All excellent postings!!!~
My 2 cents.
While I certainly have no experience of such things, (if I did I would not, and could not, say anything). Since I don’t have any experience, I can only give my intellectual imputations (“knowledge aspect”) of why we might practice Togal. Because we are all limited in time, it is sincerely hoped that maybe this simple-minded explanation might encourage someone to practice
. Homage to my Teachers, who gave me permission to practice Togal: Ven. Chatral Rinpoche, Ven. Do Drupchen Rinpoche and Ven. ChNNR, may they forgive the echoing barks of an old dog.
May this writing bring all who read this to enlightenment
May this writing bring all who don’t read this to enlightenment.
We practice Togal to realize.
You can call this, "full or complete familiarization with Rigpa."
The way it works is the same as Yangtig, the dark retreat.
The key point is that your mind sees visions (“visionary aspect”) that you see as real, just like ordinary reality. But these visions originate from internal reality and you see them informed by this non-intellectual Awareness.
The “leap over” Awareness, then non-intellectually arises, that ALL display of reality is exactly the same as this naturally, spontaneously and instantaneously arising, internally / externally generated reality, whether or not there are external sense objects to fasten the senses to. Informed by this "limit of understanding", the intellectual mind relaxes beyond understanding into the Natural Mind of Awareness.
Informed by this Awareness, ALL manifestations, (“manifest way”) whether internally or externally originated are released / put to rest, without attachment or aversion arising.
There is absolutely no difference between something occurring internally or externally.
There is no way to tell, in the moment of occurrence, if something is occurring internally or externally.
Informed by this impossibility, Awareness rests in its own Nature, not avoiding or seeking anything.
Yes, it is "like that."
The "like that" is stated, because these are words, and the experience of relaxing into Rigpa is not of the dimension of words.
You can parse the experience into the various lamps, or just consider it a unified flow, until the karmic winds exhaust, and the mind simply rests in itself.
Having a visceral, non-intellectual, understanding of the emptiness of all manifestations, your body (and all external reality) is imbued with the Natural Light of Awareness, as you have no confidence in any physical manifestation existing as separate from internal experience. All internal and external reality is imbued with the Natural Light of Awareness. This is not an intentional action, but just an unimportant show, or quality, of the Natural Mind.
You can then spontaneously help others, as the occasion arises, though there is NO conception of you, or others, or any action of helping. Everything is seen as an unimportant (luminous) display of the Natural Mind. Not helping others, is exactly the same as helping others, yet you still appear to help others. You don't have the capacity to say if anything is substantial or non-substantial. Amazing!
Parsing the results of practice into paths and bhumis (as well as all intellectual pursuits) is no longer of interest or relevant.
This is one of the reasons that Togal is normally taught after Tregchod. (The Payul lineage appears to reverse this.)
Togal and Yangtig are short path practices that allow for realization in one life-time (“superiorities”).
Now you know my 2 cent blah blah as to why we practice Togal and Yangtig.
If you want to practice these paths, you can seek instruction from a realized Master who Teaches these most special and rare practices. My heartfelt advice is that you do not attempt to practice these powerfully transformational practices on your own, but if a lazy old foggy like me can get permission, and do a little practice, maybe you can too. It is not difficult at all!
Please do not take offense if I am giving the appearance that I have any experience of what I am writing here. (We can talk about how I am greedy for fame after 100 years have past.) I am just a simple-minded parrot mimicking what I have heard and read.
May all realize, who read this.
May all realize, who don’t read this.
May these wishes be as large as the universe.
Hope this helps.
Homage to the Dzogchen Masters. May they live long, in good health, and with success in all things.