Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby username » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:13 pm

username wrote:We know there are differences of opinion on ngondro, etc. You are wrong on both counts.


underthetree wrote:
username wrote:
underthetree wrote:
Are there differing opinions on rigpa (or whatever the translation du jour is - maybe I've just answered the question...)?


We are told rigpa is not a matter of semantic, cognition, concepts etc. but of ineffable experience and realization or knowledge of the ultimate state by the person. There are many opinions by them on how to teach students though.


So everyone is in agreement with regard to the natural state?


We are taught if they have experienced the genuine state then yes but there is no way to put that into words or concepts to debate. Hence personal experience of the knowledge.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby Yudron » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:30 pm

username wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
username wrote:It is wrong to state all Dzogchen masters are united when discussing Dzogchen. ChNN often tells the story of when he was staying with Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche in Nepal and three Dozgchen masters, couple of Khenpos and a tulku, suddenly appeared to debate him in the presence of TUR on why ChNN is wrong to accept Bonpos as genuine Dzogchenpas. He disagreed. They asked for elaboration on the view of the base in Dzogchen and a debate on invalidity of Bonpo Dzogchen. ChNN said, you should know about the basis and there will be no explanation. We disagree and there will be no debate from me on Dzogchen or Bonpos with you. They promptly left.



ChNN never said they were Dzogchen masters.

If you are going to tell a story, get the facts straight.

They wanted to question him on the basis of their misunderstanding of a point of history he had explained in one of his books i.e. that Tonpa Shenrab existed before both Shakyamuni and Garab Dorje, and therefore, they concluded he, ChNN was stating that Dzogchen has its origin in Bon. Of course ChNN explained to them to the history of the 12 ancient masters of Dzogchgen beginning with Nangwa Dampa, who are much more ancient than Tonpa Shenrab.

The three, abashed, then requested Dzogchen teachings from ChNN, who replied to the effect he does not teach Dzogchen to people who come to debate with him about.


They claimed to be Dzogchen masters and wanting to purge Dzogchen of Bonpos. They were told to go away once they started debating him by asking him about the view of the basis when he told them to go away. The point is there are people who are claiming to be Dzogchen masters that some accept that do disagree with other genuine Dzogchen masters. That was a valid point that was made and you dismissed. There are still TB Dzogchen masters who publicly do not accept Bonpos Dzogchen. I don't accept them. But that is my opinion.

Secondly among genuine Dzogchen masters there have been many differences of opinion when catmoon says:
Okay, then they should all be in perfect agreement in their teachings.

to which you replied: "Dzogchen masters are, when it comes to discussing Dzogchen."
We know there are differences of opinion on ngondro, etc. You are wrong on both counts.


I'm pretty sure I have heard this story via the other side, and it was waaaay different.

In any event, ChNN's old book Necklace of Zi upset a lot of lamas at the time, because it does not reflect the traditional Nyingma view of Tibetan History. This lead to Dzongsar Khyentse saying that ChNN had done more to harm the Nyingma lineage than the Chinese ever did, and so on. But that is water under the bridge.

My understanding of the story was that ChNN said that he was commissioned to write the book by the Tibetan Women's Association as a political history of Tibet and it was not meant to be a religious history, and that pacified the situation.

How I am supposed to relate to the lineage histories -- be they Nyingma or Bon -- of the origins of Dzogchen, as someone with a pretty good Western education, is a mystery to me. I'm pretty excited about this subject actually... and open minded.
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby underthetree » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:40 pm

username wrote:
We are taught if they have experienced the genuine state then yes but there is no way to put that into words or concepts to debate. Hence personal experience of the knowledge.


But that is Dzogchen, no? The rest is just dew and cobwebs.
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby deepbluehum » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:16 pm

catmoon wrote:
MalaBeads wrote:

Not at all. There is no difference in the realization of masters because what is realized is the nature of mind. This is the same for everyone everywhere.

There is endless variation in the expression of that realization because it is, as Malcolm has said often, a personal experience. I will add that this realization is expressed or manifest differently for everyone because individuals vary tremendously.



Okay, then I win, because the endless variation is just what I was originally asserting. Yes?


Togal teachings are incredibly uniform.
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby username » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:21 pm

underthetree wrote:
username wrote:
We are taught if they have experienced the genuine state then yes but there is no way to put that into words or concepts to debate. Hence personal experience of the knowledge.


But that is Dzogchen, no? The rest is just dew and cobwebs.


Yes but they tell us we are ignorantly trapped in causality & the 3 times & we need the rest (causes & conditions for meeting the lineage guru etc. etc.) for the stages of briefly recognizing initially away from dominant distraction & then use the rest again as means on the path of the 4 Dzogchen visions hopefully.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:49 am

Yudron wrote:This lead to Dzongsar Khyentse saying that ChNN had done more to harm the Nyingma lineage than the Chinese ever did, and so on.


This is news - why would this book have provoked such a reaction when it places Tibet front and center (instead of India)?

EDIT: In one of life's little ironies I have read that book but not the Big Red Book so I suppose I actually don't know much about conventional Nyingmapa understanding about early history of Ati practices - hence my surprise at hearing about DKR's remarks. I continue to learn ...
Last edited by Karma Dondrup Tashi on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:54 am

Now I know it's a book I'll read. :lol:
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby Yudron » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:58 am

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
Yudron wrote:This lead to Dzongsar Khyentse saying that ChNN had done more to harm the Nyingma lineage than the Chinese ever did, and so on.


This is news - why would this book have provoked such a reaction when it places Tibet front and center (instead of India)?

EDIT: In one of life's little ironies I have read that book but not the Big Red Book so I suppose I actually don't know much about conventional Nyingmapa understanding about early history of Ati practices - hence my surprise at hearing about DKR's remarks. I continue to learn ...


This incident was a long long time ago. I imagine everyone has softened now.

But I do recommend studying the Big Red Book.
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:32 am

The Necklace of Zi (gZi yi phreng ba) is the revised and extended text of a lecture given by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu in 1975 to the annual meeting of young Tibetans in Switzerland. Some years later, The Necklace of Zi was published in Dharamsala in both Tibetan and English, and immediately provoked great interest for a completely new approach to the history and culture of Tibet. With remarkable authority, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu emphasized the originality and specificity of his people's culture. Citing ancient texts but also using illuminating examples from his education in Tibet, he refuted the almost universally accepted theory which reduced Tibetan civilisation to a Himalayan appendage of Indian culture. For that prior theory, pre-Buddhist Tibet did not even possess its own form of writing. Chogyal Namkhai Norbu traces back the emergence of his country's culture nearly 4,000 years, and identifies the original Tibetan system of writing in the ancient mar (smar) alphabet, from which the present cursive characters (dbu med) will have evolved. Besides the analysis of the Tibetan history and language, and a short chronicle of the pre-Buddhist Bon, this text is dealing in a simple but very meaningful way with the crucial topic of the harmonious union of Dharma and politics.


Now I see what it's all about.
A typical a case where a religious fiction clashes head on with historical facts, with all the ruffle such accidents usually cause. :lol:
The big red book (Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History by Dudjom Rinpoche) is rather well known. I, on the other hand, would be prone to recommend this particular book for those interested in History instead of the hegemonic religious version of it. :stirthepot:

:lol:
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby muni » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:18 pm

oldbob wrote::namaste:

Many good posts on this thread. :twothumbsup:

There seems to be a feeling that perhaps it is presumptuous for anyone who is not a designated "Teacher" to say anything about Dzogchen, and I am completely agreeing with this.

So maybe the question that is ok to write about is: "am I beyond cause and effect?" :smile:

I don't know anything, about anything, including Dzogchen, but I have a good line of blah blah, and so, like a wind chime sounds when struck by the wind, when the wind of words on DW strikes my accumulated conceptions, something sounds off.

If my blah blah makes sense to someone, and clarifies their understanding, or rests their mind a little, then I am happy. I am quite sure that in 100 years, that anything I blah blah will make no difference to anyone. I am also quite sure that in a few years I will not be able to blah blah - even if I wanted to. So I blah blah now, while I still can. Maybe being "old" means that I can be forgiven my presumption. So if anyone takes offense at my blah blah, please remember that it will soon be gone.

The key point is that if we are followers of Mahayana, then we should be helping each other to get the benefit of Dharma. That is why I blah blah. This doesn't mean I am a teacher, or that I see myself as a teacher, it is just that I have been doing Dharma for 40 years, and Dzogchen for 32, and now it is time to blah blah. That said, I have no quarrel with anyone correcting or adding to what I am saying. This is called evolution by dialog: blah blahing towards Nirvana. :smile:

http://www.amazon.com/Dialogue-Routledg ... 0415336414

This is the best potential of DW: not that we defend our position, or establish our superiority of experience, source, Teacher or view, but that we exchange information that might be helpful to our individual Dharma path leading to realization.

"Help the others" was the take-a-way from my first Tibetan (Kalmuk) Teacher, Geshe Wangyal. So I try to act from that imperative.
That is my cause and the blah blah is the effect. So I am certainly NOT Dzogchen and certainly NOT beyond cause and effect.

That said-----

Dzogchen Masters Teach in three ways: giving direct introduction, using symbols, and by explanation. All three methods of expression are equally expressions of Dzogchen. These are the expressions of the 3 Kayas. The fourth Kaya is all three together, meaning that the 3 modes of expression are inherently inseparable. We can talk about them separately, and as being separate, but in essence they are one.

I like to mention the inexpressibility of the non-conceptual state, because, maybe someone, who when taking the pointing out instruction, and finds themselves with no mode of expression, (like trying to write on water) they will understand that this experience is normal, and they will then be able to relax more easily into this state, where there is no conceptual ground to stand on. (Whew - long sentence.)

This sounds a little complicated, but it is not. It is like catmoon said, "See this? This is your hand. You've always had it. It's been hanging around on the end of your arm for ages"

This is why some call it your "true nature" or the "natural state." You have always had it (meaning that you did not have to do anything to "get" it), and so in this way, Dzogchen can be understood to be beyond cause and effect. This is explained much more eloquently in the Nine Amazing Things and the Twelve Vajra Laughs. You can search on these phrases, or PM me if you can't find these.

A Teacher sometimes also teaches through holding up symbols of the natural state, such as a peacock feather, a mirror, a needle, or a crystal, etc. For those to whom the symbol is meaningful, a symbol can also "point out" the natural state, without the use of any words.

The 17 +2 Dzogchen Tantras and other ancient works and commentaries explain Dzogchen in lots of words, so that we can learn to let go of the words, and learn to integrate the natural state with experience, 24/7.

If you search on Dzogchen on Amazon books you find 527 results.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_ ... ooks%2C186

For Mahamudra there are another 454 results.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_kk_1?rh= ... 1348955219

You can spend your next 20 life times reading (and I see nothing wrong with that, if that is what YOU want to do, and it makes you happy), OR you can take pointing out instruction, and then through practice you can develop confidence, and develop capacity to integrate 24/7, in this life. It depends on what you want to do. :smile:

Sorry for the long blah blah.

Homage to the Dzogchen Masters. May they live long in good health and with success in all things.

:heart:


"That said, I have no quarrel with anyone correcting or adding to what I am saying...This is the best potential of DW: not that we defend our position, or establish our superiority of experience, source, Teacher or view, but that we exchange information that might be helpful to our individual Dharma path leading to realization".
:bow:
Shantideva, from the core of being spoke like this. His teachings, his sharing he expressed as his own simple practice, while Mind contains every sentient being. Bodhichitta through conduct.

Oh well! :bow:
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby Malcolm » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:43 pm

Yudron wrote:
In any event, ChNN's old book Necklace of Zi upset a lot of lamas at the time, because it does not reflect the traditional Nyingma view of Tibetan History. This lead to Dzongsar Khyentse saying that ChNN had done more to harm the Nyingma lineage than the Chinese ever did, and so on. But that is water under the bridge.

My understanding of the story was that ChNN said that he was commissioned to write the book by the Tibetan Women's Association as a political history of Tibet and it was not meant to be a religious history, and that pacified the situation.


I have heard this story from ChNN myself, personally, more than once.

The back story is that on hearing that ChNN was coming to Nepal, Khenpo Choga started boasting to everyone that he was going to debate ChNN and defeat him. We all know how that turned out for him.

And yes, in the course of his research, ChNN has found many things that contradict certain features of both Nyingma as well as Bon accounts concerning the imperial era. And yes, this has upset some tibetans -- many who foolishly continue to assert to this very day that ChNN is a Bonpo.


How I am supposed to relate to the lineage histories -- be they Nyingma or Bon -- of the origins of Dzogchen, as someone with a pretty good Western education, is a mystery to me. I'm pretty excited about this subject actually... and open minded.


The origins of Dzogchen are given in the man ngag sde tantras, mainly the sgra thal gyur and its commentary. The account of the origins of Dzogchen is mythological in scope and involve the twelve teachers prior to Garab Dorje. AFAIK, ChNN takes this account literally, as fact. His twist, if you will, is adding the name of Tonpa Shenrab to that list as a Dzogchen nirmanakāya. This is not without precedent in Nyingma, since as you will recall Guru Chowang also asserts that Tonpa Shenrab is a nirmanakāya who taught the liberative vehicles as well in his gter 'byung che.
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby heart » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:31 pm

Malcolm wrote:. The back story is that on hearing that ChNN was coming to Nepal, Khenpo Choga started boasting to everyone that he was going to debate ChNN and defeat him. We all know how that turned out for him.


So Khenpo Choga was one the Khenpos that visited ChNNR while he was at Tulku Urgyen? Khenpo Choga was living for a while at Ka-Nying teaching the monks. I received teachings from him and he is incredibly brilliant and very eccentric. He told us that he went to Sera and defeated their Geshes in debate.

/magnus
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby MalaBeads » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:01 pm

So maybe the question that is ok to write about is: "am I beyond cause and effect?"


Just getting back to this question.

For sure I am not beyond my conditioning, which is another way of saying I am not beyond cause and effect.

To put this in completely western terminology, it seems that my entire effort in practice has been/is to unravel my own neurosis. And hope that this is of some use to others, in as much as I am not so different from anyone else. Not the same as but not that different either.

If you think this means I see practice only as therapy, you would not be understanding what I am saying. But that would not surprise me at all, since these things are pretty difficult to talk about.

Anyway, I just wanted to respond to the question.

:namaste:
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby Malcolm » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:10 pm

heart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:. The back story is that on hearing that ChNN was coming to Nepal, Khenpo Choga started boasting to everyone that he was going to debate ChNN and defeat him. We all know how that turned out for him.


So Khenpo Choga was one the Khenpos that visited ChNNR while he was at Tulku Urgyen?


Yes.
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby Yudron » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:38 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:
Now I see what it's all about.
A typical a case where a religious fiction clashes head on with historical facts, with all the ruffle such accidents usually cause. :lol:
The big red book (Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History by Dudjom Rinpoche) is rather well known. I, on the other hand, would be prone to recommend this particular book for those interested in History instead of the hegemonic religious version of it. :stirthepot:

:lol:


It's not as simple as that--that one version is fact and one is fiction. Neither version of early Dzogchen history fits our western idea of historical fact in any way, shape, or form. I don't mean this disrespectfully, but they are legends, like Noah's Ark and so on.
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby heart » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:58 pm

Malcolm wrote:
heart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:. The back story is that on hearing that ChNN was coming to Nepal, Khenpo Choga started boasting to everyone that he was going to debate ChNN and defeat him. We all know how that turned out for him.


So Khenpo Choga was one the Khenpos that visited ChNNR while he was at Tulku Urgyen?


Yes.


That must have been quite an interesting discussion, all things considered.

/magnus
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby Malcolm » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:59 pm

Yudron wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:
Now I see what it's all about.
A typical a case where a religious fiction clashes head on with historical facts, with all the ruffle such accidents usually cause. :lol:
The big red book (Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History by Dudjom Rinpoche) is rather well known. I, on the other hand, would be prone to recommend this particular book for those interested in History instead of the hegemonic religious version of it. :stirthepot:

:lol:


It's not as simple as that--that one version is fact and one is fiction. Neither version of early Dzogchen history fits our western idea of historical fact in any way, shape, or form. I don't mean this disrespectfully, but they are legends, like Noah's Ark and so on.


ChNN's book is not about the history of Dzogchen. Dzogchen is mentioned tangentially in the book because he argues it was present in Bon prior to the arrival of Indian Buddhism to Tibet. The book is about establishing that Tibet already had its own culture, literature, system of writing and so on prior to the time of King Trisrong Detsen. I suggest you read it.
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby Malcolm » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:59 pm

heart wrote:
That must have been quite an interesting discussion, all things considered.

/magnus



The way CHNN explains it, it was not so interesting for him.
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby Norwegian » Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:18 pm

http://www.shangshungpublications.org/2 ... ace-of-zi/

"The Necklace of Zi (gZi yi phreng ba) is the revised and extended text of a lecture given by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu in 1975 to the annual meeting of young Tibetans in Switzerland. Some years later, The Necklace of Zi was published in Dharamsala in both Tibetan and English, and immediately provoked great interest for a completely new approach to the history and culture of Tibet.

With remarkable authority, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu emphasized the originality and specificity of his people’s culture. Citing ancient texts but also using illuminating examples from his education in Tibet, he refuted the almost universally accepted theory which reduced Tibetan civilisation to a Himalayan appendage of Indian culture. For that prior theory, pre-Buddhist Tibet did not even possess its own form of writing.

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu traces back the emergence of his country’s culture nearly 4,000 years, and identifies the original Tibetan system of writing in the ancient mar (smar) alphabet, from which the present cursive characters (dbu med) will have evolved. Besides the analysis of the Tibetan history and language, and a short chronicle of the pre-Buddhist Bon, this text is dealing in a simple but very meaningful way with the crucial topic of the harmonious union of Dharma and politics.
"

"So important did his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama consider the contribution Namkhai Norbu has to make to a wider understanding of Tibetan culture, that at their last meeting he gave Namkhai Norbu a golden pen, urging him to write as much as possible."
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Re: Is Dzogchen really beyond cause and effect?

Postby heart » Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:20 pm

Malcolm wrote:
heart wrote:
That must have been quite an interesting discussion, all things considered.

/magnus



The way CHNN explains it, it was not so interesting for him.


Yes, I also heard it several times, he don't sound to amused. But knowing Khenpo Choga a little, well he is not stupid and quite unusual. Did you ever meet him?

/magnus
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