"Aside from receiving blessings, gathering the accumulations, and purifying obscurations, no other technique exists for recognizing rigpa." Tulku Urgyen
Our friend pensum wrote the following in a mail to me, I publish it here with his permission I hope everyone read it.
pensum wrote:Of course, there is the common understanding of what "receiving blessings, gathering the accumulations, and purifying obscurations" means and entails, namely refuge, preliminary practices, yidam sadhanas, feast offerings, confessions etc. But concealed beneath that layer is another not so readily apparent meaning.
First, we must remember that Tulku Urgyen defined blessings as "receiving from a qualified master the instructions on how to achieve complete enlightenment in this very lifetime." Note that here he explicitly confirms what i said above "a qualified master. " So in regard to entering the path of Dzogchen, "receiving blessings" is simply to recognize one's buddha nature in actuality; "purifying obscurations" is to resolve any doubts one might have; and "gathering the accumulations" is to gain confidence in rigpa.
Once one has been introduced, clarified what buddha nature is in actuality and gained confidence in its benefits, then another glance at that simple line reveals another deeper layer of meaning, this time from the perspective of path Dzogchen. From this perspective "receiving blessings" is recognizing, for each time one recognizes then rigpa itself is the blessing. I personally refer to this as "natural grace" for one is already inherently endowed with this blessing, and it is merely a question of accepting and acknowledging it, while bathing in its radiant slendour. Next, "gathering the accumulations" is simply to recognize again and again, gaining more and more stability. And lastly of course "purifying obscurations" occurs naturally and effortlessly as all thoughts, phenomena etc. are self-liberated and naturally dissolve in the space of rigpa (vidyadhatu). All the habits developed since beginningless time loosen and simply fall away. The more stable one becomes, the longer the periods of rigpa and hence the less time one spends in the only true obscuration: marigpa.
Another way to look at it might be that "gathering the accumulations" is doing sessions, as one then settles into the natural state without distraction, while "purifying obscurations" is the time between sessions while going about one's daily life and one brings thoughts, emotions etc. onto the path.
Oh, and i forgot to add that from the view of the fruition, which is also the ground, "accumulating merit" corresponds to original purity (ka dag) or trekcho, "purifying obscurations" to natural presence (lhundrub) or togal, and "receiving blessings" to their unity, the unbounded manifestation of compassion. On the surface, it is such an apparently simple statement, yet when investigated it is found to encompass the entire ground, path and fruition from the most basic outer practices to the profound depths and meaning of dzogchen--truly exquisite!
"The direct, hard to understand, subtle field of knowing, the Great Path, is non-conceptual (akalpana), and entirely beyond the grasp of intellectual thought. Divorced from verbal ideation, it is difficult to point out and as difficult to enquire into. It cannot be communicated through words and [therefore] is not within the scope of the neophyte (adikarmika). Nevertheless the path is to be approached through studying scriptures (sutra) of the World-Teacher and following the personal instructions (upadesa) of one's Guru-ji."
Bodhicittabhavana by Acarya Sri Manjusrimitra