Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

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Josef
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by Josef »

heart wrote: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:04 pm
Josef wrote: Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:58 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:10 pm

I've corresponded with Elias Capriles in the past, I would certainly ask him again if I ran into anything.

Does anyone have a suggested practice schedule, particularly if you've attempted something like this on your own - a long term dedicated daily practice in lieu of being able to do a retreat?
I would recommend working with semdzins in regular sessions throughout the day. Along with regular sessions in the morning and evening.
Not that it is an bad advice but the semdzins belong to the Mengakde.

/magnus
Typically yes. They can indeed be very powerful methods for working with semde an longde as well.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Josef wrote: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:29 pm
heart wrote: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:04 pm
Josef wrote: Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:58 pm

I would recommend working with semdzins in regular sessions throughout the day. Along with regular sessions in the morning and evening.
Not that it is an bad advice but the semdzins belong to the Mengakde.

/magnus
Typically yes. They can indeed be very powerful methods for working with semde an longde as well.
There are only a couple of these I've worked with, they seem like a good inclusion but I'm trying to keep it simple as possible for now.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by dharmafootsteps »

Josef wrote: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:29 pm
heart wrote: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:04 pm
Josef wrote: Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:58 pm

I would recommend working with semdzins in regular sessions throughout the day. Along with regular sessions in the morning and evening.
Not that it is an bad advice but the semdzins belong to the Mengakde.

/magnus
Typically yes. They can indeed be very powerful methods for working with semde an longde as well.
How do you find it's useful to include them? Within a combined session where you do a bit of both, or separate semde and semdzin sessions in the day?
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by weitsicht »

Look for yourself which works for you how and when. Each person on the path needs to get to know themselves and see how to work with how they are.

Like the veenah / violin, don't pull the string too firm, neither too loose.
Some plan is good, but not too severe, how can you relax and let go otherwise?!?
If you stress yourself out, develop Lung problems, don't hesitate and see for a teacher.

Also, with these practices, don't firmly separate time between working / meditating / eating /shitting / sleeping etc. Look at how you shift from one into another mode of being. The Root Text on the six Bardos in "Collected Works of C. R. Lama" is - to me - a good help to soften my conceptualizing about what I think time is.

I rejoice for your motivation and wish you well! :twothumbsup:
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
HO NANG SRI KHOR DAE THAMCHE KUN ZHI CHIG LAM NYI DRAE BU NYI RIG DANG MA RIG CHOM THRUL TE
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Thanks, everyone's encouragement and mudita has given me energy.

Anyway, one thing I am noticing is that I only can handle so much shine practice per day.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by schubertian »

There is an interesting text which also follows this Semde contemplation sequence, only from a more Kagyu perspective, but seemingly inspired by Semde

It is the Khams Lugs Semde text from the Dam.ngag.dzod. I just started translating it for myself. Oddly, it seems to be the same text as this mahamudra manual (or maybe not so oddly):

https://www.amazon.com/Mahamudra-Meanin ... QDZA1HJPPB

also a step-by-step meditation manual, slightly more detailed then the Sogdogpa manual I suppose

I'll PM you my translation of the Kham Lugs text if I ever finish it
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

schubertian wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:21 pm There is an interesting text which also follows this Semde contemplation sequence, only from a more Kagyu perspective, but seemingly inspired by Semde

It is the Khams Lugs Semde text from the Dam.ngag.dzod. I just started translating it for myself. Oddly, it seems to be the same text as this mahamudra manual (or maybe not so oddly):

https://www.amazon.com/Mahamudra-Meanin ... QDZA1HJPPB

also a step-by-step meditation manual, slightly more detailed then the Sogdogpa manual I suppose

I'll PM you my translation of the Kham Lugs text if I ever finish it
Yes, I'd like to see it for sure!
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by schubertian »

Anyway, one thing I am noticing is that I only can handle so much shine practice per day.
lol - aint it the truth

It reminds me of something - I think it is in Marpa's biography - were he says something like "my tsalung practices are very powerful and swift so that you do not have to spend your time in a lot of boring Shine" - Ouch! That quote has really stuck with me!
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

schubertian wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:43 pm
Anyway, one thing I am noticing is that I only can handle so much shine practice per day.
lol - aint it the truth

It reminds me of something - I think it is in Marpa's biography - were he says something like "my tsalung practices are very powerful and swift so that you do not have to spend your time in a lot of boring Shine" - Ouch! That quote has really stuck with me!
:rolling:

You know there is something real here though. When I get held up in the practice of Shine/Shamatha, it tends to precisely because of some weird bodily energy that I cannot move past. I have sought out Tsa Lung and all kinds of practices in order to deal with this. I feel like I can effectively address it for the first time.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by Josef »

dharmafootsteps wrote: Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:21 am
Josef wrote: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:29 pm
heart wrote: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:04 pm

Not that it is an bad advice but the semdzins belong to the Mengakde.

/magnus
Typically yes. They can indeed be very powerful methods for working with semde an longde as well.
How do you find it's useful to include them? Within a combined session where you do a bit of both, or separate semde and semdzin sessions in the day?
A bit of both. In a session using a semdzin when one becomes drowsy, agitated,or distracted and throughout the day when one becomes aware that you are distracted. By using these methods to return to the four yogas etc it they can be a great support.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by Xango »

Hi,

I did some semde retreats, including with Elio that was mentioned in the posts. In retreat the schedule was very tough - first session at 5, all sessions are at least 2 hours, preferably 3. This enables you to go through many experiences, obstacles, and to find for yourself your capacity and to know what you need to work on. There are different approaches to the practice, the one in "Introduction to the practice of contemplation" for example is in one of the SMS levels. After you work more concentrated like this (with long sessions), you can establish shorter daily routines with essentials for you; this is how it worked for me very well. Short practices are helpful later, to keep practice fresh, but only after solid ground is build.
Maybe, for someone that does not have the possibility for long retreats, short weekend ones paired with daily practice through the week will work well.

:heart:
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by Simon E. »

:namaste:
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by heart »

heart wrote: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:04 pm
Josef wrote: Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:58 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:10 pm

I've corresponded with Elias Capriles in the past, I would certainly ask him again if I ran into anything.

Does anyone have a suggested practice schedule, particularly if you've attempted something like this on your own - a long term dedicated daily practice in lieu of being able to do a retreat?
I would recommend working with semdzins in regular sessions throughout the day. Along with regular sessions in the morning and evening.
Not that it is an bad advice but the semdzins belong to the Mengakde.

/magnus
I have to correct myself here. Malcolm told me that there are semdzins in Semde and Longde but it is "just one sems dzin (A) with different kumbhakas". If anyone know the Dzogchen Desum this can be found in the commentary by Karmey Khenpo.

/magnus
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by florin »

Technically any dzogchen method which involves fixation on an object or objectless and is specifically aimed at discovering one own real state is a semdzin. Naturally sems de and longde class have many semdzins.
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by heart »

florin wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:48 am Technically any dzogchen method which involves fixation on an object or objectless and is specifically aimed at discovering one own real state is a semdzin. Naturally sems de and longde class have many semdzins.
I don't agree. Semdzins are not the same as Shine, which is quite clear in Rinpoches teachings as well.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

heart wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:48 pm
florin wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:48 am Technically any dzogchen method which involves fixation on an object or objectless and is specifically aimed at discovering one own real state is a semdzin. Naturally sems de and longde class have many semdzins.
I don't agree. Semdzins are not the same as Shine, which is quite clear in Rinpoches teachings as well.

/magnus
IDK, in other Dzogchen systems things like fixation on the AH are considered semdzins. Also, in Rinpoches teaching they do appear to have the same purpose, not sure what the operative difference would be, other than that in one case Shine and Contemplation are treated separately to begin with - just in like Mahamudra-based systems.

Anyway, I am going to try the personal short-term retreat thing. Thanks Xango, that was a helpful post.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by climb-up »

heart wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:48 pm
florin wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:48 am Technically any dzogchen method which involves fixation on an object or objectless and is specifically aimed at discovering one own real state is a semdzin. Naturally sems de and longde class have many semdzins.
I don't agree. Semdzins are not the same as Shine, which is quite clear in Rinpoches teachings as well.

/magnus
Semdzins are certainly not shine.
But I thought that the first yoga of semde wasn't shine either; I thought it was like shine, but was different because it was connected to DI and knowledge of our true state.
...not that I'm making any claims as to what specifically a semdzin is, idk. The only things that I have been taught that have been called semdzins explicitly were all menngagde
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by florin »

Nobody said shine is semdzin.

Now i want to explain precisely the meaning of the semdzins and their characteristics. Sem means mind: above all here mind means thoughts, which arise continuously; dzin means to hold. If we do concentration on an object, practically speaking this too is a semdzin; in fact if we remain with our gaze directed to an object there is no way another thought can arise in that moment.
But our gaze does not necessarily have to be directed to an object, it can also be directed into empty space. If one gazes at emptiness that is not an object but its function is the same: this too becomes a semdzin. So there are many ways to practise the semdzin but their final goal is one: to discover our own state.
..................................................................

In the dzogchen upadesha the semdzins are taught as a preparation to achieve knowledge of the nature of the mind and to distinguish mind from its nature.There are also many types of semdzins in the dzogchen semde and longde but those most widely used are those applied in the upadesha.

CNNr.....

I hope this clears things up.
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by heart »

florin wrote: Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:23 am Nobody said shine is semdzin.

Now i want to explain precisely the meaning of the semdzins and their characteristics. Sem means mind: above all here mind means thoughts, which arise continuously; dzin means to hold. If we do concentration on an object, practically speaking this too is a semdzin; in fact if we remain with our gaze directed to an object there is no way another thought can arise in that moment.
But our gaze does not necessarily have to be directed to an object, it can also be directed into empty space. If one gazes at emptiness that is not an object but its function is the same: this too becomes a semdzin. So there are many ways to practise the semdzin but their final goal is one: to discover our own state.
..................................................................

In the dzogchen upadesha the semdzins are taught as a preparation to achieve knowledge of the nature of the mind and to distinguish mind from its nature.There are also many types of semdzins in the dzogchen semde and longde but those most widely used are those applied in the upadesha.

CNNr.....

I hope this clears things up.
Good quotes. :twothumbsup:

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)
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Re: Seriously approaching Semde on ones own

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Thanks to everyone for this thread and who sent me helpful PM's, it was invaluable in helping me figure out how to do this long term.

What I've discovered so far is:

Scheduled daily practice (even longish periods) is not sufficient for me to gain experience of these practices.

Upon some of the advice in this thread, advice received from teachers (DC and otherwise), I determined that the best way to do this is both daily practice -and- these sort of "mini-retreats" when i get a few hours alone.

The times where I have done long practice periods alone have given slow but steady progress. Also having a ton of texts on Mahamudra and Semde helps, though I am using Introduction to The Practice of Contemplation as my basic structure.

Basically, I need a long period with nothing to do, and no immediate responsibilities surrounding it. So far, having that has been indispensable to gaining experience of these practices, rare as such periods are.

The other thing I've found is that I was carrying a lot of expectation and bias due to years of practicing shamatha/vipaysana, and I was expecting that somehow taking this on formally would be similar. So far it's not, I mean arguably trekchod is the union of shamatha vipaysana etc. etc..we could argue all day about whether or not and in what way they are theoretically equivalent, but the felt experience along the way seems quite different. Either way, emptying my cup and not keeping that stuff in my mind has helped to open up these practices a little.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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