Simon E. wrote: Anders wrote:
What will you tell Yama when he sends down his hook for you: that you had permission to teach Dzogchen, or that you taught Dzogchen, or that you are a Tulku, or that you translated the Dzogchen Tantras, or that you had a thousand lovers, or that you wrote beautiful poems, or that you danced a beautiful dance?
I don't think he will listen.
Now tell us what it actually means in terms of Dzogchen
...words about words about words are still ...words. And time is still a- wasting even when we discus the fact.
Does it really require translation? It seems to me a waste of energy, though a frequent habit amongst practitioners, to want to live life through the abstractions of a tenet system. Personally, I appreciate Buddhism for its immediacy and direct pointing towards aspects of life that are readily observable and require little abstraction but on the contrary are truths that demand abandoning our tendency to alienate ourselves from the immediacy of the experience of life.
[thus I have heard] "What is the Noble Truth of Suffering? Birth is suffering, ageing is suffering, sickness is suffering, dissociation from the loved is suffering, not to get what one wants is suffering". That's straight talk. Anyone can recognise the self-evident truth of such words. If someone asked me "Now tell us what it actually means in terms of Buddhism" I'd have to tell him to go live a little and get familiar with it. These words, these symbols, don't point to other symbols in a framework of symbolic and abstract representation. They simply point to a self-evident facet of life.
Death is unavoidable. And contemplating this has its spiritual upsides (so sayeth the Buddha, at any rate). We don't have a lot of time in this world. A truck could run you over tomorrow. If you knew this were to happen, how would you spend your remaining hours in this world? Are there things left undone or unsaid for you? Once we get really honest about death, the question starts sneaking in: Do we really dare take the chance that we won't get run down by a bus tomorrow? Is life worth living as if we have time to waste? Also, surprising facets come to the fore as one becomes more intimate with this topic - death seems less frightening. The shadow of death, rather than looming menacingly on the edge of consciousness, becomes a friend standing in the open that reminds us to live life more fully, as we work ourselves towards living quite literally as if every day were our last. The fleeting nature of the things in our lives begin to become more apparent. The things we cherish - none of them can be taken with us when we die. They are stuff for loan. Why treat them as if they were for keeps?
But all this is just more abstraction, since this is my experience with this topic and not yours. Truth be told, since you did ask "Now tell us what it actually means in terms of Dzogchen" I have to tell you - such an answer is not very meaningful. Who cares for the meaning of 'death' within the abstracted formulations of 'Dzogchen'? Seeking such answers is only good for inoculating ourselves from the unnerving truths it may reveal about our own existence. How can such a thing have spiritual impact? Death is a very immediate affair. It has immediate meaning for all people. This is why the Buddha liked talking about it. It's a very universal thing. The question I consider worth asking is not "what it actually means in terms of Dzogchen" but rather "What does death mean to Simon E."