Capacity for following Dzogchen

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Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby Virgo » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:36 am

Nemo wrote:To pretend that you know Dharma without actually having done the thousands of hours required is a bit shallow. Even doing thousands of hours is no guarantee. Obviously ;)

Hi Nemo, I'm just going to be frank with you because I like you, and I am always frank with people I like. I practice Dzogchen because it's a vehicle in which you don't have to strive hard. Really, it is. And no, this isn't bullshit. People who tell you it is don't know jack. That is about the long and short of it. I am perfectly content and I know that I don't need lots of retrtreat or anything like that. I don't have any intention of doign all of that. Though, yes, at times, I do increased amount of tantric practice all i really need is GY. That's it. Generally I do increased practice to help influence outcomes, and that's it.

And before anybody goes on and on about thogal visions, I will practice thogal as I see fit and am free of all nuerosis concerning the fruits of it. I can attain in the bardo or at time of death. I am confident in that.

Aside from that, regular tantric practice is supposed to take a few lifetimes. That is still a lot quicker than 3 incalcubles-- the amount of time it takes with sutra, in best circumstances. As long as the practitioner keeps their samaya, they have done all that is necessary to be gauranteed attainment soon (speaking in terms of lifetimes), they can enjoy their comforts. Besides tantrikas should enjoy themselves anyway. We are not monks.

Kevin
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:37 am

Virgo wrote:I practice Dzogchen because it's a vehicle in which you don't have to strive hard. Really, it is. And no, this isn't bullshit. People who tell you it is don't know jack. \\


Only if one is of extremely sharp faculties.

My view is: most of the time, people who receive Dzogchen teachings are just building connections for future lives. That is fine. But it is really not an easy path - a lot of misses and very few hits.

Aside from that, regular tantric practice is supposed to take a few lifetimes. That is still a lot quicker than 3 incalcubles-- the amount of time it takes with sutra, in best circumstances. As long as the practitioner keeps their samaya, they have done all that is necessary to be gauranteed attainment soon (speaking in terms of lifetimes), they can enjoy their comforts. Besides tantrikas should enjoy themselves anyway. We are not monks.


I don't think this is good advice to tell people to "enjoy themselves anyway", since this requires pure vision all the time to avoid accumulating negative karma. Most people trying to practice tantra break samayas left and right, so end up spending a lot of time in the various hells. The traditional admonishment for attempting the Tantric path is the snake inside the bamboo tube, so it is difficult and tantrikas have to be very committed. That itself is not easy.

Seriously, the best general advice to give dharma practitioners is to strive and do their best (as per Buddha Shakyamuni's last advice prior to parinirvana). Most people have a great deal of limitations, so to work around those limitations, it is best to apply effort, take up vows, etc.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:06 am

Virgo,
I appreciate your confidence in the system you are practicing. And I have listened to and enjoyed some of ChNN's teachings. But I find that the strength with which you advocate ONE style of practice, and say those with other opinions "don't know jack", unnecessary.
I spoke with a Western nun from Namdroling recently, she has studied 8.5 of the 9 years of Shedra - she's almost finished (she also finished at the top of her class for several years- others told me this, not her). So clearly, this is not someone who "doesn't know jack".
This nun's opinion is that success in Dzogchen, etc. requires a graduated and steady progression through ngdondro, the common path and the nine yanas. She mentioned Shabkar and others in the Nyingma lineage as examples of the great sacrifices made to achieve the highest realization.
Her lineage, the Palyul, stresses lots of training in the Indian Sutra texts and their commentaries by Nyingma scholars like Mipham.

Admittedly, my knowledge of Nyingma and Dzogchen is quite weak, which is why I sought the opinion of this particular nun.

I also remembered my conversations with the translator of Khamtrul Rinpoche,who is an elderly Dzogchen yogi, a layman, who lives in the Dharamsala area. This particular monk, who is quite learned, told me the 9 yanas are the progression required for all but those who have done the work "in previous lives".

So clearly, there are other opinions. And because someone holds another opinion, does not mean "they don't know jack".

I think that ChNN's presentation is really interesting, and I think it is also valuable especially for his students. I think he tries to encourage busy Westerners with little time for practice as much as he can, which is commendable. But his is one very particular view in a myriad of other views.

Perhaps many of ChNN's students have completed the work in other lives, which is why realization is more immediately attainable for them and why he teaches this way. In this case, I rejoice.

I have also heard in ChNN's teachings a very, I feel, valid criticism of the three year retreat, as many use it as a form of escape and come out with little. But I don't think this is the case for all, and indeed I have met a few monks at the Kagyu monlam who have done between 9-12 years of retreat who I was very impressed with.

But I also rejoice in the practice of those of "dull faculties". ;)
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:44 pm

Andrew108 wrote:
Tilopa wrote:If it's that simple you should be Enlightened already. Are you? If not why not?

Because there is no enlightenment that can be achieved or sustained. Tilopa said there is nothing to teach.


For majority of the people who try it, the gnosis of instant presence don't dawn upon them at all. Most of the time they just end up with a conceptual or fabricated notion of what that is, since they are not prepared for it. The vehicle beyond cause and effect very much depends on the vehicles of cause and effect to prepare the ground. That's why higher practices are secret in the first place - not because of some plot the preserve the power structure (as brought up many times in DW), but because without a foundation of the so-called lower yanas, people think that they are getting it, but they actually don't and become more and more entrenched in samsara. Those who really get it, would know that it is not so simple and would not tell people otherwise.

It is still excellent that people know about Dzogchen and the other supreme teachings, but they should not think that that is all they need, and neither should people who practices it gives others the idea that it is really oh so simple. That's why even ChNN teaches many diverse practices alongside with DI. Why do you think he created the Santi Maha Sangha?
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:43 pm

pueraeternus wrote: Why do you think he created the Santi Maha Sangha?


To preserve Dzogchen teachings by training people in a more detailed fashion.BTW, Santi Maha Sangha is Oḍḍiyāna language for "Dzogchen Community" (rdzog chen 'dus sde).

M
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:05 pm

Malcolm wrote:
pueraeternus wrote: Why do you think he created the Santi Maha Sangha?


To preserve Dzogchen teachings by training people in a more detailed fashion.BTW, Santi Maha Sangha is Oḍḍiyāna language for "Dzogchen Community" (rdzog chen 'dus sde).

M


Yes, but the Base is also full of sutric and tantric teachings. With that, its easier for the trainee to proceed to Semde, Longde and Mennagde.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:16 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
pueraeternus wrote: Why do you think he created the Santi Maha Sangha?


To preserve Dzogchen teachings by training people in a more detailed fashion.BTW, Santi Maha Sangha is Oḍḍiyāna language for "Dzogchen Community" (rdzog chen 'dus sde).

M


Yes, but the Base is also full of sutric and tantric teachings. With that, its easier for the trainee to proceed to Semde, Longde and Mennagde.


The basis of SMS follows Padmasambhava's Man ngag lta ba phreng ba. As such, its main POV is a little connected with Mahāyoga, in my opinion. However, ChNN never claims that one needs to follow the Base in order to follow Dzogchen teachings. These are provided not as a step by step formula, but in order for the practitioner to make use of whatever teachings he or she needs, and also to gain a little experience in all the different sort of practices one can do. For this reason then, the basis contains practices from Hinayāna, Mahāyāna, Mahāyoga, Anuyoga, Semde and Managde -- but the main point throughout is how we integrate Dzogchen teachings into our whole life. Actually, for a Dzogchen practitioner, conduct, or attitude, as ChNN translates spyod pa, is arguably the most important aspect of one's practice. How do we know our pratice is moving ahead? Through our conduct. Our conduct or attitude is where we discover our level of integration. Do we have more tension? More problems? Then our integration is not good, and our attitude needs adjustment. Are we having less tension and less problems? Then our integration is improving, and our attitude is becoming better and better.

M
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:33 pm

Malcolm wrote:These are provided not as a step by step formula, but in order for the practitioner to make use of whatever teachings he or she needs, and also to gain a little experience in all the different sort of practices one can do. For this reason then, the basis contains practices from Hinayāna, Mahāyāna, Mahāyoga, Anuyoga, Semde and Managde -- but the main point throughout is how we integrate Dzogchen teachings into our whole life. Actually, for a Dzogchen practitioner, conduct, or attitude, as ChNN translates spyod pa, is arguably the most important aspect of one's practice. How do we know our pratice is moving ahead? Through our conduct. Our conduct or attitude is where we discover our level of integration. Do we have more tension? More problems? Then our integration is not good, and our attitude needs adjustment. Are we having less tension and less problems? Then our integration is improving, and our attitude is becoming better and better.

M


Yes, and as one applies mindfulness and realize that one has to adjust conduct, reduce tension, etc, one then realize one has limitations and need to apply methods for sutra and tantra to resolve these limitations. Most people have all sorts of limitations, hence the lower yana teachings are still indispensable. ChNN leaves it to his students to observe themselves and apply methods accordingly, but honestly, most students really need various sorts of lower yana teachings.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:07 pm

pueraeternus wrote:ChNN leaves it to his students to observe themselves and apply methods accordingly...


This is the key point: the standard assembly line approach advocated by the monastic system insists that everyone must move ahead, step by step, mastering one thing before moving onto the next thing. But this is not the approach of Dzogchen teachings at all. The approach of Dzogchen teachings is that you receive transmission and then discover for yourself what you need, and that is all. You do not need to study anything intellectually at all.

Already, merely by entering Dzogchen teachings you have proved you are of very high capacity. If not, you never will ever hear even one word of Dzogchen teachings. This point is made again and again in Dzogchen tantras, and also by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and other masters.

Therefore, this point of view that many people primulgate "I am interested in Dzoghen but I do not have sufficient capacity to study and practice Dzogchen" or "Dzogchen is so profound, there is no way it can be practiced unless you have studied and practiced sutra and tantra for many years" is completely wrong, I am very sorry to say.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
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-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:49 pm

Malcolm wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:ChNN leaves it to his students to observe themselves and apply methods accordingly...


This is the key point: the standard assembly line approach advocated by the monastic system insists that everyone must move ahead, step by step, mastering one thing before moving onto the next thing. But this is not the approach of Dzogchen teachings at all. The approach of Dzogchen teachings is that you receive transmission and then discover for yourself what you need, and that is all. You do not need to study anything intellectually at all.


Yes, but that assumes that the students have a great deal of self-awareness and reflection. If students were really honest with themselves, then a lot of them would come to a realization there is so much work they have to do that they might as well do a form of assembly line approach.


Already, merely by entering Dzogchen teachings you have proved you are of very high capacity. If not, you never will ever hear even one word of Dzogchen teachings. This point is made again and again in Dzogchen tantras, and also by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and other masters.


Then everyone in DW is of very high capacity? Since basic Dzogchen teachings are openly discussed here and in great volume, every average user of this forum would have hear more than one word of Dzogchen teachings. Books on translations of Dzogchen texts abound in the market place, so a lot of people out there are of very high capacity?

Therefore, this point of view that many people primulgate "I am interested in Dzoghen but I do not have sufficient capacity to study and practice Dzogchen" or "Dzogchen is so profound, there is no way it can be practiced unless you have studied and practiced sutra and tantra for many years" is completely wrong, I am very sorry to say.


How many really have the experience of rigpa? Only with that, can one really be said to practice Dzogchen. Nevermind, none of us can really answer this question - it is just rhetorical. My point is: we have to realistic.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby underthetree » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:06 pm

pueraeternus wrote:How many really have the experience of rigpa?


Actually, I'm very curious about this. How many practitioners are actually experiencing rigpa?
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:56 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
Yes, but that assumes that the students have a great deal of self-awareness and reflection. If students were really honest with themselves, then a lot of them would come to a realization there is so much work they have to do that they might as well do a form of assembly line approach.



We do not share the same perspective.



Already, merely by entering Dzogchen teachings you have proved you are of very high capacity. If not, you never will ever hear even one word of Dzogchen teachings. This point is made again and again in Dzogchen tantras, and also by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and other masters.


Then everyone in DW is of very high capacity?


Entering means receiving direct introduction. Not merely hearing about the teachings intellectually, such as on a forum such as this. But even to hear the word Dzogchen intellectually proves one has a connection with the teachings.



Therefore, this point of view that many people primulgate "I am interested in Dzoghen but I do not have sufficient capacity to study and practice Dzogchen" or "Dzogchen is so profound, there is no way it can be practiced unless you have studied and practiced sutra and tantra for many years" is completely wrong, I am very sorry to say.


How many really have the experience of rigpa?


Many people following Dzogchen teachings have concrete knowledge [rigpa] of their primordial potentiality, including some people who post on this forum. The rest of the people following Dzogchen teachings are actively trying to discover that potentiality so they can be in that knowledge.

M
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby underthetree » Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:05 pm

Malcolm wrote:[
Many people following Dzogchen teachings have concrete knowledge [rigpa] of their primordial potentiality, including some people who post on this forum. The rest of the people following Dzogchen teachings are actively trying to discover that potentiality so they can be in that knowledge.

M


Heartening. Thank you.
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:09 pm

Malcolm wrote:We do not share the same perspective.


Fair enough.


But even to hear the word Dzogchen intellectually proves one has a connection with the teachings.


Or rather creating one now so that in future lives when one is ready, rigpa can blossom.


Many people following Dzogchen teachings have concrete knowledge [rigpa] of their primordial potentiality, including some people who post on this forum. The rest of the people following Dzogchen teachings are actively trying to discover that potentiality so they can be in that knowledge.
M


I would say that the majority are of the latter. And for them to have a chance to discover that potentiality, they have to plough the field first, and even then, the seed might not sprout in this life.

I think a lot of Dzogchen practitioners really only have a conceptual knowledge of their potential. The real danger for them is that they mistaken it for true rigpa.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:22 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
I would say that the majority are of the latter. And for them to have a chance to discover that potentiality, they have to plough the field first, and even then, the seed might not sprout in this life.



Such sentiments do not accord with the teachings of Dzogchen themselves at all.


I think a lot of Dzogchen practitioners really only have a conceptual knowledge of their potential. The real danger for them is that they mistaken it for true rigpa.


You would better off being concerned with your own rigpa, and not that of others. In particular you should be careful not to discourage those people interested in entering Dzogchen teachings by insisting they should follow sutra or tantra first.

If you have discovered a limitation in yourself, then that is fine. You should try to improve your own capacity -- but judging the capacities of others to be low and insisting upon it to them is a very damaging mistake that can really have negative impact for yourself and those who listen to you. If you block the path of others, in the future, your own path will be blocked.

M
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby heart » Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:47 pm

I have understood that the qualities of the Dzogchen practitioners are mentioned quite clearly in the Dzogchen Tantra's themselves. Malcolm, perhaps you could sum up the most important points? Personally I think that before meeting Dzogchen my studies of Dharma made less sense. Everything in sutra and tantra make sense in the light of Dzogchen, but this is perhaps not the experience of everyone in this forum.

/magnus
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Re: Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:03 pm

heart wrote:I have understood that the qualities of the Dzogchen practitioners are mentioned quite clearly in the Dzogchen Tantra's themselves. Malcolm, perhaps you could sum up the most important points? Personally I think that before meeting Dzogchen my studies of Dharma made less sense. Everything in sutra and tantra make sense in the light of Dzogchen, but this is perhaps not the experience of everyone in this forum.

/magnus



Listen well to my demonstration of the sublime method! There is no increase or decrease in true wisdom. There is no clarity or lack of clarity in the appearances of wisdom. There is no near or far on the path of secret mantra. There is no greater or smaller in the self-appearing. There is no sharp or dull in the capacity of sentient beings.

-- Rig pa rang drol
Last edited by Malcolm on Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:06 pm

Malcolm wrote:Such sentiments do not accord with the teachings of Dzogchen themselves at all.


It accords with the way other teachers of Dzogchen transmit it.

You would better off being concerned with your own rigpa, and not that of others. In particular you should be careful not to discourage those people interested in entering Dzogchen teachings by insisting they should follow sutra or tantra first.

If you have discovered a limitation in yourself, then that is fine. You should try to improve your own capacity -- but judging the capacities of others to be low and insisting upon it to them is a very damaging mistake that can really have negative impact for yourself and those who listen to you. If you block the path of others, in the future, your own path will be blocked.

M


I am not blocking the paths of others. Rather, I am concerned that some zealous students are telling others or implying that sutra, tantra, vows and effort are a waste of time, when these practices are very important for the majority of people out there. This thread was spun out of the Dharma-free-for-all subforum, where such sentiments are damaging to other spiritual aspirants. Other yanas are just as precious as Dzogchen, and as Dzogchen practitioners we should have an equal mind.

Neither am I judging, but rather am being as realistic as I see it.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica
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Re: Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:18 pm

Malcolm wrote:
heart wrote:I have understood that the qualities of the Dzogchen practitioners are mentioned quite clearly in the Dzogchen Tantra's themselves. Malcolm, perhaps you could sum up the most important points? Personally I think that before meeting Dzogchen my studies of Dharma made less sense. Everything in sutra and tantra make sense in the light of Dzogchen, but this is perhaps not the experience of everyone in this forum.

/magnus



Listen well to my demonstration of the sublime method! There is no increase or decrease in true wisdom. There is no clarity or lack of clarity in the appearances of wisdom. There is no near or far on the path of secret mantra. There is no greater or smaller in the self-appearing. There is no sharp or dull in the capacity of sentient beings.

-- Rig pa rang drol



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If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:18 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Such sentiments do not accord with the teachings of Dzogchen themselves at all.


It accords with the way other teachers of Dzogchen transmit it.



What so called "teachers of Dzogchen" teach is not necessarily Dzogchen at all. For this reason, I will stick what what the Dzogchen teachings actually say rather than what some teachers of "Dzogchen" say. You however are free to disagree and follow whomever you please. But if you start insisting people must conform to your limitations, I will point out that this is not so.

What I am talking about is the path of Dzogchen. We don't need to take one road, and then another road, and then finally we can be on the road of Dzogchen. If this were the case, then Dzogchen would not be a Yāna.

That is not the principle of Dzogchen teachings at all. You should read the Longchen Nyinthig aspiration of basis, path and result. Then you will understand more clearly. Otherwise, this conversation has become useless since you are merely crowing the party line of some Nyingmapas.

If people are interested in following Dzogchen teachings, then they should make an effort to meet Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. Of course there are other teachers who give very nice teachings of Dzogchen as well. But in general this Lamrim style approach to Dzogchen really has very little to with actual Dzogchen.

Real Dzogchen, as has been pointed out infinite times, starts with direct introduction, and that is all.

M
Last edited by Malcolm on Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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