A & Thigle in Dzogchen

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A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby Ish » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:45 pm

With regards to the visualization of the white A in the rainbow thigle, Can one use the short A stroke (used in Tummo) instead of the full Tibetan A?

From the perspective of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's Guru Yoga.

Thanks
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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby heart » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:40 am

Ish wrote:With regards to the visualization of the white A in the rainbow thigle, Can one use the short A stroke (used in Tummo) instead of the full Tibetan A?

From the perspective of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's Guru Yoga.

Thanks


He is always saying the full A, so I think no.

/magnus
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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby asunthatneversets » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:59 am

You can use the english 'A' if that is easier, he's mentioned this quite a few times.

"If you prefer an English 'A' it is acceptable. The important thing is that it corresponds in your mind to the sound 'Ahhh'. It is important that when you see that letter you automatically know what its sound is. If you do not succeed in concentrating and seeing this at first, it may be that you do not know how to visualize. Try writing an 'A' on a piece of paper, put it in front of you, and stare at it for awhile. Close your eyes and this 'A' will appear before your mind immediately. In this way you will get a more precise image."
- Chögyal Namkhai Norbu


The quote above is from the book 'Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light', and so the advice is the context of that practice, but the same principle applies to Guru Yoga.
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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby oldbob » Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:24 pm

Ish wrote:With regards to the visualization of the white A in the rainbow thigle, Can one use the short A stroke (used in Tummo) instead of the full Tibetan A?

From the perspective of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's Guru Yoga.

Thanks


:namaste: to all and ALL,

Good and correct answers from heart and asthesunneversets, but, I add my own 2 cents.

I have never (in 33 years) heard ChNNR, or any other Master (in 46 years), speak of using the short ahtung (red upside down V) of Chod as a support for Guru Yoga.

That said, there is no reason that it shouldn't work just fine. If you have a resonance with that symbol, I think it is perfectly OK to try it, see if it works, and use it if it works.

You are not breaking any rules. The actual state of Guru Yoga is "pure (un-constructed) from the beginning" and "spontaneously arising."

The display, or show, of awareness can (and does) manifest in all forms.

This is independent of any cause.

Spontaneous, "co-emergent" and "non-dual" arising, does not imply, or necessitate, any framing, or modeling, of a "view" dependent on cause and effect.

Guru Yoga is totally beyond any characteristics whatsoever, yet everything manifests just as it should, self-perfected, in its own condition. The characteristics of bliss, emptiness, clarity, vastness, luminosity, etc. are just words used to point to, what is beyond words.

The use of any support, (visualizing a long, short or very short Ah, in any language, or sounding mantra, or even visualizing the Guru), is secondary to being in the state of Guru Yoga. You can have a vivid and precise visualization of the Ah / Tigle, in any of its forms, but if this is not "informed" by "instant presence," then it is not Guru Yoga. If you maintain the awareness of "instant presence," without any visualization, or mantra, what-so-ever, or with any visualization, or mantra, what-so-ever, it is Guru Yoga.

Hence the heart advice to, "give up the sickness of striving," and the singular, key, point of taking the "direct introduction," "pointing out instruction" from a realized Master: then develop confidence and continue 24/7.

This is why "Guru Yoga" is the primary practice.

That said, perhaps visualizing the Tibetan Ah / Tigle, including ChNNR's, newly revealed, long or short, Longsal Ah, is a way of a-tuning :smile: your body/mind/speech continuum to that of the Master. So if you visualize, sharply, the luminous and three dimensional, Ah / Tigle, in your heart, and the Master's heart, at the same time and make them non-dual, maybe :smile:, this will help you to get into the state of Guru Yoga, when you are not in that state.

This is difficult / impossible to talk about because, while the state of Guru Yoga is beyond cause and effect, from the point of view of conventional reality, it appears that the 84,000 (means a lot) Teachings of Lord Buddha, or the primary and secondary practices of Dzogchen, are employed to enable realization. From the point of view of the Buddha (Guru), realization is beyond cause and effect, and beyond any characteristic what so ever.

Lots of blah blah. :smile:

http://www.awakening.net/WVajra.html

Hope this helps.

Long life to the Dzogchen Masters, in good health, and with success in all things.

:heart:
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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby Ish » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:02 pm

Thanks a lot guys, your 2 cents are much appreciated & very helpful oldbob.

Yes, instance presence is most important, hope to see this with the up and coming WWT on 24th feb...

Nevertheless will try to get better at the full symbol, just for the sake of it being 100% correct.

:heart:
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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby oldbob » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:17 pm

Ish wrote:Thanks a lot guys, your 2 cents are much appreciated & very helpful oldbob.

Yes, instance presence is most important, hope to see this with the up and coming WWT on 24th feb...

Nevertheless will try to get better at the full symbol, just for the sake of it being 100% correct.

:heart:


The easiest way I found to learn the seed syllables, ah, om ah hum, hum, hrih, tam, 5 colored aum, etc is to make a card board cut out of the Tibetan, attach colored cellophane, stage gel, appropriately, and place in an otherwise blacked out window or light box, so it is the only source of light in a room. A light box is a box construction that has an electric light inside it. The cut out symbol goes on one of the vertical surfaces of the box. BE CAREFUL of the potential of fire if a hot incandescent lamp touches paper. I used a small older florescent lamp that did not heat up. The new "green" spiral light bulbs also get hot, but white LED clusters will work as well. Make sure there is a way for heat to get out of the box. Perhaps it is good to turn off the light box if you leave the room.

Then do practice / chanting, using that symbol, until you can see it whenever you want to. Stay within your comfort zone as regards the length of time for practice.

You can also just attach the image to a stick, wall, or tree, etc., at eye level, or slightly below, a comfortable distance away, and do practice / chanting.

The key point is that your eyes have to be able to rest comfortably on the image for a time. This is easier if the image is at eye level, or slightly below, while sitting.

Hope this helps,

ob
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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby Dronma » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:49 pm

Visualizations always connect with transmission from a realized Master. Since no Master has never transmitted the "short A" in Guru Yoga, I cannot really see the purpose of such question!
Too much in the head (intellectualism) such queries.... :rolleye:

Moreover, the so called "short A" and "full A" are in fact 2 totally different Tibetan letters, each one with different sound and different use/symbolism. Maybe in the ears of non Tibetan people they sound the same, but they are not the same, not even similar! :geek:
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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby oldbob » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:53 pm

Dronma wrote:Visualizations always connect with transmission from a realized Master. Since no Master has never transmitted the "short A" in Guru Yoga, I cannot really see the purpose of such question!
Too much in the head (intellectualism) such queries.... :rolleye:

Moreover, the so called "short A" and "full A" are in fact 2 totally different Tibetan letters, each one with different sound and different use/symbolism. Maybe in the ears of non Tibetan people they sound the same, but they are not the same, not even similar! :geek:


Everything Dronma is saying is exactly correct - for Dronma.

For those who are more relaxed, maybe it doesn't matter so much. People are different and bring very different personalities to the table.

What works for one person does not work for another. What works for you at one point in your life, does not work at another.

The point is that as a Dzogchen practitioners it is our responsibility to observe ourselves, examine our experience, and see what works and what doesn't: not to believe things from faith or from authority.

This is why Lord Buddha taught 84,000 different teachings so there would be something for everyone.

:cheers:
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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby MalaBeads » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:21 am

Oldbob,

You are always releasing the places that people are likely to get stuck. For this i love you. This is true kindness.
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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby oldbob » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:19 am

MalaBeads wrote:Oldbob,

You are always releasing the places that people are likely to get stuck. For this i love you. This is true kindness.


Just doin my job. :smile: People ask me why I am successful in this life and I reply that I was just born with a good line of BS.

Must have done something right in a past life.

:cheers:
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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby pawel » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:41 pm

You can use the latin 'A' (mentioned earlier as English - well, :smile: ) butthe destination is to learn the Tibetan A and apply the GuruYoga correctly according to the transmission. Rinpoche mentiones this often, there's no problem in learning a few Tibetan characters. The same goes for the visualizations of GuruYoga for Padmasambhava (there's Om, Ah Hum which can be changed for lights of respective colors for beginners) and initiations. It's important to grow up from the beginner's phase.
:smile:
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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby asunthatneversets » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:06 am

pawel wrote:You can use the latin 'A' (mentioned earlier as English - well, :smile: ) butthe destination is to learn the Tibetan A and apply the GuruYoga correctly according to the transmission. Rinpoche mentiones this often, there's no problem in learning a few Tibetan characters. The same goes for the visualizations of GuruYoga for Padmasambhava (there's Om, Ah Hum which can be changed for lights of respective colors for beginners) and initiations. It's important to grow up from the beginner's phase.
:smile:


When it comes to these symbols there really isn't a hierarchy of validity, whatever works for the individual is what's appropriate. As long as the essential characteristics of the practice are accounted for (such as the sound 'ahhhh' like Rinpoche suggested) and the right intention is there the practice is good to go. Visualizing lights instead of symbols, or symbols in a certain language isn't going to obstruct the practice. It's easy to get caught up in the minor details (and it's true sometimes the details are very important), but most important of all is the essence of the practice which is integrating with the knowledge revealed by the teacher. Practices are supports for that, and so it's not really a matter of growing up from a beginners phase, but increased familiarity with that knowledge.
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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby pawel » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:34 pm

asunthatneversets wrote:When it comes to these symbols there really isn't a hierarchy of validity, whatever works for the individual is what's appropriate.

That's not how Chogyal Namkhai Norbu puts it.
Details of visualizations are important, that makes partially what is meant by quality of practice.
asunthatneversets wrote:most important of all is the essence of the practice which is integrating with the knowledge revealed by the teacher.

Yes, all of practices should be guarded with three sacred principles (beginning with right motivation, continued with Awareness and ended with dedication); if one has no capacity for the second then should be guarded with presence.
asunthatneversets wrote:Practices are supports for that, and so it's not really a matter of growing up from a beginners phase, but increased familiarity with that knowledge.

Doing practices qualified way is a matter of familiarity with them, ie of not being beginner with them. If you're going to do semzins and rushens for example you have many Tibetan letters to visualize. And they aid / lead to that knowledge you're speaking of and practitioner can develop, and they should be done precise and qualified way. And so goes with all anuyoga tantras, all Guruyogas and all else.
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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby asunthatneversets » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:56 pm

pawel wrote: That's not how Chogyal Namkhai Norbu puts it.
Details of visualizations are important, that makes partially what is meant by quality of practice.


That's precisely how he puts it. "Do your best". That may be considered quality of practice in Maha-yoga and Anu-yoga and that is all well and good. ChNN is teaching Anu-yoga in the theme of Ati-yoga, and so the visualizations should remain true to the practice within reason. The quality of practice is gauged in ones ability to access the authentic condition and rest in that. Fixation on the clarity and exact details of visualization is not the point and if anything it can become a distraction, especially if you think you're actually making progress or refining the quality of your practice through the power and detail of your visualization.

pawel wrote: Yes, all of practices should be guarded with three sacred principles (beginning with right motivation, continued with Awareness and ended with dedication); if one has no capacity for the second then should be guarded with presence.


Rightly so, although 'awareness', in the context of dzogchen, is a term that should go the way of the dinosaur.

pawel wrote: Doing practices qualified way is a matter of familiarity with them, ie of not being beginner with them. If you're going to do semzins and rushens for example you have many Tibetan letters to visualize. And they aid / lead to that knowledge you're speaking of and practitioner can develop, and they should be done precise and qualified way. And so goes with all anuyoga tantras, all Guruyogas and all else.


The point is that whether you visualize a hazy blue light instead of a perfect blue hum, or a English A instead of a Tibetan A, it does not obstruct the practice. The authentic condition is not Tibetan, I myself prefer the Tibetan letters, but to insist to someone else that they must aspire to eventually implement the Tibetan letters or else their practice is going to be compromised is incorrect in the view of dzogchen. Ones practice should be what the teacher gives, endowed with the blessings of the lineage, but within that practice minor variants in A's or colored light instead of a symbol does not deviate in the least. If it works for someone else then that is wonderful. The best advice I ever received was 'don't get caught up in the bullshit'... recognize the essence, return to the essence, return to the essence, return to the essence.
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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby Dronma » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:35 pm

asunthatneversets wrote:That's precisely how he puts it. "Do your best". That may be considered quality of practice in Maha-yoga and Anu-yoga and that is all well and good. ChNN is teaching Anu-yoga in the theme of Ati-yoga, and so the visualizations should remain true to the practice within reason. The quality of practice is gauged in ones ability to access the authentic condition and rest in that. Fixation on the clarity and exact details of visualization is not the point and if anything it can become a distraction, especially if you think you're actually making progress or refining the quality of your practice through the power and detail of your visualization.


That's right! But ChNN Rinpoche never said to construct visualizations according to our fantasy! Isn't it?
Moreover, everybody is "doing his/her best" with different way, so why not if somebody has the ability to refine the quality of the practice through the power and detail of visualization?


asunthatneversets wrote:
pawel wrote: Doing practices qualified way is a matter of familiarity with them, ie of not being beginner with them. If you're going to do semzins and rushens for example you have many Tibetan letters to visualize. And they aid / lead to that knowledge you're speaking of and practitioner can develop, and they should be done precise and qualified way. And so goes with all anuyoga tantras, all Guruyogas and all else.


The point is that whether you visualize a hazy blue light instead of a perfect blue hum, or a English A instead of a Tibetan A, it does not obstruct the practice. The authentic condition is not Tibetan, I myself prefer the Tibetan letters, but to insist to someone else that they must aspire to eventually implement the Tibetan letters or else their practice is going to be compromised is incorrect in the view of dzogchen. Ones practice should be what the teacher gives, endowed with the blessings of the lineage.


The blue, white, red lights (or whatever color in different practices), and the Latin A (in Guru Yoga) are still in the context of the transmission from ChNN Rinpoche himself, and not mental fabrication of anybody.

PS. I suspect that the confusion might come from the wrong idea that the 2 Tibetan A are something like the Latin capital A and the small a, which in fact is the same letter. Tibetan language has totally different structure than European languages, and it does not include at all capital and small letters. The so called here full A and short A are 2 different letters in Tibetan alphabet! So, trying to use the "short A" instead of the A (which is transmitted) is very peculiar idea, so much as it is trying to use any other Tibetan letter (ka, ya, zha etc) in the practice of Guru Yoga.
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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:47 am

Not to detract from your otherwise correct post, Dronma, but the A we use in guru yoga is the short A. The long A is the first syllable in the mantra AH A HA SHA SA MA. (Of course Rinpoche writes the first syllable as HA with a little u-like diacritical mark, though).
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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby asunthatneversets » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:07 am

Dronma wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:That's precisely how he puts it. "Do your best". That may be considered quality of practice in Maha-yoga and Anu-yoga and that is all well and good. ChNN is teaching Anu-yoga in the theme of Ati-yoga, and so the visualizations should remain true to the practice within reason. The quality of practice is gauged in ones ability to access the authentic condition and rest in that. Fixation on the clarity and exact details of visualization is not the point and if anything it can become a distraction, especially if you think you're actually making progress or refining the quality of your practice through the power and detail of your visualization.


That's right! But ChNN Rinpoche never said to construct visualizations according to our fantasy! Isn't it?
Moreover, everybody is "doing his/her best" with different way, so why not if somebody has the ability to refine the quality of the practice through the power and detail of visualization?


asunthatneversets wrote:
pawel wrote: Doing practices qualified way is a matter of familiarity with them, ie of not being beginner with them. If you're going to do semzins and rushens for example you have many Tibetan letters to visualize. And they aid / lead to that knowledge you're speaking of and practitioner can develop, and they should be done precise and qualified way. And so goes with all anuyoga tantras, all Guruyogas and all else.


The point is that whether you visualize a hazy blue light instead of a perfect blue hum, or a English A instead of a Tibetan A, it does not obstruct the practice. The authentic condition is not Tibetan, I myself prefer the Tibetan letters, but to insist to someone else that they must aspire to eventually implement the Tibetan letters or else their practice is going to be compromised is incorrect in the view of dzogchen. Ones practice should be what the teacher gives, endowed with the blessings of the lineage.


The blue, white, red lights (or whatever color in different practices), and the Latin A (in Guru Yoga) are still in the context of the transmission from ChNN Rinpoche himself, and not mental fabrication of anybody.

PS. I suspect that the confusion might come from the wrong idea that the 2 Tibetan A are something like the Latin capital A and the small a, which in fact is the same letter. Tibetan language has totally different structure than European languages, and it does not include at all capital and small letters. The so called here full A and short A are 2 different letters in Tibetan alphabet! So, trying to use the "short A" instead of the A (which is transmitted) is very peculiar idea, so much as it is trying to use any other Tibetan letter (ka, ya, zha etc) in the practice of Guru Yoga.


For the record I never suggested random self concocted visualizations.
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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby oldbob » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:08 pm

Nor I. :smile:

For Dzogchen practitioners only.

For those with fixed views, please don't take me seriously, as I certainly do not. :smile:

From the point of view of Dzogchen, all visualizations are precisely the same, whether deriving from practices in a lineage of sacred transmission, naturally occurring normal vision, dream visions, self- concocted, other concocted, beautiful, ugly, or from any of the 6 skandhas, etc. One taste does not differentiate in ANY way between this or that appearance to consciousness. ALL appearances are precisely the same grist for the Rigpa mill, and it doesn't matter - is not important - what appears.

:smile:

When we are not in Rigpa, and we are aspiring to gain the state of one taste, then we practice to stabilize, and continue in, the experience (non-experiance) of direct introduction, that we have received from a Dzogchen Master. These practices should be followed precisely. The visualizations should be precise, the pronunciations should be precise, and the sequence of events should be precisely as taught. When you are following a lineal practice it is important to perform these practices exactly as the Master teaches. Then they are effective and they work. You can try changing things and see this for yourself.

It is by DOING spiritual practice and OBSERVING what works and what doesn't work, that I can decide what what practices I want to do, lineages to follow, etc.

If I want to use the "very short" ah, of the upside down v of the ahtung, as used in the chod practice, in my guru yoga, then I am the one who will benefit if it functions, and I am the one who is wasting his time, if it doesn't. I assure you that Ekajati is not upset if I am wasting my time. This is not a break of Samaya. If I continue in something that does not work - it is just foolish, and I am the one who suffers because I could have used that time for something worthwhile.

Once upon a time I was told I could say coca-cola, coca-cola, coca-cola, etc. while making the chod visualization. I tried it. It didn't work, and I went back to Om-AH-Hum, which worked fine. No harm done.

In Dzogchen we observe ourselves and learn from the experience. :smile:

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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby Dronma » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:56 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Not to detract from your otherwise correct post, Dronma, but the A we use in guru yoga is the short A. The long A is the first syllable in the mantra AH A HA SHA SA MA. (Of course Rinpoche writes the first syllable as HA with a little u-like diacritical mark, though).


Yes, it is exactly as you are saying, Pema Rigdzin. I just followed the terms of "short A" and "full A" as Ish has posted here for reasons of good communication and mutual understanding.
About the HA with the u-like diacritical mark, yes this signifies A with deep exhalation as Rinpoche has explained several times.
:smile:
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Re: A & Thigle in Dzogchen

Postby pawel » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:42 am

asunthatneversets wrote:That's precisely how he puts it. "Do your best".

And 'do your best' in this context means this:
Chogyal Namkhai Norbu wrote:In five color of the thigle, there is white Om, red Ah, blue Hum. You see there is the three syllables on this wall. In thigle of five colors, just like that. If someone of you are new to the teaching, you don't know this kind of letters, you have a little problem, you can do visualization: instead of letter, you can do visualization of the spheres, white sphere at the forehead, red at throat, and blue at heart.
(...)
But you must understand they represent the body, speech and mind of all enlightened beings.
(...)
If you don't know the seed syllables, also Om, Ah, Hum for example, someone new and you don't know, you should understand sense of this: for example Om, Ah Hum, white, red and blue represent the sense of body, speech and mind, you can do visualization three spheres, white sphere, red sphere and blue sphere but you must understand it represent state of three vajras. Later when you are doing more practice, developing, it is better that you learn these letters. And also the six seed syllables of the lokas. You can do in this moment, for example, you can do six spheres with that color, knowing that these represent our potentiality, negative potentiality of the six lokas of the samsara.


And one more thing finally, practices like rushens and semzins actually are meant to bring the practitioner to recognition of the natural state and eventually to stabilizing in practice of contemplation.
:smile:
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