In The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa, Volume One, pp. 461-465, there is a short article ascribed jointly to Chogyam Trungpa and Rigdzin Shikpo, "The Way of Maha Ati". According to Rigdzin Shikpo (formerly known as Michael Hookham, a close student of Trungpa's from the time Trungpa was in Oxford during the mid-1960s), he and another English Dharma-brother had visited Trungpa Rinpoche in Oxford, bringing him a Tibetan text upon which they had happened. Mike Hookham and his confrere had no idea what the text actually was. To Trungpa Rinpoche's delight, it turned out to be a text which was special for him in some sense. As I recall, Rigdzin Shikpo implies that it was a Dzogchen text, connected with Padmasambhava. In consequence of these fortuitous circumstances, Trungpa Rinpoche began to teach the two Englishmen Maha-Ati, as he called Dzogchen. In the course of this, Mike Hookham -- who says that he was probably the first scholar, as it were, to be a disciple of Trungpa Rinpoche's in the West -- would take detailed notes as Trungpa Rinpoche spoke. "The Way of Maha Ati" is a product of that process.
I have done no more than to skim through it thus far -- I hope to read it closely over the next couple of days -- and my query is based on a very general impression. It seems to take the form of passages from a text, printed in italics, each of which is followed by Trungpa Rinpoche's comments on that passage, printed in standard font; and it ends with Trungpa Rinpoche's instructions and advice, printed in standard font. The passages in italics, which I assume to be the text on which the balance of the piece offers comments, had an extraordinarily familiar ring to my ear at a very sketchy first reading: like something I had encountered before and had known well, and could almost but not quite place. Initially, I thought that it was perhaps "The Six Vajra Lines", which can be found in ChNNR's The Crystal and the Way of Light or Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State; but it is something different. Examined more closely, while I have copied it into this message, it feels less familiar; but its provenance still intrigues me.
All aspects of every phenomenon are completely clear and lucid.
The whole universe is open and unobstructed, everything
Since all things are naked, clear and free from obscurations, there is
nothing to attain or to realize. The nature of things naturally appears
and is naturally present in time-transcending awareness.
Everything is naturally perfect just as it is, completely pure
All phenomena naturally appear in their uniquely correct modes and
situations, forming ever-changing patterns full of meaning and
significance, like participants in a great dance.
With no effort or practice whatsoever liberation, enlightenment, and
buddhahood are already fully developed and perfected.
All phenomena are competely new and fresh, absolutely unique at the
instant of their appearance and entirely free from all concepts of past,
present and future, as if experienced in another dimension of time.
The continual stream of new discovery and fresh revelation and
inspiration which arises at every moment is the manifestation of the
eternal youth of the living dharma and its wonder, splendour, and
spontaneity are the play or dance aspect of the universe as guru.
Does anyone know whether these passages are from some earlier text, and if so, which? Or are they Trungpa Rinpoche's own words?
Dukkham eva hi, na koci dukkhito,
kaarako na, kiriyaa va vijjati,
atthi nibbuti, na nibbuto pumaa,
maggam atthi, gamako na vijjati
Suffering there certainly is, but no sufferer,
no doer, though certainly the deed is found.
peace is achieved, but no-one's appeased,
the way is walked, but no walker's to be found.
- Visuddhimagga XVI, 90