Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators
Lhug-Pa wrote:Any ideas on a more cost-effective way than this to block all sunlight out of a room?
I guess one could tape black garbage bags over the windows with blue painter's tape, but it would be a pain to everyday, and would have to buy blue tape all the time. Although I guess one could just leave the bags up, and then close the blinds over them in hopes that the blinds would cover the ghettoness of them when one is not doing this kind of meditation.
Lhug-Pa wrote:Thanks for the suggestions Pero and Pema Rigdzin; however I don't know if you clicked on the link to the Berzinarchives webpage I quoted, but what I bolded in that quote is in the context of Dzogchen, but not Dark Retreat. And I have read Introduction to Contemplation by Rinpoche, yet couldn't remember if anything was written there about any stage of Dzogchen practice, aside from Dark Retreat, where we should practice in total darkness in order to avoid visual distractions (that is until we become more familiar with the separation of Samsara and Nirvana as to be able to Integrate visual perceptions as well). So I should study that book more. Well, we do have the Practice of Night/Dream Yoga which serves as a total darkness/eyes-closed Contemplation.... Anyhow, if you go back and visit the mentioned Berzinarchives link I posted about three posts back, that is if you haven't already, and peruse it a bit, it would provide more context for this discussion.
Lhug-Pa wrote:Berzinarchives wrote:
Method of Meditating
To avoid distraction from sensory cognition, we meditate in total darkness and total silence with three immovables (mi-g.yo-ba gsum):
immovable body - with body straight, hands either in the meditation pose in our laps or lightly resting on the knees,
immovable senses - with eyes neither closed nor wide open, but gazing naturally in front,
immovable mind - not actively thinking, with no thoughts of the past or future, and with no analysis. We just rest in the present moment of awareness, fresh and uncontrived, without being self-conscious about what we are doing. In other words, even if a thought arises, we do not follow it out.
Is the above-mentioned mi-g.yo-ba gsum related to the Migyurwa (non-movement) which is the Second Naljor of Semde described in The Crystal by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche?
For beginners, is sitting in total darkness best for formal Four-Naljors-of-Semde sessions?
Lhug-Pa wrote:In short, Alexander Berzin got the idea from somewhere, that on some level of non-dark-retreat Dzogchen meditation, it is best to avoid external visual perceptions by meditating in total darkness. Either he came up with this on his own, or most likely learned it from a Dzogchen Guru such as the Dalai Lama.
Has Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, or any other Dzogchen Lamas, taught anything like this?
Lhug-Pa wrote:Okay thanks Pero.
Unless or until anyone knows where Alexander Berzin is coming from with this, I'll just have to read the entire two-part essay, and research from there. Because like I said, even though he is talking about Dzogchen meditation in total darkness, I'm quite sure that it is NOT in the context of Dark Retreat. That's why it caught my attention.
Lhug-Pa wrote:True. Although from what I've read, Alexander Berzin doesn't seem to be the type to make stuff up as he goes along. Although maybe he's somehow mistaken about this, I don't know.
Lhug-Pa wrote:Laughable because it is incorrect?
Or laughable simply because it has a lot of holes in it (i.e. is very incomplete)?
[Shantarakshita] granted the eight vows to some, but when he taught the doctrines of the ten virtues and of the eighteen psychophysical bases, the savage demons and deities of Tibet became angry. Lightening struck Marpori [the "Red Mountain", site of the present Potala Palace] and the palace at Phangtang was swept away by a flood. The harvest was destroyed and great calamities befell the country. Evil ministers said, "This is due to the practice of the doctrine. The master should be banished to his own country."
In any case, is it the consensus—despite the Gelugpa Alexander Berzin's recommendation to—that it is totally unnecessary for a Dzogchenpa (or aspiring Dzogchenpa), who has not yet recognized Nyimed, to meditate in the dark, that is outside the context of Dark Retreat and Dream Yoga?