Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

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Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Jnana » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:49 am

Here are a few quotations regarding view and meditation from teachers who have trained in both systems. Tsele Natsok Rangdröl, The Circle of the Sun:

    Generally speaking, numerous different types of teaching styles exist in the various traditions of mahāmudrā and dzogchen. In particular, it is unquestionably established that in the ultimate sense there is no difference between mahāmudrā and dzogchen. Nonetheless, according to their presentation, varying approaches have been taught concerning whether or not to regard appearances as being mind, whether or not thought is identical with dharmakāya and whether or not mindfulness should serve as meditation.

    Some mahāmudrā followers teach that dzogchen is the type of sidetrack known as 'straying into the innate,' while the higher stages of dzogchen teach that mahāmudrā is flawed since everything up to and including mahāmudrā is considered to be 'views retaining assumptions.' Thus, each has its own specific emphasis.

    For worthy practitioners, those who have sat at the feet of a qualified master and have recognized the innate suchness of the natural state exactly as it is, there is nothing to make classifications about. For them, everything is simply the display of dharmatā. Otherwise, when claiming that dzogchen is 'straying into the innate,' the essence of the innate is what the general vehicles call 'sugata-essence.' In mahāmudrā it is renowned as 'ground mahāmudrā' or 'mahāmudrā of the natural state.' Since everyone agrees that practicing the various types of meditation stages are the methods for realizing it, the dzogchen system is, therefore, not at fault.

    Similarly, to call mahāmudrā a 'view of assumption' is aimed at inferior people who practice that way. Practitioners who realize the nature of mahāmudrā-as-it-is perceive the naked and innate face of mind free from concepts. They are not flawed by this fault since they don't need to depend on assumptions.

    Moreover, the two opinions about whether or not thoughts are dharmakāya are in fact the same. The commonplace thought -- uninhibited deluded fixation -- is not regarded as dharmakāya, even by the mahāmudrā system. Similarly, the dzogchen system does not repress perceptions which have been embraced by the key points. So, in fact, they agree.

    As for whether or not appearance is mind: all the key points are identical, in the sense that in the ultimate essence, appearance lies beyond the confines of truth and falsehood. It can manifest in any possible way as a mere relative expression of mind but does not consist of any essence whatsoever. Appearances, furthermore, need not be accepted or rejected and so forth.

    Concerning mindfulness serving or not serving as the meditation: some deluded people appear to concentrate with rigid fixation and believe that keeping their mind hostage is the meditation of mahāmudrā. That is nothing but their personal fault. The authentic great Kagyu masters took self-cognizant mindfulness as their practice, which is identical to the primordially pure self-awareness of the dzogchen system. Thus, despite different terminology, there is no difference in meaning. Neither system, mahāmudrā nor dzogchen, considers that meditation is the conceptual mind that fixates on mindfulness.

    In short, what dzogchen calls 'endowed with the threefold wisdom,' the wisdom of the primordially pure essence, the wisdom of the spontaneously present nature and the wisdom of the all-pervasive compassion, is described by the followers of mahāmudrā as the nonarising essence, the unobstructed nature, and the variously manifesting expression. It is unanimously agreed that they are 'different aspects of the same identity.'

Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, Indisputable Truth:

    Self-existing awareness that is cognizant and nonconceptual is called rigpa. In mahāmudrā, it is called ordinary mind -- thamal gyi shespa. Ordinary mind is defined as dharmakāya that is not dependent upon the three conditions of bliss, clarity and nonthought. It is also beyond the four joys -- the four types of bliss.... The innate nature, dharmatā, which transcends these is called the 'mahāmudrā of empty awareness.' This is not different in the slightest from the view of dzogchen, the great perfection. Mahāmudrā's ordinary mind and dzogchen's self-existing wisdom that is cognizant and nonconceptual are totally identical.

Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Ground, Path, and Fruition:

    The path starts by determining the view, which in mahāmudrā and dzogchen is the pure mind just discussed. In order to manifest that pure mind, in order to bring it forth, you use the practice of meditation. In mahāmudrā and dzogchen meditation is practiced by resting in the view, which is that pure mind itself.... The style of meditation in mahāmudrā and dzogchen is meditation which is non-meditation. What is this non-meditation? How do we meditate without meditating? Whatever situation mind is in, whether there are discursive thoughts of good, bad, clean, unclean, and so on, if you drop all of these so that you are without even a whisker of the conceptual activity of mind, the nature of mind whatever it is will shine forth as non-stopped clarity and that is called self-arising rigpa. This does not need to be created or produced or purchased; when you let mind itself, just as it is, shine forth and stay in that, that is called self-arising rigpa.... That self-arising rigpa and thamal gyi shespa are the same thing.

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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:43 pm

Jnana wrote:Here are a few quotations regarding view and meditation from teachers who have trained in both systems. Tsele Natsok Rangdröl, The Circle of the Sun:

    In short, what dzogchen calls 'endowed with the threefold wisdom,' the wisdom of the primordially pure essence, the wisdom of the spontaneously present nature and the wisdom of the all-pervasive compassion, is described by the followers of mahāmudrā as the nonarising essence, the unobstructed nature, and the variously manifesting expression. '



I don't agree with this point. The former is referring the basis (gzhi), the latter is referring to the all-basis (kun gzhi). The gzhi and kun gzhi are completely different.

N
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Jnana » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:49 pm

Namdrol wrote:I don't agree with this point. The former is referring the basis (gzhi), the latter is referring to the all-basis (kun gzhi).

Tibetan polemics....

But more to the point: Where is the Indian pedigree for dzogchen as we now have it with the inclusion of tögal instruction? That is, Indian texts written in India by Indians (i.e. not tantras or termas composed by Tibetans).
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:10 pm

Jnana wrote:
Namdrol wrote:I don't agree with this point. The former is referring the basis (gzhi), the latter is referring to the all-basis (kun gzhi).

Tibetan polemics....


Not at all.

But more to the point: Where is the Indian pedigree for dzogchen as we now have it with the inclusion of tögal instruction? That is, Indian texts written in India by Indians (i.e. not tantras or termas composed by Tibetans).


The western academic consensus is that there are none. As you know already, according to the annals of the upadesha class, the Indian Panditas kicked Dzogchen out of India and sent it to Tibet with Vimalamitra because they could not deal with it.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Jnana » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:21 pm

Namdrol wrote:The western academic consensus is that there are none.

Yes. And I would suggest that the Kagyu mahāmudrā system is generally using older Indian terminology as used by Saraha, Tilopa, Naropa, and Maitripa. This difference in terminology doesn't entail a different basis.

Namdrol wrote:The state of Dzogchen and the state of Mahāmudra are not two different states. They are the same thing.

If the natural state is the same thing, how can you meaningfully assert that the basis recognized is different?
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby kalden yungdrung » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:29 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Jnana wrote:Here are a few quotations regarding view and meditation from teachers who have trained in both systems. Tsele Natsok Rangdröl, The Circle of the Sun:

    In short, what dzogchen calls 'endowed with the threefold wisdom,' the wisdom of the primordially pure essence, the wisdom of the spontaneously present nature and the wisdom of the all-pervasive compassion, is described by the followers of mahāmudrā as the nonarising essence, the unobstructed nature, and the variously manifesting expression. '



I don't agree with this point. The former is referring the basis (gzhi), the latter is referring to the all-basis (kun gzhi). The gzhi and kun gzhi are completely different.

N



Tashi delek,

Could it be that if the latter is referring to Kun gzhi, this is in relation to the Chittamatra view ?
Then i would like to know in what context this Chittamatra view is seen in the Mahamudra cycle of teachings or to what it is referred.

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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:37 pm

Jnana wrote:
Namdrol wrote:The western academic consensus is that there are none.

Yes. And I would suggest that the Kagyu mahāmudrā system is generally using older Indian terminology as used by Saraha, Tilopa, Naropa, and Maitripa. This difference in terminology doesn't entail a different basis.



Look, if you decide that Mahāmudra is an older terminology, then you have to accept that the authors of man ngag sde class (which defines essence, nature and compassion) were familiar with this older terminology of the ālaya/kun gzhi, found it lacking and had a different aim in their writing. In other words, you have to accept that Dzogchen terminology is different and has a different intent on the basis of the claim that it is different. You have to accept the fact that the Indian-derived Sarma notions of the all-basis was inadequate for the purposes of Dangma Lhungyal and Chetsun Senge Wangchug, for example (should we take these persons to be the original authors and collators of the 17 Tantras and Vima Nyinthig), and that therefore, these authors chose to elaborate a terminology to express their differences.

N
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:40 pm

Jnana wrote:If the natural state is the same thing, how can you meaningfully assert that the basis recognized is different?


The alaya is the inseparable clarity and emptiness of the mind.

The gzhi, in Dzogchen, has nothing to do with the mind.

Another point I want to make is the reason for basis [gzhi] being described the way they are in these two systems as everything to do with their respective paths.

Tregchö is not the path in Dzogchen. It is the ground for practicing the path. The path in Dzogchen is thögal. Hence, the way the basis is explained in Dzogchen reflects the actual path in Dzogchen, thus the explanation of the basis in Dzogchen is completely different than that of Mahāmudra.

A Different basis is elborated because the paths are very different.

The point of tregchö and mahāmudra is basically the same i.e. the instant of unfabricated awareness [ma bcos shes pa skad cig ma]. But in Dzogchen, this only the starting point -- it is not the path, which is why in general, no-one is considered to achieve rainbow body (yes, I know there are some theorectical formulations which might contradict this assertion) only through tregchö.

N
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby heart » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:03 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Jnana wrote:Here are a few quotations regarding view and meditation from teachers who have trained in both systems. Tsele Natsok Rangdröl, The Circle of the Sun:

    In short, what dzogchen calls 'endowed with the threefold wisdom,' the wisdom of the primordially pure essence, the wisdom of the spontaneously present nature and the wisdom of the all-pervasive compassion, is described by the followers of mahāmudrā as the nonarising essence, the unobstructed nature, and the variously manifesting expression. '



I don't agree with this point. The former is referring the basis (gzhi), the latter is referring to the all-basis (kun gzhi). The gzhi and kun gzhi are completely different.

N


Tsele Natsok Rangdrol don't mistake the gzhi and the kun gzhi, in fact he makes a big point of the distinction between these in the two first chapters of Circle of the Sun. So maybe he don't think that essence, nature and expression in Mahamudra is referring to the kun gzhi.

/magnus
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:11 pm

heart wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Jnana wrote:Here are a few quotations regarding view and meditation from teachers who have trained in both systems. Tsele Natsok Rangdröl, The Circle of the Sun:

    In short, what dzogchen calls 'endowed with the threefold wisdom,' the wisdom of the primordially pure essence, the wisdom of the spontaneously present nature and the wisdom of the all-pervasive compassion, is described by the followers of mahāmudrā as the nonarising essence, the unobstructed nature, and the variously manifesting expression. '



I don't agree with this point. The former is referring the basis (gzhi), the latter is referring to the all-basis (kun gzhi). The gzhi and kun gzhi are completely different.

N


Tsele Natsok Rangdrol don't mistake the gzhi and the kun gzhi, in fact he makes a big point of the distinction between these in the two first chapters of Circle of the Sun. So maybe he don't think that essence, nature and expression in Mahamudra is referring to the kun gzhi.

/magnus


I don't have this book, so I cannot really comment further about his perspective. But I can say that in Mahamudra, there is no distinction made between gzhi and kun gzhi.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:32 pm

It is amazing how this can be brought to quite a different discussion by picking out a single word and then setting up a whole view on it. There were three different masters quoted, all of them have extensive teachings to see how they understood (and still do) that the essence of Mahamudra and Dzogchen are no different.

"Some people make distinction between dzogchen and mahamudra, but this is unnecessary because, fundamentally, they are two names for the experience. Different lineages simply employ slightly different methods of instruction that lead to the same realization."
(Kalu Rinpoche: Luminious Mind, p. 221)

While the approaches to the three views of Madhyamika, Mahamudra and Dzogchen are slightly different, their end results are identical.
(Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche: The Bardo Guidebook, p. 79)

Both dzogchen and mahamudra are methods for meditating on the mind. ... So we see that there is little difference between mahamudra and dzogchen.
(Thrangu Rinpoche: Essentials of Mahamudra, p. 10-11)

The meditation instructions of Mahamudra and the Six Yogas of Naropa can be traced to Rangjung Dorje, the Third Karmapa. It is said that the Dzogchen instructions come from Jigme Lingpa and his nyingthig teachings. Where did Jigme Lingpa get his teachings? These were derived from the Longchen Nyingthig, which was written by Longchenpa. Where did Longchenpa get his instructions? He received his instructions from Rangjung Dorje. So we can say that Rangjung Dorje is the source for both the Mahamudra and Dzogchen teachings. In his two shorter branch texts (Distinguishing Consciousness from Wisdom and A treatise on Buddha Nature), Rangjung Dorje says that whether one does Mahamudra or Dzogchen practice, buddha nature is the foundation from which both of these meditations develop.
(Thrangu Rinpoche: On Buddha Essence, p. 1-2)

But whether you follow Dzogchen or Mahamudra, please understand that ultimately there is no real difference. There is not one awakened state called Mahamudra and a separate one known as the Great Perfection. It is all of one taste within the expanse of dharmakaya. What these two words actually refer to is the basic nature of all things. Since all phenomena, all that appears and exists within samsara and nirvana, have the stamp of great bliss, it is called "the Great Seal," which is the literal meaning of Mahamudra. Similarly, since all phenomena are perfected in the expanse of self-existing awareness, it is called Dzogchen, or Great Perfection.
(Adeu Rinpoche: Freedom in Bondage, p. 32)

There’s a very interesting joke that I would like to tell you. Two masters of Mahamudra and Dzogchen were having a debate. The Dzogchen master said, “The Dzogchen is much more profound. It’s the highest path and the highest yana. There is nothing above. If you practice in your sleep, you can attain enlightenment. If you practice while you are awake, you can attain enlightenment. Even if you don’t practice, you will attain enlightenment if you have the karmic connection. So Dzogchen is much higher.” Then the Mahamudra teacher said, “Well, that sounds very good, but the Mahamudra teachings talk about one instant. In one instant, if you recognize it, you attain enlightenment in that same instant. If you fail to recognize it, then you are confused. Therefore, Mahamudra pointing-out is much more powerful because you can attain enlightenment in one instant. You don’t have to go to sleep to practice, you don’t have to wake up to practice, and you don’t have to hang around to attain enlightenment.”
(Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche: Penetrating Wisdom, p. 49)
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:32 pm

kalden yungdrung wrote:
Could it be that if the latter is referring to Kun gzhi, this is in relation to the Chittamatra view ?
KY[/color]



the all-basis (kun gzhi, ālaya) is not the all-basis consciousness (kun gzhi rnam par shes pa, ālayavijñāna). The former is the mere clarity and emptiness of the mind; the latter is an afflicted, impure consciousness.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:35 pm

Astus wrote:It is amazing how this can be brought to quite a different discussion by picking out a single word and then setting up a whole view on it.


Nevertheless the distinction is crucial.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Jnana » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:53 pm

Namdrol wrote:Look, if you decide that Mahāmudra is an older terminology, then you have to accept that the authors of man ngag sde class (which defines essence, nature and compassion) were familiar with this older terminology of the ālaya/kun gzhi, found it lacking and had a different aim in their writing.

What is the Sanskrit term for gzhi?

Namdrol wrote:The alaya is the inseparable clarity and emptiness of the mind.

The gzhi, in Dzogchen, has nothing to do with the mind.

The basis in mahāmudrā is not limited to compounded, momentary minds. Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje, Mahamudra: The Ocean of Definitive Meaning:

    [Ground mahamudra] is what is realized and actualized by the nondual mind of the buddhas and noble individuals. It is the basic state (gshis kyi babs) of the three realms of samsara and the true nature of all phenomena from the beginning. It is connate wisdom (lhan gcig skyes pa'i ye shes), which pervades the entire ground.

Namdrol wrote:The point of tregchö and mahāmudra is basically the same i.e. the instant of unfabricated awareness [ma bcos shes pa skad cig ma]. But in Dzogchen, this only the starting point -- it is not the path.

Neither mahāmudrā nor dzogchen require tögal (cf. all of the dzogchen teachings composed prior to the development of the man ngag sde class).
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:59 pm

Namdrol wrote:Nevertheless the distinction is crucial.


Crucial to what?

According to the Dzogchen system, if your shamatha practice is simply training in being absent minded remaining in a neutral, indifferent state without any thought activity whatsoever, this is known as the all-ground. It is simply a way of being free of thought involvement. Moreover, when attention becomes active within the expanse of the all-ground that activity is known as the dualistic mind. But when the dividing line between stillness and thought occurrence fades away, and instead the strength of the aware quality is intensified, the awake quality is known as rigpa. Depending on whether one is using the Mahamudra system or the Dzogchen approach, there are different terminologies, but the actual training is essentially the same in both cases.
(Adeu Rinpoche: Freedom in Bondage, p. 26)
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Jnana » Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:05 pm

Astus wrote:It is amazing how this can be brought to quite a different discussion by picking out a single word and then setting up a whole view on it.

It's a recurring theme in the long history of Buddhist polemics: Move the goal posts, invent new rules, then claim that yours is a superior game.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby kalden yungdrung » Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:08 pm

Tashi delek,


Have seen here on Dharma Wheel, much topics about the slightly differences between Dzogchen and Mahamudra.

All in all i realy want to know, for once and forever, the none difference or difference between these 2 methods.


Like i was informed would be the synchronisation between Mahamudra and Dzogchen that:
Both can dwell in a state which is known in Dzogchen as to be in the Natural State which is also known as Trekchod in Dzogchen terms.

Now is a further step in Dzogchen the experiencing of the inherent Lights, Sounds and Rays

Is this experienced also in Mahamudra the above mentioned Lights, Rays and Sounds?

IMO would Dzogchen equal to Mahamudra if the latter would have inside the praxis also the 3 inseparable connected Lights, Sounds and Rays. So do they own that or don't ?

Then if they (Mahamudra) don' t have these 3 things inside their cycle of practice, then on what base can they defend their sameness with Dzogchen ?

I realy am interested herein, because if Mahamudra would then realy be the same in effect as Dzogchen, then Dzogchenpas have something additional which has no sense maybe, the experiencing of the Lights, sounds and rays.

Then how see Mahamudra practioners the Bardo and are they convinced about attaining the Rainbow Body at the moment of dying. Is this Rainbow Body also the result of their practice or do they have another Body of Attainment ?

Mutsog Marro
KY
THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
IF HE DOES NOT APPLY HIS KNOWLEDGE
HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
WHO WITH A LAMP IN THE HAND CANNOT SEE THE ROAD
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:17 pm

kalden yungdrung,

The topic of lights, energy and bardo are covered under the six yogas of Naropa. In that sense, it is the path of transformation and not the path of liberation. Also note what Jnana has referred to here before, that the whole tögal teaching with the lamps, etc. is a later development in Dzogchen.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby kalden yungdrung » Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:26 pm

Astus wrote:kalden yungdrung,

The topic of lights, energy and bardo are covered under the six yogas of Naropa. In that sense, it is the path of transformation and not the path of liberation. Also note what Jnana has referred to here before, that the whole tögal teaching with the lamps, etc. is a later development in Dzogchen.



Tashi delek,

Thanks for your reply.


Transformations of light do belong to Tantra?
- In Dzogchen there is nothing transformed because all is self-emanating just like the Yeshe aspect(s).

In Bon Dzogchen the Thodgal forms part of the Zhang Zhung Nyen Gyud cycle of Dzogchen teachings and here as a very special, are they not separated teached and that is Men nGakde in Bon.


Mutsog Marro
KY
THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
IF HE DOES NOT APPLY HIS KNOWLEDGE
HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
WHO WITH A LAMP IN THE HAND CANNOT SEE THE ROAD
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:44 pm

kalden yungdrung wrote:Transformations of light do belong to Tantra?
- In Dzogchen there is nothing transformed because all is self-emanating just like the Yeshe aspect(s).


It depends on your view. With the view of self, you are manipulating things. With the view of no-self, all is self-emanating and self-liberating. Look into this teaching of Thrangu Rinpoche on Bringing Obstacles to the Path.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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