Rigpa, mind, and the "world out there"

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Rigpa, mind, and the "world out there"

Postby CrawfordHollow » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:53 pm

Hi guys,

I am going to try to take another shot at tackling this subject. I brought this up at another forum and besides for a few helpful answers the conversation did not go all that well. I will try to present myself more clearly.

I am confused on the relationship between, mind, rigpa, and appearances, and what consequences this relationship would have to what we consider the "world out there."

Longchenpa says:

The various appearances do not exist in reality as they are percepts (appearances) of the mind and are non-dual (in relation to the mind). The essence of the mind is Mind, which is clarity, and it is self-arisen primordial wisdom. Nowadays, foolish people say: "Dzogpa Chenpo awwerts that the appearances are mind." That is totally wrong... So one should know that the appearnances are the mysteries of the percepts of the mind and they are non-existent in reality like reflections in a mirror. They appear in the mind in the manner of delusions due to habituations.
-The Practice of Dzogchen

Here is John Myrdhin Reynolds from The Golden Letters:

Appearances represent the play of creative energy or inexhaustible potentiality of Awareness (rigpa). They are not "mind" as in the Chittamartin view, but rather they are manifestations of mind, something constructed by mind out of the raw material of sense data... Whatever may arise, appearing as external phenomena to the individual, is merely one's own internal state of existence manifesting externally, that is to say, it is merely the potentiality or creative energy of Awareness (rigpa) becoming visible to the individual. Apart from this organized system of phenomena, nothing exists in reality...The manifestation of phenomena is a projection of the energy of the mind, a phantom show projected into space... It is not something independant of the mind, but on the other hand, neither is it just made up of the mind in the sense of a solipsistic fantasy.

So, I understand that what is being rejected in the Mind-Only position, and what is being posited is that appearances are the dependantly arisen by-products of delusion, but I still fail to see how appearances cannot be mind, but are still just manifestations of rigpa, or awareness. I understand there is a difference between the samsaric, dualistic mind and rigpa, but I think that something has just not clicked yet for me. And to complicate things, I am wondering how this doesn't becomce a "solipsistic fantasy," how are the appearnces somehow "out there" while at the same time being just projections of what is "in here."

Thank you, I hope I was clear in presenting that.

Troy
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Re: Rigpa, mind, and the "world out there"

Postby asunthatneversets » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:02 pm

Which part is the most confusing? [EDIT: Nevermind you stated above what's confusing]
Last edited by asunthatneversets on Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rigpa, mind, and the "world out there"

Postby asunthatneversets » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:07 pm

Referencing these:

"'Designating appearances as the dharmakāya obscures me,
designating whatever appears as mind obscures me,
designating wisdom as mind obscures me'
- The Mind Mirror of Samantabhadra Tantra


To expand on this, nowadays common fools say, 'Appearances are your own mind! Appearances are the dharmakāya! Wisdom (ye shes) is our mind!' Really there's no difference between such people and the insane who say whatever pops into their mind: 'The head is the ass!' 'Fire is water!' 'Darkness is light!' Thus I consider these people ignorant, since they are even more conceited than such madmen. If appearances are our mind, then it follows that our mind has colors and so forth. It would entail that even when you are absent, your mind would exist in the area where you previously were, since the appearances there continue to exist (despite your leaving). Furthermore, it would entail that through one thing being born, everything is born; and through one thing dying, everything dies. When ten million people see a vase, it would entail that the entire vase is (part and parcel of each person's own particular) mind, and just so, all those individuals would be of a single mind. Since all phenomena appear in the scope of a Buddha's 'enlightened knowing of things in all their plurality', it would entail that cyclic existence is the Buddha's wisdom (ye shes). When a sentient being sees a Buddha, it would necessarily follow that this Buddha is distorted, since s/he is the sentient being's mind. Additionally it would entail that this sentient being is a Buddha, since the Buddha is the sentient being's mind. This position would also entail that these appearances could become totally adrift in a single instant, just as in a single instant our mind's movements drift here and there. Thus these and many other absurdities are entailed (by identifying appearances with the mind).

If appearances are the dharmakāya, then it would entail that appearances are beyond appearance and non-appearance, since the dharmakāya is beyond appearance and non-appearance. It would follow that the dharmakāya would be a distorted appearance, and that it would be apprehensible in terms of a substantial thing and its concrete qualities, since these appearances are distorted appearances apprehended in terms of substantial qualities. Alternatively, it would follow that it would be impossible for these appearances to appear to (ordinary beings') distorted perspective, since the dharmakāya is the ultimate reality and, as such, can never appear to a distorted perspective."
- David Germano

-------------------

I'm not sure about the 'everything arising from rigpa' but Tsoknyi Rinpoche's comments regarding rigpa completely pervading all things, and by understanding rigpa you understand all phenomena... are pointing to the fact that once recognition of one's nature has occurred, the delusion that apperceives phenomena as objectively arising qualities of experience which appear to a mind, is overcome. So that is to say, the recognition of rigpa is essentially the very first time one's experience is known accurately, and that knowledge is then the foundation for one's practice in dzogchen.

It's not only the refutation that appearances are the samsaric dualistic mind, but the very idea that appearances and phenomena are subsumed into the mind or consciousness. It's the notion that the objective phenomena are non-dual with a subjective mind or consciousness, and that there is a union of those polarities. The Dzogchen view is that both the mind/consciousness and the objective appearances are byproducts of delusion, just as Longchenpa says in the quote above; "Likewise, various kinds of phenomena are appearing in the deluded mind because of the interdependent origination of the causes and conditions of delusion." The mind/consciousness and phenomena viewed as objective, separate or subsumed within that mind are both products of delusion, grasping and clinging, imputation and conceptualization etc. The moment a mind or consciousness is posited, that which is not-that-mind arises, that is the dependent origination. The idea is to see that the mind/consciousness and the phenomena are dependently originated and therefore both are rendered empty if that is ascertained successfully.

Also, nothing truly arises from the basis (gzhi), the basis simply displays it's appearance as the five lights, but since that spontaneously and naturally formed display (lhun grub) is primordially pure (ka dag) it's not established (nor unestablished) in any way. Only when that display isn't recognized to be self-display, does phenomena arise. The basis is never involved in delusion in any way nor does it display delusion, delusion arises due to non-recognition. The recognition of rigpa is simply the knowledge or discernment which results from ascertaining the display of the basis to be self-display.

The Mahāmudrā instructions which say 'everything is mind' is usually a line of reasoning which runs like so: 'everything is mind, mind is empty' so it's a way of helping the aspirant to achieve recognition (if recognition didn't occur in direct introduction). Everything is the mind deems everything as nondual with the mind, and then the mind is empty i.e. insubstantial, unfindable, unestablished. It's just a way to say that which you perceive as 'objective phenomena' is truly neither the same nor different than the mind, both are imputed designations. Since dzogchen is resting in rigpa, the nature of the mind has already been recognized and so it's emptiness is implicit in the view to begin with.

-------------------

Troy in case the dependent origination part of that isn't clear, here Nāgārjuna refutes a consciousness-only or mind-only view in his Bodhicittavivaraṇa (the Prasanga Madhyamaka view accords with Dzogchen when exploring these aspects of delusion):

For those who propound consciousness [only]
This manifold world is established as mind [only]
What might be the nature of that consciousness?
I shall now explain this very point.

"All of this is but one's mind,"
That which was stated by the Able One
Is to alleviate the fear of the childish;
It is not [a statement] of [final] truth.

The imputed, the depenent,
And the consummate - they have
Only one nature of their own, emptiness;
Their identities are constructed upon the mind.

To those who delight in the great vehicle
The Buddha taught in brief
Selflessness is perfect equanimity;
And that the mind is primordially unborn.

The proponents of yogic practices assert
That the purified mind [effected] through
Mastery of one's own mind
And through utter revolution of its state
Is the sphere of it's own reflexive awareness.

That which is past is no more;
That which is yet to be is not obtained;
As it abides its locus is utterly transformed,
So how can there be [such awareness in] the present?

Whatever it is it's not what it appears as;
Whatever it appears as it is not so;
Consciousness is devoid of selfhood;
[Yet] consciousness has no other basis.

By being close to a loadstone
An iron object swiftly moves forward;
It possesses no mind [of its own],
Yet it appears as if it does.

Likewise the foundational consciousness too
Appears to be real though it is false;
In this way it moves to and fro
And retains [the three realms of] existence.

Just as the ocean and the trees
Move about though they posses no mind;
Likewise foundational consciousness too
Move about in dependence upon the body.

So if it is considered that
Without a body there is no consciousness,
You must explain what it is this awareness
That is the object of one's own specific knowledge.

By calling it specific awareness itself,
You are asserting it to be an entity;
Yet by stating that "it is this,"
You are asserting it also to be powerless.

Having ascertained oneself
And to help others ascertain,
The learned proceeds excellently
Always without error.

The cognizer perceives the cognizable;
Without the cognizable there is no cognition;
Therefore why do you not admit
That neither object nor subject exists [at all]?

The mind is but a mere name;
Apart from its name it exists as nothing;
So view consciousness as a mere name;
Name too has no intrinsic nature.

Either within or likewise without,
Or somewhere in between the two,
The conquerors have never found the mind;
So the mind has the nature of an illusion.

The distinctions of colors and shapes,
Or that of object and subject,
Of male, female and the neuter -
The mind has no such fixed forms.

In brief the Buddhas have never seeen
Nor will they ever see [such a mind];
So how can they see it as intrinsic nature
That which is devoid of intrinsic nature?

"Entity" is a conceptualization;
Absence of conceptualization is emptiness;
Where conceptualization occurs,
How can there be emptiness?

The mind in terms of the perceived and perceiver,
This the Tathagatas have never seen;
Where there is the perceived and perceiver,
There is no enlightenment.
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Re: Rigpa, mind, and the "world out there"

Postby asunthatneversets » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:53 pm

CrawfordHollow wrote:Hi guys,

I am going to try to take another shot at tackling this subject. I brought this up at another forum and besides for a few helpful answers the conversation did not go all that well. I will try to present myself more clearly.

I am confused on the relationship between, mind, rigpa, and appearances, and what consequences this relationship would have to what we consider the "world out there."

Longchenpa says:

The various appearances do not exist in reality as they are percepts (appearances) of the mind and are non-dual (in relation to the mind). The essence of the mind is Mind, which is clarity, and it is self-arisen primordial wisdom. Nowadays, foolish people say: "Dzogpa Chenpo awwerts that the appearances are mind." That is totally wrong... So one should know that the appearnances are the mysteries of the percepts of the mind and they are non-existent in reality like reflections in a mirror. They appear in the mind in the manner of delusions due to habituations.
-The Practice of Dzogchen

Here is John Myrdhin Reynolds from The Golden Letters:

Appearances represent the play of creative energy or inexhaustible potentiality of Awareness (rigpa). They are not "mind" as in the Chittamartin view, but rather they are manifestations of mind, something constructed by mind out of the raw material of sense data... Whatever may arise, appearing as external phenomena to the individual, is merely one's own internal state of existence manifesting externally, that is to say, it is merely the potentiality or creative energy of Awareness (rigpa) becoming visible to the individual. Apart from this organized system of phenomena, nothing exists in reality...The manifestation of phenomena is a projection of the energy of the mind, a phantom show projected into space... It is not something independant of the mind, but on the other hand, neither is it just made up of the mind in the sense of a solipsistic fantasy.

So, I understand that what is being rejected in the Mind-Only position, and what is being posited is that appearances are the dependantly arisen by-products of delusion, but I still fail to see how appearances cannot be mind, but are still just manifestations of rigpa, or awareness. I understand there is a difference between the samsaric, dualistic mind and rigpa, but I think that something has just not clicked yet for me. And to complicate things, I am wondering how this doesn't becomce a "solipsistic fantasy," how are the appearnces somehow "out there" while at the same time being just projections of what is "in here."

Thank you, I hope I was clear in presenting that.

Troy


The lack of 'mind' is simply seeing that the notion of 'mind' is imputed onto the experience, one way this recognition can come about is by actively searching for the mind, seeking it's location, where it's positioned, what it's shape is, it's color etc. The idea is to investigate your experience and the mind so you can gain direct experiential confidence and certainty in it's nature. Another way this is done is through investigating thought, where it arises, abides and where it goes to when it ceases. There are logical ways to explain the nature of mind, however the direct experiential recognition is of course the most beneficial (and of course direct introduction - rigpai tselwang - from a qualified teacher is mandatory and indispensable if one is to authentically practice dzogchen).

Also, it's not that appearances are vidyā (rigpa), what appearances are is the display of primordial wisdom, though this isn't recognized and therefore sentient beings are confused by their own ignorance (skt. avidyā, tib. ma rig pa). When appearances are recognized to be 'self-display', the discerning knowledge which results from that recognition is called vidyā/ripga. Awareness isn't really a good translation of vidyā, it's a very common translation but more and more translators/teachers are beginning to abandon 'awareness' as a suitable representation of vidyā. 'Awareness' has the potential to suggest the simple neutral registering cognizance of mind, and vidyā is the knowledge of one's nature which becomes the working foundation for one's practice in dzogchen. Quite different than 'awareness'.

This doesn't become a solipsistic fantasy, because solipsism requires a mind, which would be a singular point of reference. It's not as if there is a 'source' but if you must view a source, see appearances as self-sourcing... though in truth appearances are neither established nor unestablished (free from the four extremes). The 'world out there' is an abstraction, it's conventionally true (even though dzogchen doesn't uphold the two truths but instead sees the conventional as equivalent with avidyā), however in dzogchen there is no inner-outer dichotomy, subjective and objective phenomena are conventional and contextual pointers if they are implemented in dzogchen, they are not real.


"In it (Dzogpa Chenpo) the essence (ngo-bo) of vidyā, the realization of the non-existence of the apprehended and apprehender, is called spontaneously arisen primordial wisdom. But Dzogpa Chenpo doesn't assert it as self-awareness and self-clarity (rang-rig rang-gsal) as Yogācāra, the Mind Only School, does. Because (according to Dzogpa Chenpo), as there is no existence of internal and external, it (vidyā) is not established as internal mind. As there is no self and others, it isn't established as self-awareness. As the apprehended and apprehender have never existed, freedom from the two is not established. As it is not an object of experiences and awareness, the experience is not established as non-dual.

As there is no mind and mental events, it does not exist as self-mind. As it does not exist as clarity or non-clarity, it is not established as self-clarity. As it transcends awareness and non-awareness, there are not even the imputations of awareness. This is called the Dzogpa Chenpo, free from extremes. Although it is designated as self-arisen primordial wisdom, enlightened mind, ultimate body, the great spontaneously accomplished ultimate sphere, and the naked self-clarity vidyā, these ascriptions are merely in order to signify it. It should be realized that the self-essence (of Dzogpa Chenpo) is inexpressible. Otherwise, if you take the meaning of the words literally, you will never find (in Dzogpa Chenpo) any difference from the cognition of self-awareness, self-clarity, and non-duality of apprehender and apprehended of the Mind Only School."
- Longchen Rabjam
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Re: Rigpa, mind, and the "world out there"

Postby CrawfordHollow » Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:33 am

Thanks for the replies!

This gives me some stuff to chew on, although I am not sure how closer I am getting to understanding. Another distintion that I find confusing is the distintion that Longchenpa makes between the objects of the mind and appearances. He says something like appearances are basically emanations of the mind while objects are not, which make it sound like there is something "out there," even if that something is just a dependantly arisen appearance. I guess the problem I am haveing is trying to understand this from the point of view of subject/object, when clearly this view transends all reality. I guess this means just more cushion time. The problem I have is that a lot of these questions come up when I am away from my teachers. Thanks for your help, I will keep trying to wrap my head around this stuff.
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Re: Rigpa, mind, and the "world out there"

Postby heart » Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:48 am

CrawfordHollow wrote:Thanks for the replies!

This gives me some stuff to chew on, although I am not sure how closer I am getting to understanding. Another distintion that I find confusing is the distintion that Longchenpa makes between the objects of the mind and appearances. He says something like appearances are basically emanations of the mind while objects are not, which make it sound like there is something "out there," even if that something is just a dependantly arisen appearance. I guess the problem I am haveing is trying to understand this from the point of view of subject/object, when clearly this view transends all reality. I guess this means just more cushion time. The problem I have is that a lot of these questions come up when I am away from my teachers. Thanks for your help, I will keep trying to wrap my head around this stuff.


Yes Longchenpa says that quite clearly, making appearances something we create with the mind. So the objects themselves, what could it be? The only thing it could be is the five elements.

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

Postby Jeff » Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:44 pm

CrawfordHollow wrote:Thanks for the replies!

This gives me some stuff to chew on, although I am not sure how closer I am getting to understanding. Another distintion that I find confusing is the distintion that Longchenpa makes between the objects of the mind and appearances. He says something like appearances are basically emanations of the mind while objects are not, which make it sound like there is something "out there," even if that something is just a dependantly arisen appearance. I guess the problem I am haveing is trying to understand this from the point of view of subject/object, when clearly this view transends all reality. I guess this means just more cushion time. The problem I have is that a lot of these questions come up when I am away from my teachers. Thanks for your help, I will keep trying to wrap my head around this stuff.


I think the easiest way to think of it is that emotions (like anger) are more like an automated response to a percieved stimuli. The are not universal as they sort of "appear" only to each "view" of the situation. Objects (like a tree) are still aspects of mind, but are shared on a universal basis of mind. It might be helpful think of "local mind" (percieved person) as a subset of "universal mind" (all percieved objects).
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Re: Rigpa, mind, and the "world out there"

Postby MalaBeads » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:20 pm

Wonderful quotes from Longchenpa and Nagarjuna. Definitely sorts out a lot of the cra* that is currently out there floating around as Dharma.

And Magnus, yes, what else could it be?

:heart:
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Re: Rigpa, mind, and the "world out there"

Postby Fa Dao » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:04 pm

Crawford,
sounds like you have more than an adequate intellectual understanding of the answer to your question. Maybe the problem is that this is one of those kinds of questions that simply cant be answered by the intellect? Perhaps this type of question can only be answered through your practice and experience? Just a thought...
"But if you know how to observe yourself, you will discover your real nature, the primordial state, the state of Guruyoga, and then all will become clear because you will have discovered everything"-Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
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Re: Rigpa, mind, and the "world out there"

Postby CrawfordHollow » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:26 pm

Yes,

that is fair, sometimes the intellect can be a distraction to the real practice. Your right of course, the true nature of reality can never be understood through this kind of understanding. Thanks
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Re: Rigpa, mind, and the "world out there"

Postby Fa Dao » Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:19 pm

I need to occasionally remind myself of the same thing...so easy to get caught up in ones own head...glad to be of some help
"But if you know how to observe yourself, you will discover your real nature, the primordial state, the state of Guruyoga, and then all will become clear because you will have discovered everything"-Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
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Re: Rigpa, mind, and the "world out there"

Postby asunthatneversets » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:55 am

CrawfordHollow wrote:Thanks for the replies!

This gives me some stuff to chew on, although I am not sure how closer I am getting to understanding. Another distintion that I find confusing is the distintion that Longchenpa makes between the objects of the mind and appearances. He says something like appearances are basically emanations of the mind while objects are not, which make it sound like there is something "out there," even if that something is just a dependantly arisen appearance. I guess the problem I am haveing is trying to understand this from the point of view of subject/object, when clearly this view transends all reality. I guess this means just more cushion time. The problem I have is that a lot of these questions come up when I am away from my teachers. Thanks for your help, I will keep trying to wrap my head around this stuff.


The intellect can definitely become a distraction, but as long as you're mindful of that it's ok to intellectualize some, just don't mistake an intellectual understanding for true wisdom experience and you're good to go. I'm not a teacher and am not trying to present myself as one, so definitely take up any questions you have with a qualified teacher... but here's a bunch of intellectual stuff in the meantime:

About the "He says something like appearances are basically emanations of the mind while objects are not", I usually look at that the other way around, objects and conditioned phenomena (meaning; phenomena which appear to accord with any of the 4 extremes) are emanations of deluded mind (i.e. avidyā). While in contrast, the term 'appearance' can be reserved for the display of primordial wisdom.

The reason objects can be considered emanations of deluded mind is because 'objects' are byproducts of projected conventional dissimulation (i.e. imputation) mistaken to be inherently real. In dzogchen, objects only arise due to non-recognition of one's nature, meaning they appear to originate from ignorance (skt. avidyā, tib. ma rig pa). The idea that phenomena only arise as a result of our habitual tendencies (of grasping and clinging) is a very important aspect of the buddhadharma which separates it from the nondual trika and tīrthika traditions.

Non-recognition of the basis (Skt. sthāna, Tib. gzhi) essentially means that the basis' appearance (the five lights) are not recognized to be self-display. So the basis' own radiance is unrecognized and is therefore apprehended as 'other'. That error causes the illusion of subjectve/objective phenomena to arise and through the habitual reification of afflictive patterning such as imputation, the unborn display of the basis is then adulterated, becoming the aggregates (skandhas) which serve to form the illusion of a sentient being and it's respective environment. This process is represented quite well by the 12 Nidānas (specific theory of dependent origination), but the general theory of dependent origination is also helpful, which is; "where this exists, that exists, with the arising of that, this arose". Due to grasping at phenomena as 'other', 'self' is automatically implied, with the arising of the former, the latter originates by default. This also means the absence of one implies the absence of the other, so if you follow that line of reasoning you can start to see how extremes and dualities are rendered null and void.

In the dzogchen model, the third ignorance (imputing ignorance) sets the 12 Nidānas into motion and creates a basis for the proliferation of habitual tendencies called the all-basis (Skt. ālaya, Tib. kun gzhi). The ālaya acts as a reservoir in a sense, collecting imprints and serving as a substratum for all the myriad forms of designations and actions which are mistaken as inherent aspects of experience.

The Reverberation of Sound Tantra explains the etymology of 'all-basis':
"The etymology of 'kun' (all) lies in it's subsuming everything.
The etymology of 'gzhi' (basis) lies in it's accumulation and hoarding (of karmic traces and propensities)."


The Reverberation of Sound states:
"Here I will explain the all-basis to start off:
It is the ground of all phenomena and non-phenomena."


So the ālaya acts as the basis-of-all, meaning that it is the foundation for conditioned phenomena (phenomena which seemingly accord with any of the four extremes, which includes non-phenomena, both and neither) and the afflictive habitual patterning which sustains ignorance. For Dzogchen the ālaya is considered to be the 'ground-of-being', which is only ever one's own ignorance.

The Tantra of the Self-Arisen Vidyā states:
"The all-basis (Skt. ālaya, Tib. kun gzhi) is adulterated by diverse cognitive processes
By force of it's sustaining neurotic conceptuality;
The all-basis is the real ignorance (Skt. avidyā, Tib. ma rig pa)."


The processes of ignorance are undone via recognition of (and integration with) one's nature. In dzogchen, phenomena are viewed as empty from the very beginning, however when a certain level of integration has occurred, emptiness is directly realized, which means that phenomena which were previously attributed inherency and self-nature (svabhāva), are recognized to be empty and non-arisen.

Just as when you mistakenly view a rope to be a snake; the snake is a misconception, it's delusion, ignorance. Recognize the snake for what it is (a rope) and the snake falls, the snake is understood to have always been delusion, therefore the snake is non-arisen. Likewise, the aggregates are a misconception, delusion, ignorance. Recognize the aggregates for what they are (self-display of primordial wisdom) and the aggregates fall. The aggregates are understood to have always been delusion, therefore the aggregates are empty and non-arisen.

Dzogchen speaks of the 'full measure of vidyā' being the realization of emptiness. The 'full measure' or 'full effulgence' signifies an absence of contamination i.e. the direct realization of emptiness. In one's practice, vidyā increases by way of a decrease in the power that karmic and habitual propensities have over experience. So integration with vidyā is nothing more than resting in vidyā so that those propensities which once dominated experience exhaust themselves.

"The essence of the Buddha's teaching is the method on how to let confusion dawn as wisdom. The most vital point here is the introduction to and recognition of the buddha nature, the innate wisdom of dharmakāya that is already present within oneself. This fourth Dharma is a teaching on how to recognize, train in, and stabilize this recognition of the buddha nature. Understanding it is called the view, practicing it is called samadhi, and stabilizing it is called buddhahood."
- Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche


"Ordinary beings are truly buddhas,
but this fact is obscured by adventitious distortions
once these are removed, truly there is buddhahood."
- Hevajra Tantraraja Nāma


Emptiness in dzogchen is signified with the dharmakāya, which is only evident once one's condition has been divested of obscuring propensities. When direct experience appears like a reflection, meaning it is apparent yet explicitly known to be unreal, baseless, unfounded etc., that is dharmakāya.

The iconic metaphor which most adepts implement is very suiting; the objects of experience appear like a reflection of the moon in a pool of water: valid in that they are an appearance, just as the image of the moon upon the water is a valid image. Yet, just as one needs no convincing that the moon in the water is not the moon, when dharmakāya dawns it's known beyond any shred of doubt that all the constituent objects and qualities of 'reality' have never once been established or unestablished in any way... The empty appearances of experience do not create anything within or beyond their empty appearance. The experience must be akin to waking up from a dream if it's a valid knowledge of dharmakāya, it's a compelling and overwhelming epiphany that there's never been anything there at all... and yet, appearances. The empty display of primordial wisdom:

"There is no object to investigate within the view of self-originated wisdom: nothing went before, nothing happens later, nothing is present now at all. Action does not exist. Traces do not exist. Ignorance does not exist. Mind does not exist. Discriminating wisdom does not exist. Samsara does not exist. Nirvana does not exist. Even vidyā itself does not exist i.e. nothing at all appears in wisdom. That arose from not grasping anything."
- from The Unwritten Tantra [per Malcolm La]


"The arisings of paratantra (conventionality) are essenceless, since, their arising is not established from any of the four extremes: They do not arise from themselves, because for these arising and an instant in which they arise are contradictory. They do not arise from something else, since if the essential marks of these others are analyzed, they are not established. That they arise from both would be doubly contradictory, so that is not established. They do not arise without a cause, as that is impossible. The mere arising of whatever appears, mere interdependent arising like dream or illusion, is appearance of what does not exist."
- Mahāyānasūtrālamkāra
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Re: Rigpa, mind, and the "world out there"

Postby CrawfordHollow » Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:02 pm

Here are a few passages from Dudjom Lingpa's Nang-jang, Buddhahood Without Meditation that I found very helpful. I never realized this work was so accessable and practical:

All phenomena, which manifest as they do, are ineffabile, yet appear due to the influence of concieving of an 'I.' This process is like a mirage appearing from the synchronicity of vividly clear space and the presence of warmth and moisture.

Due to the predominant condition of the perception of an inner 'I,' the realm of phenomena manifests as something 'other.' This is like the appearance of a reflection through the interdependent connection of a face and a mirror coming together.

Becaue one is thoroughly ensared by concepts of identity, the realms of the six states manifest one after the other. This is like cities of the gandharvas appearing in one's environment- for example, on a plain at sunset- as visionary experiences reified by the ordinary mind.

All sensory appearances are not other than the ground of being, but are of one taste with that ground itself, like the reflections of all the planets and stars in the ocean that are not other than the ocean, but are of one taste with the water itself.

Due to the concept of an 'I,' self and other manifest as though they truly existed within the panoramic sky of the ground of being, expansive basic space. This is anlogous to bubbles forming on water.

The pristine lucidity of the ground of being as empty as basic space is forced into the narrow confines of the subjective perception of consiousness based on conceptual mind. The influence of this entrenched habit causes sensory appearances percieved in confusion to manifest in all their variety.

I think that one of my problems trying to understand this (besides the fact that you really can't understand this conceptually) is that I was viewing mind and apperances at face value, not as dependently arisen empty appearances. I also took for granted that duality is something that arises out of ignorance. I have been practicing for a good amount of time- ten plus years- so you would think that I would have a better grasp on these ideas. Either way, I am glad that I brought it up because I feel like I at least have a better concpetual understanding of the view, which I believe can strengthen the fortress of the real view- to a point.

Thank you all for helping me
Troy
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Re: Rigpa, mind, and the "world out there"

Postby asunthatneversets » Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:33 am

CrawfordHollow wrote:I think that one of my problems trying to understand this (besides the fact that you really can't understand this conceptually) is that I was viewing mind and apperances at face value, not as dependently arisen empty appearances. I also took for granted that duality is something that arises out of ignorance. I have been practicing for a good amount of time- ten plus years- so you would think that I would have a better grasp on these ideas. Either way, I am glad that I brought it up because I feel like I at least have a better concpetual understanding of the view, which I believe can strengthen the fortress of the real view- to a point.

Thank you all for helping me
Troy


Better conceptual understanding (although inequivalent to the authentic view) is one type (or aspect) of rigpa, as Jean-Luc Achard shares: "bSam-rig [Knowing Discernment] which is the knowledge you generate when you study and get experiences of the teachings (it is a fluctuating phenomenon according to the capacities of the individual; the more you study correctly, the more you Knowing Discernement is developed)" .

The other two he mentions in addition to (i) bSam-rig, are (ii) Khyab-rig [All-Pervasive Discernment] which is the same as Tathāgatagarbha or the potentiality for Buddhahood which is innate to every being, and (iii) Ye-rig [Primordial Discernment], which is the rigpa implemented as the view [tawa] that is the foundation for one's practice in dzogchen.
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Re: Rigpa, mind, and the "world out there"

Postby MalaBeads » Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:27 am

" a few passages from Dudjom Lingpa's Nang-jang, Buddhahood Without Meditation that I found very helpful. I never realized this work was so accessable and practical"

:twothumbsup:

Crawford,

Yes, "Buddhahood Without Meditation" is one of those wonderful works that is, as you say, both accessible and practical. I found it to be a marvel of helpful information. If i remember correctly, you can find it on Ken McLeod's website. Some brilliant bits in it.
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