Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:51 pm

conebeckham wrote:
I understand this position, Namdrol, and I have had almost exactly the same conversation with Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso myself, and have also heard him comment on it publically in a larger group, as well. Nevertheless, if one takes the position, as you have in another thread, that Mahamudra REALLY means the "result," then can it not be said that all practices and techniques are really Mahamudra teachings, in a sense? Granted, the contents of the teachings contained in the Sutra presentation focus on Mind's Emptiness and Nature, Qualities, Awareness, etc. But even Serlingpa's Lojong tradition, which is surely a Sutra-based tradition with no Tantric content can be said to be part of the presentation.......


No, not really, because sutrayāna practice will not result in the realization of the 13th bhumi. The state of mahāmudra and the thirteenth bhumi are synonymous. The name of thirteenth bhumi, much less, mahāmudra, does not exist in sutra and is not really even hinted it.

N
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby conebeckham » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:52 pm

Got it! Thanks.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Kai » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:00 pm

Namdrol wrote:
No, not really, because sutrayāna practice will not result in the realization of the 13th bhumi. The state of mahāmudra and the thirteenth bhumi are synonymous. The name of thirteenth bhumi, much less, mahāmudra, does not exist in sutra and is not really even hinted it.

N


Thats a strictly Sakya view. In Gelug and some Kagyu sects, All light is synonymous with the 13th bhumi. Furthermore, according to the former one, the tenth bhumi of sutras are further split into three parts of mere, special and uninterrupted which are corresponding to the tantric representation of 10th, 11th and 12th bhumis respectively. I know you are not going to agree with them but I find Gelug's presentation to be rather interesting and conforming......... :twothumbsup:

BTW, for those who are interested, in Kalachakra, mahamudra is a name for a consort practice that results in an unmoving supreme bliss and its not even sufficient to bring to the arya stage.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:04 pm

Kai wrote:
Thats a strictly Sakya view.


Nope, it is view of the Samputa tantra.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Kai » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:07 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Kai wrote:
Thats a strictly Sakya view.


Nope, it is view of the Samputa tantra.


Okay but even so, over the centuries, it can be easily seen that there are varying interpretations of specific tantras by each of the four traditions. If even clear tantras like the Shri Kalachakra tantra and its stainless light commentary can have so many explanatory variations over its content, I don't see why attempt to understand obscure tantras like Hevajra ones could avoid similar fate. Nevertheless and fortunately, the differences are small and relatively unimportant.....

I don't have this book, so I cannot really comment further about his perspective. But I can say that in Mahamudra, there is no distinction made between gzhi and kun gzhi.


Image

This book contains lots of His "innovative ideas", including tenets involving alaya, etc. This reveals that the historical development of Dzogchen's doctrine might not be as monolithic as we once thought. There might be another alternative development to the mainstream that assimilates with Mahamudra or other HYT practices. A hybrid......
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby rang.drol » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:24 am

Namdrol wrote:And I can offer citations by masters who have trained in both systems who assert the presentation of the basis in Dzogchen and Mahāmudra are not the same, and that it is an error to conflate them based in superficial similarities.

Could you please do so? Please don't get me wrong: I don't have doubts, you can. But it would help to see things from this perspectice by someone well trained in both systems as I've read (maybe too) much from the 'other' side (i.e. dzogchen and mahamudra being the same).
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Lhug-Pa » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:41 pm

In Fundamentals of Dzogchen Meditation, Alexander Berzin wrote:Recognizing Effulgent Rigpa

We must be careful not to confuse and take the realization of the alaya for habits to be the realization of rigpa. Further, we need to be careful not to confuse and take to be the realization of rigpa a decisive awareness (nges-shes) of either the conventional nature (the mere producing and perceiving of cognitive appearances) or the deepest nature (voidness) of the alaya for habits. To do so would be confusing Dzogchen meditation with Gelug/Kagyu Mahamudra.

We need to go deeper and subtler, so that we experience and recognize a cognitive inbetween space that has deep awareness of its own two-truth nature. If we succeed, the factor of dumbfoundedness stops accompanying our meditation and the alaya for habits becomes rigpa. Because of having "greased" the pathways of our energy-channels with previous anuyoga practice and synchronized the winds with mantra recitation, then in the process of this meditation, all grosser levels of mental activity - and specifically the alaya for habits - automatically dissolve.
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby cloudburst » Fri May 18, 2012 7:59 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Pero wrote:Malcolm, do you now believe that achieving Buddhahood is possible outside of Buddhism and Bon (including Dzogchen)?


Acheiving Buddhahood has always been possible outside of "Buddhism". There was no Buddhism when appeared. or when Tonpa Shenrab appeared. Or when Ngon Dzog Gyalpo, appeared. Etc. In fact, Ngondzog Gyalpo left no Buddhist sangha behind. Nor when Zhonnu Pawo Tobden appeared, or Nangwa Dampa, etc.

Then there are pratyekabuddhas. They in fact often appear in the garb of so called non-Buddhist ascetics.

Nagarjuna has said that even if there are no Buddhas in the world, it is always possible to for there to be liberation anyway since the reality of phenomena is always present.

So yes I think it is possible. I do not think any longer that liberation is the sole province of Buddhists.

M


This has been an interesting discussion thus far. For me it is so as an outsider, so I was thinking it would be helpful if I understood some of the terms better.

In general, I find that Dzogchen as a tradition is very good a promoting itself, mainly by saying it's the highest, fastest etc, even instantaneous for goodness sake, but when you look, it has many many methods and practices, and seems to take the practitioner nothing short of his or her whole life to actualize the result, if they do a lot of study and practice. Just like everything else.

In particular, I am interested to hear what some of you CNN folks have to say about distinguishing the base from kun zhi, as I want to understand what it is that one recognizes when one recognizes rigpa. As you know, it looks to Mahamudra people that you are just talking about recognizing the nature of the mind, but I am told it is different than this. It seems from CNN's explanation, which I re-read recently after reading crystal and the way of light years ago, that the base is the emptiness, clarity and energy of the mind. Is this accurate? I think a good discussion on this would be helpful to clarify misunderstandings

could you please explain? What is the difference between recognizing the nature of the mind and recognizing rigpa?
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby Lhug-Pa » Fri May 18, 2012 8:27 pm

Hi Cloudburst

Based on what I've read thus far, I touched upon what you are asking in the following post:

viewtopic.php?f=48&t=8318&start=240#p100527

Also there's still on the first page of the Mahamudra subforum, a Mahamudra/Dzogchen thread with an older debate about this topic as well.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Lhug-Pa » Fri May 18, 2012 9:26 pm

Better than my previously-referenced "New Age garbage" post, try this:

*Edit* Since Dharmawheel can't handle that long of a Google link, just copy & paste all of these words in a Google search:

site:dharmawheel.net "Alaya" OR "Ālaya" "gZhi" OR "Basis" OR "Ground" "Āvidya" OR "Avidya" OR "ignorance"

Another thing about my New Age post, I think it's wrong to have said that Mahamudra Direct Introduction would introduce one to the Ālaya. Because I don't doubt that the Mahamudra Direct Introduction is to the Nature of Mind. It just might be that the Direct Introduction to the Nature of Mind of Mahamudra is in the context of the Ālaya rather than the Laya, Sthana, gZhi, or Asraya/Ashraya. Then again, maybe if a Direct Introduction isn't in the context of the gZhi, then it isn't really the Nature of Mind in the complete sense. Then again, again, maybe when Mahamudra says Kunzhi, they are actually referring to gZhi; yet simply happen to be mixing up terminologies.

It seems that what Alexander Berzin is implying—as he is quoted on this page of this thread and elsewhere—is that Kagyu/Gelug Mahamudra meditation only goes as far as the Ālaya/Kunzhi, whereas Dzogchen has Knowledge of the gZhi.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Andrew108 » Fri May 18, 2012 9:54 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:Better than my previously-referenced "New Age garbage" post, try this:

http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Ad ... %22+OR+%22Ālaya%22+%22Basis%22+OR+%22Ground%22+%22Āvidya%22+OR+%22Avidya%22+OR+%22ignorance%22&btnG=Search&hl=en&=1&biw=480&bih=268


Another thing about my New Age post, I think it's wrong to have said that Mahamudra Direct Introduction would introduce one to the Alaya. Because I don't doubt that the Mahamudra Direct Introduction is to the Nature of Mind. It just might be that the Direct Introduction to the Nature of Mind of Mahamudra is in the context of the Alaya rather than the Laya, Sthana, gZhi, or Asraya/Ashraya. Then again, maybe if a Direct Introduction isn't in the context of the gZhi, then it isn't really the Nature of Mind in the complete sense. Then again, again, maybe when Mahamudra says Kunzhi, they are actually referring to gZhi; but simply happen to be mixing up terminologies.

It seems that what Alexander Berzin is implying—as he is quoted in my New Age post and elsewhere—is that Kagyu/Gelug Mahamudra meditation only goes as far as the Ālaya/Kunzhi, whereas Dzogchen has Knowledge of the gZhi.


It's hard to say exactly what direct introduction introduces you to. There are terms like nature of mind - luminosity/emptiness and so on. But really there is nothing except that you understand completely the way reality is at that moment. Ordinary mind - unborn. You recognize falsity, construction, and this can be hugely funny. But above all you see the path and it is a joy to practice. It is also the thing/knowledge that you trust above all else.
There is direct introduction in Sutra mahamudra and direct introduction in essence mahamudra. Do you know the difference in terms of what is introduced? There really isn't a difference - differences depend more on what you need to do to prepare for the pointing out. In many ways there isn't essence mahamudra as a clearly defined path because it is shocking realization without preparation. You either get it or you don't and the teacher can try 10,000 times to introduce it but if you don't get it you haven't got it. You can use terms like Alaya and the idea that Dzogchen has knowledge of the gZhi and so on but it is not like that. These are just names and terms that actually obscure. The term alaya obscures alaya. Direct introduction is a lot about dropping these terms and learning to trust the teachers message and also trust the experience you have that can't be intellectualized.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Lhug-Pa » Fri May 18, 2012 10:20 pm

Yeah, Andrew108, it's certainly difficult for me at this point to say as to whether or not what Jnana quoted here from Tsele Natsok Rangdrol and other teachers, can be reconciled with the apparent differences that Malcolm and Alexander Berzin have referred to.

(Although I think that Tsele Natsok Rangdrol is referring to Ground Mahamudra or Essence Mahamudra, and Alexander Berzin is referring to Tantra Mahamudra)

It's a balance too I think. You can say just practice and don't worry about it; however if someone hears that, they might think that they might as well practice Chan or Zen and dispense with Vajrayana. But this might be ignoring Vajrayana's assertion that non-Tantra vehicles (like Chan) take even Kalpas to realize Buddhahood, that is practiced by themselves. And unless someone has accumulated massive amounts of merit over many lives, Zen practice alone might not do them much good if they're close to exhausting their merit for taking human-body rebirths.

At the same time, one could spend their whole life studying and nit-picking, and not even ever directly experience Bodhicitta, even though they consider themselves to be a Dzogchen practitioner.

All that each one can do—as Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche says—is to do our best.
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby cloudburst » Fri May 18, 2012 10:37 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:Hi Cloudburst

Based on what I've read thus far, I touched upon what you are asking in the following post:

http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f= ... 40#p100527

Also there's still on the first page of the Mahamudra subforum, a Mahamudra/Dzogchen thread with an older debate about this topic as well.



Thank you.

What are people understanding as the Alaya here? I think I recall something from an earlier thread where it was claimed that the alaya and the alayavijnana are different.
If so, what its the alaya in this context?
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Andrew108 » Fri May 18, 2012 10:39 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:Yeah, Andrew108, it's certainly difficult for me at this point to say as to whether or not what Jnana quoted here from Tsele Natsok Rangdrol and other teachers, can be reconciled with the apparent differences that Malcolm and Alexander Berzin have referred to.

It's a balance too I think. You can say just practice and don't worry about it; however if someone hears that, they might think that they might as well practice Chan or Zen and dispense with Vajrayana. But this might be ignoring Vajrayana's assertion that non-Tantra vehicles (like Chan) take even Kalpas to reach Buddhahood, that is practiced by themselves. And unless someone has accumulated massive amounts of merit over many lives, Zen practice alone might not do them much good if they're close to exhausting their merit for taking human-body rebirths.

At the same time, one could spend their whole life studying and nit-picking, and not even remotely understand Bodhicitta, even though they consider themselves to be a Dzogchen practitioner.

All that each one can do—as Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche says—is to do our best.

I understand what you mean, but the jnana they are talking about makes itself known. It's not a jnana that you have as intellectual knowledge. So in a sense the jnana of the direct introduction makes itself known - it describes itself or displays itself. The differences are only academic - conceptual.
In terms of your other comments about the different vehicles and so on - I couldn't say. To me the idea of kalpas and bhumis seems like a fairytale. It doesn't have meaning for me. But one thing I know for sure and trust is that bodhicitta is our real nature. It's right there all of the time.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Lhug-Pa » Fri May 18, 2012 10:52 pm

Cloudburst, it seems that there are three levels so-to-speak:

gZhi

Kunzhi

Kunzhi-Namshe

I think it is that the Kunzhi has ignorance, yet no afflictions; and that the Kunzhi-Namshe is the storehouse of habits and afflictions.

Whereas the gZhi has neither ignorance nor afflictions.

According to my 'understanding'.



Andrew108 wrote:But one thing I know for sure and trust is that bodhicitta is our real nature. It's right there all of the time.


:good:

The "Jnana" I was referring to, is the screen-name of the one who started this thread. ;)

Also, I added this to my previous post that you quoted above:

"(Although I think that Tsele Natsok Rangdrol is referring to Ground Mahamudra or Essence Mahamudra, and Alexander Berzin is referring to Tantra Mahamudra)"

:anjali:
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Lhug-Pa » Fri May 18, 2012 11:09 pm

Speaking of Mahamudra...:

Kai wrote:BTW, for those who are interested, in Kalachakra, mahamudra is a name for a consort practice that results in an unmoving supreme bliss and its not even sufficient to bring to the arya stage.


Interesting.

H.H. the Dalai Lama has openly taught some fairly secret things regarding Karmamudra in the context of Kalachakra.
Last edited by Lhug-Pa on Fri May 18, 2012 11:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Jnana » Fri May 18, 2012 11:17 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:"(Although I think that Tsele Natsok Rangdrol is referring to Ground Mahamudra or Essence Mahamudra, and Alexander Berzin is referring to Tantra Mahamudra)"

Berzin is referring to the Gelugpa version of sūtra mahāmudrā.

Regarding Kagyu mahāmudrā, the 9th Karmapa explains the basis as follows:

    [Ground mahāmudrā] is what is realized and actualized by the nondual mind of the buddhas (which was explained above) and noble individuals. It is the basic state (Tib. gshis kyi babs) of the three realms of samsara and the true nature of all phenomena from the beginning. It is connate wisdom (lhan gcig skyes pa'i ye shes), which pervades the entire ground....

    Because nothing transcends this, it is [known as] mudrā (phyag rgya, seal). Since there is nothing to be sought that is higher than this--no superior "dharmakāya"--it is fit to be referred to as "mahā" (chen po, great)....

    This ground has been the dharmakāya from the beginning.

The basis in Kagyu mahāmudrā is not equivalent to the all-basis in dzogchen.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby cloudburst » Fri May 18, 2012 11:49 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:Cloudburst, it seems that there are three levels so-to-speak:

gZhi
Kunzhi
Kunzhi-Namshe

I think it is that the Kunzhi has ignorance, yet no afflictions; and that the Kunzhi-Namshe is the storehouse of habits and afflictions.

Whereas the gZhi has neither ignorance nor afflictions.

According to my 'understanding'.


How do these relate to consciousnesses, or minds?
Are they associated with the seventh consciousness? or the sixth, the mental consciouness?

I know they are not going to 'be' one of these, but there is awareness involved here, so with which awareness is Kunzhi and zhi associated?

for example, in Crystal, CNN says that the essence is unfindability and the nature is like a mirror....... (sorry, I am paraphrasing from memory...), so at least some aspect of these is mind.

also keep in mind I am a Gelugpa by training, so when I say mind, I mean something that is aware, not necessarily saying deluded or non-deluded etc

thanks again.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat May 19, 2012 12:13 am

Thanks for clarifying Jnana.

The 9th Karmapa makes it pretty clear.


Cloudburst, on the first page of this thread, Malcolm wrote:

Malcolm wrote:The alaya is the inseparable clarity and emptiness of the mind.

The gzhi, in Dzogchen, has nothing to do with the mind.


So the Kunzhi is apparently somehow involved with the mind, whereas the gZhi is free of the mind altogether.

And as was said, the Alaya-Vijnana or Kunzhi-Namshe is the storehouse of habits, afflictions, karmic traces, etc.

Don't know if this quite answers your question, but I hope that it helps.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Andrew108 » Sat May 19, 2012 7:32 am

cloudburst wrote:
Lhug-Pa wrote:Cloudburst, it seems that there are three levels so-to-speak:

gZhi
Kunzhi
Kunzhi-Namshe

I think it is that the Kunzhi has ignorance, yet no afflictions; and that the Kunzhi-Namshe is the storehouse of habits and afflictions.

Whereas the gZhi has neither ignorance nor afflictions.

According to my 'understanding'.


How do these relate to consciousnesses, or minds?
Are they associated with the seventh consciousness? or the sixth, the mental consciouness?

I know they are not going to 'be' one of these, but there is awareness involved here, so with which awareness is Kunzhi and zhi associated?

for example, in Crystal, CNN says that the essence is unfindability and the nature is like a mirror....... (sorry, I am paraphrasing from memory...), so at least some aspect of these is mind.

also keep in mind I am a Gelugpa by training, so when I say mind, I mean something that is aware, not necessarily saying deluded or non-deluded etc

thanks again.

There aren't really levels as such. There is knowing without judging and then the understanding that this knowing is without basis - is empty of itself.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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