Barney Fife wrote:Not sure if this is what Malcolm is hinting at, but I have heard that "mind nature" can be used in Sutra, Tantra, and Dzogchen to refer to "seeing the empty essence of the mind", like experiencing emptiness free of thoughts.
The nature of mind is the inseparability of emptiness and clarity. A state free of thought is simply resting in clarity. Clarity must be recognized as empty for recognition of the mind's nature to occur. Otherwise clarity alone is merely the neutral indeterminate cognizance of the ālaya.
Barney Fife wrote: And that in Dzogchen, awareness/rigpa refers to the awareness to be recognized within that experience of seeing the empty essence.
Rigpa i.e. vidyā, is knowledge of primordial wisdom [skt. jñāna, tib. ye shes], which is the three kāyas.
Barney Fife wrote: So maybe, when that is recognized, one experiences the primordial state, which is taught to be the base of primordial purity,
Primordial purity is ka dag, which is one of the three wisdoms of primordial wisdom.
Barney Fife wrote: meaning that one recognizes one's primordial state as the inseparability of the empty expanse of space/ying/dhatu and awareness/rigpa/vidya? Inseparable expanse and awareness?
You're sort of associating a lot of terms that aren't necessarily related or relevant. But 'space' is a term used in various ways depending on context. Space is sometimes used as a metaphor for awakened wisdom or emptiness. It's also sometimes used to translate the Tibetan word 'klong' i.e. long, as in 'longde' [klong sde]. Long is really a term that doesn't translate all to well... it's meant to relate to vidyā. 'Space of vidyā', 'expanse of vidyā'. Longchen Rabjam for example means something like 'All encompassing vast expanse [of vidyā]'.
At any rate though many of those terms have different meanings.
Barney Fife wrote: It seems like Tantra Mahamudra has a primordial state teaching when they refer to the innate mind or the co-emergent mind that first arises spontaneously through completion stage yogas, but it seems like Dzogchen maybe has some special unique insights into that primordial state.
Probably have not understood this properly or thoroughly, though, in case anyone wants to clarify.
The different systems are just different paths. Generation/completion stage Mahāmudrā, formless Mahāmudrā and Dzogchen only differ in praxis and methodology.
Some may argue that only Dzogchen allows for a result that is nondual ka dag and lhun grub, but I'm sure that's going to depend on who you ask.