Luke wrote:If people don't mind, I would like to ask some very basic questions:
What is the basic sequence of practices in the Dzogchen Community? Does it follow some standard Nyingma sequence or is it more random (i.e. you were lucky enough to attend event xyz, so you practice the meditation that was taught at event xyz, etc.)?
There are three elements to the DC:
- guruyoga, which is resting in the state of the direct introduction
- ordinary presence - ie mindfulness
- working with circumstance
The core of it all is guruyoga. That's the fundamental linchpin that Rinpoche asks everyone to do. Rinpoche does a direct introduction at all
events and so dzogchen guruyoga can done by anyone who was there or attended the webcast.
The practices like Mandarava, ganapuja etc are to help the practitioner and overcome obstacles. They are not an end in themselves, but ways to purify samaya etc. As far as I know Rinpoche does a lot of Mandarava practice to help with his health, for example, as he's been drastically ill at least three times.
There are the semdzins and rushens which are there to help clarify knowledge of the natural state via experiences of the body, voice and mind. The Precious Vase
and the SMS training based on it form a structured curriculum that is really, really excellent. It gives a thorough understanding of all the yanas and a structured set of practices (like the semdzins) to clarify experience. For example there's a set number of hours to do each one for. I think that would be the kind of structure you're asking about.