Dzogchen and ngöndro

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Re: some questions about dzogchen

Postby mutsuk » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:07 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:More, SMS base level is not particularly related to Garab Dorje's second statement.

Garab Dorje's Testament is strictly an Upadesha, as can be seen in the commentaries by Dza Patrul and others. This is not a text dealing with Semde or Longde. Only ChNN Rinpoche interprets it as a gradual approach to Dzogchen. THis is not the case with any other master alive or in the past. I don't mean it's wrong, it's just simply not the case. His gradual approach to the Testament of Garab Dorje is not the traditional one.
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Re: some questions about dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:15 pm

mutsuk wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:More, SMS base level is not particularly related to Garab Dorje's second statement.

Garab Dorje's Testament is strictly an Upadesha, as can be seen in the commentaries by Dza Patrul and others. This is not a text dealing with Semde or Longde. Only ChNN Rinpoche interprets it as a gradual approach to Dzogchen. THis is not the case with any other master alive or in the past. I don't mean it's wrong, it's just simply not the case. His gradual approach to the Testament of Garab Dorje is not the traditional one.



That is correct, ChNN clearly states that his equation of the three statements with sems sde, klong sde, and man ngag sde is based on his dreams and is not an explanation one will find in any other master's teachings.

However, it is not a gradual approach. Nothing in Dzogchen is gradual. If it is gradual, it is not Dzogchen, even if it is useful.

M
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Re: some questions about dzogchen

Postby mutsuk » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:37 pm

Malcolm wrote:However, it is not a gradual approach. Nothing in Dzogchen is gradual. If it is gradual, it is not Dzogchen, even if it is useful.

It is indeed a gradual approach compared to the way other lamas teach this Testament. Moreover, everything that has a Path is gradual. You must not conflate Dzogchen and the Dzogchenpa.
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Re: some questions about dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:48 pm

mutsuk wrote:
Malcolm wrote:However, it is not a gradual approach. Nothing in Dzogchen is gradual. If it is gradual, it is not Dzogchen, even if it is useful.

It is indeed a gradual approach compared to the way other lamas teach this Testament. Moreover, everything that has a Path is gradual. You must not conflate Dzogchen and the Dzogchenpa.


It is best if we agree to disagree.

It could only be gradual if you consider sems sde gradual (it isn't). Instead, it is scheme outlining the intention of the three series in very broad strokes.

Dzogchen is a kind of knowledge: you either have it or you don't. To the extent that there is a path in Dzogchen, that path consists of discovering what you have not discovered. This is the reason for the special preliminaries as I am sure you will agree.

So, there is a path to discovering this knowledge, but it is not really gradual in the sense of gathering the two accumulations and so on as in sutra and tantra.

M
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Re: some questions about dzogchen

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:32 pm

mutsuk wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:More, SMS base level is not particularly related to Garab Dorje's second statement.

Garab Dorje's Testament is strictly an Upadesha, as can be seen in the commentaries by Dza Patrul and others. This is not a text dealing with Semde or Longde. Only ChNN Rinpoche interprets it as a gradual approach to Dzogchen. THis is not the case with any other master alive or in the past. I don't mean it's wrong, it's just simply not the case. His gradual approach to the Testament of Garab Dorje is not the traditional one.

Yes, the "traditional one" seems to be that you go searching for Dzogchen and instead you get ngöndro and yidam practice. Of course all from a Dzogchen perspective. :roll:
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Re: some questions about dzogchen

Postby mutsuk » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:39 pm

Malcolm wrote:It is best if we agree to disagree.

Sure, no problem.

It could only be gradual if you consider sems sde gradual (it isn't).

No, it's the presentation of the teachings going first through Semdé, then Longdé, etc. which is gradual. This is not how this Testament is usually taught.

Instead, it is scheme outlining the intention of the three series in very broad strokes.

Only in ChNN Rinpoche's view, not in that of other masters and commentators.

Dzogchen is a kind of knowledge: you either have it or you don't.

Sure but it's also a Path.

To the extent that there is a path in Dzogchen, that path consists of discovering what you have not discovered.

Not only, it deals with becoming familiar with what you were not. The DC usually forget about the Tsel of Rigpa and the related practice. This is the core of Dzogchen through Semdé, Longdé and Men-ngakdé.

This is the reason for the special preliminaries as I am sure you will agree.

Yes sure, but not only, these preliminaries have purposes too.

So, there is a path to discovering this knowledge, but it is not really gradual in the sense of gathering the two accumulations and so on as in sutra and tantra.

The understanding is not gradual, nobody said so. But it takes an entire life to become so familiar with the dynamic nature of the state to reach its ultimate expression. So it's gradual. Those who went from the 1st to the 4th vision are more than quite rare in the entire history of Dzogchen. For the 99,99 per cent remaining, including giganticly advanced masters, there is a path to follow. This Path is explained in the entire Dzogchen literature and it's its purpose. Any Path is gradual, even terribly abrupt ones. This is why Trekcho is a View and Thogel a Meditation (or a Path depending on authors).
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Re: some questions about dzogchen

Postby mutsuk » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:43 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:Yes, the "traditional one" seems to be that you go searching for Dzogchen and instead you get ngöndro and yidam practice. Of course all from a Dzogchen perspective. :roll:

It's because you don't see the perfection of the state in any practice. When I see Yongdzin Rinpoche perform his Ngondro or Yidam practice, it's certainly not because he does not have the level to enter Dzogchen directly. The View must come from above and the Conduct must come from below. Having the View fall into the Conduct is the worst drawback you can face in this path. There is nothing wrong in the traditional approach : it has led many to the Fruit. I really doubt newer approaches, including extreme ones like jax's and co will ever lead to a single fruit.
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:44 pm

heart wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:Seems a pretty far fetched argument, but if that is how you see it...
I believe practices from the Longde series would be much more adequate.
Care to explain how prostrating 400.000 times, as an example, contributes to getting rid of doubt about having recognized one's primordial state? Or offering a similar gazillion number of mandalas, refuge prayers and the whole accumulations. Just curious to know how you reconcile this. It's not that I'm being limited. It seems to me that you would be using a spoon to pierce through a concrete wall instead of a power drill, that's all.


Exhaustion of the body is perfect for that, you didn't do the body Rushan?

/magnus

Perfect? The movements and the mental exercises are so different that I don't see how you claim such thing. Can they be adapted? Perhaps. But why? Why not simply practicicing the khorde rushen instead of traditional ngöndro?

What I can't understand is why do we need to take secondary routes if there are specific Dzogchen preliminaries, much more suitable to Dzogchen practitioners.
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Re: some questions about dzogchen

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:49 pm

mutsuk wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:Yes, the "traditional one" seems to be that you go searching for Dzogchen and instead you get ngöndro and yidam practice. Of course all from a Dzogchen perspective. :roll:

It's because you don't see the perfection of the state in any practice. When I see Yongdzin Rinpoche perform his Ngondro or Yidam practice, it's certainly not because he does not have the level to enter Dzogchen directly. The View must come from above and the Conduct must come from below. Having the View fall into the Conduct is the worst drawback you can face in this path. There is nothing wrong in the traditional approach : it has led many to the Fruit. I really doubt newer approaches, including extreme ones like jax's and co will ever lead to a single fruit.

Jax is not a Dzogchen teacher. I would appreciate if you stop mentioning him.
I don't know Yongdzin Rinpoche, so I can't comment. I'm sure he has his reasons for whatever practice he does. It's not my concern.
I don't know how many the traditional approach has lead to the fruit. That's something I can't know, but surely that's not a possibility I exclude.
I don't see what the rest of your post has to do with the subject at hand. Care to explain?
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Re: some questions about dzogchen

Postby heart » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:56 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:heart,

I'll quote Malcom as this reply of his fits your comments about using the traditional ngöndro to get rid of doubt.

More, SMS base level is not particularly related to Garab Dorje's second statement.


So it is connected with his first statement? Seem so you didn't get my point, what practice you do don't necessary correspond with any of the the three statements so I think when ChNNR says that Garab Dorje didn't say "first do the Ngondro" that is just a joke because for sure he didn't say "first do Guru Yoga with a white Ah" either nor did he say "first do lodjongs, semdzins and rushan" or "first do Semde" or any other method at all. It is between you and your Guru what you do and when.

/magnus
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Re: some questions about dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:05 pm

mutsuk wrote:To the extent that there is a path in Dzogchen, that path consists of discovering what you have not discovered.

Not only, it deals with becoming familiar with what you were not. The DC usually forget about the Tsel of Rigpa and the related practice.

[/quote]

As for your first sentence, this is a quibble.

As for the second part, No, you are wrong.


This is the reason for the special preliminaries as I am sure you will agree.

Yes sure, but not only, these preliminaries have purposes too.


Yes, of course, a given practice can have ultimate as well as temporary benefits.


So, there is a path to discovering this knowledge, but it is not really gradual in the sense of gathering the two accumulations and so on as in sutra and tantra.

The understanding is not gradual, nobody said so. But it takes an entire life to become so familiar with the dynamic nature of the state to reach its ultimate expression. So it's gradual. Those who went from the 1st to the 4th vision are more than quite rare in the entire history of Dzogchen. For the 99,99 per cent remaining, including giganticly advanced masters, there is a path to follow. This Path is explained in the entire Dzogchen literature and it's its purpose. Any Path is gradual, even terribly abrupt ones. This is why Trekcho is a View and Thogel a Meditation (or a Path depending on authors).


Anyone can have the first vision. Most people manage the second vision with relative ease. Many, though less, even manage the third.

For example, the Rigpa Rangshar has a detailed presentation of the 21 capacities. Only the best of the best acheive the body of light in this lifetime. Most of the rest acheive buddhahood in the bardo after varying length of time after death. The rest take rebirth in the pure nirmanakāya buddhafields.

The energy of the wisdom of rigpa neither increases nor does it decrease regardless of the four visions.

The "path" in Dzogchen is not like "path" in other systems, where you start out from point a and wind up at point b. The "path" of Dzogchen is simple removing the jaundice of ignorance so you see what is there all along from the begining. It is not about acquiring something new you did have before.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: some questions about dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:08 pm

heart wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:heart,

I'll quote Malcom as this reply of his fits your comments about using the traditional ngöndro to get rid of doubt.

More, SMS base level is not particularly related to Garab Dorje's second statement.


So it is connected with his first statement? Seem so you didn't get my point, what practice you do don't necessary correspond with any of the the three statements so I think when ChNNR says that Garab Dorje didn't say "first do the Ngondro" that is just a joke because for sure he didn't say "first do Guru Yoga with a white Ah" either nor did he say "first do lodjongs, semdzins and rushan" or "first do Semde" or any other method at all. It is between you and your Guru what you do and when.

/magnus



No, he said "direct introduction". Why? Beause in Dzogchen Buddhahood exists to be demonstrated. If it is not demonstrated, there is no liberation, even though it is present from the beginning.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: some questions about dzogchen

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:11 pm

heart wrote:So it is connected with his first statement? Seem so you didn't get my point, what practice you do don't necessary correspond with any of the the three statements so I think when ChNNR says that Garab Dorje didn't say "first do the Ngondro" that is just a joke because for sure he didn't say "first do Guru Yoga with a white Ah" either nor did he say "first do lodjongs, semdzins and rushan" or "first do Semde" or any other method at all. It is between you and your Guru what you do and when.
/magnus

But it should correspond with the three statements, at least if you are practicing Dzogchen.
First you need to recognize your natural state. Failing to do that, there's a set of practices that help. Then you need to get free from doubt and there are specific practices for such effect and so on. One must evaluate what one needs to do at each point.
That "it's between you and your Guru" line may not be very helpful if your Guru is not advising you properly. Note that this is not an accusation to any Guru. It's the student who must evaluate this. You know I completed ngöndro. I'm not talking without having a little experience. What I can say is that I'm still to understand why one should perform it if one is practicing Dzogchen. Just being honest here. One may perform it, as any other practice. One may perform a lot of practices from other yanas according to one's circumstances. But what I find troublesome is seeing ngöndro as a suitable replacement for Dzogchen preliminaries for instance. I don't see how that works, that's all. This is not so strange.
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Re: some questions about dzogchen

Postby mutsuk » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:40 pm

Malcolm wrote: The "path" of Dzogchen is simple removing the jaundice of ignorance so you see what is there all along from the begining.

This is the purpose of the direct introduction. As Vimalamitra says at the beginning of his 1st volume commentary on the Dra Thelgyur, the Path of Dzogchen consists of the gradual steps explained in this Tantra. This involves ordinary preliminaries, etc, together with Rushen, etc., and of course the four Visions. This is gradual.

It is not about acquiring something new you did have before.

I never said that and saying that there is a gradual path does not necessarily means that you're going to acquire something you hadn't before. I said that the path is to become familiar with the state one has been introduced to. There is thus a path in Dzogchen. Sure it's unlike sutras ans tantras but its a gradual path anyway.
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Re: some questions about dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:45 pm

mutsuk wrote:but its a gradual path anyway.


As I said, we will agree to disagree.
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Re: some questions about dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:45 pm

mutsuk wrote:This is the purpose of the direct introduction. As Vimalamitra says at the beginning of his 1st volume commentary on the Dra Thelgyur, the Path of Dzogchen consists of the gradual steps explained in this Tantra. This involves ordinary preliminaries, etc, together with Rushen, etc., and of course the four Visions.


Page numbers?

I am looking at that section, and it starts with rushan following receiving the four empowerments. But I don't see refuge, mandala, etc.

M
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
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Re: some questions about dzogchen

Postby mutsuk » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:49 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:Jax is not a Dzogchen teacher. I would appreciate if you stop mentioning him.

For what reason ? Because he's been banned from here ? Or because he shows a wrong path ?

I don't know Yongdzin Rinpoche, so I can't comment. I'm sure he has his reasons for whatever practice he does. It's not my concern.
I don't know how many the traditional approach has lead to the fruit. That's something I can't know, but surely that's not a possibility I exclude.
I don't see what the rest of your post has to do with the subject at hand. Care to explain?


My point was just to mention that, except for DC, the traditional way one is taught Dzogchen goes through specific steps. This is true in Bon (Yongdzin, etc.) and in Nyingmapa (Chatral, etc.). Going through these steps is performed in the state of Guru Yoga so it's in no way contradictory with what ChNN says. However, people like Sonam claims it everywhere that the way ChNN teaches is the way Dzogchen is the only way Dzogchen has to be practiced and if one says otherwise, one is wrong. Well, this approach true only in DC, not for all other masters.The vast majority of masters do otherwise. Therefore, the main way Dzogchen is being taught is through a traditional approach.
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Re: some questions about dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:51 pm

mutsuk wrote: Therefore, the main way Dzogchen is being taught is through a traditional approach.


Yes, everywhere but the DC.
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:06 pm

Well, going straight to Rushen, Trekcho, etc. straight from Direct Introduction is traditional for pure Dzogchen.

And doing Ngondro before Rushen, Trekcho, etc. is traditional for Dzogchen integrated with lower Yanas.

And both ways are perfectly fine, and are also both "traditional" in their own way, yes?
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby mutsuk » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:10 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:Well, going straight to Rushen, Trekcho, etc. straight from Direct Introduction is traditional for pure Dzogchen.

No, not in the Nyingthiks. Even in Yangti you have the four thoughts, Refuge, bodhicitta, etc. Even when you're taught the Thachen (mTha' chen) approach, it's like that although the direct introduction plays a different, crucial role.

And doing Ngondro before Rushen, Trekcho, etc. is traditional for Dzogchen integrated with lower Yanas.

No not with the Nyingthiks.
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