexuality, one should rarely reach orgasm (this would fall under what Samael Aun Weor calls 'Grey Tantra').

Anyway, the intrusive thoughts were more related to the exoteric-Christianity-baggage of my upbringing, although it has carried over to other forms of Spirituality, and I'm sure that smoking weed (that I smoked mostly from the ages of 20 through 23) is what triggered it, because the first time I noticed those thoughts and was very disturbed by them, was when I was stoned (the "aw I'm nothing but a evil parasitic white devil" thoughts would kick in more when I was drunk). And as most people know, reefer can make mental disorders worse, or trigger them if one is borderline.

Anyway, I always thought how I would never wish my intrusive thoughts on anyone; yet now that I've learned that they're somewhat common, I must confess that I'm in a way relieved that I'm not the only 'victim' of them. Of course I still wouldn't ever wish them on anyone; in fact, I never really talked about it to anyone in the first place, in fear that the introducing of the idea to them could cause it to start happening to them. So I do hope that everyone who is afflicted by such things will overcome them one way or another.

Thank you for posting that link Konchog. :thanks: :reading:
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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby dakini_boi » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:02 am

padma norbu wrote:dakini_boi, thanks for the word "sickness." That's how I felt at the moment of recognition: wow, I'm twisted.


Yep, it's a sickness, and I think it helps to remind oneself that it's just one symptom of the dualistic condition, and a very unpleasant manifestation of your ignorance. I've had success with forming aspirations re. the poison of jealousy, particularly. Jealousy is such an ugly thing, because in essence it signifies that another's happiness brings you pain - and you would wish that they were worse off. And then when I notice this, I feel even worse, like what an asshole I am, etc. . . so I would just start declaring "May I one day sincerely rejoice in others' happiness, may I wish them happiness, may I let go out jealousy and afflictive emotions," etc. Without forcing it, but just with the sincere desire to not be such an asshole! And now sometimes I find myself actually feeling happy for people in situations that used to make me jealous, without even thinking about it.

Anyway, the good news is - You desire to change your harmful thoughts, so therefore you do have compassion.
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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby oleblanc » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:05 pm

It awakens spontaneously. I experienced that during my last SMS retreat, when i carefully I asked my teacher: "...so, round 5 billion people on Earth will go to lower realms after death?"

the answer was: "More"

then Compassion hit me
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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby padma norbu » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:52 pm

Pema Rigdzin, thanks, that's more or less what I've been doing, but I guess not enough or not the best quality. Or maybe it just takes a lot longer than I think it should.

dakini_boi, thanks for the suggestions. Funny because I already had some pages bookmarked to read later about this and was thinking of really going back to lamrim and tonglen, specifically this one practice I learned a long time ago where you imagine everyone else's negativity as thick black smoke and you INHALE it into your lungs and then transform it into white light and exhale it back on them. Anyone ever heard of this practice? Many years ago, I was afraid I would get "bad luck" from the practice or give myself cancer or something, so I only did it a few times, but it was really powerful back then. I have my doubts it would be as powerful now, but maybe. Since learning the 9 breaths from Namkhai Norbu, I've often thought of this other practice. In the 9 breaths, you inhale light and exhale smoke, which is the reverse; now I recall hearing somewhere that the smoke should dissolve into multicolored lights as well, but when I mention this to others, they're like "oh really? Huh." and shrug. Anyway, for the whole of the Tun practices, I barely visualize at all after always being told it's not very important.

OCD ... for people with intrusive thoughts, this idea might help:
http://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-chang ... irmations/

oleblanc wrote:It awakens spontaneously. I experienced that during my last SMS retreat, when i carefully I asked my teacher: "...so, round 5 billion people on Earth will go to lower realms after death?"

the answer was: "More"

then Compassion hit me


This is really interesting. It doesn't take my brain long to look for a way out of this bold statment. First thing I did was check the total global population, which is about 6,840,507,003 according to a 2010 estimate. Then, I said to myself "well, that leaves almost 2 billion... there aren't even a billion Buddhists in the world, so maybe most of the Buddhists will have a better rebirth, at least the genuine ones or the consistent ones... hmmm, but where does that leave me?... hey, wait a minute, I wonder who this teacher is and if he even has a firm grasp on the total global population situation or if he really thought about what a large number that was before answering. Could be just good motivational teaching. ...Having found a way out of the dilemma, I then relaxed a little and thought, "ha! figured that one out" for about 1 second before I realized I haven't figured anything out. I've been worried about the hell realms for a couple years now and still am because I am inconsistent. What I need is a good scaring, but I always find a way to rationalize the fear away, like just now. I'm going to hold onto this thought and combine it with my fear of the failure of recognizing the wrathful deities in the bardo and the fear of rebirth in hell realms and hopefully this will kick my butt in gear enough that I can make some real progress before I die. Thanks for sharing! And only your 2nd post, too. :namaste:
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:20 am

padma norbu wrote:Pema Rigdzin, thanks, that's more or less what I've been doing, but I guess not enough or not the best quality. Or maybe it just takes a lot longer than I think it should.

I think it may take quite some time. But from my experience, eventually one starts to notice the power of these negative habituations growing weaker and one becomes more and more relaxed in the face of these mental events in general. But yeah, it takes persistence and time.

padma norbu wrote:I've been worried about the hell realms for a couple years now and still am because I am inconsistent.

If you do the purification of the 6 lokas practice thoroughly, this won't even be an issue. You will not even have the possibility of being reborn in samsaric realms after that (by force of karma, that is, not precluding bodhisattva/buddha activity).
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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby kirtu » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:44 am

padma norbu wrote:specifically this one practice I learned a long time ago where you imagine everyone else's negativity as thick black smoke and you INHALE it into your lungs and then transform it into white light and exhale it back on them. Anyone ever heard of this practice?


Sure, any form of tonglen is good.

Visualization: visualization is good - if you have trouble with it, don't let that get in the way and don't get frustrated. But maybe work on it.

What I need is a good scaring,


ALL the beings you love, every one of them, will die and you are helpless to stop their death. All of the beings that you love will be forceably separated from you by death and you will never be able to kiss them, sing to them, sleep with them, hug them, or tell them in person that you love them. All beings are powerless in the face of death.

combine it with my fear of the failure of recognizing the wrathful deities in the bardo and the fear of rebirth in hell realms and hopefully this will kick my butt in gear enough that I can make some real progress before I die.


If that's the case then why don't you just master phowa for your own purposes?

What is the best practice for developing a change of heart once a real character flaw is noticed?


Like what kind of a character flaw?

In my limited experience character flaws are a combination of habit and a lack of compassion. So once you are aware of the flaw then you can begin to work on the habit side by reprogramming yourself. So once you have an awareness of some character flaw in operation then you rest and it dissolves like "writing in water". But you have to have the awareness first. The problem is usually that we want to keep our habits and behaviors, even out character flaws. On the compassion side, "everywhere the Dharmakaya pervades, compassion pervades." So basically more work on compassion or just the recognition that one of the ultimate qualities of mind is spontaneous, all encompassing, non-discriminating compassion.

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"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
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Re: Awakening compassion dzogchen style?

Postby padma norbu » Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:10 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:If you do the purification of the 6 lokas practice thoroughly, this won't even be an issue. You will not even have the possibility of being reborn in samsaric realms after that (by force of karma, that is, not precluding bodhisattva/buddha activity).


don't even understand how that's possible or what you mean by "thoroughly." how could one ever do such an abstract practice "thoroughly?" Is there some sign or result that is obvious and means you have thoroughly done it? I've done it before and, ummmm... well, it just reminded me of something like Israel Regardie's Middle Pillar Ritual. However it works would be utter mystery since it's abstract in the same way that I have no idea why intoning names of Jehovah while visualizing balls of light at various chakra centers would actually purify anything (this is a description of the Middle PIllar Ritual).
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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