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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:46 pm 
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I'm selling off all my old religious studies type books from my 20s and early 30s and happy to be breaking even since a lot of them are worth more now than when I bought them, but also because I think a mental feng shui adjustment has been made as I get rid of these materials and there is a clearing of mental space as I accept that I will never read or study these things again. It feels like some part of my brain that's been holding on to this stuff in an overstuff relational database was allowed to drop several tables and then defrag its hard drive and is now running much better. I feel lighter, happier. I did not expect this result. I was actually a little sad to let it all go when I first considered it.

Now, I am looking specifically at my buddhist / dzogchen bookshelf and thinking how beneficial it might be to drop all these non-Dzogchen ideas once and for all. I don't know if I really need to think about all this other stuff anymore.

I suspect this is probably unusual since most people get more and more learned in their dharma studies, but I'm just wondering if anyone else decided to do this and how it worked out for them. I've got like 4 shelves worth of books I could probably drop and then all I'd have are about 2 shelves of dzogchen texts and I would keep a few Vajrayana books about Green Tara and Words of My Perfect Teacher just because they relate to a few practices I want to keep up. I feel like the rest weighs on my shoulders as a lot of stuff I don't really understand and my bookshelf just gets heavier and heavier the more books I have bought in pursuit of understanding. When I read dzogchen texts, in contrast, they make sense on their own. It is only when I contrast dzogchen ideas with other ideas I start to feel confused.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:42 pm 
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You then feel confusion...so what happens then?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:49 pm 
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philji wrote:
You then feel confusion...so what happens then?

I give up all consideration of the subject for an indefinite period of time and get discouraged, among other unpleasant things.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:16 pm 
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If they are Buddhist texts I would recommend giving them away rather than selling them.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:38 pm 
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JKhedrup wrote:
If they are Buddhist texts I would recommend giving them away rather than selling them.

OH right, I forgot about that. Thanks for reminding me. Pema Chodron once mentioned that some text/s say to sell the dharma is an immediate ticket to hell and then she mentioned how there must be a whole lot of dharma teachers who are going to hell in their next lives if that's true. Something to think about. I'm really just thinking about the benefit that will come from not having an internal debate about what literature to turn to.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:40 pm 
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Why would you consider Buddhist texts as containing "non-Dzogchen" ideas? I mean, is there anything that is not Dzogchen given that it all arises from Dharmakaya Samantabhadra?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:44 pm 
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Sherab Dorje wrote:
Why would you consider Buddhist texts as containing "non-Dzogchen" ideas? I mean, is there anything that is not Dzogchen given that it all arises from Dharmakaya Samantabhadra?


For the same reason books about theraveda, mahayana and vajrayana are not labeled as "dzogchen" by their authors and book publishers.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:59 pm 
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padma norbu wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:
Why would you consider Buddhist texts as containing "non-Dzogchen" ideas? I mean, is there anything that is not Dzogchen given that it all arises from Dharmakaya Samantabhadra?


For the same reason books about theraveda, mahayana and vajrayana are not labeled as "dzogchen" by their authors and book publishers.
Are we talking about dzogchen or Dzogchen? Are we talking about the view, or the nature of mind?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:04 pm 
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Sherab Dorje wrote:
padma norbu wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:
Why would you consider Buddhist texts as containing "non-Dzogchen" ideas? I mean, is there anything that is not Dzogchen given that it all arises from Dharmakaya Samantabhadra?


For the same reason books about theraveda, mahayana and vajrayana are not labeled as "dzogchen" by their authors and book publishers.
Are we talking about dzogchen or Dzogchen? Are we talking about the view, or the nature of mind?


You're persistent, I'll give you that much.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:06 pm 
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When I settled on what I wanted to practice (also Dzogchen) I gave away a lot of books not on that subject to a dharma centre. Others would get much more use out of them than I would.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:16 pm 
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Paul wrote:
When I settled on what I wanted to practice (also Dzogchen) I gave away a lot of books not on that subject to a dharma centre. Others would get much more use out of them than I would.


Do you recognize anything familiar to how you felt in what I am saying? Did you feel "clearer" and happier once you decided to get rid of them? It's kind of an unimportant topic, but since it is dzogchen-specific I didn't feel right sticking it in the Lounge section. I was just curious if any others noticed the same thing since it's kind of a revelation for me. I feel better already just knowing I'm going to do this. It's what my wife calls "condensing" and she does it all the time and seems to always feel much better for days after. I am a hoarder type and this is my first ever "condensing" experience.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:19 pm 
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padma norbu wrote:
You're persistent, I'll give you that much.
Somebody has to ask the stupid questions in the hope that... Fat chance though. :tongue:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:19 pm 
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Personally I just needed the space. I've also had to get rid of a lot of things I own several times so it's not so alien to me. But maybe you are linking this to some sort of decision making process - as if it's the physical acting out of the decision to just focus on Dzogchen. Of course that might be totally wrong. :shrug:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:23 pm 
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Paul wrote:
Personally I just needed the space. I've also had to get rid of a lot of things I own several times so it's not so alien to me. But maybe you are linking this to some sort of decision making process - as if it's the physical acting out of the decision to just focus on Dzogchen. Of course that might be totally wrong. :shrug:
You only need one thing in order to focus on Dzogchen.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:40 pm 
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Paul wrote:
Personally I just needed the space. I've also had to get rid of a lot of things I own several times so it's not so alien to me. But maybe you are linking this to some sort of decision making process - as if it's the physical acting out of the decision to just focus on Dzogchen. Of course that might be totally wrong. :shrug:


For me, it's like I'll have read some version of how things 'really' are in one book, then something else in another and another. I don't retain it all and it becomes confused and so I'll find myself thinking I want to learn or study or whatever and there's just a mental block up there because it seems a bit hopeless, like I'm chipping away at a block of marble with a toothpick. The different dzogchen books I have will just briefly contrast views of different traditions in order to show what is different and this is enough to suffice. If I am focusing on dzogchen view, I don't think for me it is useful to know the ins and outs of other traditions. I think it's just too much to keep track of. Sometimes I will be reading a book and suddenly it will hit me how much I have learned in the past 15 years when I first bought Robert Thurman's "Essential Tibetan Buddhism" book (and closed it halfway through feeling as though trying to learn this tradition was a lost cause), but still with all I have learned, I know there is a whole bunch of conceptual stuff I don't know about the particulars of various practices, etc. And I don't see the point of trying to learn that if it is not really what I intend to do with the rest of my life. If there is no end to concepts, I am content doing things as simply as possible. And if my practice is not really about thinking but more about doing and experience, then it makes sense not to spend so much time invested in thoughts, it seems to me. Additionally, I used to just feel conflicted about what is right for me in the past (eg. since I am not a great dzogchenpa, should I invest this time in dzogchen teachings/practices or in vajrayana methods? Etc.).

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:47 pm 
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padma norbu wrote:
If I am focusing on dzogchen view, I don't think for me it is useful to know the ins and outs of other traditions. I think it's just too much to keep track of.
[/quote]

Oh, I think that has to be very common. There's an immense amount just to learn about in Dzogchen itself - let alone the whole of Tibetan Buddhism. I am something of a minimalist and I certianly feel like that sometimes.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:05 pm 
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nice to have such immediate confirmation about this... thanks, Paul.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:26 am 
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I absolutely feel like this too...over the past couple of years I have began to 'hone in' on what is really the essence and what feels important to me. I feel freer and more focused than I ever have.

Next week I have a week long Dzogchen retreat with Tsoknyi Rinpoche...I hope to consolidate things further then.

Best of luck.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:47 am 
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padma norbu wrote:
nice to have such immediate confirmation about this... thanks, Paul.


There are many underpinnings of your question that I find interesting.

Do I need to be a Dharma expert?

Do I need to to be a scholar?

Can I accept that I am not going to teach the Dharma?

Is it okay to practice Dzogchen alone according to it's own tradition?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:03 am 
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Yudron wrote:
padma norbu wrote:
nice to have such immediate confirmation about this... thanks, Paul.


There are many underpinnings of your question that I find interesting.

Do I need to be a Dharma expert?

Do I need to to be a scholar?

Can I accept that I am not going to teach the Dharma?

Is it okay to practice Dzogchen alone according to it's own tradition?


I think the most you can say is that those would be the underpinnings if you asked the question. I can truthfully say none of these questions are applicable in my case, but it was interesting to see your response, that's for sure. All I ever wanted to do was learn correctly so I can not accomplish the goal. Lack of understanding and progress is the only reason I own so many different books at this point, even though I was trying to follow my teachers' advice of "practice more, read less."

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