Some good literature for an introduction to Dzogchen?

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Re: Some good literature for an introduction to Dzogchen?

Postby M1NDFUL » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:51 pm

I don't mean to come off as naive. I truly appreciate all the information. Out of curiosity, is this a very common thing for people to create centers and claim to be more than what they are, and in doing so, teaching their own method?

I will definitely contact Patrick at Vajra Echoes and see where it takes me. I know for a fact that I want to be on the Vajrayana path, but I also know for a fact that I want it to be authentic and traditional. A big reason why I have no interest in returning to the NKT center (even though I paid for classes in advance and will now eat the fee).

I still have a lot of reading ahead of me (per the books mentioned earlier in the thread) as well as some emails to have sent out for more inquiries into proper Vajrayana practice in CT and the surrounding area.

Thanks again.
Gassho,
- Jeff
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Re: Some good literature for an introduction to Dzogchen?

Postby CrawfordHollow » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:49 pm

I like your enthusiasm, Jeff.

If you want, PM me your e-mail and I can send you some books on PDF that will help you. If I can make a suggestion: don't let your enthusiasm get the better of you. What I mean by this is: be patient. When it comes to choosing a spritual path or teacher don't settle for less for the sake of convenience. You may find that many teachers wont introduce you to the higher teachings such as Dzogchen until you have a strong foundation in practice and study. It is important to develop that foundation and follow the perfect path of the lineage. There are many ways, though. Have you looked into the Dzoghcen Community and the teachings of Choegyal Namkhai Norbu? You may appreciate his presentation of Dzogchen and the access of the teachings.

PM me.

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Re: Some good literature for an introduction to Dzogchen?

Postby Andrew108 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:54 pm

M1NDFUL wrote:I don't mean to come off as naive. I truly appreciate all the information. Out of curiosity, is this a very common thing for people to create centers and claim to be more than what they are, and in doing so, teaching their own method?

I will definitely contact Patrick at Vajra Echoes and see where it takes me. I know for a fact that I want to be on the Vajrayana path, but I also know for a fact that I want it to be authentic and traditional. A big reason why I have no interest in returning to the NKT center (even though I paid for classes in advance and will now eat the fee).

I still have a lot of reading ahead of me (per the books mentioned earlier in the thread) as well as some emails to have sent out for more inquiries into proper Vajrayana practice in CT and the surrounding area.

Thanks again.
Gassho,
- Jeff

I can add my preference for Nalandabodhi here. Of course it is entirely your choice and karma. I've met Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and have seen him as a very humble person with genuine realization.
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: Some good literature for an introduction to Dzogchen?

Postby M1NDFUL » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:43 pm

Just wanted to voice my appreciation for all the input in this thread again. I am currently finishing the book (started before joining Dharma Wheel) Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya Das. It's a very accessible book for a beginner. As soon as I finish that I will be diving into all the other recommendations as well as the PDF's from CrawfordHollow (many thanks by the way).

I also contacted the Nalandabodhi Center in Bloomfield, CT about coming down and learning a little more about their practice/process. Once I finish a little more reading I will be contacting Patrick at Vajra Echoes.

Best wishes people.
:namaste:
- Jeff
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Re: Some good literature for an introduction to Dzogchen?

Postby Adamantine » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:20 am

Hi again, glad to hear you are enjoying that book. I would like to also recommend this one http://www.amazon.com/Opening-Primordial-Nature-Khenchen-Palden/dp/1559392495 as it is also very accessible for a new comer, but it has a lot of depth of wisdom and some of the most profound essential points in there as well

Also, this text is one of the greatest treasures, and still one of the ones I come back to again and again, and will for life: http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Dance-Thinley-Norbu/dp/0877738858/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363238340&sr=1-1&keywords=magic+dance
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Re: Some good literature for an introduction to Dzogchen?

Postby M1NDFUL » Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:43 pm

Both of those books sound very interesting, especially Magic Dance.

I've also been looking into Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, and I must say, I am really looking forward to getting into his teachings.
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Re: Some good literature for an introduction to Dzogchen?

Postby Yudron » Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:55 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Yudron wrote:Jeff, you should do some research about this center, or any center you get involved in. You may like the American lama there, but you should know that -- although they appear to now be doing traditional practices in connection with Tibetan lamas -- in the past his center was centered on unconventional practices that he believed to be his own "Shakyamuni Heart" revelation. There are many authentic centers of Tibetan Buddhist practice in New England, I suggest taking some time and checking out all lamas and centers and see if that one is where you feel most comfortable, and search on the web and talk to people who have been connected with Tibetan Buddhism for 15 or 20 years about their knowledge of the lamas involved. :thinking:

What's the deal, Yudron? I've never heard of this guy.


There is a long history there, and I've heard a lot of stories. Since I have no personal experience, I will not pass them on. Many of his students have moved on to be great students of other lamas, such as Chatral Rinpoche, so he does attract serious minded people.

I do suggest that those serious minded students who are interested in Dzogchen really do not limit themselves by location and, if at all possible, search out a great respected Dzogchen Master that they can see in person once or twice a year, and in addition have mentors who speak English fluently -- such as lamas, yogis and yoginis who have been practicing seriously for 15, 20 or more years. In the U.S., people in New York State, New England, and Washington, Oregon, and California, have a wealth of authentic lamas and centers to rely on. For middle class Americans, it is possible to travel domestically to a retreat a couple of times a year. Relying primarily on internet connection with a qualified lama you will never meet is better than nothing.

In addition, newcomers should know that Dzogchen and Mahamudra are very similar, and therefore they may be interested in a Kagyu lama as well.
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Re: Some good literature for an introduction to Dzogchen?

Postby Jikan » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:12 pm

M1NDFUL wrote:Both of those books sound very interesting, especially Magic Dance.

I've also been looking into Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, and I must say, I am really looking forward to getting into his teachings.


Excellent! Tsegyalgar is just up the road from you if you're in Connecticut. To your west, there's Kunzang Palchen Ling... you're in a good situation there.
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Re: Some good literature for an introduction to Dzogchen?

Postby justsit » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:15 pm

Pat at Vajra Echoes is a member of Nalandabodhi CT and does most of the video recording of Ponlop Rinpoche's talks throughout North America. Also, anyone can attend teachings (other than restricted ones) at NBCT without joining Nalandabodhi. Those "membership fees" only come into play if you decide to join.

Really, do not miss Rinpoche there this Spring. It is a real blessing to have a genuine vajra master teach right next door.
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Re: Some good literature for an introduction to Dzogchen?

Postby M1NDFUL » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:25 pm

It's a blessing to have found this site.

I will definitely inquire about attending Ponlop Rinpoche's teaching this Spring at NBCT. I imagine they have quite the following, I hope they have enough room for newcomers. I'm also very interested in Yantra Yoga and have found that there are places in MA and NY that teach this method. And yes Jikan, Tsegyalgar I believe is only like an hour and twenty minute drive for me. After joining this forum I have realized there are literally places everywhere. Good to know. Seems I am going to have a few road trips ahead of me this Spring/Summer.

:woohoo:
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