I'm not talking about (just)myself. You have a large following here, and I am concerned that anything that looks like a subtle rejection of gradual methods can be misunderstood and do much harm.
I have stated over and over again, it is everyone's responsibility to discover for themselves what is useful.
We are talking about important issues here, concepts that can be easily misunderstood. This fine line is one of the reasons why Dzogchen has been kept secret in the past, why it should only be approached when the student is ready.
The reason Dzogchen was kept secret in the past is because of the hostility it garnered from Buddhists since its inception. Now Dzogchen is out in the world, and it not within the clutches of Tibetan Buddhists anymore. This does not mean we can ignore things like transmission, lineage and so on. But it does mean that we can speak more freely to those who are interested in what the real point of view of Dzogchen is itself. And it is not the gradual system the Nyingmapas were forced to adopt to forstall criticisms of the Kadampa influenced hegemony.
Another point I'm making is that Dzogchen itself (if such a monolithic view can ever be found)does not really consistently propose a sudden approach.
If by Dzogchen, we are referring to the what Dzogchen tantras themselves state quite clearly, then this is not correct.
If we are talking about how Dzogchen has been presented by the Nyingma school under intense pressure from its opponents, then it is true, Nyingma presents Dzogchen as a graduated path. But the point of view of the Nyingma school and the point of view of Dzogchen are not necessarily the same thing.
We are also, in some of the discussions so far, on the verge of confusing whether compassion is inherent, and whether the methods to cultivate it, are sudden or gradual.
In Mahāyāna, as I stated, compassion is gradually cultivated over many lifetimes.
In Dzogchen, there is little need to "cultivate" compassion since compassion is recognized a) to be innate b) will be expanded up by recognizing your own state.
I know many Mahāyāna pratitioners who cultivate compassion for many years, who are like rocks in the bottom of the ocean. They talk about compassion a lot, but never stop to help anyone or anything.
I know many non-buddhists who never "cultivated" compassion even once in their lives. But they are always helpful, without restraint.
I have little confidence in the canned meditations of the gradual system. They sure did not work for me when I was in retreat, so I abandoned them in favor of a more experiential approach. I just recognized that I had compassion, that I often acted compassionately, and then continued to move in the direction. I built on what I had, and expanded it -- rather than just sitting on my ass running through canned meditation topics. This is much better than sitting around with a Lam rim book in hand and practicing scales.
We all have compassion. So the way to increase it is to simply see that we have it, and exercise that muscle a bit more.
Then, when we recognize our true condition, our compassion will burst out like the sun behind a cloud.