Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:59 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:... In fact, those that argue this are arguing that Dzogchen is perhaps the unifying factor behind ALL religious experience, not merely that of Buddhism, are the ones that end up greeted with pitchforks and torches.

To me this has been a really eye-opening experience of the power of conditioning.


I'd say it's the unifying factor behind experience in general. It's one's natural state, simply the true state of this mystery called life. Some recognize it, while most do not. There's various methods to recognize it, but those methods aren't it. To me it's fairly cut and dry, you either recognize the natural state, or you don't. If you have recognized it, rest in that knowledge. If you haven't, there are various methods and means to do so (some more appropriate and excelled than others), but those methods and means are not it. The methods simply allow for recognition to happen, that which is recognized is always present (and always has been), it knows no limitation, not even notions of sentient and non-sentient. It cannot be produced or generated, it cannot be attained or acquired. The buddhadharma is beautiful and a wonderful method, but Buddhism is merely a means to recognize it. When you land on the shore you don't heave your boat over your shoulder and take it with you.
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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:16 pm

I also think there's something that must be said and I don't want anyone to think this is an accusation, covert or implicit or otherwise. But it's something I think i should mention. It's a personal opinion, but one I built over the years through my best judgement. And it's also the elephant in the room.

I believe Dzogchen can be integrated in the nine yanas system. I'm not saying it should, but I am saying it can. For goodness sake, if we are saying that even Christians can practice it, saying that it can't be integrated in the nine yanas system would be ridiculous. But by integrating it in such system, this doesn't mean it must be dependent of it and this is where the Image.

Recognizing the natural state is the beginning of Dzogchen practice. The first statement of Garab Dorje. It's meant to be the beginning of Dzogchen practice. Some very special practitioners can receive a very, very simple introduction and they recognize it. Others, perhaps most, need Oral Transmission, Symbolic Transmission, Direct Transmission and then more. They receive the direct transmission and then need to do the contemplations from semde series, for instance. Some need Lojongs, Rushens, and Semdzins. In some hard cases, they may need more practices, but there's always a way and it doesn't take a lifetime. It seems to me that it is really important that Dzogchen students realize this. Recognizing the natural state doesn't lie at the end of a long path of accumulations. It's something that should happen early on, even if one doesn't have the best capacities. Recognizing instant presence is the first step. Before that there's no Dzogchen practice, because Dzogchen practice starts with Direct Introduction. Then one will have to get rid of doubt and increase integration. This yes, takes a lifetime, sometimes the bardo or more than one lifetime.

So, imagine you go to a teacher and he gives you transmission. You apply to discover your real nature, but that doesn't happen, not mattering how much you practice and take advice. The question arises: is this teacher competent enough? Can he really give me Direct Introduction? Of course this scares the living daylights of anyone without sufficient realization making a living by "selling Dzogchen". If time goes by and your students can't recognize the natural state, or take something else for it and then go to another teacher and discover it, it begs the question.

It goes without saying that it is much easier to make you believe that recognizing the natural state lies at the end of a lifetime, or several, of practice. You keep coming. You keep practicing. You can't know if your teacher is indeed qualified to teach Dzogchen. After all, the puny you doesn't have one or several lifetimes practicing the accumulation. You haven't performed gazillion prostrations and accumulations of all sorts. So you blame yourself, the puny you, incompetent to give the first step necessary to practice Dzogchen. You keep believing your teacher is a realized being, you are a sorry ass and perhaps in the distant future you may practice Dzogchen, when you're worthy. THIS IS BULLSHIT. And I fell for it, so I know what I'm saying.

I am not saying, implying, suggesting or imagining that teachers who use the nine yanas system are all like this. I want to make this very clear, so that no doubts remain. But the only way you can find out if your teacher is indeed qualified to teach Dzogchen is when you receive Direct Introduction AND recognize your natural state. Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche tells many times that Dzogchen is not a matter of belief. If we are to take his words seriously, then we can understand perfectly well what he is saying. Dzogchen is a matter of direct experience and this means you MUST recognize your natural state and get rid of any doubts. All the rest is not Dzogchen.

So, guys, you be careful. Recognizing instant presence is the first step. There's a world of practice after that. If you haven't, if your fellow practitioners haven't, if you practice (and generally doesn't take a humongous amount of practice) diligently and still can't recognize your natural state, beware. It may not be your fault. Don't immediately assume you are not worthy, not ready, not something. It may just be the case that your teacher isn't simply able to give you direct introduction. And such person shouldn't be teaching Dzogchen as he is misleading his students. So, once again I want to make sure I am not being misinterpreted. I am not talking about anyone in particular, not hinting anything, nothing of that sort. I am alerting you for this possibility. Just that and nothing more. I shouldn't have the need to do it to start with, but not all that shines is gold, as they say. I just want to give this word of caution so that you don't end up with fool's gold in your hands and only find out when you take it to Yama's bank.

All the best.
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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby Lhug-Pa » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:19 pm

Karma Dorje, I think that H.H. the Dalai Lama is implying that there's a reason why there are so many Dzogchen Tantras, Upadesha methods, commentaries on Dzogchen Tantras by Masters such as Longchen Rabjam, etc.

In other words, if we take Dzogchen as a mere belief and only deal with a mind-fabricated "Rigpa" that we think is the Natural State, then it's not much different than believing in any old deity (not saying there's anything wrong with such belief, but just that belief or blind-faith alone isn't enough to end getting conditioned by samsara; otherwise samsara would have been over with a long time ago) all the while we continue to accumulate loads of karma.

That's what I got out of this quote anyway:


H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama wrote:"If you feel that the view and practice of Dzogchen is quite simple, it is a sign that you have not understood it properly. It would be quite ironic if the highest of the nine vehicles, the Great Perfection, were the most simple. That would be very ironic indeed."


And I'm sure that H.H. the Dalai Lama is well aware that Menngagde is outside the Nine Yanas and that one does not have to be "Buddhist" to practice Upadesha or Dzogchen in general.
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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:22 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:
Lhug-Pa wrote:
H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama wrote:"If you feel that the view and practice of Dzogchen is quite simple, it is a sign that you have not understood it properly. It would be quite ironic if the highest of the nine vehicles, the Great Perfection, were the most simple. That would be very ironic indeed."


That's funny, it reminds me of what is sometimes said about Linux:

Linux is user-friendly. It is just picky about who its friends are.

To the point though, I have to say that I respectfully disagree with HH that it is complicated. The entire system of nine yanas works with progressively less and less frames of reference. It's not the view or practice that is complicated, it is our neuroses and addiction to kleshas. For this reason we start with more complex and neurotic and work towards immediacy and simplicity.

It's because it is so ridiculously simple that people keep missing it, I suppose. That what makes it "complicated". I think I get what he is saying. There are people having all sorts of frivolous ideas about Dzogchen that end up screwed, thinking they got it when in fact they don't have a clue and waste their lives saying trivialities as if they were the greatest of truths.
And one has got to recognize that many practices from the Longde series are not that simple, for instance. There are many exercises in Dzogchen practice that are not simple at all and if wrongly performed may have hazardous consequences. If one enters Togal too early, one may face serious problems. I think these things are what HHDL is alluding to.
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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby rai » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:51 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:
So, guys, you be careful. Recognizing instant presence is the first step. There's a world of practice after that. If you haven't, if your fellow practitioners haven't, if you practice (and generally doesn't take a humongous amount of practice) diligently and still can't recognize your natural state, beware. It may not be your fault. Don't immediately assume you are not worthy, not ready, not something. It may just be the case that your teacher isn't simply able to give you direct introduction. And such person shouldn't be teaching Dzogchen as he is misleading his students. So, once again I want to make sure I am not being misinterpreted. I am not talking about anyone in particular, not hinting anything, nothing of that sort. I am alerting you for this possibility. Just that and nothing more. I shouldn't have the need to do it to start with, but not all that shines is gold, as they say. I just want to give this word of caution so that you don't end up with fool's gold in your hands and only find out when you take it to Yama's bank.

All the best.


just to take another look i would like to add that Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche himself mentioned many times that he received numerous Dzogchen teachings from Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, his uncle Togden Ugyen (who realized rainbow body), from his second uncle Khyentse Chökyi Wangchuk, Ayu Khandro and many other great masters but he did not get the real sense of Dzogchen until he met his root teacher Rigdzin Changchub Dorje but he stressed that it was not the fault of the other teachers but that he did not have the same connection with them as with his root teacher.
Disdaining the lower and unable to grasp the higher,
talking of emptiness, such a person will neglect cause and effect,
mouthing on about the view while in a state of self-deception.
It would be better to concentrate on the gradual path.

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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby xylem » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:35 am

karma dorje-la...

no pith forks here. i'm not even addressing one side or another of this issue. CNNR is amongst my own teachers as are teachers of the "institutional" type.

what i mean by dzogchen as a crowbar is that the dzogchen view is generally the ultimate view and subsequently the great unifying principle off all dharma paths, at least for my own teachers-- CNNR included. as my own late root teacher said, if one understands the dzogchen view, then there is only one practice. yes, that means there is only recognition and resting in presence. it also means that one can understand all teachings in the context of either bringing about recognition or stabilizing and enhancing presence. there is only one dharma from such a vantage point.

what's odd to me is to see the subject of dzogchen used to separate other dzogchen approaches. there are plenty of critiques of dzogchen from other systems of theory and praxis. but to see dzogchen used to critique dzogchen is peculiar to me. "will the real dzogchen please stand up?" is really weird to me.

-xy


Karma Dorje wrote:
xylem wrote:this whole theme of dzogchen versus dzogchen without buddhism really perplexes me more and more as time goes on. it's not the notion itself i find perplexing. my own root teacher has said it is possible to attain liberation by recognizing mind's nature even if one isn't a buddhist.

what i find perplexing is the passionate need to create a dichotomy between dzogchen taught in isolation from dzogchen taught in the context of buddhist dharma. generally it is dzogchen that is the unifying theme that allows one to pull together all dharma vehicles and practices into a single practice. generally it is also dzogchen that is the unifying theme that allows one to pull together all religious experience into one essence. the view is the great simplifier.

what i find perplexing is seeing dzogchen as a crowbar, pulling things apart.

good luck with this. i hope everybody finds what they need.


Can you point to where dzogchen is being used "as a crowbar"? This thread was titled by someone who doesn't agree that dzogchen is possible without the buddhist context, not by those of us who are arguing that dzogchen both historically and pragmatically are not of a piece with Buddhism. In fact, those that argue this are arguing that Dzogchen is perhaps the unifying factor behind ALL religious experience, not merely that of Buddhism, are the ones that end up greeted with pitchforks and torches.

To me this has been a really eye-opening experience of the power of conditioning.
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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:56 am

rai wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:
So, guys, you be careful. Recognizing instant presence is the first step. There's a world of practice after that. If you haven't, if your fellow practitioners haven't, if you practice (and generally doesn't take a humongous amount of practice) diligently and still can't recognize your natural state, beware. It may not be your fault. Don't immediately assume you are not worthy, not ready, not something. It may just be the case that your teacher isn't simply able to give you direct introduction. And such person shouldn't be teaching Dzogchen as he is misleading his students. So, once again I want to make sure I am not being misinterpreted. I am not talking about anyone in particular, not hinting anything, nothing of that sort. I am alerting you for this possibility. Just that and nothing more. I shouldn't have the need to do it to start with, but not all that shines is gold, as they say. I just want to give this word of caution so that you don't end up with fool's gold in your hands and only find out when you take it to Yama's bank.

All the best.


just to take another look i would like to add that Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche himself mentioned many times that he received numerous Dzogchen teachings from Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, his uncle Togden Ugyen (who realized rainbow body), from his second uncle Khyentse Chökyi Wangchuk, Ayu Khandro and many other great masters but he did not get the real sense of Dzogchen until he met his root teacher Rigdzin Changchub Dorje but he stressed that it was not the fault of the other teachers but that he did not have the same connection with them as with his root teacher.


Yes, indeed. Not having the same connection can mean many things and this argument must be used carefully otherwise it becomes the same old slippery slope. It becomes a justification for failure. It goes back to blaming the student while keeping unfit teachers off the hook. If your teacher is attained, he will know that. Plus, there's also another thing. Are others also not having this connection? Or others are being able to recognize instant presence while you lack behind? I mean, is this "lack of connection" a general thing or you are an isolated case?

Whatever the situation, if you keep practicing but don't recognize the natural state, no matter what, you discuss it with senior students and your teacher, something must be done about it. It won't do you any good to harp on the concept of not having a "connection" of sorts and leaving it at that. It won't do any good attributing it to unfathomable reasons. This will do nothing for you.

It's something you need to deal with, at least if you want to make any progress in Dzogchen practice. Access your situation honestly. If you are sure you've been doing your best, go to the teacher and ask for help. Explain him what's going on. Recognizing the natural state is the beginning. If you can't even take that step, how do you expect to actually practice Dzogchen? It's like trying to learn how to drive a car in inside a canoe. It won't work. Attributing this to mysterious causes instead of dealing with it simply won't cut it.

So that's an argument within a context. You are there, you meet the teacher who claims to teach Dzogchen, you are practicing with diligence, have studied and know what you're doing, others are recognizing the natural state and you don't? Check it. Probably it's your fault and you are doing something wrong. See the teacher to clarify your situation. If it's a matter of "connection", he may send you to another teacher.

On the other hand, you are there, you meet the teacher who claims to teach Dzogchen, you are practicing with diligence, have studied and know what you are doing BUT nobody is recognizing the natural state and everyone only expects it to happen after years of practicing other yanas? Check it. Probably it is not your fault and you are not doing anything wrong. See other teachers.

I am just saying this so that you beware. There are people saying they teach Dzogchen when they don't have enough qualifications to do so. It doesn't matter if they are famous, have big tittles and a so on and so forth. Check the tree by its fruits. That's all I'm saying.
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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:03 am

xylem wrote:karma dorje-la...

no pith forks here. i'm not even addressing one side or another of this issue. CNNR is amongst my own teachers as are teachers of the "institutional" type.

what i mean by dzogchen as a crowbar is that the dzogchen view is generally the ultimate view and subsequently the great unifying principle off all dharma paths, at least for my own teachers-- CNNR included. as my own late root teacher said, if one understands the dzogchen view, then there is only one practice. yes, that means there is only recognition and resting in presence. it also means that one can understand all teachings in the context of either bringing about recognition or stabilizing and enhancing presence. there is only one dharma from such a vantage point.

what's odd to me is to see the subject of dzogchen used to separate other dzogchen approaches. there are plenty of critiques of dzogchen from other systems of theory and praxis. but to see dzogchen used to critique dzogchen is peculiar to me. "will the real dzogchen please stand up?" is really weird to me.

-xy


It's not being used to separate approaches. The nine yanas system is well known and also accepted as valid. Nobody disputed this point, afaik. What is disputed is if this is the only system. What is disputed is the view that Dzogchen practice must be dependent of the practice of other yanas. What is also disputed is if Dzogchen is only open to Buddhists. I don't see how this can be divisive. :smile:
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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby Adamantine » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:59 am

xylem wrote:
what's odd to me is to see the subject of dzogchen used to separate other dzogchen approaches. there are plenty of critiques of dzogchen from other systems of theory and praxis. but to see dzogchen used to critique dzogchen is peculiar to me. "will the real dzogchen please stand up?" is really weird to me.



Well, that's what I thought was really weird too, especially when Dzogchen triumphalism was used as a rhetorical device to make sweeping generalizations about "Buddhism", how corrupt it is, it is dying, a mere empty shell, and on and on.
Since Buddhism is a label we use to represent a vast array of teachers, Lamas, practitioners, etc.. it was simply not skillful, or correct for some people to make such sweeping claims.. Especially as you point out, many that fall in this category of "Buddhists" are actually quite sincere and authentic Dzogchen masters. Some of which are my teachers, and some of which are yours, and other people's here. Just as being attached to the label of Buddhism can be a type of conditioning, so can an aversion to it. And I feel like a lot of unhealthy and unbalanced aversion has been expressed on this forum lately, for no good reason. To quote ChNN: "If we see something we don't like, we say"Oh, I don't like that, and if you put it in front of me, it makes me nervous" That means we are rejecting and are angry with that object. These are our two main emotions, attachment and anger. In this way we accept and reject over and over again, falling in dualistic vision, and accumulating the negative potentiality of karma. When we produce negative karma, it has the potentiality for producing samsara. Therefore, our obstacles of negative karma become thicker and thicker, and we become more and more ignorant of our condition."

I really have no problem personally with the idea that the state of realization that is pointed towards in "Buddhism" or "Dzogchenism" (I wouldn't normally separate the two) etc. does not need the label, or stamp of "Dzogchen" or "Buddhism" to be the real thing. They are both just words. And to be honest, I don't even particularly know if I believe lineage is absolutely essential, and that people can't simply spontaneously come into contact with their true state. I think it is quite possible this happens all the time, without even direct introduction by a master. However, it has not happened to me like that, and as such I have a great devotion and respect for the various Gurus of mine, and what they have been able to show me. And all of them never hesitated to teach Ati yoga, regardless of their association with the Buddhist tradition, the Nyingma lineage, etc. I do think that for all of the time when we are not fully integrated, (a good deal of the time for most of us, if we are honest) we would be much better off to be sensitive to the laws of karma. Just as Guru Rinpoche recommends. What is more, if we hold to a religious system that has beliefs contrary to karma (which many do) and may cause us to perform negative actions that accumulate negative karma, --then we will be producing samsara and we will become more and more ignorant of our condition, just as ChNN says in the quote I transcribed above. In my experience, I know spiritual people who meditate and who have quite profound experiences.. but they don't hesitate to grasp after sexual gratification to extremes and to kill insects (or rodents) they feel aversion for at any cost. This is perhaps one example of how subscribing to a Buddhist view can clarify karma, and help stop us from becoming "thicker and thicker, and become more and more ignorant of our condition".

In terms of merging Dzogchen practice with Tantric practice, -I think ChNN is also quite clear on this, and it is really no different than the way many traditional Nyingma lineage Lamas teach it:
"Many Westerners feel that the Tantric teaching is very interesting, but they do not like to practice; in their view it is not really meditation, but instead only chanting and ritual. Such people do not really know what contemplation is, and consider meditation to be only sitting in silence without moving. The real meaning of meditation or contemplation, as taught by Buddha Shakyamuni, is to dwell in our real nature. How can we find ourselves in this real nature? Since our real nature is not just emptiness, but also includes clarity and energy, we must find ourselves both in our energy and our clarity. If the nature of our energy is movement, not silence, then how can we be in that nature without moving? Practicing Dzogchen does not mean just remaining in silence, but also involves moving, integrating with clarity, and integrating with the movement of energy. Thus you can easily understand why, in Tantric practice, there is so much chanting, singing, moving about, and so on, because that involves integration with energy in movement. Sometimes you can find explanations of this in Tantric teachings, but generally it is only applied and not explained, though you can discover and understand the principle if you think about it. In the Dzogchen teachings, these are things to be learned directly."

You see, this is very much how other Dzogchen teachers who some seem to accuse as being stuck in the two stages, etc. place their emphasis... To me ChNN does not seem that unusual in his approach. So I am a bit surprised by all these denunciations of the "tantric approach" or "Buddhism" or cause and result, etc.
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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:34 am

Adamantine wrote:Well, that's what I thought was really weird too, especially when Dzogchen triumphalism was used as a rhetorical device to make sweeping generalizations about "Buddhism", how corrupt it is, it is dying, a mere empty shell, and on and on.
Since Buddhism is a label we use to represent a vast array of teachers, Lamas, practitioners, etc.. it was simply not skillful, or correct for some people to make such sweeping claims.. Especially as you point out, many that fall in this category of "Buddhists" are actually quite sincere and authentic Dzogchen masters. Some of which are my teachers, and some of which are yours, and other people's here.

This is where I think you interpreted things in a very extreme way. I never imagined Malcom meant all the Buddhist world. He too has Buddhist teachers, some very important to him. To me it seemed he was pissed at some movements inside Buddhism that tried to choke Dzogchen. To me it seems he was pissed with all the corruption he saw in Tibetan politics, especially when it is disguised as Dharma. How many threads do we have about these problems? How many more could we have? How many more we don't know? We always see the tip of the iceberg. These abuses are shielded from the public in many different ways. People are devout, people gang those who defy their devotion for the teacher, teachings are misused to blame the ones complaining, the hierarchies do little or nothing in many cases and this is simply maddening... I hope I'm exaggerating, but I suspect when we hear about one case, ten more are hidden. You know Malcom's style and I don't understand why you assume he meant those comments in a sweeping way. He said himself that perhaps he saw one corrupt lama too many.
I know you for some years and I can bet my neck that you hate abuse as much as I do. I have Buddhist teachers I deeply respect. In a way I always think of ChNN as a Buddhist and only after I remember he is not just that. When I read Malcom, I never assumed he was insulting my teachers or good teachers.


Just as being attached to the label of Buddhism can be a type of conditioning, so can an aversion to it

Correct. I think nobody disputes that.
And I feel like a lot of unhealthy and unbalanced aversion has been expressed on this forum lately, for no good reason. To quote ChNN: "If we see something we don't like, we say"Oh, I don't like that, and if you put it in front of me, it makes me nervous" That means we are rejecting and are angry with that object. These are our two main emotions, attachment and anger. In this way we accept and reject over and over again, falling in dualistic vision, and accumulating the negative potentiality of karma. When we produce negative karma, it has the potentiality for producing samsara. Therefore, our obstacles of negative karma become thicker and thicker, and we become more and more ignorant of our condition."

Are you sure you are not just perceiving this aversion, interpreting his words in such way? Are you sure Malcom feels aversion to Buddhism, not only corruption inside Buddhist, that which will lead to its degeneration? You know Malcom for a while now. Do you really think he feels aversion for Buddhism? And he fell in love for all other religions? It seems a little weird and I don't interpret him as you do.

I really have no problem personally with the idea that the state of realization that is pointed towards in "Buddhism" or "Dzogchenism" (I wouldn't normally separate the two) etc. does not need the label, or stamp of "Dzogchen" or "Buddhism" to be the real thing. They are both just words.

Well, but words have meanings and sometimes these meanings cause great impact. If you say that one needs to be a Buddhist to practice Dzogchen, that's a claim with a big impact. So is its opposite.

And to be honest, I don't even particularly know if I believe lineage is absolutely essential, and that people can't simply spontaneously come into contact with their true state. I think it is quite possible this happens all the time, without even direct introduction by a master.

You are always in contact with it. But recognizing it is a different matter. If nobody points it, then you don't recognize it. Lineage is a very simple thing to explain. A teacher who has recognized the natural state will access his students and know they have or haven't recognized it, instead of taking something else for it. These students, whose recognition of the natural state was confirmed by a master who himself had recognized it, become teachers in their own right and will do the same. Of course recognition is only the first step. One doesn't become a Dzogchen master because one has recognized the natural state. Now imagine one of these students decides for himself that he has recognized the natural state, while he hasn't. He doesn't confirm it and self-proclaims himself a Dzogchen Master. This student is very rich and a patron of several institutions that... because they have many mouths to feed... let it slip. So assume nobody said anything, the abbot was old and died, you figured it out But then the guy goes yahoo and takes students. These students have the same experience he did and he "confirms their recognition". And this goes on for generations. How many "Dzogchen teachers" would you have that have no clue about Dzogchen? This happens. It takes a Dzogchen teacher to correct this, to go to these people and say "hey, it's not like that; that is not Dzogchen". If they accept it, there's hope. If they find justifications, they are lost.


However, it has not happened to me like that, and as such I have a great devotion and respect for the various Gurus of mine, and what they have been able to show me. And all of them never hesitated to teach Ati yoga, regardless of their association with the Buddhist tradition, the Nyingma lineage, etc. I do think that for all of the time when we are not fully integrated, (a good deal of the time for most of us, if we are honest) we would be much better off to be sensitive to the laws of karma. Just as Guru Rinpoche recommends.

Of course. That was never disputed.

What is more, if we hold to a religious system that has beliefs contrary to karma (which many do) and may cause us to perform negative actions that accumulate negative karma, --then we will be producing samsara and we will become more and more ignorant of our condition, just as ChNN says in the quote I transcribed above. In my experience, I know spiritual people who meditate and who have quite profound experiences.. but they don't hesitate to grasp after sexual gratification to extremes and to kill insects (or rodents) they feel aversion for at any cost. This is perhaps one example of how subscribing to a Buddhist view can clarify karma, and help stop us from becoming "thicker and thicker, and become more and more ignorant of our condition".

Morality can be built without the notion of karma, around empathy. I find moral built due to fear of consequences rather primitive. But then imagine there are people who believe animals have no soul (but believe humans do). So they kill animals and don't see anything wrong with it. If these people recognize their natural state, this will change them deeply. You don't recognize the natural state and stay the same. It isn't like that and if your teachers shown that to you, you know it. The more they work with this deeply transformative experience, the more compassionate they will become. I believe things will fall in place naturally. I also assume that nobody disputes the transformative power of Dzogchen practice. This doesn't mean it transforms you into a Buddhist. It transforms you, at its greater extent, in a Buddha. For instance, you don't become a Theravadin and they are Buddhists! :lol:

In terms of merging Dzogchen practice with Tantric practice, -I think ChNN is also quite clear on this, and it is really no different than the way many traditional Nyingma lineage Lamas teach it:
"Many Westerners feel that the Tantric teaching is very interesting, but they do not like to practice; in their view it is not really meditation, but instead only chanting and ritual. Such people do not really know what contemplation is, and consider meditation to be only sitting in silence without moving. The real meaning of meditation or contemplation, as taught by Buddha Shakyamuni, is to dwell in our real nature. How can we find ourselves in this real nature? Since our real nature is not just emptiness, but also includes clarity and energy, we must find ourselves both in our energy and our clarity. If the nature of our energy is movement, not silence, then how can we be in that nature without moving? Practicing Dzogchen does not mean just remaining in silence, but also involves moving, integrating with clarity, and integrating with the movement of energy. Thus you can easily understand why, in Tantric practice, there is so much chanting, singing, moving about, and so on, because that involves integration with energy in movement. Sometimes you can find explanations of this in Tantric teachings, but generally it is only applied and not explained, though you can discover and understand the principle if you think about it. In the Dzogchen teachings, these are things to be learned directly."

You see, this is very much how other Dzogchen teachers who some seem to accuse as being stuck in the two stages, etc. place their emphasis... To me ChNN does not seem that unusual in his approach. So I am a bit surprised by all these denunciations of the "tantric approach" or "Buddhism" or cause and result, etc.

Well, perhaps because I've seen many different presentations of Dzogchen...many "direct introductions" that lead nowhere or where to supposed to lead but just in the future, many practices that also didn't lead to the recognition of the natural state, let alone learning integration... in fact I never seen a similar presentation, at least that is not built ad hoc, after the fact, after ChNN way of teaching became widely known, and perhaps that's why I have this idea. Maybe I'm wrong. But I suspect reality is quite different from what you are saying, at least not as bright. As ChNN says," many people are now teaching Dzogchen. I don't know if they are..." etc. He doesn't say these things just for fun. There's a warning here, a warning those who trust him need to consider.
Anyway, I don't really care what method teachers use as long as it works.
It's the students who must be honest and see if it is working. It's their ass on the line, not mine. So it's up to each person to access this and see what's better to do, if anything. :smile:

PS- I forgot to mention... long ago I read something about those spontaneous recognitions of the natural state. Don't know where or when and I'm not very sure what to make of it. It's seems unlikely in lives as agitated as ours. But even if this very brief experience happens, then what? One needs to work with it after. By itself it has a very solid impact, but if one does nothing it passes and memory fades, to the point of becoming a shade of what it was. This is what happens to people who recognize the natural state briefly but then lack diligence. So I think the same would apply, but I don't know.
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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby Adamantine » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:46 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:Well, perhaps because I've seen many different presentations of Dzogchen...many "direct introductions" that lead nowhere or where to supposed to lead but just in the future, many practices that also didn't lead to the recognition of the natural state, let alone learning integration... in fact I never seen a similar presentation, at least that is not built ad hoc, after the fact, after ChNN way of teaching became widely known, I have this idea. Maybe I'm wrong. But I suspect reality is quite different from what you are saying. As ChNN says," many people are now teaching Dzogchen. I don't know if they are..." etc. He doesn't say these things just for fun. There's a warning here, a warning those who trust him need to consider.
Anyway, I don't really care what method teachers use as long as it works.
It's the students who must be honest and see if it is working. It's their ass on the line, not mine. So it's up to each person to access this and see what's better. :smile:


DN, I will try to reply to the rest later, not time now, --but as for this last part, I just think you are not that well informed. For instance, I know many old students of Dudjom Rinpoche,- westerners who met him when he first came to the US, or who became students of his in that long period when he lived both here and in France. In general, he began teaching Dzogchen, here, giving direct introduction.. and in a way he was a living and breathing introduction.. people would just have this experience of realization around him. He felt westerners were well educated and he could just teach them from the highest level directly. But over the years, in my understanding he began to see that too many people were not integrating, or understanding correctly. Then he began to emphasize ngondro. Some people freaked out, and got upset that he was suddenly having them learn about ngondro. They only wanted the highest teachings! But you see, this was his kindness, to give what was needed.. not just what was wanted or expected. This was also the exact same experience my own Lama had when he came here to the US. He mainly just gave pointing out, and taught Dzogchen meditation. After years of this, he realized most people were not understanding properly. He then taught ngondro. I absolutely assure you that HH Dudjom Rinpoche and my own teacher have full realization of Dzogchen, and had/have full capacity to give pointing out instruction. It is not a fault on their side. Even ChNN says Dzogchen is not easy. Right in the beginning of his book "Dzogchen Teachings", he says "The teacher likes it if all sentients beings are realizing and getting in their real nature, but this is not always easy." Ok. more later.
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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:55 am

Come on Adamantine: Dudjom Rinpoche? You don't settle for less! :rolling:
Well I never met him, since I'm two young, but I am not exactly speaking about Dudjom Rinpoche or Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche or similar teachers. I can't be sure, but at least I believe these teachers were highly attained. Of course I never met them, but these are not the kind of teachers I'm talking about. These, even if they made an option I don't understand, I assume had very good reasons rooted in compassion and wisdom. I can't vouch for it, but I believe so. Call it faith, i don't mind, but I grew accustomed to hearing how great these two were. So I think these teachers were exceptional beings although this is not something I can prove.
I don't remember who is your main teacher. I take your word for it, however.
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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby xylem » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:44 pm

this subject is more perplexing as time goes on. for the record, i'm not necessarily responding to any particular person or group on DW. the theme of "will the real dzogchen please stand up" is something i've encountered throughout my practice in both meat-space and virtual communities. the "my dzogchen is bigger than your dzogchen" attitude is something that kept me away from the tradition for some time, until meeting my late root teacher quite by accident. now as i continue to practice and study it is just something i watch and wonder about.

dechen norbu-la, the nine yanas that i was exposed to doesn't suggest that one traverse the yanas from the first to the last. it also doesn't suggest that the higher yanas have some dependency upon the lower yanas for their theory and praxis. the nine yanas that i was exposed to suggests that each of the nine yanas is a completely distinct "view". this is why one can make parallels but not precisely map the mahayoga to the father tantras of sarma annutaratantrayoga, the anuyoga to the mother tantras and so on. each yana is a complete path, a complete view.

there is also the nuance that the three inner tantras can be related to each other. there is the mahayoga of mahayoga, the anuyoga of mahayoga, the atiyoga of mahayoga and so on. when people say "i only practice dzogchen", i take that to mean that they only practice the ati of ati. i suspect that is not what people mean, as that would mean that they practice only non-dual primordial wisdom. trekcho and togal are their only practices. they have no practice with any other support that the natural state and its wisdom display.

for me, the nine-yana system is very open and vast. it contains everything. every dharma for every type of person from every dharma family. if one has a dharma, one can contextualize it into the nine-yana system. the student plodding along, lam rim style, from the lesser view up to the tantras-- that view is there. the student receiving direct introduction and practicing just trekcho-- that approach is there. the student doing a sadhana as a support for dzogchen practice-- that approach is there. even instantaneous enlightenment. the teachings of CNNR are certainly there.

the reason i bring this back to different dharma cultures is that when i receive teachings from CNNR through webcasts or read his books, my sense is that this is really the sangha dharma as my own root teachers. i find that really reassuring that i can launch a web-browser and receive dzogchen teachings that seem very familiar. i know many dharma brothers that feel that way. then i come to DW or talk to dharma brothers from the DC, and come away with the sense that we're talking apples and oranges. that's not overly reassuring. i'm too mature about this to be disturbed about it. it's just puzzling.

saying something is a matter of "dharma culture" doesn't minimize anything. it's just how a mandala of a teacher articulates and orients itself to the guru. i wish all this can be simply articulated as such and these confused threads can come to an end.

-xy
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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby kalden yungdrung » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:53 pm

xylem wrote:this subject is more perplexing as time goes on. for the record, i'm not necessarily responding to any particular person or group on DW. the theme of "will the real dzogchen please stand up" is something i've encountered throughout my practice in both meat-space and virtual communities. the "my dzogchen is bigger than your dzogchen" attitude is something that kept me away from the tradition for some time, until meeting my late root teacher quite by accident. now as i continue to practice and study it is just something i watch and wonder about.

dechen norbu-la, the nine yanas that i was exposed to doesn't suggest that one traverse the yanas from the first to the last. it also doesn't suggest that the higher yanas have some dependency upon the lower yanas for their theory and praxis. the nine yanas that i was exposed to suggests that each of the nine yanas is a completely distinct "view". this is why one can make parallels but not precisely map the mahayoga to the father tantras of sarma annutaratantrayoga, the anuyoga to the mother tantras and so on. each yana is a complete path, a complete view.

there is also the nuance that the three inner tantras can be related to each other. there is the mahayoga of mahayoga, the anuyoga of mahayoga, the atiyoga of mahayoga and so on. when people say "i only practice dzogchen", i take that to mean that they only practice the ati of ati. i suspect that is not what people mean, as that would mean that they practice only non-dual primordial wisdom. trekcho and togal are their only practices. they have no practice with any other support that the natural state and its wisdom display.

for me, the nine-yana system is very open and vast. it contains everything. every dharma for every type of person from every dharma family. if one has a dharma, one can contextualize it into the nine-yana system. the student plodding along, lam rim style, from the lesser view up to the tantras-- that view is there. the student receiving direct introduction and practicing just trekcho-- that approach is there. the student doing a sadhana as a support for dzogchen practice-- that approach is there. even instantaneous enlightenment. the teachings of CNNR are certainly there.

the reason i bring this back to different dharma cultures is that when i receive teachings from CNNR through webcasts or read his books, my sense is that this is really the sangha dharma as my own root teachers. i find that really reassuring that i can launch a web-browser and receive dzogchen teachings that seem very familiar. i know many dharma brothers that feel that way. then i come to DW or talk to dharma brothers from the DC, and come away with the sense that we're talking apples and oranges. that's not overly reassuring. i'm too mature about this to be disturbed about it. it's just puzzling.

saying something is a matter of "dharma culture" doesn't minimize anything. it's just how a mandala of a teacher articulates and orients itself to the guru. i wish all this can be simply articulated as such and these confused threads can come to an end.

-xy




Tashi delek,

Yes i fully agree about the importance of the sequential way, because not everybody has that Dzogchen capacity. That this is a valid opinion, that not everybody is fit for Dzogchen, that is explained in the advice from Horti Chenpo' s Master, Mugyung Karpo.

They both are great Dzogchen Masters in the ZZNG Dzogchen Lineage, and they knew the importance of the Theg pa rim dgu.
So some deny the importance of Sutra and Tantra but that is not the general view inside Bon and Nyingma.


Mutsog Marro
KY



Horti Chenpo by:
Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche

Horti Chenpo was a very important Master in those days because he held all the lineages of the Nine Ways (Theg pa rim dgu) and was very learned in all of them. At first when his Master Mugyung Karpo began teaching him all the 9 Ways of Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen, Horti Chenpo only wanted to learn Dzogchen, so he asked his Master for these Teachings alone.

But his Master replied, "If you hold the Dzogchen lineage alone, what will you do if your pupils need another Teaching? You have to help all beings according to their capacity, so then what will you do? It may be enough for you personally to practise only Dzogchen but you must study and practise all these Ways because we never know what will be useful for other beings in the future."
Last edited by kalden yungdrung on Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby Sönam » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:08 pm

kalden yungdrung wrote:...
But his Master replied, "If you hold the Dzogchen lineage alone, what will you do if your pupils need another Teaching? You have to help all beings according to their capacity, so then what will you do? It may be enough for you personally to practise only Dzogchen but you must study and practise all these Ways because we never know what will be useful for other beings in the future."[/color]


This approach also defends ChNN ... without limitations.

"Why we learn to practice other traditions? We need to integrate all traditions, any kind of practices, but we go in essence ... when you integrate you learn how you go to Sambhogakaya with that tradition" - ChNN - 06/2011

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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: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby Karma Dorje » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:17 pm

kalden yungdrung wrote:Tashi delek,

Yes i fully agree about the importance of the sequential way, because not everybody has that Dzogchen capacity. That this is a valid opinion, that not everybody is fit for Dzogchen that is explained in the advice from Horti Chenpo' s master, Mugyung Karpo.

They both are great Dzogchen Masters in the ZZNG Dzogchen Lineage, and they knew the importance of the Theg pa rim dgu.
So some deny the importance of Sutra and Tantra but that is not the general view inside Bon and Nyingma.

Mutsog Marro
KY


20. Horti Chenpo

Horti Chenpo was a very important Master in those days because he held all the lineages of the Nine Ways (Theg pa rim dgu) and was very learned in all of them. At first when his Master Mugyung Karpo began teaching him all the 9 Ways of Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen, Horti Chenpo only wanted to learn Dzogchen, so he asked his Master for these Teachings alone.

But his Master replied, "If you hold the Dzogchen lineage alone, what will you do if your pupils need another Teaching? You have to help all beings according to their capacity, so then what will you do? It may be enough for you personally to practise only Dzogchen but you must study and practise all these Ways because we never know what will be useful for other beings in the future."


That's a great quote from Horti Chenpo, and exactly the reason that one who wishes to benefit beings should practice *whatever* method connects with beings regardless of where it is from or one's partisan affiliation. If secondary practices are needed, there is a whole world of possibilities from all of the world's religions. I am all for studying all of the sanatanadharma in the world, not just the Buddhist-flavoured ones. Only in a strangely polemicized world is being open to all systems of thought a rejection of a particular system of thought.
"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby Sally Gross » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:27 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:It's because it is so ridiculously simple that people keep missing it, I suppose. That what makes it "complicated".


:thinking: Yes .... Utterly simple rather than ridiculously simple. Great simplicity does not necessarily imply that something is easy or even comprehensible in principle, in conceptual terms. Classical theism provides an analogy (and I am bound to note that what I say should not be taken to imply that I am a theist, though I was a theist once below a time). One of the traditional attributes of God in classical theism is simplicity: God, conceived of as the Creator of all from nothing, is said to be absolutely simple. What this entails is that God, as thus conceived, is indivisible, uncompounded and unconditioned, and that each of God's putative attributes -- having power over all things, omniscience, incorporeality, being timelessly eternal, ineffability and so on -- is identical with God, the whole of God, and identical with every other putative attribute of God. I recall one of my former brethren, Fr Simon Tugwell O.P., saying in a sermon that God is so simple that God is utterly beyond comprehension. I certainly do not want to argue the case for classical theism, but think that the identity of absolute simplicity with ineffability in classical theism is indicative of the need to distinguish, as you do implicitly, between utter simplicity and comprehensibility. I hope that this makes some sense.
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atthi nibbuti, na nibbuto pumaa,
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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby kalden yungdrung » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:45 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:
kalden yungdrung wrote:Tashi delek,

Yes i fully agree about the importance of the sequential way, because not everybody has that Dzogchen capacity. That this is a valid opinion, that not everybody is fit for Dzogchen that is explained in the advice from Horti Chenpo' s master, Mugyung Karpo.

They both are great Dzogchen Masters in the ZZNG Dzogchen Lineage, and they knew the importance of the Theg pa rim dgu.
So some deny the importance of Sutra and Tantra but that is not the general view inside Bon and Nyingma.

Mutsog Marro
KY


20. Horti Chenpo

Horti Chenpo was a very important Master in those days because he held all the lineages of the Nine Ways (Theg pa rim dgu) and was very learned in all of them. At first when his Master Mugyung Karpo began teaching him all the 9 Ways of Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen, Horti Chenpo only wanted to learn Dzogchen, so he asked his Master for these Teachings alone.

But his Master replied, "If you hold the Dzogchen lineage alone, what will you do if your pupils need another Teaching? You have to help all beings according to their capacity, so then what will you do? It may be enough for you personally to practise only Dzogchen but you must study and practise all these Ways because we never know what will be useful for other beings in the future."


That's a great quote from Horti Chenpo, and exactly the reason that one who wishes to benefit beings should practice *whatever* method connects with beings regardless of where it is from or one's partisan affiliation. If secondary practices are needed, there is a whole world of possibilities from all of the world's religions. I am all for studying all of the sanatanadharma in the world, not just the Buddhist-flavoured ones. Only in a strangely polemicized world is being open to all systems of thought a rejection of a particular system of thought.



Tashi delek,

We can be open for all Dharma, if it is needed.

Indeed if Dzogchen is too difficult for some reason, then a Dzogchen Master can also teach some easier Teachings. That was always seen as not needed because Dzogchen would have all there is. That would be true for a ripened person who already has some experience or has THAT karma.

The Dzogchen Master Horti Chenpo is an example, as a Dzogchen Master who did learn also Sutra and Tantra, whereas he did not like that at all. He even rejected that idea. But his Master did explain that out of compassion Horti Chenpo has to learn Sutra and Tantra.

It would be maybe now clear enough that only Dzogchen is good for the real Dzogchenpa, but the others who are not ready for it, need some other things (Buddha Dharma).

All in all, i once again can see the importance of Sutra and Tantra as a good method / path to Dzogchen, also not denying those who can enter Dzogchen without problems from the very first time and can go fast like a rocket with excellent results. But i know these persons are VERY RARE.

For me personal took it, due to karma, 25 years, to enter Dzogchen. Others can do it in lesser time maybe, but there is some time needed to get there. There is said, that Dzogchen is for the best karmic gifted persons and i can agree to that, because i am not so very talented / clever / smart / intelligent / high IQ / etc. So i can talk about the needed time to reach Dzogchen, as a good witness.

Mutsog Marro
KY
THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
IF HE DOES NOT APPLY HIS KNOWLEDGE
HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
WHO WITH A LAMP IN THE HAND CANNOT SEE THE ROAD
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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby Dechen Norbu » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:00 am

Sally Gross wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:It's because it is so ridiculously simple that people keep missing it, I suppose. That what makes it "complicated".


:thinking: Yes .... Utterly simple rather than ridiculously simple. Great simplicity does not necessarily imply that something is easy or even comprehensible in principle, in conceptual terms. Classical theism provides an analogy (and I am bound to note that what I say should not be taken to imply that I am a theist, though I was a theist once below a time). One of the traditional attributes of God in classical theism is simplicity: God, conceived of as the Creator of all from nothing, is said to be absolutely simple. What this entails is that God, as thus conceived, is indivisible, uncompounded and unconditioned, and that each of God's putative attributes -- having power over all things, omniscience, incorporeality, being timelessly eternal, ineffability and so on -- is identical with God, the whole of God, and identical with every other putative attribute of God. I recall one of my former brethren, Fr Simon Tugwell O.P., saying in a sermon that God is so simple that God is utterly beyond comprehension. I certainly do not want to argue the case for classical theism, but think that the identity of absolute simplicity with ineffability in classical theism is indicative of the need to distinguish, as you do implicitly, between utter simplicity and comprehensibility. I hope that this makes some sense.

Couldn't agree more. My English misses those subtleties. Utterly simple is a much better way of saying it. Thank you Sally. :anjali:
And yes, it makes a lot of sense.
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Re: Dzogchen "without Buddhism"

Postby Karma Dorje » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:06 am

xylem wrote:it's just how a mandala of a teacher articulates and orients itself to the guru. i wish all this can be simply articulated as such and these confused threads can come to an end.
-xy


These confused threads stretch back to at least the Samye debate and the so-called defeat of Hvashang and have continued through almost 1200 years of polemical attack by gradualists on the dzogchen teaching and spirited responses from the greatest luminaries of the tradition. If you expect we can hash this all out on an Internet forum in a few hundred or thousand posts, you are more of an optimist than I am.

I think the crux of this comes down to different dispositions rather than any one position being right. In any case, it has been enormously edifying for me.
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