Capacity for following Dzogchen

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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby pueraeternus » Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:53 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
pueraeternus wrote: What I said was that even if they receive DI, they do not necessarily experience rigpa (in fact, my opinion is that most people don't). This shows they have limitations and have to work on them. How do they work on them? They apply teachings for other yanas. But they have to know about these yanas first before they can apply, hence the teachings of other yanas are important.


Actually, such people would most likely benefit much more by diligently practicing rushen and semdzins...


Or they could also do the usual hundred thousand Vajrasattvas, mandala offerings, etc, and other myriad methods from the other yanas. Nothing wrong with that.

As mentioned before, my replies were in response to how the thread in the Dharma-free-for-all forum went, and my intention to correct those sentiments that I felt wasn't appropriate for a general dharma audience, or even for aspiring Dzogchen practitioners. Moving these posts here have shifted the context of that discussion. But in any case, this is also the general Dzogchen forum, so teachings from other Dzogchen masters who follow a more traditional method should be honored too.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

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Re: Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby rai » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:28 am

Malcolm wrote:
Jnana wrote:You still fail to understand or acknowledge the point: There are people who are not receptive to dzogchen.


Correct, as the Dzogchen tantras openly acknowledge.

The job of the teacher is identify such persons and steer them to the appropriate spritual solution. *

M


i am wondering how does it happen when teacher has many students and don't know me very well (at all)?



* the quote is from "Dzogchen Teaching is Free From Limitations" thread but my question fits this discussion more i think.
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: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Malcolm » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:49 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:
pueraeternus wrote: What I said was that even if they receive DI, they do not necessarily experience rigpa (in fact, my opinion is that most people don't). This shows they have limitations and have to work on them. How do they work on them? They apply teachings for other yanas. But they have to know about these yanas first before they can apply, hence the teachings of other yanas are important.


Actually, such people would most likely benefit much more by diligently practicing rushen and semdzins...


Or they could also do the usual hundred thousand Vajrasattvas, mandala offerings, etc, and other myriad methods from the other yanas. Nothing wrong with that.

As mentioned before, my replies were in response to how the thread in the Dharma-free-for-all forum went, and my intention to correct those sentiments that I felt wasn't appropriate for a general dharma audience, or even for aspiring Dzogchen practitioners. Moving these posts here have shifted the context of that discussion. But in any case, this is also the general Dzogchen forum, so teachings from other Dzogchen masters who follow a more traditional method should be honored too.


There is nothing wrong with a traditional ngondro, but it is not essential. Rushen and semzin on the other hand, are essential.

Aspiring Dzogchen practitioners should find the best possible lineage. I really do not know of any other master alive today who had two direct masters who attained rainbow body. Do you? Of course there are other masters who have concrete knowledge of four visions and so on. So you get who you get based on your karma -- but in general, we do not have much time. Therefore, I always tell people who want to really understand Dzogchen that they should receive teachings from ChNN.

Then there are a class of people like yourself who have received teachings from ChNN but are actually following other teachers in reality. This is fine, this is good-- but there is generally a disconnect between what your teachers consider important for Dzogchen practice and what mine does. It comes out again and again in the endless and fruitless debate over ngondro. It is inevitable that if someone following more traditional teacher claims you have to ngondro, etc., someone who is following ChNN will disagree.

There is really no need to follow other yānas if you are a Dzogchen practitioner. Why? Because the sgra thal 'gyur tantra is the root of all Dharma. It is the first Dharma ever taught to sentient beings. Every other Dharma comes from it. All this talk about the need to go step by step through all nine yānas is really a misconception forced on Dzogchen teachings by those who follow the system of Kamalashila and later, Atisha.

M
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Re: Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:50 pm

rai wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Jnana wrote:You still fail to understand or acknowledge the point: There are people who are not receptive to dzogchen.


Correct, as the Dzogchen tantras openly acknowledge.

The job of the teacher is identify such persons and steer them to the appropriate spritual solution. *

M


i am wondering how does it happen when teacher has many students and don't know me very well (at all)?



* the quote is from "Dzogchen Teaching is Free From Limitations" thread but my question fits this discussion more i think.



A person like ChNN can size you up very quickly.
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby dakini_boi » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:54 pm

Malcolm wrote:There is really no need to follow other yānas if you are a Dzogchen practitioner. Why? Because the sgra thal 'gyur tantra is the root of all Dharma. It is the first Dharma ever taught to sentient beings. Every other Dharma comes from it.
M


Can you say more about the history of the sgra thal 'gyur tantra and the 17 tantras?
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Inge » Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:19 pm

dakini_boi wrote:
Malcolm wrote:There is really no need to follow other yānas if you are a Dzogchen practitioner. Why? Because the sgra thal 'gyur tantra is the root of all Dharma. It is the first Dharma ever taught to sentient beings. Every other Dharma comes from it.
M


Can you say more about the history of the sgra thal 'gyur tantra and the 17 tantras?


Do one need any particular empowerments or transmissions in order to study the sgra thal 'gyur?
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Re: Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby heart » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:24 am

Virgo wrote:
Nemo wrote:To pretend that you know Dharma without actually having done the thousands of hours required is a bit shallow. Even doing thousands of hours is no guarantee. Obviously ;)

Hi Nemo, I'm just going to be frank with you because I like you, and I am always frank with people I like. I practice Dzogchen because it's a vehicle in which you don't have to strive hard. Really, it is. And no, this isn't bullshit. People who tell you it is don't know jack. That is about the long and short of it. I am perfectly content and I know that I don't need lots of retrtreat or anything like that. I don't have any intention of doign all of that. Though, yes, at times, I do increased amount of tantric practice all i really need is GY. That's it. Generally I do increased practice to help influence outcomes, and that's it.

And before anybody goes on and on about thogal visions, I will practice thogal as I see fit and am free of all nuerosis concerning the fruits of it. I can attain in the bardo or at time of death. I am confident in that.

Aside from that, regular tantric practice is supposed to take a few lifetimes. That is still a lot quicker than 3 incalcubles-- the amount of time it takes with sutra, in best circumstances. As long as the practitioner keeps their samaya, they have done all that is necessary to be gauranteed attainment soon (speaking in terms of lifetimes), they can enjoy their comforts. Besides tantrikas should enjoy themselves anyway. We are not monks.

Kevin


As a Dzogchen practitioner I do my best to practice all through the day and night and since this is so difficult I also do some hours of formal practice everyday. I do retreats for a week or two every year. In my opinion this is not enough because if death or serious sickness would get hold of me today I would not be prepared for that. I know this because when rather ordinary bad things happen to me I become very emotional and upset and my practice is impeded. Because of this I often contemplate impermanence, compassion and bodhicitta. It is a powerful aid for relaxing and allowing for the open and spectacular Dzogchen view to develop, in particular when in affect for some reason. Every kind of ngondro or sadhana I do I consider to be guru yoga. Every offering I do, from an ordinary meal to tsog, sang and so on, is guru yoga. In my heart I have come to feel a lot of respect for all kind of serious practitioners no matter of what kind of practice they do, lifelong commitment impresses me. I also do find the scheme of the nine yanas quite limiting once introduced to the natural state, the view of Dzogchen. Being a monk or a layman, doing sadhanas or not, practice yoga or not, being a vegetarian or not, if whatever you do is beneficial or not depends on your view not your affiliation to this or that discipline, group or yana. So I try to keep an open mind towards others and keep a very sharp eye on what goes on in my own mind, and that I think is the essential Samaya. So, to sum it up, I don't see much of Dzogchen in what you wrote above Kevin and I thought I should mention that to you and everyone else here.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby Virgo » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:42 am

heart wrote:I don't see much of Dzogchen in what you wrote above Kevin and I thought I should mention that to you and everyone else here.

/magnus

You've definitely got the looks, M, but have you got the "touch"? (and by touch I am definitely not alluding to anything crude).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsnlO-hpc_8&feature=related

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Re: Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby heart » Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:41 am

Virgo wrote:
heart wrote:I don't see much of Dzogchen in what you wrote above Kevin and I thought I should mention that to you and everyone else here.

/magnus

You've definitely got the looks, M, but have you got the "touch"? (and by touch I am definitely not alluding to anything crude).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsnlO-hpc_8&feature=related

Kev


I rest my case :smile:

/magnus
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Re: Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby Virgo » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:03 am

heart wrote:

I rest my case :smile:

/magnus

So, in essence, what you are saying is that you disagree with the Dzogchen tantras in terms of how things are approached, in letting them self-liberate, and so on, correct? Or do you feel that people cannot reach that "stage" without much sutra and tantra? Which position do you hold?

Kevin
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Re: Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:28 am

Virgo wrote:
Nemo wrote:To pretend that you know Dharma without actually having done the thousands of hours required is a bit shallow. Even doing thousands of hours is no guarantee. Obviously ;)

Hi Nemo, I'm just going to be frank with you because I like you, and I am always frank with people I like. I practice Dzogchen because it's a vehicle in which you don't have to strive hard. Really, it is. And no, this isn't bullshit. People who tell you it is don't know jack. That is about the long and short of it. I am perfectly content and I know that I don't need lots of retrtreat or anything like that. I don't have any intention of doign all of that. Though, yes, at times, I do increased amount of tantric practice all i really need is GY. That's it. Generally I do increased practice to help influence outcomes, and that's it.

And before anybody goes on and on about thogal visions, I will practice thogal as I see fit and am free of all nuerosis concerning the fruits of it. I can attain in the bardo or at time of death. I am confident in that.

Aside from that, regular tantric practice is supposed to take a few lifetimes. That is still a lot quicker than 3 incalcubles-- the amount of time it takes with sutra, in best circumstances. As long as the practitioner keeps their samaya, they have done all that is necessary to be gauranteed attainment soon (speaking in terms of lifetimes), they can enjoy their comforts. Besides tantrikas should enjoy themselves anyway. We are not monks.

Kevin


IMHO (in my humiliating opinion) unless you see the bindu, you haven't really known jack.
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:35 am

Malcolm wrote:Actually, for a Dzogchen practitioner, conduct, or attitude, as ChNN translates spyod pa, is arguably the most important aspect of one's practice.


Chicken and egg. There's a saying the Tibetans can kill a sheep with a needle in just the right spot. One or two methods are that good, then there's no work to keep the mind steady or to remember to be mindful, etc.
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Re: Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:59 am

heart wrote:
Virgo wrote:
Nemo wrote:To pretend that you know Dharma without actually having done the thousands of hours required is a bit shallow. Even doing thousands of hours is no guarantee. Obviously ;)

Hi Nemo, I'm just going to be frank with you because I like you, and I am always frank with people I like. I practice Dzogchen because it's a vehicle in which you don't have to strive hard. Really, it is. And no, this isn't bullshit. People who tell you it is don't know jack. That is about the long and short of it. I am perfectly content and I know that I don't need lots of retrtreat or anything like that. I don't have any intention of doign all of that. Though, yes, at times, I do increased amount of tantric practice all i really need is GY. That's it. Generally I do increased practice to help influence outcomes, and that's it.

And before anybody goes on and on about thogal visions, I will practice thogal as I see fit and am free of all nuerosis concerning the fruits of it. I can attain in the bardo or at time of death. I am confident in that.

Aside from that, regular tantric practice is supposed to take a few lifetimes. That is still a lot quicker than 3 incalcubles-- the amount of time it takes with sutra, in best circumstances. As long as the practitioner keeps their samaya, they have done all that is necessary to be gauranteed attainment soon (speaking in terms of lifetimes), they can enjoy their comforts. Besides tantrikas should enjoy themselves anyway. We are not monks.

Kevin


As a Dzogchen practitioner I do my best to practice all through the day and night and since this is so difficult I also do some hours of formal practice everyday. I do retreats for a week or two every year. In my opinion this is not enough because if death or serious sickness would get hold of me today I would not be prepared for that. I know this because when rather ordinary bad things happen to me I become very emotional and upset and my practice is impeded. Because of this I often contemplate impermanence, compassion and bodhicitta. It is a powerful aid for relaxing and allowing for the open and spectacular Dzogchen view to develop, in particular when in affect for some reason. Every kind of ngondro or sadhana I do I consider to be guru yoga. Every offering I do, from an ordinary meal to tsog, sang and so on, is guru yoga. In my heart I have come to feel a lot of respect for all kind of serious practitioners no matter of what kind of practice they do, lifelong commitment impresses me. I also do find the scheme of the nine yanas quite limiting once introduced to the natural state, the view of Dzogchen. Being a monk or a layman, doing sadhanas or not, practice yoga or not, being a vegetarian or not, if whatever you do is beneficial or not depends on your view not your affiliation to this or that discipline, group or yana. So I try to keep an open mind towards others and keep a very sharp eye on what goes on in my own mind, and that I think is the essential Samaya.

/magnus

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Re: Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby heart » Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:37 am

Virgo wrote:
heart wrote:

I rest my case :smile:

/magnus

So, in essence, what you are saying is that you disagree with the Dzogchen tantras in terms of how things are approached, in letting them self-liberate, and so on, correct? Or do you feel that people cannot reach that "stage" without much sutra and tantra? Which position do you hold?

Kevin

What I am saying is that no matter how you arrive at direct introduction, as in actually recognizing your natural state and not only being present at the direct introduction, after doing years and years of ngondro and yidam or by just accidentally participating in a Dzogchen teaching without any background in Dharma it just doesn't matter that much from my point of view. But no matter how we recognize the natural state our condition is still a very strong habit of delusion, anyone that pay some attention to their own mind will know this. This is why we practice, we need to let habitual delusion dissolve and gain confidence in the spontaneously present natural state. How do we do this? We use whatever it takes. Anything that actually work will do. Doesn't need to be Dzogchen, doesn't need to be Buddhism, doesn't even need to be anything spiritual at all. The main point is that it works. The nine yanas contain a huge amount of precious tools and teachings that are invaluable and a Dzogchen practitioner could apply them according to his/her condition, and in accordance with their Gurus timely advice, freely without limiting themselves in any way. Like Malcolm wrote above " the sgra thal 'gyur tantra is the root of all Dharma" meaning Dzogchen is the root of all Dharma, the heart of the matter.
I know some old western practitioners and yogis that follow the Dzogchen tradition and from their life stories and my own I have learned to take very serious the need for accumulation of merit and wisdom (meaning creating happiness in others and to keep an open mind), to purify everything you regret, to always pray wildly and freely to your Guru, to never forget the suffering of others and to have the intention of helping everyone to gain full realization and to always, whatever you do, try to rest in the natural state. Some need to study to get to the bottom of their personal attachments, some might need to practice a lot of austerity, some will need to server their Guru, some might need to learn how to dance, some might need to learn how to cry and so on endlessly in order unravel our clinging to delusion and our fear of plunging in to the natural state. There are no real rules actually, it is all damn personal.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby Andrew108 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:08 am

I know a few old time practitioners and they have specific problems which are subtle and hard to overcome. The root cause for these obstacles is the idea of achievement. The more practices they do the more obscurations they gather. They also suffer a lot from pride thinking that the natural state is something to know and since they have been on the path a long time they know more than others. Teachers can also suffer from these types of obscurations.
Self-liberation is not applied like a practice or antidote. The more a practitioner tries this then the more self-liberation obscures.With practice you get into or integrate into natural self-liberation. Self-liberation and self-arisen aren't different. So....capacity refers to the capacity to integrate and integration is just being with how things are.
The natural condition doesn't care for the name Dzogchen - so that has to be given up. It doesn't care for your achievements so those get given up. It doesn't care how long you have been on the path because it's always super fresh anyway, so that pride gets given up. It doesn't care for memories, or moments and if it did then it could be communicated with words. It isn't even something called 'presence' because it's purer than that. But the biggest trick of all is that you and me don't get to realize it. You and me don't get the prize. The only hope you can take from this hopeless situation (from egos point of view) is that me, you, he, she and it may somehow be part of the prize. And that's what capacity and integration means.
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: Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby asunthatneversets » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:29 am

heart wrote:....But no matter how we recognize the natural state our condition is still a very strong habit of delusion, anyone that pay some attention to their own mind will know this. This is why we practice, we need to let habitual delusion dissolve and gain confidence in the spontaneously present natural state....

/magnus


I agree. I actually was just exchanging posts in a fb forum today with our old buddy ol' pal Jax about this same topic (which is like beating my head against a wall) regarding the presence of traces of delusion, which he still erroneously maintains is essentially nonexistent on any level. This is a bit of what I wrote in a response...

There are latent perceptions which have been engrained and imposed onto experience via habitual conditioning. Only in rare cases does merely recognizing stillness (which is merely non-conceptual awareness and not rigpa) resolve these assumptive notions.

Due to apparent presence of these latent karmic propensities clarity is defiled and diminished in it's appearance.


Your "beingness" (a term I personally avoid in most cases) is defiled until one's true nature is authentically recognized, in that authentic recognition blatant (debilitating and governing) ignorance is cleared away. However, although the blatant apparition of ignorance is diminished in that first instance, latent traces still remain which will continue to afflict the full presencing of one's nature. By resting in that knowledge (the certainty revealed in the initial recognition) those latent traces of ignorance will slowly burn away, and when no trace remains the fullness of the dharmakāya will reveal itself to be all pervading. Only in rare cases does the first initial recognition remain irreversible, in most cases it must be cultivated and nurtured.

"The common site is termed the foundation of straying,
and since it becomes polluted with dimmed awareness the knowable itself appears to be stained.

Since memory-based thought activity manifests within the ordinary mind,
the "essence" is polluted by the conceptual flow.

Since the six facets of the psyche unceasingly grasp and fixate,
the reality body itself is fettered as well by it's dualistic grasping at objects.

Since it becomes involved with partless atomic particles,
radiant light itself comes to be dormant.

Since the objectifications deriving from the four conditions are impure,
presences themselves manifest in pluralized (and fragmented) fashion."
- Pearl Garland Tantra | mu tig phreng ba'i rgyud


So I agree, though ignorance is ultimately illusory it's apparent presence is enough to maintain itself. Cutting through the habitual tendencies which maintain the all-ground ain't no walk in the park for most of us, and if you find that it is, you're either be in the top tier of gifted capacities or you're deluding yourself. Integration is important, and don't get me wrong I'm not advocating a causal practice, but the initial effort needed to maintain the view once one's state is authentically recognized.
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Re: Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby underthetree » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:32 am

Andrew108 wrote:I know a few old time practitioners and they have specific problems which are subtle and hard to overcome. The root cause for these obstacles is the idea of achievement. The more practices they do the more obscurations they gather. They also suffer a lot from pride thinking that the natural state is something to know and since they have been on the path a long time they know more than others. Teachers can also suffer from these types of obscurations.
Self-liberation is not applied like a practice or antidote. The more a practitioner tries this then the more self-liberation obscures.With practice you get into or integrate into natural self-liberation. Self-liberation and self-arisen aren't different. So....capacity refers to the capacity to integrate and integration is just being with how things are.
The natural condition doesn't care for the name Dzogchen - so that has to be given up. It doesn't care for your achievements so those get given up. It doesn't care how long you have been on the path because it's always super fresh anyway, so that pride gets given up. It doesn't care for memories, or moments and if it did then it could be communicated with words. It isn't even something called 'presence' because it's purer than that. But the biggest trick of all is that you and me don't get to realize it. You and me don't get the prize. The only hope you can take from this hopeless situation (from egos point of view) is that me, you, he, she and it may somehow be part of the prize. And that's what capacity and integration means.


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Re: Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby heart » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:51 am

Andrew108 wrote:I know a few old time practitioners and they have specific problems which are subtle and hard to overcome. The root cause for these obstacles is the idea of achievement. The more practices they do the more obscurations they gather. They also suffer a lot from pride thinking that the natural state is something to know and since they have been on the path a long time they know more than others. Teachers can also suffer from these types of obscurations.
Self-liberation is not applied like a practice or antidote. The more a practitioner tries this then the more self-liberation obscures.With practice you get into or integrate into natural self-liberation. Self-liberation and self-arisen aren't different. So....capacity refers to the capacity to integrate and integration is just being with how things are.
The natural condition doesn't care for the name Dzogchen - so that has to be given up. It doesn't care for your achievements so those get given up. It doesn't care how long you have been on the path because it's always super fresh anyway, so that pride gets given up. It doesn't care for memories, or moments and if it did then it could be communicated with words. It isn't even something called 'presence' because it's purer than that. But the biggest trick of all is that you and me don't get to realize it. You and me don't get the prize. The only hope you can take from this hopeless situation (from egos point of view) is that me, you, he, she and it may somehow be part of the prize. And that's what capacity and integration means.



"The difference between sem and wisdom
Should be understood by all learned ones.
Sem is the ground of all habitual tendencies,
The defilement of beings.
Sem perceives the perceived objects
And is therefore ofa samsaric nature.
When free from sem buddhahood is attained
And all the defilement's of beings are purified.
Cognizant and aware, clear and illuminating,
It burns away all conceptual thinking.
Empty cognizance is undefiled."

The Pearl Garland Tantra

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby Andrew108 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:18 am

When you integrate there isn't really a difference between sem and wisdom. When you are caught up with contemplation only, then the difference between sem and wisdom seems to be there.
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: Capacity for following Dzogchen

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:04 pm

OK, I'll be frank here.

The more I read threads like these, the more I'm inclined to think that we should not lightly talk about such core, all-important 'things' as rigpa, integration etc. in public - and that perhaps we'd better not talk about these things at all unless

1. our interlocutor is someone we implicitly trust (i.e., our teacher os someone she of he considers qualified to talk about these things), or

2. we know, and not just think we know, what we're doing.

Of course, some of us posting here may be right, while most will probably be wrong. Some advice we give and some of our personal understanding we write about may indeed prove helpful to others. But those who read or post here not because they want to share their views or experiences but because they feel confused and need some advice, do they benefit from our discussions at all?

So, Andrew108 implies that the natural state isn't something one can know.
Heart retorts, implying that the opposite is the case because there is a crucial difference between mind and rigpa that must be discerned.
Andrew108 responds by saying that in the state of integration there's no such difference.
(And so it goes, pages and pages of it, thread after thread. Personas change but the direction remains.)

Now of course all of those statements may be correct and all of them may be wrong. But what a confused or uncertain person could gain from reading such exchanges? Nothing but further confusion, I'm afraid.

Over the years, I've been given bucketfuls of conflicting advice from (supposedly) advanced and experienced DC practitioners, who had the best intentions possible. Believe me, it takes so much more than an SMS instructor and a few retreats to even start clearing up that total mess.

I'm not saying we all of us simply shut up for good, but maybe we really shouldn't elaborate on the crucial issues unless we really and truly are confident in what we've discovered AND our discoveries have been somehow verified by those who know better? Obviously, if someone needs help and all she or he can get is (often condescending) silence from those who secretly think they know, nothing good will come out of it either. But words, even on a silly internet forum, are a surprisingly powerful means of changing the world. I may be utterly in the wrong, but it appears to me that generally speaking we need much more caution - and perhaps a tad more humility.

A potentially unpleasant but, I believe, quite true afterthought that comes to mind here is that with respect not only to our actual, experiential knowledge but also to our understanding of that knowledge and to our familiarity with its traditional interpretations, we aren't equal. Some of us are more capable of answering crucial questions than others.

EDIT: Andrew108 and Heart, please don't take it personally. My intention is not to criticise anybody but bring what I consider to be a problem into focus.
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .
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