Bliss, Dzogchen practice and physiology

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Re: Bliss, Dzogchen practice and physiology

Postby Malcolm » Tue May 29, 2012 10:29 pm

Paul wrote:Hi Malcolm - thanks for posting all that.

Most of that, especially sections like this:
Malcolm wrote:
    Further, to begin with, the body is formed by ignorance of the wisdom of basis. The nature of wisdom in that body is the refined part of the five elements, present in the material bindu as the play of the kāyas and wisdoms. Since their luminous radiance arose as light, it is given the name “three wisdoms”.


seems to be linked to the theory and practice of togal. Is is of any direct relevance to the practice of trekcho?


Yes, it explains how one's impure vision evolved.
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Re: Bliss, Dzogchen practice and physiology

Postby tomamundsen » Wed May 30, 2012 12:20 am

Andrew108 wrote:ChNN is teaching Longde this year.

Can you or someone else elaborate on what this entails?

Thanks
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Re: Bliss, Dzogchen practice and physiology

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed May 30, 2012 12:48 am

Paul wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:Oh ok, I'm still not sure about the term "materialistic" what attracts you to that term?


Dzogchens unique approach to what matter is, ie the quasi-panpsychism type view that Malcolm has been explaining for some time with his quotes from the Dzogchen tantras. Also, from a practical point of view, that the winds, channels and drops have a profound influence on our mind and ability to experience rigpa (which is the kind of thing that made me start this thread)

sounded like you were implying that we're stuck with these gross physical bodies which are almost cage-like to the point that they're a burden to work with. Such a suggestion would give the wrong impression to those seeking to establish correct view in my opinion.


I have read and also had it explained to me that the body can be something of an impediment to realisation because of its nature - something that isn't a problem in the bardo, where the body is of a different, subtle nature - hence one of the side effects being that the mind is much clearer there. I will look for some more info in my books, recordings and notes - that'll take time, though.


"I (Dudjom Lingpa) still think that my body is not merely a sensory appearance, for surely it came from my parents, who were it's cause and condition."

He (Longchenpa) said, "If you think that your body came from your father and mother, then what are the beginning and end of these parents? What are their source, their location, their final destination? Tell me!"

I answered, "I think that they exist, but I am not aware of what they are. It seems to me that a physical body without parents is not possible."

He retorted, "Consider this. Who are the parents of the body in a dream, in the bardo, and in the hell realms?" With that, I arrived at the decision that this body has never existed, being simply a sensory appearance....

..."...Furthermore, it is not valid to hold that any sensory appearances exist, assigning them to some hierarchy of higher versus lower, outer versus inner."

To this I responded, "My guru, then to what decision should I come? To what level of experience should I hold? I ask you, sublime guru, show me."

The guru replied, "At no time throughout the beginningless succession of lifetimes has there ever been actual birth. There has never been actual death, only the transformation of sensory appearances, like the shift from the dream state to the waking state. All sensations - seen, heard, smelled, tasted (etc.) ...are merely the mind being conscious of it's own projections (rang-nang), without their ever having even a hair's tip of existence as something else."

...."Throughout the beginningless succession of lifetimes, there has never been any actual experience of transition or going from one state to another, or any actual experience of being located in some other place. This is analogous to the images in a dream."

..."It is an enormous flaw not to understand that what manifests as the body is empty, and instead to invest it with truth. This flaw is the consuming demon (za-dre), since the power of the efforts you make for the sake of the body eats away at the fruit of omniscience. It is the murderous executioner (shi-shed), since it provides the link from one cycle to the next in samsara, causing the appearances of birth and death to manifest. It is what cuts the life force (srog-chod), since for the sake of the body you are driven to seek happiness from clothing and so forth, and so you sever the lifeline of liberation with the fixation on attachment and aversion that perpetuates hope and fear. It is also what steals the breath (ug-len), since it robs you of the breath of lasting happiness. Therefore, all those who fixate on the apparent objects of the six modes of consciousness (tsog-drug) are like deer perceiving a mirage to be water and chasing after it, when not even an iota of an essence has ever existed."

- Dudjom Lingpa speaking to Longchenpa
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Re: Bliss, Dzogchen practice and physiology

Postby Sherlock » Wed May 30, 2012 4:43 am

tomamundsen wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:ChNN is teaching Longde this year.

Can you or someone else elaborate on what this entails?

Thanks

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Re: Bliss, Dzogchen practice and physiology

Postby Sönam » Wed May 30, 2012 8:03 am

tomamundsen wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:ChNN is teaching Longde this year.

Can you or someone else elaborate on what this entails?

Thanks


entail in term of what?
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Bliss, Dzogchen practice and physiology

Postby Paul » Wed May 30, 2012 8:25 am

asunthatneversets wrote:"I (Dudjom Lingpa) still think that my body is not merely a sensory appearance, for surely it came from my parents, who were it's cause and condition."


Hi - I'm not on about whether the body is real or not, rather I'm on about the way it functions.
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"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: Bliss, Dzogchen practice and physiology

Postby Paul » Wed May 30, 2012 6:24 pm

asunthatneversets wrote:Oh ok, I'm still not sure about the term "materialistic" what attracts you to that term? I don't think you have a weird realist view, I try to avoid putting people into boxes like that. Maybe it was the way you worded what you said, but it sounded like you were implying that we're stuck with these gross physical bodies which are almost cage-like to the point that they're a burden to work with. Such a suggestion would give the wrong impression to those seeking to establish correct view in my opinion.


Hi,

I finally had time to look through some books.

Sogyal Rinpoche explains in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying (p242 & 243:

What is essential, you can see, is to realize now, in life, when we still have a body, that its apparent, so convincing solidity is a mere illusion. The most powerful way to realize this is to learn how, after meditation, to "become a child of illusion": to refrain from solidifying, as we are always tempted to do, the perceptions of ourselves and our world; and to go on, like the "child of illusion," seeing directly, as we do in meditation, that all phenomena are illusory and dream like. The deepening perception of the body's illusory nature is one of the most profound and inspiring realizations we can have to help us to let go.

Inspired by and armed with this knowledge, when we are faced at death with the fact that our body is an illusion, we will be able to recognize its illusory nature without fear, to calmly free ourselves from all attachment to it, and to leave it behind willingly, even gratefully and joyfully, knowing it now for what it is. In fact, you could say, we will be able, really and completely, to die when we die, and so achieve ultimate freedom.

Think, then, of the moment of death as a strange border zone of the mind, a no-man's land in which on the one hand, if we do not understand the illusory nature of our body, we might suffer vast emotional trauma as we lose it; and on the other hand, we are presented with the possibility of limitless freedom, a freedom that springs precisely from the absence of that very same body.

When we are at last freed from the body that has defined and dominated our understanding of ourselves for so long, the karmic vision of one life is completely exhausted, but any karma that might be created in the future has not yet begun to crystallize. So what happens in death is that there is a "gap" or space that is fertile with vast possibility; it is a moment of tremendous, pregnant power where the only thing that matters, or could matter, is how exactly our mind is. Stripped of a physical body, mind stands naked, revealed startlingly for what it has always been: the architect of our reality.

So if, at the moment of death, we have already a stable realization of the nature of mind, in one instant we can purify all our karma. And if we continue that stable recognition, we will actually be able to end our karma altogether, by entering the expanse of the primordial purity of the nature of mind, and attaining liberation. Padmasambhava explained this:

Why is it, you might wonder, that during the bardo state you can find stability by merely recognizing the nature of mind for a single instant? The answer is this: at present our mind* is encased in a net, the net of the "wind of karma." And the "wind of karma" is encased itself in a net, the net of our physical body The result is that we have no independence or freedom.

But as soon as our body has separated into mind and matter, in the gap before it has been encased once again in the net of a future body, the mind, along with its magical display, has no concrete, material support. For as long as it lacks such a material basis, we are independent—and we can recognise.

This power to attain stability by just recognizing the nature of mind is like a torch which in one instant can clear away the darkness of eons. So if we can recognize the nature of mind in the bardo in the same way as we can now when it is introduced by the master, there is not the slightest doubt that we will attain enlightenment. This is why, from this very moment
on, we must become familiar with the nature of mind through practice.


* a note from the back of the book for this point says: Literally the "prana-mind": one master explains that "prana" expresses mind's aspect of mobility, and "mind" its aspect of awareness, but they are essentially one and the same thing.

Heartdrops of Dharmakaya (p117) states:

Human beings in particular are bounded by the five aggregates. These five limit human experience so we are completely restricted; thus we don't see the visions of the five Buddha Bodies. So this limitation of the five aggregates and the five consciousnesses restricts our experience and covers the vision of the pure lights. Also we are bound by the emotions and karmic causes. By this the vision of unification, wisdom and emptiness is covered. We are always taking and collecting deluded visions and being bound by them. By this cause we circulate for innumerable lives in samsara.
Image

"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: Bliss, Dzogchen practice and physiology

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed May 30, 2012 9:35 pm

I'm still not sure why this would imply any type of materiality. Everything you've highlighted in bold is describing the nature of your experience right now in this very moment, it doesn't come to fruition at the moment of some physical death. Unless of course, the mind allows that to become a reality by continuing to proliferate the plagued web of it's own imputed ignorance.

Paul wrote:When we are at last freed from the body that has defined and dominated our understanding of ourselves for so long, the karmic vision of one life is completely exhausted, but any karma that might be created in the future has not yet begun to crystallize. So what happens in death is that there is a "gap" or space that is fertile with vast possibility; it is a moment of tremendous, pregnant power where the only thing that matters, or could matter, is how exactly our mind is. Stripped of a physical body, mind stands naked, revealed startlingly for what it has always been: the architect of our reality.


If you can die right now, this very moment, by realizing that you were never born to begin with, then the body is freed into the expanse of the natural state. Karmic vision (compounded and manifold dualistic perception) is completely exhausted, any karma which could be potentially produced and established through the re-emergence of ignorance has yet to crystallize. There is a "gap" or space created by seeing one's true nature, fertile with vast possibility, it is a moment of tremendous pregnant power where the only thing that matters, or could matter, is recognizing exactly how our mind is, so that one can remain in that view. Stripped of any notion of a physical body, mind stands naked, revealed startlingly for what it has always been: the architect of our reality, for it had always been the deciding factor which established the erroneous notions of bondage and physicality which plagued our perception.

Paul wrote: So if, at the moment of death, we have already a stable realization of the nature of mind, in one instant we can purify all our karma. And if we continue that stable recognition, we will actually be able to end our karma altogether, by entering the expanse of the primordial purity of the nature of mind, and attaining liberation. Padmasambhava explained this:


So if, at the moment of directly actualizing the emptiness of self and other, we have already a stable realization of the nature of mind, in one instant we can purify all our karma. And if we continue in that stable recognition, we will actually be able to end our karma altogether, by abiding in the expanse of the primordial purity of the nature of mind (which has always been present since beginningless time), and attaining liberation.

Paul wrote: Why is it, you might wonder, that during the bardo state you can find stability by merely recognizing the nature of mind for a single instant? The answer is this: at present our mind* is encased in a net, the net of the "wind of karma." And the "wind of karma" is encased itself in a net, the net of our physical body The result is that we have no independence or freedom.


Why is it, you might wonder, that during this in-between "gap" state you can find stability by merely recognizing the nature of mind for a single instant? The answer is this: at present our mind is encased in a net (of it's own creation), the net of the "wind of karma" (a.k.a. conceptualization that invests sensory appearances with reality). The "wind of karma" has encased itself in an imputed net, which has subsequently given rise to another net - an apparent physical body. The result (of being carried away by this interconnected web of ignorance) is that we have no independence or freedom.

"The term 'consciousness' (nam-par shey-pa) refers to the unimpeded avenue for apparent sense objects to proliferate in one's perceptions. The term 'subtle energy of karma' (lay kyi lung) refers to conceptualization that invests these sensory appearances with reality. The entire spectrum of samsara is thoroughly established from the synchronicity of these subtler and coarser aspects of consciousness based on conceptual mind."
- Zurchhung Sheyrab Dragpa


Paul wrote: But as soon as our body has separated into mind and matter, in the gap before it has been encased once again in the net of a future body, the mind, along with its magical display, has no concrete, material support. For as long as it lacks such a material basis, we are independent—and we can recognise.



But as soon as the body has been seen to be empty, in the gap (of clear seeing: rig pa) before it (primordial awareness) has been encased once again in the net of a future body (ignorance), the mind, along with it's magical display (body/world/universe/time/space/etc.), has no concrete, material support. For as long as it lacks such a(-n imputed) material basis, we are independent (primordially unborn) - and we can recognize (this magical display to be our own, and abide in it's fullness).
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Re: Bliss, Dzogchen practice and physiology

Postby Paul » Wed May 30, 2012 10:18 pm

asunthatneversets wrote:I'm still not sure why this would imply any type of materiality.


If someone hasn't completely got rid of the ignorance that sees the five lights as the five elements, then they're going to experience matter. What I posted, and why I posted it, was to show the way the body - specifically the winds and channels - have an effect on the mind. When they are temporarily destroyed, the mind has a chance for liberation in the bardo of dharmata - as there's no possibility at that point to be kicked out of rigpa by ones own wind, then it's permanent buddhahood. If we have a body, then we are almost certainly not going to remain in rigpa and we have to rely on trekcho and togal to achieve rainbow body or transference body by gradually eliminating the ignorance that reifies the elements. Like the Guru Rinpoche quote: at present our mind is encased in a net, the net of the "wind of karma." And the "wind of karma" is encased itself in a net, the net of our physical body

None of this at all implies that the body etc. etc. is real - but it certainly appears and has particular functions, such as those of the internal winds etc. that form the deluded mind. So our physical body does put a brake on our realisation unless we can learn to work with it in various ways.

Everything you've highlighted in bold is describing the nature of your experience right now in this very moment, it doesn't come to fruition at the moment of some physical death.


It is describing the experience of death. It's taken from a chapter on the experience of the collapse of the elements into one another and how that then turns into the experience of the bardo of dharmata. And that's the experience of anyone who's not completely finished with illusion - and it's safe to say I've certainly got a bit to get rid of.

Have you read this thread? You might find it interesting: viewtopic.php?f=40&t=3979

But anyway, :focus:
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"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: Bliss, Dzogchen practice and physiology

Postby asunthatneversets » Thu May 31, 2012 12:52 am

Paul wrote:If someone hasn't completely got rid of the ignorance that sees the five lights as the five elements, then they're going to experience matter. What I posted, and why I posted it, was to show the way the body - specifically the winds and channels - have an effect on the mind. When they are temporarily destroyed, the mind has a chance for liberation in the bardo of dharmata - as there's no possibility at that point to be kicked out of rigpa by ones own wind, then it's permanent buddhahood. If we have a body, then we are almost certainly not going to remain in rigpa and we have to rely on trekcho and togal to achieve rainbow body or transference body by gradually eliminating the ignorance that reifies the elements. Like the Guru Rinpoche quote: at present our mind is encased in a net, the net of the "wind of karma." And the "wind of karma" is encased itself in a net, the net of our physical body


Mind and body are intermittent states, it's not only the winds and channels which have an effect on the mind, but vice versa is also true. What I don't understand is, if we are agreeing that the body isn't real, that it is merely an appearance or expression of the natural state; then why must it be destroyed for a chance of liberation to present itself? I'm not saying that there isn't a process which takes place in fully reducing appearances to their natural state, but the success of the process is surely predicated on correct view. If rigpa is true and stable there shouldn't be any chance of being "kicked out" of it by anything. Sure the greasing of the channels and the alignment of the winds helps to produce an energetic equanimity which aids in remaining undistracted. Discursive thought is an expression of wind after all, and stabilizing these factors helps to stabilize focus, but genuine rigpa (once it's ascertained) is unassailable whether the mind is running a hundred miles an hour or is completely silent.

The ignorance which reifies the elements is one's own discursive thought which serves to impute (and create) "things" which are in truth are primordially absent. Trekchö and tögal are the cultivation and result of correct view. The net that the mind is encased in is the mind itself objectified as projections erroneously taken to be inherent aspects of experience. Again the "wind of karma" or "subtle energy of karma" (as Zurchhung Sheyrab Dragpa put it in that quote posted above) refers to conceptualization that invests sensory appearances with reality as objective persons, places, things, time etc. The "wind of karma" a.k.a. conceptualization (discursive thought) becomes further entrapped by conceiving itself to be a subjective entity which spans time and then identifies with the appearances which constitute "the body". And thus the field of experience is fragmented into a subject-object dichotomy and the habitual reification of this dichotomy engrains it into the very makeup of reality.

Paul wrote: None of this at all implies that the body etc. etc. is real - but it certainly appears and has particular functions, such as those of the internal winds etc. that form the deluded mind. So our physical body does put a brake on our realisation unless we can learn to work with it in various ways.


Yes it certainly does appear and appears to have functions, that cannot be denied. But again, the internal winds and deluded mind are intermittent aspects and complement each other. The winds delegate the movement of thought, and thought conceptualizes a mind and winds etc. The physical body is an idea, it cannot put a brake on realization, only the mind does that depending on how entrenched it is in it's own delusion. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't work with the body I'm not denying that either.

Paul wrote: It is describing the experience of death. It's taken from a chapter on the experience of the collapse of the elements into one another and how that then turns into the experience of the bardo of dharmata. And that's the experience of anyone who's not completely finished with illusion - and it's safe to say I've certainly got a bit to get rid of.


I've seen it interpreted both ways. I'm sure it's safe to say all of our paths require refining, respectively.

Paul wrote: Have you read this thread? You might find it interesting: viewtopic.php?f=40&t=3979


I haven't I'll check it out, thanks :smile:

Paul wrote: But anyway, :focus:


All of this is relevant IMO :smile:
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Re: Bliss, Dzogchen practice and physiology

Postby Andrew108 » Thu May 31, 2012 6:33 am

Hi there - is this topic discussed in the same way in all the Dzogchen tantras? I haven't read Kunjed Gyalpo but want to. I would imagine this to be the best source?
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: Bliss, Dzogchen practice and physiology

Postby Paul » Thu May 31, 2012 10:55 am

asunthatneversets wrote:What I don't understand is, if we are agreeing that the body isn't real, that it is merely an appearance or expression of the natural state; then why must it be destroyed for a chance of liberation to present itself? I'm not saying that there isn't a process which takes place in fully reducing appearances to their natural state, but the success of the process is surely predicated on correct view.


As in the Sogyal Rinpoche & Padmasambhava quote I posted and as pointed out by Malcolm in the thread I linked to, the dualistic mind is wind-contaminated tsal.

The Vajramala states very plainly:

The characteristic of the the element of air (vayu)
is the vayu (air) pervading the six cakras,
always present in the dharmacakra,
called pra?a since it pervades migrating beings"


And:

The wheel of vayu is explained to be pra?a.

And apropos of the Kalacakra citation in the last post it states:

Depending on upper or lower,
the major vayus, pra?a and apana are located.


Pra?a vayu is furthere defined in this text:

From the traces of the all-basis consciousness
arises the stream of consciousness;
the affliction [consciousness] is the pra?a vayu.


So at least in Buddhist texts these things are very precisely defined.


So discursive, dualistic thought is the movement of the element of wind interefering with tsal. There are good explanations of this in various other texts that I can point you to if you're interested. As far as I understand reducing this disturbance is the reason that yantra yoga, tummo, vajra recitation, karmamudra, togal's breathing methods etc. etc. exist as training methods. They put the winds and channels into the optimal, quiet state. Even the sitting in the 7 points of Vairochana is designed to have an effect on winds.

All you need to consider is the difference between these two situations:

a Dzogchen/Mahamudra practitioner that has recognised rigpa, but has to keep re-recognising the view to progress - which is nearly everyone who's ever done these practices

vs

a person who has died and whose elements have completely dissolved, where if they recognise the nature of mind for an intant in the bardo of dharmata, it's complete enlightenment with no falling back

As you mention: If rigpa is true and stable there shouldn't be any chance of being "kicked out" of it by anything. But how and why would rigpa not be completely stable at the time of first seeing it? Why wouldn't it be a permanant recognition, like it is in the bardo of dharmata? An unstable recognition is clearly the case for the vast majority of people who practice in their lives, so there must be a reason for this instability.

So it's my understanding that the functions of the element of wind within a person's channels that is responsible for all these problems as it acts to de-stabilise the recognition of rigpa. And this is the crucial difference between a person with a body and person in the bardo of dharmata. If you tame wind whilst you have a body, you tame the mind and rigpa becomes easier to recognise. If there is a situation where it naturally dissolves (ie at death) then there's no barrier to rigpa if the practitioner knows that it's their own nature. In one moment of recognising in that situation and they become buddhas.

Now although our experience of things changes, the essence of things being unreal does not - I absolutely 100% agree with you on that. All I'd addo to it is that from the perspective of practice - rather than an objective, absolute point of view - is that the elements are an illusion, but how strong that illusion is is dependent on illusory circumstances based on illusory elements. If this were not the case, then there would be zero difference between the experience of this life and the experience of the bardo of dharmata with respect to the ease of becoming completely liberated.
Image

"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: Bliss, Dzogchen practice and physiology

Postby asunthatneversets » Thu May 31, 2012 3:30 pm

Paul wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:What I don't understand is, if we are agreeing that the body isn't real, that it is merely an appearance or expression of the natural state; then why must it be destroyed for a chance of liberation to present itself? I'm not saying that there isn't a process which takes place in fully reducing appearances to their natural state, but the success of the process is surely predicated on correct view.


As in the Sogyal Rinpoche & Padmasambhava quote I posted and as pointed out by Malcolm in the thread I linked to, the dualistic mind is wind-contaminated tsal.

The Vajramala states very plainly:

The characteristic of the the element of air (vayu)
is the vayu (air) pervading the six cakras,
always present in the dharmacakra,
called pra?a since it pervades migrating beings"


And:

The wheel of vayu is explained to be pra?a.

And apropos of the Kalacakra citation in the last post it states:

Depending on upper or lower,
the major vayus, pra?a and apana are located.


Pra?a vayu is furthere defined in this text:

From the traces of the all-basis consciousness
arises the stream of consciousness;
the affliction [consciousness] is the pra?a vayu.


So at least in Buddhist texts these things are very precisely defined.


So discursive, dualistic thought is the movement of the element of wind interefering with tsal. There are good explanations of this in various other texts that I can point you to if you're interested. As far as I understand reducing this disturbance is the reason that yantra yoga, tummo, vajra recitation, karmamudra, togal's breathing methods etc. etc. exist as training methods. They put the winds and channels into the optimal, quiet state. Even the sitting in the 7 points of Vairochana is designed to have an effect on winds.


Which is the same thing I just said.

Paul wrote:All you need to consider is the difference between these two situations:

a Dzogchen/Mahamudra practitioner that has recognised rigpa, but has to keep re-recognising the view to progress - which is nearly everyone who's ever done these practices

vs

a person who has died and whose elements have completely dissolved, where if they recognise the nature of mind for an intant in the bardo of dharmata, it's complete enlightenment with no falling back

As you mention: If rigpa is true and stable there shouldn't be any chance of being "kicked out" of it by anything. But how and why would rigpa not be completely stable at the time of first seeing it? Why wouldn't it be a permanant recognition, like it is in the bardo of dharmata? An unstable recognition is clearly the case for the vast majority of people who practice in their lives, so there must be a reason for this instability.


Proliferation of habitual tendencies.

Paul wrote: So it's my understanding that the functions of the element of wind within a person's channels that is responsible for all these problems as it acts to de-stabilise the recognition of rigpa.


Ignorance is responsible.

Paul wrote: And this is the crucial difference between a person with a body and person in the bardo of dharmata. If you tame wind whilst you have a body, you tame the mind and rigpa becomes easier to recognise.


Taming the mind is all well and good but it can become a distraction in and of itself. And it can lead to attachment to the calm state if one doesn't posses decisive discrimination. Truly, there's no more of a guarantee that one will recognize rigpa with a quiet mind vs. a mind in movement. If one remains in the temporary witness position, resting in awareness, thought just moves along. That awareness isn't rigpa, but it's the starting point, and remains unobstructed by thought, the important thing is realizing that you ARE a thought.

Paul wrote: If there is a situation where it naturally dissolves (ie at death) then there's no barrier to rigpa if the practitioner knows that it's their own nature. In one moment of recognising in that situation and they become buddhas.


There's no barrier now either, apart from ignorance of course. There's no guarantee one will recognize rigpa in the bardo... I wouldn't put all my eggs in that basket. It is the last resort.

Paul wrote:Now although our experience of things changes, the essence of things being unreal does not - I absolutely 100% agree with you on that. All I'd addo to it is that from the perspective of practice - rather than an objective, absolute point of view - is that the elements are an illusion, but how strong that illusion is is dependent on illusory circumstances based on illusory elements. If this were not the case, then there would be zero difference between the experience of this life and the experience of the bardo of dharmata with respect to the ease of becoming completely liberated.


The absolute point of view is that there's avidyā and vidyā. Yes the solidity of the illusion directly reflects the solidity of avidyā. But for avidyā to decrease one must intimately know the face of vidyā through direct introduction or a flash of genuine insight, otherwise the path is founded on hope and conjecture. I cannot rely on the bardo. Go with the attitude that liberation will happen before the end of this life, for the benefit of all, and don't settle for anything less.
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