Basic questions

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Basic questions

Postby duckfiasco » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:31 am

Hi, everyone! I know next to nothing about Dzogchen, so I hope my questions aren't too silly.

1. At what stage do you get transmission? Is it right from the start, or after you've practiced the basics of Dzogchen for a while?

2. I asked a local group about this, and they said there would be a transmission from Chögyal Namkhai Norbu over webcast. This seems a little odd to me to get something so important as a transmission by such an impersonal method. Or is it how we see the transmission that matters more than a specific form or "thing" that happens?

3. How did you personally begin practicing Dzogchen? I think I've read that the first step is having a teacher point out your natural state to you. I have no clue how to find any kind of teacher, let alone a Dzogchen one, let alone one to build a relationship with for such a thing.

4. I take it a teacher is someone you want to be able to see in person? Or is someone like CNN your teacher, even though you likely will never meet him? I suppose I'm just unclear on the guru-teacher-student relationship in Dzogchen, or how to even begin in that direction.

5. I've read that Dzogchen is less about specific methods and more about realization. What I mean is I've read CNN write that even Catholic priests could practice Dzogchen. How do you then find out which practice to do? Is this something else a teacher helps with?

6. There seems to be some pretty strange stuff in Dzogchen, at least from the perspective of a Westerner from the US. Are things like the rainbow body, energies, the vajra dance, etc. more cultural, or are they somehow features of what Dzogchen seeks to point out, or perhaps preferred skillful means in Dzogchen? I don't see what things like thigles have to do with a natural state. I'm also willing to put them in the "it doesn't matter yet, newbie" category. I've had to do that many a time with other things already :tongue:

A friend sent me a lengthy talk by CNN about Dzogchen. I must admit I had an extremely hard time understanding his accent, which made the totally new subject matter difficult to understand even generally. I also got the book "Quintessential Dzogchen" but it feels like trying to read a neurosurgery manual when I haven't taken basic anatomy. I'm being hampered at every turn! :shrug:

Thank you so much! :thumbsup:
Namu Amida Butsu
The Perfect Way knows no difficulties
Except that it refuses to make preferences;
Only when freed from hate and love,
It reveals itself fully and without disguise.
- Sengcan (tr. Suzuki)
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Re: Basic questions

Postby Wesley1982 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:30 am

It looks like something you are going to have to study :shrug: :smile:
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Re: Basic questions

Postby heart » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:26 am

duckfiasco wrote:Hi, everyone! I know next to nothing about Dzogchen, so I hope my questions aren't too silly.


Hi duckfiasco,

The traditional way to practice Dzogchen:

1. Look for a Nyingma or Bon teacher that truly make an impression on you and that teach the Dharma in a correct way. This is the most difficult part and can take a lot of time.

2. Ask him/her for an interview and proclaim your wish in a respectful way.

3. If he accept you as a student do whatever he/she says with joy and confidence.

4. Don't worry.

In general you can get direct introduction at any time during this process. It doesn't matter how you get it, alone, in a group or over the internet. It is not something that happens only once and then your finished. There is the continuous relationship with your Guru with many direct introductions that will show you how to apply this at all times. Remember impermanence and try to dissolve all doubts as soon as possible.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Basic questions

Postby kalden yungdrung » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:49 am

duckfiasco wrote:Hi, everyone! I know next to nothing about Dzogchen, so I hope my questions aren't too silly.

1. At what stage do you get transmission? Is it right from the start, or after you've practiced the basics of Dzogchen for a while?

2. I asked a local group about this, and they said there would be a transmission from Chögyal Namkhai Norbu over webcast. This seems a little odd to me to get something so important as a transmission by such an impersonal method. Or is it how we see the transmission that matters more than a specific form or "thing" that happens?

3. How did you personally begin practicing Dzogchen? I think I've read that the first step is having a teacher point out your natural state to you. I have no clue how to find any kind of teacher, let alone a Dzogchen one, let alone one to build a relationship with for such a thing.

4. I take it a teacher is someone you want to be able to see in person? Or is someone like CNN your teacher, even though you likely will never meet him? I suppose I'm just unclear on the guru-teacher-student relationship in Dzogchen, or how to even begin in that direction.

5. I've read that Dzogchen is less about specific methods and more about realization. What I mean is I've read CNN write that even Catholic priests could practice Dzogchen. How do you then find out which practice to do? Is this something else a teacher helps with?

6. There seems to be some pretty strange stuff in Dzogchen, at least from the perspective of a Westerner from the US. Are things like the rainbow body, energies, the vajra dance, etc. more cultural, or are they somehow features of what Dzogchen seeks to point out, or perhaps preferred skillful means in Dzogchen? I don't see what things like thigles have to do with a natural state. I'm also willing to put them in the "it doesn't matter yet, newbie" category. I've had to do that many a time with other things already :tongue:

A friend sent me a lengthy talk by CNN about Dzogchen. I must admit I had an extremely hard time understanding his accent, which made the totally new subject matter difficult to understand even generally. I also got the book "Quintessential Dzogchen" but it feels like trying to read a neurosurgery manual when I haven't taken basic anatomy. I'm being hampered at every turn! :shrug:

Thank you so much! :thumbsup:



Tashi delek,

The first thing to do is looking for a Dzogchen Master. A traditional Dzogchen Master can be found in Nyingma or Bon.
If you have a good feeling with your Master you can follow him/her and accept all he will advice to you.
He/she will advice you Dzogchen according his/her experiences and Lineage.

If you follow further Dzogchen Teachings of your Master, your Natural State experiences will be become clearer and clearer. There are always a lot of direct introductions done during all kind of Dzogchen Teachings.

The keypoint is here the Master and to be devoted to him as much as you can.

In the meanwhile you can learn Dzogchen terms and Dzogchen view points, as well the means / practice(s) which your Master can give to you.

Sure is that your ego mind will diminish and sure is that you will obtain the State of the Egoless Mind. :namaste:


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: Basic questions

Postby Andrew108 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:40 am

I would agree with what other posters have written here and I can understand your wish to meet with a Dzogchen teacher face to face. One thing I would add is that Dzogchen is much about dealing with the consequences of the Dzogchen view rather than building a path and taking on a lot of practices and commitments.
Yes the basic question is how do I deal with the consequences of Dzogchen without taking it on as another conditioned outlook.
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: Basic questions

Postby heart » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:51 pm

Andrew108 wrote:Yes the basic question is how do I deal with the consequences of Dzogchen without taking it on as another conditioned outlook.


This is why we need a Guru and his mandala to interact with.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Basic questions

Postby Simon E. » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:07 pm

duckfiasco wrote:Hi, everyone! I know next to nothing about Dzogchen, so I hope my questions aren't too silly.

1. At what stage do you get transmission? Is it right from the start, or after you've practiced the basics of Dzogchen for a while?

2. I asked a local group about this, and they said there would be a transmission from Chögyal Namkhai Norbu over webcast. This seems a little odd to me to get something so important as a transmission by such an impersonal method. Or is it how we see the transmission that matters more than a specific form or "thing" that happens?

3. How did you personally begin practicing Dzogchen? I think I've read that the first step is having a teacher point out your natural state to you. I have no clue how to find any kind of teacher, let alone a Dzogchen one, let alone one to build a relationship with for such a thing.

4. I take it a teacher is someone you want to be able to see in person? Or is someone like CNN your teacher, even though you likely will never meet him? I suppose I'm just unclear on the guru-teacher-student relationship in Dzogchen, or how to even begin in that direction.

5. I've read that Dzogchen is less about specific methods and more about realization. What I mean is I've read CNN write that even Catholic priests could practice Dzogchen. How do you then find out which practice to do? Is this something else a teacher helps with?

6. There seems to be some pretty strange stuff in Dzogchen, at least from the perspective of a Westerner from the US. Are things like the rainbow body, energies, the vajra dance, etc. more cultural, or are they somehow features of what Dzogchen seeks to point out, or perhaps preferred skillful means in Dzogchen? I don't see what things like thigles have to do with a natural state. I'm also willing to put them in the "it doesn't matter yet, newbie" category. I've had to do that many a time with other things already :tongue:

A friend sent me a lengthy talk by CNN about Dzogchen. I must admit I had an extremely hard time understanding his accent, which made the totally new subject matter difficult to understand even generally. I also got the book "Quintessential Dzogchen" but it feels like trying to read a neurosurgery manual when I haven't taken basic anatomy. I'm being hampered at every turn! :shrug:

Thank you so much! :thumbsup:

1 ) It makes no difference...it is a matter of access, Some teachers will want you to have prepared. ChNNN does not require this. You can recieve transmission immediately from him.
2) It is not impersonal. ChNNN says that there is no difference at all in receiving transmission from him via webcast or in person.
3) Which takes care of your third question. And your fourth and fifth.
There are of course other teachers.
6) Yes, put those issues on the back shelf for now. They are not vital.
If you pursue this all will become clearer,

:namaste:
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Re: Basic questions

Postby Mariusz » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:42 pm

A master of Dzogchen should know you. The sooner you meet a master of dzogchen, the better. Internet can not replace it! Perhaps a master of Dzogchen is going to visit places close to you soon? So please check it.
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Re: Basic questions

Postby bjf77 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:48 pm

Duckfiasco,

Based upon my experience, I would think a good place to start to get a good foundational understanding of Dzogchen, and to get 'prepared' for transmission/direction introduction, would be to read "The Crystal and The Way of Light". For me, this book was key to help me have a basic understanding. There is no real 'preparation' for direct introduction that I know of. My understanding is that people think of direct introduction/transmission as 'something' that is given to them, (ie. the teacher has a piece of paper and they give it to the student). However, this idea, based upon my understanding, is flawed. Direct introduction is the teacher pointing out your natural state, which has always been, is now, and will always be, your real condition. This pointing out is a moment when the teacher and student are both resting in that natural state, as that is the real condition of both teacher and student.

That would be my recommendation. :namaste:
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Re: Basic questions

Postby oldbob » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:43 pm

duckfiasco wrote:Hi, everyone! I know next to nothing about Dzogchen, so I hope my questions aren't too silly.

1. At what stage do you get transmission? Is it right from the start, or after you've practiced the basics of Dzogchen for a while?

2. I asked a local group about this, and they said there would be a transmission from Chögyal Namkhai Norbu over webcast. This seems a little odd to me to get something so important as a transmission by such an impersonal method. Or is it how we see the transmission that matters more than a specific form or "thing" that happens?

3. How did you personally begin practicing Dzogchen? I think I've read that the first step is having a teacher point out your natural state to you. I have no clue how to find any kind of teacher, let alone a Dzogchen one, let alone one to build a relationship with for such a thing.

4. I take it a teacher is someone you want to be able to see in person? Or is someone like CNN your teacher, even though you likely will never meet him? I suppose I'm just unclear on the guru-teacher-student relationship in Dzogchen, or how to even begin in that direction.

5. I've read that Dzogchen is less about specific methods and more about realization. What I mean is I've read CNN write that even Catholic priests could practice Dzogchen. How do you then find out which practice to do? Is this something else a teacher helps with?

6. There seems to be some pretty strange stuff in Dzogchen, at least from the perspective of a Westerner from the US. Are things like the rainbow body, energies, the vajra dance, etc. more cultural, or are they somehow features of what Dzogchen seeks to point out, or perhaps preferred skillful means in Dzogchen? I don't see what things like thigles have to do with a natural state. I'm also willing to put them in the "it doesn't matter yet, newbie" category. I've had to do that many a time with other things already :tongue:

A friend sent me a lengthy talk by CNN about Dzogchen. I must admit I had an extremely hard time understanding his accent, which made the totally new subject matter difficult to understand even generally. I also got the book "Quintessential Dzogchen" but it feels like trying to read a neurosurgery manual when I haven't taken basic anatomy. I'm being hampered at every turn! :shrug:

Thank you so much! :thumbsup:


Hi duckfiasco all and All,

duckfiasco wrote,
"Hi, everyone! I know next to nothing about Dzogchen, so I hope my questions aren't too silly."

Everyone's answers are really good and from the heart, but as I always feel to add my 2 cents, and really mix everything up, here goes.

First, there is no such thing as a silly question unless you are Groucho Marx. Then anything you say will be silly and enjoyed by all. Everyone's answers are also very good because this is dialog: the mutual exchange of information. There is no wrong question, or answer, in dialog. This exchange allows the information to be organized in a more meaningful and useful way, by all parties. Useful information coalesces from dialog.

Everyone comes to Dzogchen (Dz) knowing next to nothing, so asking questions is the only way to figure things out. I think that all your questions are very good questions. When you hear or see a word that you don't understand, you should write it down and then Google it or ask a question. The same goes for concepts that aren't clear. Maybe you might want to buy a notebook, or have a folder on your desktop, for Dz info. You should keep asking questions until your mind is at rest about that word or issue.

DW is a good place to ask questions. Don't be put off, or shy. (From here on the numbered questions are from Duck Fiasco.)

1. At what stage do you get transmission? Is it right from the start, or after you've practiced the basics of Dzogchen for a while?

It depends on the individual. For some who may have practiced Dzogchen in a former life, or who might have had a spontaneous flash of "instant presence" in this life, just walking into the room where a Dzogchen Master is staying, or participating in a live pointing out, on a webcast, may be enough. For others, it may depend on developing a relationship over time, with a Dzogchen Master, while doing Ngondro and other practices, and for others it may take longer. My two cents is that by reading books, doing practices suggested by a Dzogchen Master, and by going to Teachings and collective practices, you will be a-tuning yourself to the Dzogchen Master. So even though it is true that the "natural State" cannot be earned by accumulating relative and absolute merits, you can make it easier to link with the transmission by creating secondary causes and secondary links.

How it will be for you, you will have to discover.

The key point is that DI is accessible through Dzogchen.

2. I asked a local group about this, and they said there would be a transmission from Chögyal Namkhai Norbu over webcast. This seems a little odd to me to get something so important as a transmission by such an impersonal method. Or is it how we see the transmission that matters more than a specific form or "thing" that happens?

A Dzogchen Master could be at the other end of the universe and if you tune in to him / her, when they are giving transmission, then that connection can function. Distance is not an issue. If the connection happens, then you will understand that it is not impersonal.

The DC has teaching material available to help you make that link. I think you have to become a member before you can buy it.

http://shangshung.org/store/index.php?m ... cts_id=324

Perhaps someone who owns this DVD can speak as to its contents, as permissible.

It should also be noticed that all the Nyingmapa Lamas agree that the great yogi and Teacher, Jigme Lingpa, was able to receive complete and valid transmission, in a vision, of the Omniscient Longchenpa even though they lived several hundred years apart. So if you are the same as Jigme Lingpa - go for it. I have heard, that the signs of having a vision such as this, include, having your arm hair stand on end and tears of faith. ( See P171.)

http://www.amazon.com/Apparitions-Self- ... f+the+Self

3. How did you personally begin practicing Dzogchen? I think I've read that the first step is having a teacher point out your natural state to you. I have no clue how to find any kind of teacher, let alone a Dzogchen one, let alone one to build a relationship with for such a thing.

My first pointing out, though I don't remember him calling it that, came from a lay Dzogchen Teacher, Sonam Kazi.

viewtopic.php?f=49&t=8861

You can find a Dzogchen Master through the Dzogchen Resources thread, though most of those listed, would not call themselves that.

In my experience, ChNNR is the easiest to connect with, but it is really important to take the introductory Teachings, as above, from the DVD, or at a ChNNR center first, if you are taking the World Wide Transmission. With ChNNR, there is no further personal relationship necessary beyond doing the process of the World Wide Transmission, as described in the DVD for the preliminary Teachings for this, and respectfully showing up for the transmission. If you want to continue the relationship there are lots of things to do to continue and build up a relationship: become a member, retreats to go to, books to read, DVDs to watch, SMS involvement, Yantra Yoga and Vajra Dance and many , many practices, etc. After each retreat session there is usually a line of people who want to go up and talk to ChNNR about something. That is usually the easiest way to get to say hello: depends if you can get to a retreat. For some teachings he has wanted us to write individual e-mails requesting permission to attend. This act of requesting creates a cause which allows you to get the teaching you are requesting.

http://www.tsegyalgar.org/theteachings/mastercalendar/

4. I take it a teacher is someone you want to be able to see in person? Or is someone like CNN your teacher, even though you likely will never meet him? I suppose I'm just unclear on the guru-teacher-student relationship in Dzogchen, or how to even begin in that direction.

I think that the more you can "hang out" with a Teacher the better it is for getting the Teachings. With ChNNR you have the chance to meet him in the line after a retreat session. It is not necessary to physically meet with ChNNR to have him for your teacher.

With ChNNR, as with any other Master the more involvement, the better. With ChNNR no further involvement other than taking the WWT, being a member of the DC, and having the lung for the material that you are requesting, is required to unlock most of his media materials from SSI. Lungs are usually given for the most popular practices at the ends of retreats. A lung is a rapid fire read through of the text of a practice in Tibetan. Perhaps it plants a cause, or a blessing, in the mind of the hearer and so allows the practice to work.

Please note the "Important Notice" in the "Reserved Items" section.

http://shangshung.org/store/index.php?m ... x&cPath=74

It should also be noted that the practice of dream yoga may allow contact with your Teacher in dreams.

5. I've read that Dzogchen is less about specific methods and more about realization. What I mean is I've read CNN write that even Catholic priests could practice Dzogchen. How do you then find out which practice to do? Is this something else a teacher helps with?

It is said that Dzogchen is concerned with direct experience. This is why we take the direct introduction. Then there are many practices to allow us to stabilize, gain confidence in, and continue with, this experience: and ultimately to integrate with it 24/7. I have never been concerned with realization and have no concept about it.

I've been at several retreats of ChNNR, where Catholic Priests were in attendance. Anyone can practice Dzogchen. There are no limitations. Here is a link for Lama Yeshe, Virgil Antonio who has done a lot of work with offering Dzogchen teachings to Catholics who want them. He is very highly regarded by the Catholics in his area, and he is invited to speak at their conferences.

http://candle4tibet.ning.com/
http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=472879

Thomas Merton was also very interested in Dzogchen.

http://mertoninasia.blogspot.com/2008/1 ... again.html

You find out which practices to do from your Teacher.

6. There seems to be some pretty strange stuff in Dzogchen, at least from the perspective of a Westerner from the US. Are things like the rainbow body, energies, the vajra dance, etc. more cultural, or are they somehow features of what Dzogchen seeks to point out, or perhaps preferred skillful means in Dzogchen? I don't see what things like thigles have to do with a natural state. I'm also willing to put them in the "it doesn't matter yet, newbie" category. I've had to do that many a time with other things already :tongue:

There is lots of pretty strange stuff in life, not to mention Dzogchen. The things you mention are cultural, features of the Dzogchen landscape, and skillful means to communicate experience. Thigles are visual elements that are seen / utilized in some practices. "Not to worry" - is the best category to put everything in.

Duckfiasco wrote:
A friend sent me a lengthy talk by CNN about Dzogchen. I must admit I had an extremely hard time understanding his accent, which made the totally new subject matter difficult to understand even generally. I also got the book "Quintessential Dzogchen" but it feels like trying to read a neurosurgery manual when I haven't taken basic anatomy. I'm being hampered at every turn! :shrug:

Please see my post:

viewtopic.php?f=48&t=8914#p111145

The intelligibility of ChNNR's speech improves with time, but would be greatly improved if they can improve the overall quality of the audio in the webcasts, and replays. It would also be helpful to have an unedited, word for word, transcript that you could read as you listened to the replay.

Quintessential Dzogchen, by the Great Dzogchen Master Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, is difficult reading for me too. It is very dense reading, kind of like eating marzipan: it is tasty but you can only eat a little at a time. So only try to digest a little at a time. You want to work with your limits and not push yourself beyond your comfort zone. You don't want to get a stomachache from too much marzipan.

As I suggested up at the top, I think that all your questions are very good questions. When you hear or see a word that you don't understand, you should write it down and then Google it or ask a question. The same goes for concepts that aren't clear. Maybe you might want to buy a notebook, or have a folder on your desktop, for Dz info./questions. You should keep asking questions until your mind is at rest about that word or issue.
Thank you so much! :thumbsup:
[/quote]
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to feel vaguely useful and awake on a 95 (35) degree day in NJ. :namaste:

Best, ob
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Re: Basic questions

Postby Dechen Norbu » Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:33 am

:good:
Even if slightly off topic I, as anyone else I guess, would like to have even better webcasts IF possible and as long as it doesn't add much costs. There's no guarantee that having HD webcasts (or similar) would increase the income. Going in too much expenses based on that seems a little risky. As they are, the webcasts are already a great help. But I think everyone would like improvements as long as they are actually possible, so if it is not being done, perhaps there is a reason and I very much suspect that the costs would be much higher. I did some research and was amazed about the incredible amounts some companies ask for their services. Really expensive. Anyway, lately I noticed the webcasts are much better with very few breaks. Of course there are some worse than others and sometimes the whole shebang simply crashes, but overall the quality seems to have improved. I don't know if they changed something, but the webcasts have been more stable. There's a definitive difference, so I wonder if something wasn't already improved. I must confess I'm a complete lame about live streaming, so I wouldn't know. You suggest some interesting ideas, but I'm not sure if by posting them here they'll get there. Perhaps you should address someone in the DC, responsible for the webcasts and see what they say. Regarding ChNN's accent... I mean, ChNN talks like he talks and the sound is of acceptable quality. I don't think that's the reason why some people don't understand him very well. I guess it takes a little time to get used and having some knowledge about the teachings helps a lot. At present, his accent doesn't bother me any longer. I barely notice. It's as if the brain does a sort of "automatic translation" or something. But not being a native English speaker, perhaps I have an advantage. Strange English is my game! :lol: If you want to discuss this, I beg you to open a topic or write me via PM. I went off topic for too long already and I wouldn't like to hijack the thread. :smile:
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