Dzogchen and Buddhism

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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sat May 19, 2012 7:00 pm

Blue Garuda wrote:Blake may well have been a member of an esoteric group, perhaps with a Druidic label.


The problem is, in Blake's poetry Druids are pretty much the equivalent of Gnostic Archonts. Blake presents them (mistakenly, goes without saying) as priests of Natural Religion (which in Blake's 'system' doesn't mean tree-hugging, btw, but rather Deism) - and thus, one could argue, his betes noires.

Have look here: http://books.google.pl/books?id=16YII5E ... on&f=false

Or, better, open up your copy of Erdman's Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake and read 'Jerusalem' :)

(I've got no problem with 'pagan' or 'Druid' Dzogchenpas. I'm a tree-hugger myself ;-))
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby pemachophel » Sat May 19, 2012 7:04 pm

Blue Garuda,

Your point is well taken regarding new and old terma, true and false terma, i.e., "orthodoxy is what I believe, heterodoxy is what you believe." From a Tibetan POV, I think we'd have to call the revealed Mormon scriptures terma. Within Tibetan Buddhism, Tertons, such as Kunkhyen Jigme Ling and, more recently, Pegyal Lingpa, commonly practice their terma for some years before revealing them to others. This is called ter-drub. They practice to insure the results are there as expected. While new terma are said to have great blessings because they are still warm from the Dakinis' breath (i.e., have lots of uncorrupted blessings), some practitioners wait to see whether other practitioners are consistently getting results before adopting a new terma. As Ju Mipham pointed out, not all teachings claiming to be terma are authentic and produce reliable results. Ju Mipham cautioned reticence in accepting new terma. On the other, if one has great faith in the Terton, such as I have in Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, one may not wait and throw oneself directly into the practice. Vajrayana is not without risk. :namaste:
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat May 19, 2012 7:18 pm

You make some points that are worthy of debate, Treehuggingoctopus; however that debate could easily turn into another 40 page thread, especially when we take into account what Blue Garuda has said. Although if I find more time, I won't mind continuing this a bit more.


Blue Garuda wrote:Oh, there's an interesting little analysis here, claiming that Druids may have encountered Buddhist teachers. it's a stretch but here it is:
http://seanrobsville.blogspot.co.uk/200 ... n-pre.html

A Druid may also practise Dzogchen. ;)


Havent read it yet, but thanks for the link.

The said author of Celtic Druids, Master Mason, and alleged Druid Godfrey Higgins wrote:


Godfrey Higgins wrote:…In my Essay on The Celtic Druids, I have shewn, that a great nation called Celtæ, of whom the Druids were the priests, spread themselves almost over the whole earth, and are to be traced in their rude gigantic monuments from India to the extremities of Britain. Who these can have been but the early individuals of the black nation of whom we have been treating I know not, and in this opinion I am not singular. The learned Maurice says, "Cuthites, i. e. Celts, built the great temples in India and Britain, and excavated the caves of the former."*

And the learned Mathematician, Reuben Burrow, has no hesitation in pronouncing Stonehenge to be a temple of the black, curly-headed Buddha.
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby pemachophel » Sat May 19, 2012 7:18 pm

A couple of days ago, someone brought up Thomas Merton, the famous Trappist monk, and Kyabje Chatral Rinpoche, suggesting that, if Merton had lived, he would have gone back to Chatral Rinpoche and Chatral Rinpoche would have taught him Dzogchen without necessarily asking Merton to take Refuge, etc. Because Merton died and did not go back to Chatral Rinpoche, we'll never know, but I personally doubt this. Merton sought teachings from another Lama during his trip to India (sorry, I forget this Lama's name). The Lama asked Merton if he believed in reincarnation. I believe Merton said no. The Lama was going to give Merton the practice of phowa, but, based on Merton's answer, decided not to. It seems to me that this Lama saw that Merton was going to die soon, otherwise phowa would seem like a strange teaching to give as their first formal teaching. To me, I've always thought this story suggests that Merton had gone as far as he could go in terms of Buddhism/Dzogchen in that life and that, to go farther, he would have to be reborn (with a "cleaner slate"). In any case, knowing what I know about Kyabje Chatral Rinpoche, I find the previous respondents hypothesis unlikely. :namaste:
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Sat May 19, 2012 7:29 pm

pemachophel wrote:In any case, knowing what I know about Kyabje Chatral Rinpoche, I find the previous respondents hypothesis unlikely. :namaste:



Yes, it is certainly true that for many Buddhist masters of Dzogchen declaring a religious allegiance to Buddhism is a very important first step with all that entails i.e. eschewing non-Buddhist gods and companions, and so on.
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat May 19, 2012 7:34 pm

pemachophel wrote:Blue Garuda,

Your point is well taken regarding new and old terma, true and false terma, i.e., "orthodoxy is what I believe, heterodoxy is what you believe." From a Tibetan POV, I think we'd have to call the revealed Mormon scriptures terma. Within Tibetan Buddhism, Tertons, such as Kunkhyen Jigme Ling and, more recently, Pegyal Lingpa, commonly practice their terma for some years before revealing them to others. This is called ter-drub. They practice to insure the results are there as expected. While new terma are said to have great blessings because they are still warm from the Dakinis' breath (i.e., have lots of uncorrupted blessings), some practitioners wait to see whether other practitioners are consistently getting results before adopting a new terma. As Ju Mipham pointed out, not all teachings claiming to be terma are authentic and produce reliable results. Ju Mipham cautioned reticence in accepting new terma. On the other, if one has great faith in the Terton, such as I have in Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, one may not wait and throw oneself directly into the practice. Vajrayana is not without risk. :namaste:


Thanks. :)

It prompts a Dzogchen newbie observation that if there is reliance on direct transmission then de facto one must have trust in the Guru and put into practice what he teaches. I don't think that trust depends upon a lineage full of enlightened beings traced back to the Buddha. Surely that also applies to the Druids.
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby Jikan » Sat May 19, 2012 7:35 pm

This is a tangent at best, but...

Blake was a radical and a dissenter in the 17th century tradition (see Hill's _The World Turned Upside-Down_). He read Swedenborg, and disagreed with him as often as he agreed.

Did he not believe that Stonehenge had been used for human sacrifice prior to the advent of Christianity? I'm skeptical he would have celebrated the ancient Druids (just as in the Four Zoas when he invites the Jews to convert to Christianity)

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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby Paul » Sat May 19, 2012 7:41 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Paul wrote:
In Dzogchen a persona has to discover rigpa, which is the point where concepts collapse and wisdom arises. A person's beliefs - such as being a Nyingmapa for example - is actually just a bunch of concepts. So from the Dzogchen POV (i.e. the experience of actually resting steadily in rigpa) it's actually false and as equally false as any other belief. There's no such thing as a 'more correct dream' - there's only waking up.


Check.

In order to fully integrate everything a Dzogchen practitioner cannot pick and choose. As you mention it's the path of not changing anything - i.e. not accepting and not rejecting. So if a person is going to practice, they have to 'eat whatever's on their plate', but the corollary is that as long as they are remaining in the liberated state that their teacher pointed out they can eat whatever they like. And it actually helps deepen their practice to have a varied diet - their capacity grows and limitations dwindle.


Check.


Thank you very much, Malcolm. That's sorted a lot of things out for me and I see exactly where you are coming from. I can also see why many religious institutions have reacted badly to the Dzogchen teachings - it seems to be something that could act as an aqua regia to any formal power structure.
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sat May 19, 2012 8:53 pm

Jikan wrote:Blake was a radical and a dissenter in the 17th century tradition (see Hill's _The World Turned Upside-Down_).


True that, one or both of his parents are believed to have been radical Quakers or even Ranters.

Jikan wrote:Did he not believe that Stonehenge had been used for human sacrifice prior to the advent of Christianity? I'm skeptical he would have celebrated the ancient Druids (just as in the Four Zoas when he invites the Jews to convert to Christianity)


Ouch. Forgot about that.

Well, maybe it's not THAT bad. He'd also invite other Christians to convert to Christianity - i. e., to Blakean Christianity, which had precious little in common with any oficial denomination (and which earned him the identity of a madman - too extreme to be considered a heretic).

Which, pointing to Paul's last post, brings us nicely back on to the thread's topic - and perhaps we'd better stay there. It's been an absolutely marvellous Namdrol-turning-into-Malcolm thread, and I hope there's more of it to come yet :)
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby Sönam » Sat May 19, 2012 8:55 pm

I was just reading tonight (GMT+2), "You are the eyes of the World", which a translation of Longchen Rabjam's commentary on the kun byed rgyal po. It has been translated by old students of ChNN and a Textual Introduction has been signed by Rinpoché.
Merrill Peterson, which is one of the translators, did introduced the text so ...

"This text presents the theory and practice of one of the most direct and wholistic teachings of buddhisma. Written in the early fourteenth century, the text is arranged as a guide to the meaning of an earlier tantra, the kun byed rgyal po, which was translated from an Indian language in the eighth century by the master Sri Simha and the Tibetan monk Vairocana.
Though it comes to us through the buddhist tradition, the real import of this teaching is not dogmatic. Dzogchen has no cultural bias or limitation, it is not bound up in words and language, and it cannot be fully understood with concepts. Dzogchen practitioners can be found not only outside of the odest school of Tibetan buddhism (which is usually thought to house this teaching) but even outside of buddhism. ..."

So it's seems that the approach developped in this thread is shared in the Dzogchen Community for a long long time ... and supported by Rinpoché himself.

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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby Stewart » Sat May 19, 2012 9:23 pm

On a side note....I was looking for the function to change my screen name last week, and couldn't find it! How did you do it?!
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby Sally Gross » Sat May 19, 2012 9:24 pm

xabir wrote:
A non-Buddhist can attain liberation, sure I have no problems with that. In the Pali suttas, lots of non-buddhists awaken or even instantaneously liberate through listening to the Buddha alone. Then, they took refuge or seek ordination, but only after their own awakening. So what you are saying is nothing new.

But I do not see how a person can awaken and then still hold on to their old beliefs and views or their religions, since they would have seen through the views of their old religions (particularly the views that contradict dharma, that is). Even a stream enterer has ended three fetters: wrong view of self, sceptical doubt and belief in rites and rituals, (sakkayaditthi, vicikiccha and silabbatta-paramasa)


Even within certain particular faith-tradition, there is a sense in which sakkayaditthi, vicikiccha and silabbatta-paramasa can be weakened significantly and perhaps even eliminated with the development of greater depth of understanding and maturity in that tradition. In the world of Orthodox Judaism, for example, I can remember being told by a disciple of the late Rabbi Dessler, a founder of the Gateshead Yeshiva, that Rabbi Dessler often used to say that many or most observant and not-so-observant Jews had not moved beyond a child's conception of God (presumably essentially the huge old man on a throne with a long beard, albeit incorporeal, and a decidedly patriarchal character), and that it was important to grow out of that immature conception. Outside the bounds of Orthodox Judaism, things open up even more. On the conception of the late Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan, the founder of the Reconstructionist Movement, Judaism is to be veiwed as a culture and Jewish observance is a matter of folkways rather than of salvation. Kaplan's conception of God is argualbly naturalistic -- he was probably technically an atheist. I spent more than a decade of my life as a member of a Catholic religious order, the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans) and served as a priest for some years (and, to pre-empt certain questions, never surrendered my Jewishness, though this got up certain people's noses, and made mindfulness practice in a full-blooded Buddhist {or should we say "Dhammic" sense and context} a fundamental part of my life from the time I was a novice in the Order, also becoming the secretary of the University Buddhist Society for a year -- I've never been particularly good at the "boundary" things). Some time before I joined the Order, God dropped out of my life and out of my world in a sense: it dawned on me that if the term "God" referred to the ground of all being or to the Creator of all from nothing, any conception of God as a coinhabitant of the universe, however big or powerful, as the top of some kind of great chain of being, or even as a something, was unsustainable. Some months later, when I was a novice in the Order, I had the privilege of attending the General Chapter of my Province of the Order and of hearing the late Fr Herbert McCabe O.P., my novice-master and perhaps the finest Catholic preacher and theologian in the United Kingdom, preaching to the chapter and saying much the same thing. In a wonderful sermon he noted that one of the joys of teaching at our House of Studies was noting the moment, which came for all students at some point, when they realised that there is no God in the world. What had hit me some months before and completely changed my vision of the world at the time, and where Herbert was coming from, was a radically negative conception of God, a time-hallowed approach to theology called "apophatic theology", negative theology. It is the conception of God put forward by many of the great Muslim philosophers of the Middle Ages, by Rabbi Moses Maimonides and by Thomas Aquinas among others, so both Herbert and I were in good company. This tradition commits one in principle to a fundamental and ineliminable agnosticism with regard to the putative Divine nature. It also follows from this conception that the notion that God has a character is misguided. I remember Herbert once saying that it perplexed him -- as it perplexed me -- that a certain eminent Catholic logician and philosopher, since deceased, actually believed that God had a character and was a moral agent. All of this also had implications for the way one viewed practices, whether moral or ritual. It did not favour superstition or magical conceptions. In addition, speaking personally, something which also folllowed was that I could make no sense of the claim that, rather than being a soul, that is to say, having vitality, there was some separable part of me which was my soul. The older and more intelligent brethren would certainly have agreed with me about that. Most pew-Christians and indeed many theologians, and their Jewish and Muslim counterparts, would have excoriated our views as atheistic. We, for our part, felt that their conceptions of deity were idolatrous -- in a sense, infected by kinds of sakkayaditthi, vicikiccha and silabbatta-paramasa.

My own conceptions have moved some way beyond that. Something I accepted at the time was that what is sometimes called "the seinsfrage", "why is there anything at all rather than nothing", was comfortably within the bounds of sense, and this allowed me to describe myself as a theist. The logic of this is not really relevant to this thread. A few years back, I came to feel that, contrary to appearances, the seinsfrage in fact pushes beyond the bounds of sense, something which made me -- rather to my own surprise at first -- an atheist rather than an agnostic.

The point of all of this is that there is sometimes much more scope for the development of appreciation for and even insight into Dharma outside the formal boundaries of Buddhism than you might imagine, and there is certainly significant scope for awakening without necessarily having to abandon some non-Buddhist traditions. The conceptions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other religions held by outsiders and insular insiders are often stereotyped and simplistic, almost children's conceptions rather than mature ones which realise that there is space for contextualisation, appropriation (applying to circumstances, as Rinpoche would perhaps put it) and that it is not about arid and inflexible dogmas. Why should it be surprising that there are some Rabbis and other observant Jews out there, some of them Orthodox, who can appreciate Dharma? Have you ever read Nostra Aetate, the document promulgated by the Second Vatican Council about the Church's relationship with non-Christian religions, states that "Buddhism, in its various forms, realizes the radical insufficiency of this changeable world; it teaches a way by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, may be able either to acquire the state of perfect liberation, or attain, by their own efforts or through higher help, supreme illumination", and that "(t)he Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions" and "regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men"? Truth is truth is truth, wherever it is found. Dharma is Dharma is Dharma.
Last edited by Sally Gross on Sat May 19, 2012 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sat May 19, 2012 9:57 pm

Sally Gross wrote:
xabir wrote:
A non-Buddhist can attain liberation, sure I have no problems with that. In the Pali suttas, lots of non-buddhists awaken or even instantaneously liberate through listening to the Buddha alone. Then, they took refuge or seek ordination, but only after their own awakening. So what you are saying is nothing new.

But I do not see how a person can awaken and then still hold on to their old beliefs and views or their religions, since they would have seen through the views of their old religions (particularly the views that contradict dharma, that is). Even a stream enterer has ended three fetters: wrong view of self, sceptical doubt and belief in rites and rituals, (sakkayaditthi, vicikiccha and silabbatta-paramasa)


Even within certain particular faith-tradition, there is a sense in which sakkayaditthi, vicikiccha and silabbatta-paramasa can be weakened significantly and perhaps even eliminated with the development of greater depth of understanding and maturity in that tradition. In the world of Orthodox Judaism, for example, I can remember being told by a disciple of the late Rabbi Dessler, a founder of the Gateshead Yeshiva, that Rabbi Dessler often used to say that many or most observant and not-so-observant Jews had not moved beyond a child's conception of God (presumably essentially the huge old man on a throne with a long beard, albeit incorporeal, and a decidedly patriarchal character), and that it was important to grow out of that immature conception. Outside the bounds of Orthodox Judaism, things open up even more. On the conception of the late Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan, the founder of the Reconstructionist Movement, Judaism is to be veiwed as a culture and Jewish observance is a matter of folkways rather than of salvation. Kaplan's conception of God is argualbly naturalistic -- he was probably technically an atheist. I spent more than a decade of my life as a member of a Catholic religious order, the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans) and served as a priest for some years (and, to pre-empt certain questions, never surrendered my Jewishness, though this got up certain people's noses, and made mindfulness practice in a full-blooded Buddhist {or should we say "Dhammic" sense and context} a fundamental part of my life from the time I was a novice in the Order, also becoming the secretary of the University Buddhist Society for a year -- I've never been particularly good at the "boundary" things). Some time before I joined the Order, God dropped out of my life and out of my world in a sense: it dawned on me that if the term "God" referred to the ground of all being or to the Creator of all from nothing, any conception of God as a coinhabitant of the universe, however big or powerful, as the top of some kind of great chain of being, or even as a something, was unsustainable. Some months later, when I was a novice in the Order, I had the privilege of attending the General Chapter of my Province of the Order and of hearing the late Fr Herbert McCabe O.P., my novice-master and perhaps the finest Catholic preacher and theologian in the United Kingdom, preaching to the chapter and saying much the same thing. In a wonderful sermon he noted that one of the joys of teaching at our House of Studies was noting the moment, which came for all students at some point, when they realised that there is no God in the world. What had hit me some months before and completely changed my vision of the world at the time, and where Herbert was coming from, was a radically negative conception of God, a time-hallowed approach to theology called "apophatic theology", negative theology. It is the conception of God put forward by many of the great Muslim philosophers of the Middle Ages, by Rabbi Moses Maimonides and by Thomas Aquinas among others, so both Herbert and I were in good company. This tradition commits one in principle to a fundamental and ineliminable agnosticism with regard to the putative Divine nature. It also follows from this conception that the notion that God has a character is misguided. I remember Herbert once saying that it perplexed him -- as it perplexed me -- that a certain eminent Catholic logician and philosopher, since deceased, actually believed that God had a character and was a moral agent. All of this also had implications for the way one viewed practices, whether moral or ritual. It did not favour superstition or magical conceptions. In addition, speaking personally, something which also folllowed was that I could make no sense of the claim that, rather than being a soul, that is to say, having vitality, there was some separable part of me which was my soul. The older and more intelligent brethren would certainly have agreed with me about that. Most pew-Christians and indeed many theologians, and their Jewish and Muslim counterparts, would have excoriated our views as atheistic. We, for our part, felt that their conceptions of deity were idolatrous -- in a sense, infected by kinds of sakkayaditthi, vicikiccha and silabbatta-paramasa.

My own conceptions have moved some way beyond that. Something I accepted at the time was that what is sometimes called "the seinsfrage", "why is there anything at all rather than nothing", was comfortably within the bounds of sense, and this allowed me to describe myself as a theist. The logic of this is not really relevant to this thread. A few years back, I came to feel that, contrary to appearances, the seinsfrage in fact pushes beyond the bounds of sense, something which made me -- rather to my own surprise at first -- an atheist rather than an agnostic.

The point of all of this is that there is sometimes much more scope for the development of appreciation for and even insight into Dharma outside the formal boundaries of Buddhism than you might imagine, and there is certainly significant scope for awakening without necessarily having to abandon some non-Buddhist traditions. The conceptions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other religions held by outsiders and insular insiders are often stereotyped and simplistic, almost children's conceptions rather than mature ones which realise that there is space for contextualisation, appropriation (applying to circumstances, as Rinpoche would perhaps put it) and that it is not about arid and inflexible dogmas. Why should it be surprising that there are some Rabbis and other observant Jews out there, some of them Orthodox, who can appreciate Dharma? Have you ever read Nostra Aetate, the document promulgated by the Second Vatican Council about the Church's relationship with non-Christian religions, states that "Buddhism, in its various forms, realizes the radical insufficiency of this changeable world; it teaches a way by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, may be able either to acquire the state of perfect liberation, or attain, by their own efforts or through higher help, supreme illumination", and that "(t)he Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions" and "regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men"? Truth is truth is truth, wherever it is found. Dharma is Dharma is Dharma.


Thanks, Sally. That's the kind of story someone should have posted a long time ago here. :thumbsup:
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby Andrew108 » Sat May 19, 2012 10:00 pm

Malcolm wrote:

If we want to understand emptiness in Dzogchen, we do not need to engage in any analysis at all -- we need to merely reflect on the examples of illusion -- that is sufficient for understanding everything is unreal -- no analysis required, no fancy Madyamaka analysis, we don't even have to use the word "emptiness", "Life is but a dream...." In this way we penetrate to the real essence of the teachings.

And then we rest in our own state, or we discover it. These are the only choices we have in Dzogchen, discover, then rest.

M


Why is it sufficient to merely reflect on the examples of illusion to understand emptiness? Is it because of having received the Direct Introduction? The reason I'm asking is that some practitioners see illusions as having some basic reality. So does the Direct Introduction counter this? In Sutra Mahamudra along with the focus on rangtong and shentong there is also a pointing out which is more like an experiential shock that brings the heady philosophy into experience. In Essence Mahamudra all there really is the Direct Introduction. There is no working it out after or developing it. So I'm wondering how in Dzogchen the Direct Introduction works in the sense of guaranteeing an authentic experience of emptiness without the dogma? What stops the practitioner (from say a new age background) fixating on the experience or adding another layer to their personality?
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: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Sat May 19, 2012 10:03 pm

Andrew108 wrote:
Why is it sufficient to merely reflect on the examples of illusion to understand emptiness?


Because that is all that is necessary for anyone to understand emptiness.
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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: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby Andrew108 » Sat May 19, 2012 10:07 pm

Malcolm - some people see a rainbow and think that it exists. Look at the illusion of the internet if you are not sure how it is that people fixate illusions. I'm not trying to be argumentative for the sake of it. Emptiness is simple but not that simple.
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: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Sat May 19, 2012 10:10 pm

Andrew108 wrote:Malcolm - some people see a rainbow and think that it exists. Look at the illusion of the internet if you are not sure how it is that people fixate illusions. I'm not trying to be argumentative for the sake of it. Emptiness is simple but not that simple.



This is why there are eight examples of illusion, and not just one.

But it is sufficient, Rongton Sheja Kunrig refers to this as the upadesha lineage of Madhyamaka. Longchen wrote a whole book about them.

The examples of illusion are all that someone interested in Dzogchen needs to know about emptiness.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
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: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby Andrew108 » Sat May 19, 2012 10:26 pm

Hi Malcolm,
You know I was reading through Nagarjuna's 'The fundamental wisdom of the middle way' and it occurred to me that Nagarjuna had many many critics. People thought he was crazy. Completely mad. His logic is so stunningly amazing. People couldn't believe it. They also accused him of denying karma and cause and effect and so on. But his logic became a benchmark for realization and it is because of Nagarjuna's logic that we can have causeless vehicles. Whether or not one studies Nagarjuna or not, it seems that for realization to be realization it has to match Nagarjunas realization.
I hope that an uncontrived understanding of emptiness does come about in the Dzogchen students I've met and that it is as profound as Nagarjunas.
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: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby Nikolay » Sat May 19, 2012 10:28 pm

mindyourmind wrote:
mirage wrote:
Malcolm wrote: I do not mean are you a more "compassionate" person in that syrupy fake Lam rim way.

Well, earlier I was not sure if following this thread was a good idea. Now I am quite sure it is not.


He says he is drawing a distinction between Lam Rim and fake Lam Rim.

Perhaps, but Malcolm's last post contains enough negativity towards "gradualist establishment"and such for me to think it is not that simple.
Anyway, I am not really interested in discussing it, just expressing my feelings. Don't mind me.
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Postby Paul » Sat May 19, 2012 10:51 pm

Malcolm wrote:But here on this thread, we have many people voice the opinion, to understand Dzogchen you need madhyamaka either Rang stong or gzhan stong, you need to have the view of dependent origination, etc. All kinds of preconditions but one, the indispensible one.

There is but one thing indispensible for Dzogchen, and that is an introduction from a master. As Nubchen points out this is the critical difference between sutra and tantra. The critical difference between tantra and Dzogchen is whether one's practice is based on the notion of cause and result or not. And that is based on whether or not one has authentically recognized one's own stage so that one is possession of that famous rigpa.

Back to the main topic: the notion of a vehicle beyond cause and result, one that does not require accumulations, practice with effort, and so on is very threatening to the gradualist establishment in Tibetan culture. The gradualists really hate the message of Atiyoga. It threatens their grip on feudal power. This is why Dzogchen will not be found in Tibetan monasteries and large Dharma centers. It will only be found at the feet of Dzogchen masters. You can take a hundred high Dzogchen empowerments but if you do not understand the main point, then it is of limited benefit. But if you can put yourself at the feet of qualified master who teaches Dzogchen from their own experience then there is no limit of benefit and you will receive transmission whether you are a Buddhist, an Catholic or an Alien. Transmission is beyond mind. Dzogchen is beyond mind, a personal experience beyond reckoning, calculation, something within the reach of everyone who is interested to discover their own nature. So yes, Dzogchen is an aqua regia, a royal water capable of dissolving all limitations whatsoever if one just puts it into sincere practice.


Malcolm -this post has really brought forwards something that's I've been ruminating over for a while, mostly unconsciously. One thing I have found to be increasingly odd is that the Dzogchen teachings seem to be frequently put on a high shelf, as if to keep them out of the way of many people. There are many things that must often be done before a person is given instructions. A common attitude is that person must complete ngondro first, do many years of retreat, be adept at creation and completion etc. otherwise it's going to be too hard for a person to get any benefit at all. In some cases I've found that it's not seen as a good thing to even talk about Dzogchen. This seems frankly a little ridiculous and also counter productive as in my experience it can even damage a person's belief they can ever understand their nature experientially. In my opinion, with diligence and a good teacher it's pretty straight forwards.

To name four teachers I have complete trust in - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and Tsoknyi Rinpoche (and I'm sure there are many others out there) - all four have given the pointing out instructions really quite freely. They are not hidden away from ordinary people. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche is obviously an excellent example of this. I believe that these kind of teachers seem to push it as they know that it's everyone's right to engage in these teachings if they want to. And now that I think about it, there have been examples where the teaching activities of Rinpoches I know (linked to the 'Blazing Splendor' group, if I can refer to them as that) have been very deliberately made open to anyone - even non-Buddhists - who may wish to participate via instructions to the retreat organisers. I think this interestingly parallels your current opinions/attitude.

Do you think that the 'sorry kid, it's too High and Special a teaching for you' stance that can be found in the orthodox Tibetan religious structure is a symptom of Dzogchen's problematic consequences to power structures - restricting it to only a few carefully selected groups? The part I've highlighted in bold above is a comment from you that makes me think I may be on the right lines.

Some people are interested in how we know if our practice is moving ahead. It is easy -- are you more integrated, are you having less problems in life? Is your clarity increasing? Are you a nicer person? I do not mean are you a more "compassionate" person in that syrupy fake Lam rim way. I mean are you a nicer person? A decent, ordinary, normal human being who plays well with others? Or are you still an alienated freak who can't get along with anyone and always demands that everyone around you change in conformity with your own nuerosis, especially your religious neurosis?


I have definitely seen this in some Western practitioners I have the privilege to know. It's a wonderful thing.
This nature of mind is spontaneously present.
That spontaneity I was told is the dakini aspect.
Recognizing this should help me
Not to be stuck with fear of being sued.

-Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
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