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Schools of Buddhism => Vajrayana => Dzogchen => Topic started by: sahaja on January 27, 2013, 05:15:24 pm

Title: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: sahaja on January 27, 2013, 05:15:24 pm
What is the order of Dzogchen practices? Or - What's a perquisite of what? There are so many, it's confusing.
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: ground on January 27, 2013, 10:06:16 pm
What is the order of Dzogchen practices? Or - What's a perquisite of what? There are so many, it's confusing.
If what is called "Dzogchen" were what it is claimed to be then there would not be any practice or prerequisite. But since what is called "Dzogchen" is not what it is claimed to be it is just another kind of religion. Therefore you should ask the "Dzogchen priests" of the corresponding religious traditions.  :fu:
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: BlueSky on January 27, 2013, 11:39:14 pm
It is divided into 3 - base, path, and fruit.

You need to study the base first, minimum to have a correct conceptual understanding.

This one varies. Some people cannot understand it at all, some can understand it conceptually, some can perfectly experience it as well.

So for those who can't experience it directly, there are path (method) how to experience it. There are many methods here. You can choose what suits you.

Fruit is the result of the path, which is the realization of the base, so it is always direct experience here. Where in the base, it can be conceptual. As long as it is not direct experience, you haven't realize the fruit.

Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: sahaja on January 28, 2013, 01:08:37 pm
Quote
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2013, 11:39:14 pm »
 Quote from BlueSky:

It is divided into 3 - base, path, and fruit. ..........


Thank you BlueSky. Your reply helps.

Do Semde, Longde, and Menngagde corresponde with this? And then, for example, where do things like trekchö and tögal fit into this? And others like Tonglen, tiglegyachen, or the yogas like the famous Naropa's 6? Dzogchen forums tend to throw terms around a lot, sometimes at beginners and often arguments erupt over the properness of doing this or that and in what order.

Our teacher told us not to read books and i can understand why. That was pre-internet. I imagine it's also banned for beginners now. So for 20 years i never thought to look at a book or on the internet. Since i have i'm quite lost as to what's being referred to with specific practices. I'm not surprized that we are structured differently. However, there must be some similarity somewhere.
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: BlueSky on January 28, 2013, 07:12:53 pm
In terms of base, all of them share the same base.

But in terms of training, they are different. For example:
Treckho is the training for the inseparability of awareness and emptiness.
Togal is the training for the inseparability of appearances and emptiness.

I do not really know which training belongs to which. I know that each of this Semde, Longde, and Menangde has its own way of training.

For example in Longde if I am not wrong, there is a technique like you press certain point in your body and after some time, it can help you to bring in your instance presence.

For my case I also do not really bother whether this one belong to Semde or Longde or Menangde.

The point is how to be free from illusion and how in your daily life you can feel this peacefulness even when you are in the crowded bus for example.

I personally like the training path of Sutra Mahamudra, where your progress can be divided into 4 yoga.

Tsongkhapa said that in your day time, you practice, at night time you read. I can't remember where I read that, and I think that is a good advice.

In Dzogchen and mahamudra, practice doesn't mean we sit and meditate. But we are training in movement. And dzogchen and mahamudra have the way for it.

Other tradition may also have it, but I am not aware of it.


Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: santamonicacj on January 28, 2013, 08:47:32 pm
At this point your question seems to more about a comprehensive overview of the Nyingma tradition.
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: sahaja on January 29, 2013, 02:09:11 pm
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2013, 08:47:32 pm »
Quote from santamonicacj
At this point your question seems to more about a comprehensive overview of the Nyingma tradition.

An overview Is exactly what i'm looking for. Something i can get an outline from. But i was thinking of Dzogchen, not the tradition/school of Buddhism that 'included' it.  Are those terms i mentioned in reply #3 specifically Nyingma? Or perhaps the Nyingma dominate the web? Or the Dzogchen forums?
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: santamonicacj on January 29, 2013, 02:19:43 pm
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An overview Is exactly what i'm looking for. Something i can get an outline from. But i was thinking of Dzogchen, not the tradition/school of Buddhism that 'included' it.  Are those terms i mentioned in reply #3 specifically Nyingma? Or perhaps the Nyingma dominate the web? Or the Dzogchen forums?
Dzogchen is the specialty of the Nyingmas. Kagyus do it some , Sakyas and Gelupas basically not at all. So if you are interested in Dzogchen you should ask them. There is no Dzogchen without a tradition to the best of my knowledge.

The terms you were using were all Nyingma terms. You seem to have some Nyingma karma. You might consider checking them out.
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: sahaja on January 29, 2013, 04:36:20 pm
Quote
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2013, 02:19:43 pm »
Quote from santamonicacj:

Dzogchen is the specialty of the Nyingmas. Kagyus do it some , Sakyas and Gelupas basically not at all.

I was about to add another post here about that. I just tripped into a sentence on the Dharma Wheel that only mentioned the two, Nyingma and the Bon. So i immediately googled it. It appears so. Oddly i was thinking about something close to what you said - putting it as Nyingma karma was a well timed statement. Right now i'm reeling. Need to let some things i've come across the last couple days sink in and do a tad of historical research.
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: santamonicacj on January 29, 2013, 05:00:59 pm
I was about to add another post here about that. I just tripped into a sentence on the Dharma Wheel that only mentioned the two, Nyingma and the Bon.
Bon is the indigenous shamanistic tradition that predates Buddhism in Tibet. It has been heavily influenced by Dharma, so at this point in time it is impossible to know what remains of the original tradition since Tibet did not have written language before the import of Buddhism. However the do claim Dzogchen as their own.
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: BlueSky on January 29, 2013, 05:45:07 pm
Bon and Nyigmapa (Dzogchen) are different.

Bon is a native religion or belief in Tibet. Although it is said that Bon also has dzogchen, that is possible. But the Dzogchen itself doesn't come from Bon.

Dzogchen is Tibetan word. In Sanskrit, it is called Mahasanti. The person who introduced it to human world is Prahevajra who was born in the west of India, Oddiyana (currently Pakistan).

In Tibetan Prahevajra is called Garab Dorje.

All of them are just naming.

Probably you can read The Great Image, the life history of Vairotjana. You can buy the ebook, $10.



Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: santamonicacj on January 29, 2013, 07:07:37 pm
Bon and Nyigmapa (Dzogchen) are different.
What is your source for that?

As an aside, Bonpos have a reputation for interest in shamanism as opposed to Dharma.

Quote
Bon is a native religion or belief in Tibet. Although it is said that Bon also has dzogchen, that is possible. But the Dzogchen itself doesn't come from Bon
I am of the opinion they got it from the Nyingmas as well. But that would mean they are similar, at least.

Kudos for knowing about Garab Dorje.
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: BlueSky on January 29, 2013, 10:43:05 pm
I do not know who transmit Dzogchen teaching for Bon tradition. But, for Nyigmapa, it is very clear that Padmashambava was the one.

For Bon tradition, you can read Healing with Form, Energy, and Light. It has a brief explanation of Dzogchen in Bon tradition.

Nagarjuna is also the great practitioner of Dzogchen (Mahasanti).

He received this teaching from the nun Dagnyima.

Quote
At that time, the monk Nagarjuna, an expert in the five sciences who fully understood the meaning of the Tripitaka and knew a great deal about the Secret Mantra teachings based in the result, was in search of the meaning of the effortless Great Perfection. He met the nun Dagnyima and requested the essential truth. She bestowed it in full and summarized the meaning in a song:

While reflecting, even realizing emptiness  is deception.
While clinging, even attachment to the deity fetters.
While thinking, even understanding dharma kaya is a thougth.
While meditating, even cultivating nontought is a concept.

Thus she sung. Nagarjuna understood perfectly what this meant and expressed his own realization as follows:

I, Nagarjuna, am at ease because unborn dharma kaya is free of aggregates.
I am at ease because unspoken unceasing speech is free of attributes.
I am at ease because mindless wisdom mind is free of birth and death.
I have realized enlightened mind as great bliss.

So, Nagarjuna is actually a master of many teachings - Mahasanti, mahamudra, Madyamika.

All are just same.
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: santamonicacj on January 30, 2013, 01:29:52 am
Quote
At that time, the monk Nagarjuna, an expert in the five sciences who fully understood the meaning of the Tripitaka and knew a great deal about the Secret Mantra teachings based in the result, was in search of the meaning of the effortless Great Perfection. He met the nun Dagnyima and requested the essential truth.
Ok, where did you get that quote? To the best of my knowledge he predates Dzogchen by several centuries.
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: BlueSky on January 30, 2013, 02:20:26 am
You can read that here:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Great-Image-Vairochana-ebook/dp/B00AYKPKZQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1359535959&sr=1-1&keywords=the+great+image (http://www.amazon.com/The-Great-Image-Vairochana-ebook/dp/B00AYKPKZQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1359535959&sr=1-1&keywords=the+great+image)

Nagarjuna life span is more than 600 years. So, surely he has learned many great teachings.

Padmashambava himself before going to Tibet ever studied Madyamaka with Nagarjuna. This is shown by Padmashambava life story.

This is the lineage of Mahasanti (or Dzogchen in Tibetan, or Great Liberation in English):

Prahevajra (Garab Dorje)
Brahmin Sarasiddhi (Manjushrimitra, Nalanda brahmin)
King Dhahena Talo
Prince Rajahasti
Princess Parani
Nagaraja Sitrita (Naga King Nanda)
Yakshini Changchubma
Prostitute Barani
Rabnang (Khesmiri abbot)
Maharaja
Princess Gomadevi
Atsantra Aloke
Kukkuraja the Elder
Rishi Bhashita
Nun/Prostitute Dagnyima
Nagarjuna
Kukuraja the Younger
Manjushrimitra the Younger /Manjushri Bhadra
Devaraja
Buddhagupta
Shri Singha Prabha
Prostitute Patu + Vimalamitra + Padmashambava + Vairotsana

Then from Vairotsana the lineage goes down up to now.

Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: sahaja on February 02, 2013, 05:37:03 pm

One of those times when i start out to do a thing, trip over something and then noticed it's there. Many things this time.

The problem with history is that it is rarely ever accurate for various reasons. The politics of governments (and of traditions) seems to compel them to change history to show themselves in the best light and a school of Buddhism is not above this. They are, after all, human. In order to legitimize and gain importance for their themselves, a school might link themselves to a figure who is recognized as a great master or a Bodhisattva. A historian or translator comes along and notices the gap in time or distance between people. Assuming the historian has no ties to any particular tradition, the gaps may be explained away by the suggestion that there were intermediaries between the two, like the disciples. Then there's the tendency of humans to believe whatever they're told by what they perceive as an authority figure, be it scholar, science, political, or religious/spiritual. I view histories as a rough draft, too many unknowns, too many distortions.



Dzogchen is the specialty of the Nyingmas. Kagyus do it some , Sakyas and Gelupas basically not at all. So if you are interested in Dzogchen you should ask them. There is no Dzogchen without a tradition to the best of my knowledge.

The terms you were using were all Nyingma terms. You seem to have some Nyingma karma. You might consider checking them out.


Naropa's 6 i believe is Kagyu. I wondered for awhile if they were even considered Dzogchen. There are, however, a number of books about Dzogchen dream yoga and I've seen the yogas listed in a Dzogchen teachers lists of accomplishments in whole or in part. They are easily recognizable across traditions and we use them too, stripped down. Another member of my sangha and i were talking about the yogas and she said she didn't recall hearing any reference to Naropa at all. She's right. But i already had a Evans-Wentz's books before i'd joined the sangha.

From wikipedia:
Marpa's guru Naropa (1016–1100) was the principal disciple of Tilopa (988-1089) from East Bengal. From his own teachers Tilopa received the Four Lineages of Instructions (bka' babs bzhi),[8] which he passed on to Naropa who codified them into what became known as the Six Doctrines or Six Yogas of Naropa. These instructions consist a combination of the completion stage  ................................. realize the state of Mahamudra.

The Mahamudra lineage of Tilopa and Naropa is called the "direct lineage" or "close lineage" as it is said that Tilopa received this Mahamudra realisation directly from the Dharmakaya Buddha Vajradhara and this was transmitted only through Naropa to Marpa.

The "distant lineage" of Mahamudra is said to have come from the Buddha in the form of Vajradara through incarnations of the Bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara and Manjusri to Saraha, then from him through Nagarjuna, Shavaripa, and Maitripa to Marpa. The Mahamudra teachings from Saraha that Maitripa transmitted to Marpa include the "Essence Mahamudra" (snying po'i phyag chen) where Mahamudra is introduced directly without relying on philosophical reasoning or yogic practices.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kagyu]
[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kagyu (http://[url)[/url]
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(Naropa - Marpa one of those glitches in a time line)

More on the Kagyu and Dzogchen -


From wikipedia:
There is a fairly wide consensus among lamas of both the Nyingma and Sarma schools that the end state of dzogchen and mahamudra are the same.[4] The Madhyamaka teachings on emptiness are fundamental to and thoroughly compatible with Dzogchen practices.[5] Essence Mahamudra is viewed as being the same as Dzogchen, except the former doesn't include thödgal

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dzogchen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dzogchen)

In Tibetan Buddhism, the Sarma (new translation) schools include the three newest of the four main schools, comprising: Kagyu, Sakya, Kadam/Geluk, and their sub-branches.

The Nyingma school is the sole Ngagyur or "old translation," school.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarma_%28Tibetan_Buddhism%29 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarma_%28Tibetan_Buddhism%29)



As for the Bon, they were in Tibet before Buddhism arrived. They had Dzogchen. Who had it it first doesn't matter. That they are shamanistic is irrelevant. So is my sangha, or at least it has a shamanistic side. So what? The Nyingma do not get to define what Dzogchen is in accordance with their standards or practice, nor place their limitations on the Dharma either. Both the Bon and the Buddhists had Dzogchen, but one needn't have gotten it from the other. Perhaps the Bon were visited by a Bodhisattva. For some reason the Great Bodhisattvas seem to like to work 'under cover', many of their incarnations aren't known of. At least the two i know best do, Avalokiteshvara and Manjusri.

I think Garab Dorje is considered an incarnation of Vajrasattva and yes, is considered to have introduced Dzogchen. That doesn't necessarily mean a lineage has to link to him in order to have it. The origination of the teachings is the Kingdoms, the Purelands. There is no reason they couldn't be brought to different traditions at different times and maybe even have a diferent title/name for it besides Dzogchen.

When i discovered that there only the 2 traditions involved in Dzogchen, i practically panicked because of an experience i had a long ago made me for the moment think i might have been Nyingma in some past life. Seeing what Marpa made Milarepa go through for what he had done scared me because having Nyingma karma would be a whole lot worse. Our teacher does not like the Nyingma. Starting with something Padmasamblava did. Some of the things i've caught glimpses of the last few days have made me think i had better be careful around their teachings.

I have plenty of reasons to think that my background, past life-lives was Kagyu.

My sangha is Dzogchen, under the auspices of Buddhism, no ties to any tradition or school.

I'm not looking to be Dzogchen, i have been for lifetimes from what the founder of our sanga has told me about myself.
 
From what little i've been able to surmise, we are structured very differently from the Nyingma, perhaps have a little more in common with the Kagyu, but perhaps not very much. I haven't checked out the Bon yet. I was thinking that their being such an old tradition and still very indiginous, that they would even far more different and harder to understand. I was trying to similarities in practices. I've only been at this, sporadically, a short while. Once in awile i see familiar words. Then i haven't been to our Dharma Center for over 10 years and some of these terms i haven't heard for 20 years. Yep, the terma is safe with me, i've entirely forgotten it.



I do not know who transmit Dzogchen teaching for Bon tradition. But, for Nyigmapa, it is very clear that Padmashambava was the one.

For Bon tradition, you can read Healing with Form, Energy, and Light. It has a brief explanation of Dzogchen in Bon tradition.


Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoch has a document about Tibetan shamanism on scribd.com and i grabbed the notes/Healing with Form, Energy, and Light. I don't want to start buying books when i'm only probably going to read a few paragraphs or a chapter or two. It would get expensive real quick. I've downloaded hundreds of  books and documents in the past 4-5 months from all over the net. Scribd has been well worth it's membership cost. Can read for free but i prefer to download. I go in looking for something, they may or may not have it, but i invariably find a bunch of stuff i wouldn't of known about otherwise. Their search could stand improvement (who's couldn't?) Search by author, title, or subject one at a time, rather than title and author.





Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: santamonicacj on February 02, 2013, 07:37:48 pm
Quote
Naropa's 6 i believe is Kagyu. I wondered for awhile if they were even considered Dzogchen. There are, however, a number of books about Dzogchen dream yoga and I've seen the yogas listed in a Dzogchen teachers lists of accomplishments in whole or in part. They are easily recognizable across traditions and we use them too, stripped down. Another member of my sangha and i were talking about the yogas and she said she didn't recall hearing any reference to Naropa at all. She's right. But i already had a Evans-Wentz's books before i'd joined the sangha.
The 6 Yogas of Naropa are yogic practices that lead to Mahamudra, not Dzogchen. Mahamudra and Dzogchen are very similar, but different. Think of them like a Honda Civic and a Toyota Corolla. Very similar and do the same job, but not exactly the same.

Having said that, the Nyingma have their own version of the 6 Yogas that are Dzogchen related. I forget what they are called. That's why you'll see Dream Yoga references to Dzogchen in the Nyingma.


Quote
The Mahamudra lineage of Tilopa and Naropa is called the "direct lineage" or "close lineage" as it is said that Tilopa received this Mahamudra realisation directly from the Dharmakaya Buddha Vajradhara and this was transmitted only through Naropa to Marpa.

The "distant lineage" of Mahamudra is said to have come from the Buddha in the form of Vajradara through incarnations of the Bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara and Manjusri to Saraha, then from him through Nagarjuna, Shavaripa, and Maitripa to Marpa. The Mahamudra teachings from Saraha that Maitripa transmitted to Marpa include the "Essence Mahamudra" (snying po'i phyag chen) where Mahamudra is introduced directly without relying on philosophical reasoning or yogic practices.
What we usually think of as Mahamudra, the meditation where you look at your mind and don't try to alter it, etc. is the "distant lineage". The other Mahamudra comes from completion stage practices. One of the accomplishments of Marpa was combining the two different approaches to Mahamudra, thus forming the Kagyu school.

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There is a fairly wide consensus among lamas of both the Nyingma and Sarma schools that the end state of dzogchen and mahamudra are the same.[4] The Madhyamaka teachings on emptiness are fundamental to and thoroughly compatible with Dzogchen practices.[5] Essence Mahamudra is viewed as being the same as Dzogchen, except the former doesn't include thödgal.
Yes, there is almost universal consensus among Kagyu and Nyingma lamas about the end result being the same. Gelug lamas generally do not accept that idea. In any case there are some differences in approach and technique.

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Seeing what Marpa made Milarepa go through for what he had done scared me because having Nyingma karma would be a whole lot worse.
Whatever gave you that idea? The Nyingmas are the liberal, easy ones!

Quote
Our teacher does not like the Nyingma. Starting with something Padmasamblava did. Some of the things i've caught glimpses of the last few days have made me think i had better be careful around their teachings.

My sangha is Dzogchen, under the auspices of Buddhism, no ties to any tradition or school.
A Dzogchen sangha where the teacher does not like Nyingmas? Hmm.
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: santamonicacj on February 02, 2013, 09:50:12 pm
BTW some time ago I read the autobiography of a Catholic monk in the 1930s that accidentally stumbled on what I call Mahamudra/Dzogchen type of meditation. It freaked him out so much he left the Church. Why? Because the understanding it imparted to him was contrary to Church doctrine. He realized that, contrary to the idea of the fall of Adam, we are never separated from the Truth, etc.

After he left the Vatican he made his way to L.A. Since he had experience being a monk he was cast as an extra in "Lost Horizon". Seems like a premonition of things to come for him, doesn't it?

He didn't say Mahamudra, or Dzogchen, or meditation or Buddhism. It happened in the 1930s after all. He didn't know what to make of it. Calling it those things is my take on it. But reading it from today's perspective was pretty funny .

The book was called "I Was a Monk" by John Tettemer.
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: sahaja on February 12, 2013, 09:59:24 pm
Too little time, too much to do, American way of life. A lot of bits and pieces research, and wandering off into even more when something catches my attention.

When i first joined the sangha our teacher said i had a lot of undefined energy. I immediately thought, "probably why i have such a hard time defining things". Maybe.

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santamonicacj
« on: February 02, 2013, 07:37:48 pm »

  The 6 Yogas of Naropa are yogic practices that lead to Mahamudra, not Dzogchen. Mahamudra and Dzogchen are very similar, but different. Think of them like a Honda Civic and a Toyota Corolla. Very similar and do the same job, but not exactly the same. 


Or 2 the faces of the same coin? They look different, but spend the same. Which side is of greater value?

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by santamonicacj

Having said that, the Nyingma have their own version of the 6 Yogas that are Dzogchen related. I forget what they are called. That's why you'll see Dream Yoga references to Dzogchen in the Nyingma.

So, are the Nyingma Yogas at all similar to Naropa's?

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by santamonicacj

   The Mahamudra lineage of Tilopa and Naropa is called the "direct lineage" or "close lineage" as it is said that Tilopa received this Mahamudra realisation directly from the Dharmakaya Buddha Vajradhara and this was transmitted only through Naropa to Marpa.

Except it is extremely doubtful that Marpa ever met Naropa. From what i know, he wouldn't have needed to. It was mentioned during one or two of of our teachings that Marpa was Avalokiteshvara. So when i saw the Kagyu lineage a few months back, i wondered at first who Naropa was. I don't know what i put in google search the day i found myself on a French blog that translated easily. One mention was of a translator - Davidson who had found a time discrepancy in the Marpa /Naropa story. It took me 2 hours to find out the translator's full name the title of the book, find and download it from Scribd and read the chapter + more. That was 6 months ago. It took me over 2 days to remember even the name Davidson so i could find the book in my files. I have a lot of other issues about the versions of the Marpa story and i have no reason to doubt my teacher's knowledge on this. But i know very little about it, such as when Avalokiteshvara became Marpa since it could have happened at any point in Marpa's life.

From page 142, Tibetan Renaissance, Ronald M Davidson
Chapter 4 -Translators as the New Aristocracy - The Mysterious Master Marpa 141

"In one case, the discontinuities between fabulous claims made and what little can be known of the actual nature of the translators’ lives were apparent. Marpa-lotsawa Chokyi Lotro was certainly one of the great exemplars of the period, and his hagiographical association with the siddha Naropa has become a monument of Tibetan fictionalization. Tsang-nyon Herukas (1452—1507) early-sixteenth-century hagiography of Marpa portrays the great translator in a manner appropriate to the Kagyiipa proclivity to fictionalize almost every aspects of its lineage, but few of the elements have a historical background." ...

I don't think the proclivity to fictionalize is hardly unique to the Kagyu. The longer history is or the longer the lineage, the longer the grapevine effect. Throw in religiosity and who knows what actually took place when.

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by santamonicacj

The 6 Yogas of Naropa are yogic practices that lead to Mahamudra,.......

What we usually think of as Mahamudra, the meditation where you look at your mind and don't try to alter it,

Our yogas bear a resemblance to what is discribed in Naropa's 6. Being translated so many times and being so widely available i was thinking even being so called esoteric, the gist of them is recognizable across schools. I assume there is more to Mahamudra  then, because using those yogas for 'look at your mind meditation' is bizzare, although seeing mind in far greater depths would be a part of the yogas. I just see the them as a method to develope useful 'tools'. Like Phowa (movement) and it's various forms - a.to the ,or Kingdoms, b.occupying a corpse to extend life, Trongjug (grong hjug) c.Consciousness sharing, necessary  for transmission, initations, + d.e.f. .etc.  Each of the 6 yogas have their uses and are interrelated and interdependent, tummo being the base, i believe.

We do what sounds like the 'the meditation where you look at your mind', but your calling it a meditation throws me. I think of that as something done for a period of time. Whereas this was more of an ongoing thing. This was taught as one of the basic first steps. Note i said sounds like, not is it. A similarity again perhaps.  But we are not Kagyu either.

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by santamonicacj

Yes, there is almost universal consensus among Kagyu and Nyingma lamas about the end result being the same. Gelug lamas generally do not accept that idea. In any case there are some differences in approach and technique.

There are always differences in approach and technique from school to school or traditions. Different approaches, different times, different cultures, different needs, different opportunities. Not only Buddhism, from Zen to Dzogchen, but also from Hindu to the Tao, and probably a lot further. This is odd trying to compare 2 schools of Dzogchen by using the Kagyu.

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by santamonicacj

 The Nyingmas are the liberal, easy ones!

They weren't Nyingma. We aren't Nyingma. But as far as the Nyingmas being liberal, easy, ones, haven't you seen some of the threads on the Dzogchen forums? Since as you pointed out about the Nyingma and the Bon being the only ones with Dzogchen, then the forums would be Nyingma. Apparently some of their teachers forgot to include equanimity or respect for others in their lesson plans, along with insight or realization that they just might not know it all themselves.

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by santamonicacj

A Dzogchen sangha where the teacher does not like Nyingmas? Hmm.



I don't think there's a universal law stating everyone must like the Nyingma. He has his reasons, however i don't know what they are. As i said it started with something Padmasambhava did. But the names Padmasambhava or Nyingma rarely came up. 5 - 6 times total in 10 years, including classes, darshons, and 'kitchen' conversations. They were hardly ever mentioned and very little when they were. Just not important. The Nyingma karma comment was kind of a joke. It came from an incident i wouldn't care to relate on a Dzogchen forum. Too outside Nyingma norms, i'd guess, Western anyway. It involved me getting in a mix up with some beings, not knowing who i described it at darshon. He shouted Nyingma! I winced and ducked. The discussion culminated in him saying that the Nyingma had Dzogchen too, and from what they had pulled off were very advanced at it. (He was impressed, i could hear respect in his voice.)

Looking at a general overviews of Dzogchen around i see many familiar phrases and terms. I thought i should recognize a lot more than i did in thinking that since we are Dzogchen it would be generally same thing, allowing for differences in schools and techniques. Then i shortly realized that we wouldn't be because it would serve no purpose to duplicate what already is. Particularly if for some reason there was something in it that didn't meet his approval, something he didn't like about it. Of course we would be different, in some areas no doubt radically so.

It doesn't take much insight to know how new school arising out nowhere is going to be met. The same way anything new is met. It's wrong, a sham, impossible, delusional, crazy, etc. etc.. After all, if it lies outside of someone's personal knowledge or experience and hasn't been validated by their authority figures or not even a reality accepted by a general consensus it couldn't possibly exist. We all know how the church reacted to Galileo. Or how anything that is seen as different or as a threat is often reacted to. It really has nothing to do with one side being right and the other being wrong, although it's often seen that way.


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Posted by: sahaja
« on: February 02, 2013, 05:37:03 pm »

My sangha is Dzogchen, under the auspices of Buddhism, no ties to any tradition or school.

This is a mistake on my part. So many have been using the terms interchangeably around the web that i just got sloppy. But there are a lot of divisions and subdivsions and classifications so i don't know what term would apply where. From reading the the listings on the directories, their attitude seems to be classify or discribe it however you want to give people an idea of what you're up to. I'll use that idea.

So my sangha is  Vajrayana, Tibetan, Dzogchen
- Atti yoga, Tantric, (of course)
under the auspices of Buddhism
No school, no lineage (yet)
Kingdom association - Shambhala

Of course whether it remains Dzogchen is dependent on certain criteria. Seems they would know by now. It's still being called Dzogchen.

Padmasambhava's  Pureland Kingdom is Zangdok Palri (the Copper-coloured Mountain) - Isn't it?



Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: santamonicacj on February 12, 2013, 10:36:36 pm
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Having said that, the Nyingma have their own version of the 6 Yogas that are Dzogchen related. I forget what they are called. That's why you'll see Dream Yoga references to Dzogchen in the Nyingma.
So, are the Nyingma Yogas at all similar to Naropa's?
Yes, I believe so.

The Kagyus have variations also. There's the 6 Yogas of Niguma and the 6 Yogas of Sukasidhi, both of which were females yogis. They are all variations on the same thing.

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Our yogas bear a resemblance to what is discribed in Naropa's 6. Being translated so many times and being so widely available i was thinking even being so called esoteric, the gist of them is recognizable across schools.
The 6 Yogas are widely available? In the Kagyu tradition they are generally taught only in the context of the 3 year retreat. They are not publicly taught.

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I assume there is more to Mahamudra  then, because using those yogas for 'look at your mind meditation' is bizzare, although seeing mind in far greater depths would be a part of the yogas. I just see the them as a method to develope useful 'tools'. Like Phowa (movement) and it's various forms - a.to the ,or Kingdoms, b.occupying a corpse to extend life, Trongjug (grong hjug) c.Consciousness sharing, necessary  for transmission, initations, + d.e.f. .etc.  Each of the 6 yogas have their uses and are interrelated and interdependent, tummo being the base, i believe.

We do what sounds like the 'the meditation where you look at your mind', but your calling it a meditation throws me. I think of that as something done for a period of time. Whereas this was more of an ongoing thing. This was taught as one of the basic first steps. Note i said sounds like, not is it. A similarity again perhaps.  But we are not Kagyu either.
There is Sutra Mahamudra and Tantric Mahamudra. The "look at your mind" style is Sutra. The 6 Yogas are Tantra. The 6 Yogas have a creation phase and completion phase. The Mahamudra aspect comes into play in the completion phase.

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Except it is extremely doubtful that Marpa ever met Naropa.
Right. And he never met Milarepa either.

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The Nyingmas are the liberal, easy ones!
They weren't Nyingma. We aren't Nyingma. But as far as the Nyingmas being liberal, easy, ones, haven't you seen some of the threads on the Dzogchen forums? Since as you pointed out about the Nyingma and the Bon being the only ones with Dzogchen, then the forums would be Nyingma. Apparently some of their teachers forgot to include equanimity or respect for others in their lesson plans, along with insight or realization that they just might not know it all themselves.
Misbehavior by individuals is everywhere. This is the Kali Yuga after all.

The Nyingmas have the least emphasis on academics, the least emphasis on monastic vows (and thus the least restrictions on personal behavior), and the least structured organization. Plus, for those that get REALLY serious about doing 3 year retreat, they are allowed to have beds. The Kagyus have to sit up in their meditation box for 3 years. Ugh! So yeah, the Nyingmas are the liberal, easy ones!

*****

Just out of curiosity, where did you teacher get his training in Dzogchen? What are his qualifications to teach?
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: songhill on February 13, 2013, 01:31:08 pm
There are differences between all the practices because conventional/conditioned reality is so different, with more differences in humans than you can shake a stick at. Thankfully, these practices are aiming for pure Mind (or Buddha Mind if that sounds better). I like the way Erwin Schrödinger put it:

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“Mind by its very nature is a singulare tantum [single only]. I should say: the overall number of minds is just one.”
 
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: BlueSky on February 18, 2013, 07:35:33 pm
It is not right to think that Gelugpa do not practice Dzogchen.

In the book of Dzogchen by Dalai Lama, it is mentioned that actually Dalai Lama the fifth has a direct transmission from Padmashambava, where this transmission is continuously maintained up to Dalai Lama the 14th.

Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: santamonicacj on February 18, 2013, 08:32:20 pm
It is not right to think that Gelugpa do not practice Dzogchen.

In the book of Dzogchen by Dalai Lama, it is mentioned that actually Dalai Lama the fifth has a direct transmission from Padmashambava, where this transmission is continuously maintained up to Dalai Lama the 14th.
The Dalai Lama is not your typical Gelug lama.

The present D.L. is very ecumenical and has made a point of inviting Nyingma lamas to teach at Gelug monasteries. However that is a very new thing for the Gelugpas.

Somehow here in the West Dzogchen's reputation has eclipsed Mahamudra's. That is not warranted.

The Gelugpas practice Mahamudra. It ends up at the same place as Dzogchen. There is nothing lacking in Gelug practice.
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: BlueSky on February 19, 2013, 03:04:26 am
Quote from: santamonicacj
The Dalai Lama is not your typical Gelug lama.

The present D.L. is very ecumenical and has made a point of inviting Nyingma lamas to teach at Gelug monasteries. However that is a very new thing for the Gelugpas.

Somehow here in the West Dzogchen's reputation has eclipsed Mahamudra's. That is not warranted.

The Gelugpas practice Mahamudra. It ends up at the same place as Dzogchen. There is nothing lacking in Gelug practice.


This is not true.

You shall read the book of Dzogchen by Dalai Lama to have an idea how the fifth Dalai Lama got the Dzogchen teaching.

Briefly, you can read here:
http://books.google.com.sg/books?id=4HqLxJRN6MUC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false (http://books.google.com.sg/books?id=4HqLxJRN6MUC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: santamonicacj on February 19, 2013, 08:05:43 am
Quote from: santamonicacj
The Dalai Lama is not your typical Gelug lama.

The present D.L. is very ecumenical and has made a point of inviting Nyingma lamas to teach at Gelug monasteries. However that is a very new thing for the Gelugpas.

Somehow here in the West Dzogchen's reputation has eclipsed Mahamudra's. That is not warranted.

The Gelugpas practice Mahamudra. It ends up at the same place as Dzogchen. There is nothing lacking in Gelug practice.


This is not true.

You shall read the book of Dzogchen by Dalai Lama to have an idea how the fifth Dalai Lama got the Dzogchen teaching.

Briefly, you can read here:
[url]http://books.google.com.sg/books?id=4HqLxJRN6MUC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false[/url] ([url]http://books.google.com.sg/books?id=4HqLxJRN6MUC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false[/url])

I got as far as p.27. Up to that point all the lamas mentioned in connection to Dzogchen were Nyingma lamas, no Gelug, except for HHDL himself. On p. 27 it says that the initiation that HHDL is giving is a Nyingma initiation. Nowhere does it say that Dzogchen is part of the Gelug curriculum.

If you don't believe me, go to a Gelug monastery and ask for Dzogchen teachings. They will tell you to go elsewhere.
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: BlueSky on February 19, 2013, 08:10:05 am
Padmashambava is not Nyigmapa nor Gelugpa.

If Dalai Lama the fifth receive teaching directly from Padmashambava, is he Nyigmapa?

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Dzogchen
From "Dzogchen: The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection" by Dalai Lama, trans. by Thupten Jinpa & Richard Barron, fore. by Sogyal Rinpoche, ed. by Patrick Gaffney.
Posted by: DailyOM
GROUND, PATH AND FRUITION
The Background
Paris, 1982

In the chilly, wet October of 1982, His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited France for the first time. Over twelve days, in Paris, Strasbourg, Toulouse and Digne, he gave Buddhist teachings and interviews, met dignitaries of every description, and touched on all the points of contact between France and Tibetan culture, in what was becoming a blueprint for his visits to different countries. The France he encountered in 1982 was one gripped by uncertainty, with a new socialist government, terrorist attacks in Paris, and bread, petrol and public transport all rising in price. Yet this was also a France with a deep and serious interest in all things Tibetan, and where the public response to His Holiness’s visit was tumultuous. Three articles splashed across the pages of Le Monde, excited yet baffled at discovering his "disconcerting, engaging personality", "disarming" and "always joyful". At his public talk in Paris, ‘Universal Compassion and the World Crisis’, a vast, ebullient crowd unable to gain entry to the hall spilled out onto the pavement in their hundreds, milling around in noisy abandon, as the police attempted to disembroil them.

The Pagode de Vincennes in the far south-east corner of Paris was the setting for the empowerment which His Holiness granted at the invitation of Rigpa and Sogyal Rinpoche. This exotic building dates back to 1931 and the Colonial Exhibition, held to celebrate the civilizing virtues of France’s colonial past in Asia, Africa and Oceania. The Cameroon and Togo pavilion was designed as a replica of a tribal hut, but at sixty metres square and some twenty-two metres high and with a roof formed of 180,000 chestnut tiles, it was a lot more ambitious than its original model. After serving for forty years as a museum of wood, it lay empty till 1977, when Jean Sainteny, former French representative in Cambodia, requested it from the city of Paris as a site for an International Institute that would cater for all the ethnic Buddhist groups in France. A competition was launched for a large international looking statue of Buddha, which was won by a Yugoslav sculptor, François Mozes. His Buddha, crafted in the workshop of the Catalan surrealist painter Joan Miró, is made of fibreglass covered with twenty-three carat gold, and bears a face which is regarded as distinctly European. Inaugurated in October 1977 by Jacques Chirac, then Mayor of Paris, the Pagode has ever since remained a unique and important venue for major Buddhist gatherings. By 1982, large teachings and empowerments had already been given there by masters such as Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche, Kyabjé Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Kyabjé Kalu Rinpoche. And it was here that, at 2pm on Thursday 7 October, hundreds gathered to receive His Holiness’s empowerment and teaching.

THE FIFTH DALAI LAMA

As he explains, His Holiness chose to give the empowerment of Padmasambhava and his Eight Manifestations from the cycle of profound pure visions of the ‘Great Fifth’ Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso. Born in 1617 to descendants of the royal house of Zahor, the fifth Dalai Lama was one of the most dynamic, skilful and influential figures in Tibetan history. Out of the chaos of seventeenth century Central Asia, he emerged in 1642 with the whole land of Tibet from Ladakh to Tachienlu under his rule. Ten years later he was invited to Beijing by the emperor Shun-chih, where he was treated as an equal and offered an imperial proclamation inscribed in gold, calling him ‘Dalai Lama, Vajra Holder and Master of the Teaching’.

The fifth Dalai Lama constructed the Potala Palace, pioneered the dual system of spiritual and temporal governance of Tibet, and is credited with establishing a national health system and educational programme. He was a prolific writer, his historical and autobiographical writings supplying a crucial source for historians of the period. He passed away in his sixty-sixth year in 1682 in the Potala Palace, while absorbed in meditation on Kurukulla, a deity associated with power and magnetizing. This was read as an auspicious sign of the power of his enlightened activity in the future.

Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso occupies an important place in the transmission of the Nyingma teachings, and is included by Dudjom Rinpoche in his famous ‘History of the Nyingmapas’ among the biographies of the tertöns. This is particularly on account of his revelation of the ‘pure visions’ of the Gyachen Nyer Nga—’Twenty -five Sealed Teachings’. The fifth Dalai Lama was prophesied in cert ain termas as an emanation of the enlightened activity of King Trisong Detsen. He felt a deep connection with the Nyingma tradition of Guru Padmasambhava, and had a number of important Nyingma teachers, such as Zurchen Chöying Rangdrol, Khöntön Paljor Lhundrup, and Terdak Lingpa, Minling Terchen Gyurmé Dorje. He was particularly close to the masters of the ‘Northern Treasure’ lineage of Rigdzin Gödem, who appear frequently in his visions. In his autobiography he also speaks of Pema Rigdzin, the first Dzogchen Rinpoche, whom he urged to found the Dzogchen monastery in Kham; he calls him "the great Dzogchenpa who has totally understood the Nyingtik". Dudjom Rinpoche writes:

Of particular interest is the manner in which the Dalai Lama received the teachings contained in the ‘Profound Pure Visions’, which was foretold in a prophecy in the termas of the glorious Tashi Topgyal:

You who are now king of the black-headed race,
Through pure aspirations, your fifth incarnation will reveal
‘Twenty-five’—with five special mind treasures.

In fact, when the fifth Dalai Lama went to glorious Samyé, the auspicious conditions arose for him to reveal actual termas. However, on account of the time, the place and the situation, he did not take possession of them. Later on, when the infinite deities of the three roots actually appeared to him in visions, according to the prophecies and empowerments he received, he wrote down the twenty-five sections of teaching called Sangwa Gyachen— ’Bearing the Seal of Secrecy’. Along with his orally composed additional commentary, they amount to two volumes. He bestowed the empowerments and instructions of all of them on a gathering of supreme beings, principally the holders of the tradition of the ancient translation school such as the sovereign of the dharma Terdak Lingpa and the vidyadhara Pema Trinlé. As a result, they came to spread far and wide, and their lineage has continued, unimpaired, up until the present day.

From the age of six, the fifth Dalai Lama began to experience a stream of visions which continued, almost uninterrupted, throughout his entire life. They are chronicled in his autobiographical writings. In the seventh month of the fire monkey year, 1656, at the age of forty, the Dalai Lama prepared to celebrate the tenth day offerings to Padmasambhava by collecting together an extraordinary group of nine terma images of Guru Padmasambhava, discovered by Nyangral Nyima Özer, Guru Chöwang, Sangyé Lingpa, Ratna Lingpa, Kunkyong Lingpa and Trango Sherab Özer. Not long after he had started the practice, along with the monks of the Namgyal College, a vision began to materialize, in which Guru Rinpoche appeared and conferred empowerment on him. He witnessed all the eight manifestations of Padmasambhava dancing in the mandala, and then dissolving into him. Yeshé Tsogyal appeared and led him to meet the Great Guru in his palace, surrounded by the eight manifestations. This was the vision that was the source of the empowerment which His Holiness the Dalai Lama would give in Paris.

As His Holiness explains in his introduction, the empowerment of Padmasambhava and his Eight Manifestations is the sadhana of the guru— ladrup— from the Sangwa Gyachen cycle. This was the first time His Holiness had given this empowerment in the west, and he was to give it again in 1989 in California. In January 1992, at the request of the seventh Dzogchen Rinpoche, he began to transmit the complete cycle of empowerments from the Sangwa Gyachen on the occasion of the inauguration of the new Dzogchen monastery in Kollegal, South India. He gave the empowerments of Kagyé and Doric Drolö, during which he made this fascinating personal reflection:

I was quite young when I received the complete teachings of the secret visions of the fifth Dalai Lama. Although I did not pay too much attention at the time, I remember that I did have a number of very good dreams, and so it appears we have a special connection. Later, in Lhasa, I found the works of the fifth Dalai Lama, which had been preserved mainly, I believe, by the later Dalai Lamas. Among them are the very secret teachings which exist in the form of illustrated manuscripts ... Later, in India I obtained these scriptures and spent a few months in retreat, practising Kagyé, Hayagriva, Avalokitesvara and others. On my side, I feel that I am very fortunate: right from the fifth Dalai Lama, because of aspirations and prayers, I have been in the long line of those who hold the name of Lotus Holder. And it seems there is some particularly special connection with the fifth Dalai Lama.

Before beginning the empowerment at Vincennes in 1982, His Holiness explained the meaning of empowerment and then gave an outline of ground, path and fruition in Dzogchen. Here he unveiled a theme which appears throughout all these teachings: the affinities, differences and ultimate oneness, of the view and practice of the Highest Yoga Tantra in the new translation schools, and the ancient tradition of Dzogchen. He also underlined the importance of the introduction to the pure awareness of rigpa, preparing, in a way, for the teachings in 1984 and 1989.

His Holiness sat directly in front of the great golden figure of Lord Buddha, before him the crowded pagoda, and lamas representing all of the Buddhist traditions: Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, Lama Yeshé, founder of the FPMT, Dagpo Rinpoche, Taklung Tsetrul Pema Wangyal Rinpoche, Sogyal Rinpoche and geshes and lamas from all the Buddhist centres in France. Two days later, His Holiness returned to the Pagode to give a brief teaching for the Buddhist community. Then, in the centre of the front row, sat Jacques Chirac. At the end of the session, His-Holiness leant down and quietly asked him never to forget to care for the people of Paris.

HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA THE PURE VISIONS

The empowerment I am going to give today is in response to a request I received some time ago from Sogyal Rinpoche. He asked that when I came to Europe I might consider visiting some of his centers to give empowerments, particularly from the cycle known as Sangwa Gyachen— ’Bearing the Seal of Secrecy’— and I agreed that I would, as long as time permitted. Now, since my travels have brought me to Europe and to France, I have been invited once again by Sogyal Rinpoche to teach in Paris. From all the possible empowerments within the Sangwa Gyachen cycle, I have decided to bestow theempowerment for the "mind sadhana" known in Tibetan as Tukdrup Yang Nying Kundü— ’The Union of All the Innermost Essences,’ as I think this will be the most appropriate of them all.

As many of you know, this Sangwa Gyachen cycle forms part of a larger tradition, the Secret Mantra teachings of the Nyingma or Ancient school of Tibetan Buddhism. The rituals and practices of this school are transmitted in three ways— the extensive lineage of kama, the shorter lineage of terma, and the profound transmission through pure visions— dak nang. The Sangwa Gyachen cycle consists of transmissions which have their origin in these pure visions.

Now pure visions can be considered from two points of view. First, there are meditative experiences of a more ephemeral kind, known in Tibetan as nyam. Then there are the pure visions in which a master actually experiences receiving the transmission from a deity in a pure realm, and this is considered to be quite different from a meditative experience. This cycle of pure visions of Sangwa Gyachen comes down to us from the fifth Dalai Lama. What is remarkable about these visions is that, far from being simply meditative experiences that arose during practice, they were received on occasions when the fifth Dalai Lama actually went to pure wisdom realms, and was given the transmissions encoded in these empowerments. To a yogin of his stature, who is able to perceive directly enlightened forms or kayas, and realms of wisdom, the pure visions that occur will naturally belong to this category.

In the case of the ‘Great Fifth’ Dalai Lama, the predispositions from his previous lifetimes awakened in him at a very early age, and this allowed him to experience any number of such pure visions throughout his life. The most extraordinary of these are contained in the Sangwa Gyachen cycle, which is composed of twenty-five sections dealing with distinct visions. The accounts of the pure visions experienced by the fifth Dalai Lama can be found in his secret autobiography.

Among these twenty-five sections, the principal one focuses on the Kagyé, or ‘Eight Commands,’ where all the deities appear in a single mandala. Individual practices also exist for each of these deities. The whole cycle of Sangwa Gyachen contains a number of empowerments, blessings, and permission ceremonies for different deities, both peaceful and wrathful, out of which I have chosen today to perform the empowerment of ‘The Union of All the Innermost Essences’. This empowerment is based on the mandala of the guru as the vidyadhara. It is an empowerment which is easy to perform, and yet which at the same time transmits enormous blessing and the potential for great spiritual attainment. Generally speaking, very profound teachings can often take a considerable amount of time for a teacher to confer and for students to assimilate. The advantage here is that this empowerment is quite short and easy to transmit, and yet it does possess that profound depth. But even in saying that, I am aware of the fact that normally it would take some three or four hours to perform, if we had the time. This afternoon we only have an hour or so available, so we will be going even faster than would normally be the case.

The master from whom I received the transmission for this extraordinary Sangwa Gyachen cycle was Taktra Rinpoche. The main sadhana from this cycle that I have practised myself is the one associated with the mandala which unifies the eight deities of the Kagyé. I have also focused on several of the other practices to a certain extent, such as Vajrakilaya, Hayagriva, and Avalokitesvara. Generally speaking, if you are going to transmit empowerments for a given cycle of teachings in the Nyingma tradition, you should ideally have completed retreats on all the deities of the three roots for that cycle. However when I received these empowerments from my teacher, I also received permission from him to give them to others if there was benefit for them in my doing so. In addition, it was explained to me that the Kagyé practice is the principal focus of all the twenty-five sections of the Sangwa Gyachen cycle, and so to complete a full retreat on this particular practice constitutes the minimum requirement for a vajra master to confer the empowerments on others. So, while I have not had the opportunity to accomplish a more thorough practice of the other sections of this cycle, I have completed the Kagyé section and am therefore in a position to offer the empowerments of Sangwa Gyachen.

THE MEANING OF EMPOWERMENT

As for empowerment in general, what does the term wang, or empowerment, signify? To begin with, our fundamental nature— what we term ‘the buddha nature’, or tathagatagarbha, the very nature of our mind, is inherently present within us as a natural attribute. This mind of ours, the subject at hand, has been going on throughout beginningless time, and so has the more subtle nature of that mind. On the basis of the continuity of that subtle nature of our mind rests the capacity we have to attain enlightenment. This potential is what we call ‘the seed of buddhahood,’ ‘buddha nature,’ ‘the fundamental nature’, or ‘tathagatagarbha’. We all have this buddha nature, each and every one of us. For example, this beautiful statue of Lord Buddha here, in the presence of which we are now sitting, is a representation that honours someone who attained buddhahood. He awakened into that state of enlightenment because his nature was the buddha nature. Ours is as well, and just as the Buddha attained enlightenment in the past, so in the future we can become buddhas too.

When, at some future point, we do attain buddhahood, that subtle continuum of our awareness will awaken to a state of omniscience called dharmakaya. The nature of mind at that point is what we term svabhavikakaya. The fact that it is totally pure by its very nature is one aspect of the svabhavikakaya— that of total and natural purity. The fact that adventitious obscurations have been removed and no longer obscure that true nature of mind is another aspect of the svabhavikakaya— that of being purified of adventitious obscurations.

In any case, there dwells within us all this potential which allows us to awaken into buddhahood and attain omniscience. The empowerment process draws that potential out, and allows it to express itself more fully. When an empowerment is conferred on you, it is the nature of your mind— the buddha nature— that provides a basis upon which the empowerment can ripen you. Through the empowerment, you are empowered into the essence of the buddhas of the five families. In particular, you are ‘ripened’ within that particular family through which it is your personal predisposition to attain buddhahood.

So, with these auspicious circumstances established in your mindstream, and when you reflect on what is taking place and maintain the various visualizations, the conditions are right for the essence of the empowerment to awaken within you, as a state of wisdom which is blissful yet empty— a very special state that is the inseparability of basic space and awareness. As you focus your devotion in this way, it allows this special quality of mind, this new capability, as it were, to awaken. There are three circumstantial factors that support this— the ritual objects that are employed on the outer level, the mantras that are repeated by the vajra master, and the vajra master’s own samadhi, or meditative absorption. When these three factors come together, they form a basis on which the mind can focus, and so become ripened.

As these three factors are so important, we should examine them a little more closely. The outer ritual objects, such as the vase and so forth, have already been arranged on the shrine, and are all in place. As for the mantras, while I cannot claim to have read them all in pure Sanskrit, I have done my best while reading and reciting them. So what is most important during the remainder of the empowerment is meditative absorption. For my part, I will be doing what I can to maintain a state of samadhi, and so at the same time each of you should focus your minds, step by step, on the explanations I will give, and rest, as much as possible, in a similar state of samadhi meditation.

THE GROUND, PATH AND FRUITION OF DZOGCHEN

Let us now consider the teachings particular to the Secret Mantra Vehicle of the early transmission school of the Nyingma tradition, and what these teachings say about the three phases of ground, path, and fruition. The way in which the ground of being abides, as this is definitively understood and described in the Nyingma teachings, entails its essence, its nature, and its energy, or responsiveness. In particular, the first two aspects define the ground for the Nyingma school, its essence being primordial purity or kadak, and its nature being spontaneous presence or lhundrup.

Nagarjuna, in his Fundamental Treatise on the Middle Way, called ‘Wisdom’,states:

The dharma that is taught by the buddhas,
Relies completely upon two levels of truth:
The worldly conventional level of truth,
And the ultimate level of truth.

All that is knowable— all phenomena and all that is comprised within an individual’s mind and body— is contained within these two levels of truth, conventional and ultimate. In the Dzogchen context, the explanation given would be in terms of primordial purity and spontaneous presence, and this is analogous to a passage in the scriptures:

It is mind itself that sets in place the myriad array Of beings in the world, and the world that contains them.

That is to say, if we consider the agent responsible for creating samsara and nirvana, it comes down to mind. The Sutra on the Ten Grounds states, "These three realms are mind only". In his commentary to his own work, Entering the Middle Way Candrakirti elaborates on this quotation, stating that there is no other creative agent apart from mind.

When mind is explained from the point of view of the Highest Yoga Tantra teachings and the path of mantra, we find that many different levels or aspects of mind are discussed, some coarser and some more subtle. But at the very root, the most fundamental level embraced by these teachings is mind as the fundamental, innate nature of mind. This is where we come to the distinction between the word sem in Tibetan, meaning ‘ordinary mind’ and the word rigpa signifying ‘pure awareness’. Generally speaking, when we use the word sem, we are referring to mind when it is temporarily obscured and distorted by thoughts based upon the dualistic perceptions of subject and object. When we are discussing pure awareness, genuine consciousness or awareness free of such distorting thought patterns, then the term rigpa is employed. The teaching known as the ‘Four Reliances’ states: "Do not rely upon ordinary consciousness, but rely upon wisdom"? Here the term namshé, or ordinary consciousness, refers to mind involved with dualistic perceptions. Yeshé, or wisdom, refers to mind free from dualistic perceptions. It is on this basis that the distinction can be made between ordinary mind and pure awareness.

When we say that ‘mind’ is the agent responsible for bringing the universe into being, we are talking about mind in the sense of rigpa, and specifically its quality of spontaneous presence. At the same time, the very essence of that spontaneously present rigpa is timelessly empty, and primordially pure— totally pure by its very nature— so there is a unity of primordial purity and spontaneous presence. The Nyingma school distinguishes between the ground itself, and the ground manifesting as appearances through the ‘eight doorways of spontaneous presence’, and this is how thi s school accounts for all of the perceptions, whether pure or impure, that arise within the mind. Without ever deviating from basic space, these manifestations and the perceptions of them, pure or impure, arise in all their variety. That is the situation concerning the ground, from the point of view of the Nyingma school.

On the basis of that key point, when we talk about the path, and if we use the special vocabulary of the Dzogchen tradition and refer to its own extraordinary practices, the path is twofold, that of trekchö and tögal. The trekchö approach is based upon the primordial purity of mind, kadak, while the tögal approach is based upon its spontaneous presence, lhundrup. This is the equivalent in the Dzogchen tradition of what is more commonly referred to as the path that is the union of skilful means and wisdom. When the fruition is attained through relying on this twofold path of trekchö and tögal, the ‘inner lucidity’ of primordial purity leads to dharmakaya, while the ‘outer lucidity’ of spontan eous presence leads to the rupakaya. This is the equivalent of the usual description of dharmakaya as the benefit that accrues to oneself and the rupakaya as the benefit that comes to others. The terminology is different, but the understanding of what the terms signify is parallel. When the latent, inner state of buddhahood becomes fully evident for the practitioner him or herself, this is referred to as ‘inner lucidity’ and is the state of primordial purity, which is dharmakaya. When the natural radiance of mind becomes manifest for the benefit of others, its responsiveness accounts for the entire array of form manifestations, whether pure or impure, and this is referred to as ‘outer lucidity’, the state of spontaneous presence which comprises the rupakaya.

In the context of the pah, then, this explanation of primordial purity and spontaneous presence, and what is discussed in the newer schools of Highest Yoga Tantra both come down to the same ultimate point: the fundamental innate mind of clear light.

What, then, is the profound and special feature of the Dzogchen teachings? According to the more recent traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, collectively known as the Sarma schools of the Secret Mantra Vehicle, in order for this fundamental innate mind of clear light to become fully evident, it is necessary first of all for the coarser levels of ordinary mind, caught up with thoughts and concepts, to be harnessed by yogas, such as the yoga of vital energies, pranayoga, or the yoga of inner heat, tummo. On the basis of these yogic practices, and in the wake of those adventitious thought patterns of ordinary mind being harnessed and purified, the fundamental innate mind of clear light— ’mind’ in that sense— becomes fully evident.

From the point of view of Dzogchen, the understanding is that the adventitious level of mind, which is caught up with concepts and thoughts, is by its very nature permeated by pure awareness. In an experiential manner, the student can be directly introduced by an authentic master to the very nature of his or her mind as pure awareness. If the master is able to effect this direct introduction, the student then experiences all of these adventitious layers of conceptual thought as permeated by the pure awareness which is their nature, so that these layers of ordinary thoughts and concepts need not continue. Rather, the student experiences the nature that permeates them as the fundamental innate mind of clear light, expressing itself in all its nakedness. That is the principle by which practice proceeds on the path of Dzogchen.

THE ROLE OF AN AUTHENTIC GURU

So in Dzogchen, the direct introduction to rigpa requires that we rely upon an authentic guru, who already has this experience. It is when the blessings of the guru infuse our mindstream that this direct introduction is effected. But it is not an easy process. In the early translation school of the Nyingma, which is to say the Dzogchen teachings, the role of the master is therefore crucial.

In the Vajrayana approach, and especially in the context of Dzogchen, it is necessary for the instructions to be given by a qualified master. That is why, in such approaches, we take refuge in the guru as well as in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. In some sense, it is not sufficient simply to take refuge in the three sources of refuge; a fourth element is added, that of taking refuge in the guru. And so we say, "I take refuge in the guru; I take refuge in the Buddha; I take refuge in the Dharma; I take refuge in the Sangha." It is not so much that the guru is in any way separate or different from the Three Jewels, but rather that there is a particular value in counting the guru separately. I have a German friend who said to me, "You Tibetans seem to hold the guru higher than the Buddha". He was astonished. But this is not quite the way to understand it. It is not as though the guru is in any way separate from the Three Jewels, but because of the crucial nature of our relationship with the guru in such practice and teachings, the guru is considered of great importance.

Now this requires that the master be qualified and authentic. If a master is authentic, he or she will be either a member of the sangha that requires no more training, or at least the sangha that still requires training but is at an advanced level of realization. An authentic guru, and I stress the word ‘authentic’, must fall into one of these two categories. So it is because of the crucial importance of a qualified and authentic guru, one who has such realization, that such emphasis is placed, in this tradition, on the role of the guru. This may have given rise to a misconception, in that people have sometimes referred to Tibetan Buddhism as a distinct school of practice called ‘Lamaism’, on account of this emphasis on the role of the guru. All that is really being said is that it is important to have a master, and that it is important for that master to be authentic and qualified.

Even in the case of an authentic guru, it is crucial for the student to examine theguru’s behaviour and teachings. You will recall that earlier I referred to the ‘FourReliances.’ These can be stated as follows:

Do not rely upon the individual, but rely upon the teaching.

As far as the teachings go, do not rely upon the words alone, but rely upon themeaning that underlies them.

Regarding the meaning, do not rely upon the provisional meaning alone, but relyupon the definitive meaning.

And regarding the definitive meaning, do not rely upon ordinary consciousness,but rely upon wisdom awareness.

This is how a student should examine a teacher, using these four reliances. Our teacher,Lord Buddha, said,

O bhiksus and wise men,
Just as a goldsmith would test his gold
By burning, cutting, and rubbing it,
So you must examine my words and accept them,
But not merely out of reverence for me.

All of the foregoing comments have been my way of introducing you to the background to this empowerment. What is most important during an empowerment of this nature is that: as Buddhists, we place great emphasis on taking refuge; as Mahayana Buddhists, we place great emphasis on the bodhisattva vow and arousing bodhicitta; and, as Vajrayana practitioners, we lessen our fixation on perceiving things in an ordinary way, and rely upon pure perception. This is how you should receive an empowerment.

Reprinted with permission of Snow Lion Publications. Copyright 2004.

Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: santamonicacj on February 19, 2013, 08:21:35 am
Padmashambava is not Nyigmapa nor Gelugpa.
Padmasanbhava is the founder of the Nyingma school in Tibet. So to any kind of conventional conversation he is a Nyingmapa.

Lama Tsongkhapa is the founder of the Gelug school. His motivation for establishing a new school was in large part a reaction against what he saw as the decadence of Dharma practice in his day, particularly the practice of the Nyingmas at the time. He combined the Kadam school of Atisha and added some Kagyu elements, but he specifically rejected the Nyingma practices, including Dzogchen. Until the actions of the present Dalai Lama Dzogchen was not taught in Gelug monasteries.

The present Dalai Lama is fiercely anti-sectarian and is trying to get Gelug monasteries to accept Nyingma teachings and practices, including Dzogchen. This is very controversial and precedent setting. You should remember that the Dali Lama is not the head of the Gegug school.
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: BlueSky on February 19, 2013, 08:58:02 am
The founder of Nyigmapa is not Padmashambava.

It is the Tibetans themselves.

Regarding the teaching of Mahasanti (Dzogchen), Dalai Lama the Fifth was actually the terton of Dzogchen.

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In fact, when the fifth Dalai Lama went to glorious Samyé, the auspicious conditions arose for him to reveal actual termas. However, on account of the time, the place and the situation, he did not take possession of them. Later on, when the infinite deities of the three roots actually appeared to him in visions, according to the prophecies and empowerments he received, he wrote down the twenty-five sections of teaching called Sangwa Gyachen— ’Bearing the Seal of Secrecy’. Along with his orally composed additional commentary, they amount to two volumes. He bestowed the empowerments and instructions of all of them on a gathering of supreme beings, principally the holders of the tradition of the ancient translation school such as the sovereign of the dharma Terdak Lingpa and the vidyadhara Pema Trinlé. As a result, they came to spread far and wide, and their lineage has continued, unimpaired, up until the present day.

From the age of six, the fifth Dalai Lama began to experience a stream of visions which continued, almost uninterrupted, throughout his entire life. They are chronicled in his autobiographical writings. In the seventh month of the fire monkey year, 1656, at the age of forty, the Dalai Lama prepared to celebrate the tenth day offerings to Padmasambhava by collecting together an extraordinary group of nine terma images of Guru Padmasambhava, discovered by Nyangral Nyima Özer, Guru Chöwang, Sangyé Lingpa, Ratna Lingpa, Kunkyong Lingpa and Trango Sherab Özer. Not long after he had started the practice, along with the monks of the Namgyal College, a vision began to materialize, in which Guru Rinpoche appeared and conferred empowerment on him. He witnessed all the eight manifestations of Padmasambhava dancing in the mandala, and then dissolving into him. Yeshé Tsogyal appeared and led him to meet the Great Guru in his palace, surrounded by the eight manifestations. This was the vision that was the source of the empowerment which His Holiness the Dalai Lama would give in Paris.
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: santamonicacj on February 19, 2013, 11:59:26 am
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However, on account of the time, the place and the situation, he did not take possession of them. Later on, when the infinite deities of the three roots actually appeared to him in visions, according to the prophecies and empowerments he received, he wrote down the twenty-five sections of teaching called Sangwa Gyachen— ’Bearing the Seal of Secrecy’. Along with his orally composed additional commentary, they amount to two volumes. He bestowed the empowerments and instructions of all of them on a gathering of supreme beings, principally the holders of the tradition of the ancient translation school such as the sovereign of the dharma Terdak Lingpa and the vidyadhara Pema Trinlé. As a result, they came to spread far and wide, and their lineage has continued, unimpaired, up until the present day.
The highlighted sections are saying that he did not introduce his visionary experience to the wider Gelug school, but instead gave it to some Nyingma lamas. "Tradition of the ancient translation school" means Nyingma.

Just because the 5th Dalai Lama had a personal practice does NOT mean that the Gelug school as a whole participated in it. The Dalai Lama is NOT the head of the Gelug school, and historically has been a slightly odd fit within the Gelug school for a number of reasons.

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The founder of Nyigmapa is not Padmashambava.

It is the Tibetans themselves
You need to get a better education on Tibetan history. That idea is either completely unsupported or else it is: 1. Internet spin, or 2. a Bon version of history. And since there was no written language before the introduction of Buddhism, any Bon claims about their pre-Buddhist history has no documentation. From the Wiki article on the Nyingma:

The Nyingma tradition actually comprises several distinct lineages that all trace their origins to the Indian master Padmasambhava, who is lauded in the popular canon as the founder of Tibetan Buddhism in the 8th century, and is still propitiated in the discipline of reciprocity that is guru yoga sadhana, the staple of the tradition(s).

Padmasambhava brought Buddhism in the form of the Nyingma tradition to Tibet.

From the 2nd paragraph below the subheading of "The Dalai Lama's Pure Vision".
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As many of you know, this Sangwa Gyachen cycle forms part of a larger tradition, the Secret Mantra teachings of the Nyingma or Ancient school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Like I said...
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: Karma Dondrup Tashi on February 19, 2013, 12:29:38 pm
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2013, 08:47:32 pm »
Quote from santamonicacj
At this point your question seems to more about a comprehensive overview of the Nyingma tradition.

An overview Is exactly what i'm looking for. Something i can get an outline from. But i was thinking of Dzogchen, not the tradition/school of Buddhism that 'included' it.  Are those terms i mentioned in reply #3 specifically Nyingma? Or perhaps the Nyingma dominate the web? Or the Dzogchen forums?

Hi Sahaja. I would begin with Words of My Perfect Teacher for a Nyingma overview and then perhaps Dudjom's Big Red Book for some theory and then history.
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: BlueSky on February 19, 2013, 04:41:21 pm
So, who is the head of Gelug school?
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: santamonicacj on February 19, 2013, 04:48:20 pm
So, who is the head of Gelug school?
Back when I was hanging out with the Gelugpas it was Ling Rinpoche, but he died and I haven't kept up with it. I think, but I'm not sure, that the heads of the Sera  and Ganden monasteries trade off the honor between them.

EDIT: The Wiki article on the Gelug school says that it is the head of Ganden Monastery. I do no know who that is currently.
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: sahaja on February 21, 2013, 08:32:39 pm
Takes me forever to write something, bits and pieces on notepad all over the place, edited and re-edited over again. At least for this forum. It's way too long. Oh well. It's also kind of an overview of our sangha.

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santamonicacj
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2013, 10:36:36 pm »

The 6 Yogas are widely available? In the Kagyu tradition they are generally taught only in the context of the 3 year retreat. They are not publicly taught.

I was speaking of the Six Yogas of Naropa that have been translated by a number of translators and are in pdf form available at multiple sites all over the internet for free or in book form at bookstores or internet stores like Amazon. I have 5-6 translations,  pdfs in my book files, all free. Thus yes, those are freely and widely available. One might assume that the Kagu's yogas might bear some resemblance to the ones described in the books because they are called Naropa's yogas. Unless the Kagu have recently disavowed any lineage connection to Naropa. And my suggestion that the Kagyu may have missed a Great Bodhisattva hardly belittles their lineage.

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santamonicacj

There is SutraMahamudra and TantricMahamudra. The "look at your mind" style is Sutra. The 6 Yogas are Tantra. The 6 Yogas have a creation phase and completion phase. The Mahamudra aspect comes into play in the completion phase.

Ours are of course tantra also. 3 years! Wow! If i subtract the Bardo teachings from the 'bardo' yoga, and think of the subdivisions of Phowa as being separate, as it was taught, then one lesson for the directions, perhaps one more for review, a couple of hours per yoga to teach. Then it was between lama and disciple so it would depend upon the individual. I had started messing with dreams years before i joined the sangha. I read a few of the books available at the time on lucid dreaming. It was years after i joined the sangha, after the yogas were taught, that he went into dream yoga in any depth. I asked a question about it during the Tantra class and he told me that i was far advanced in dream yoga. This surprised the whole initiate class and  me the most. Perhaps he had never said anything in the years before because he wanted to see how far i would take it on my own. I spent 7-8 years on it. I would like to pick it up again and take it further, in other directions. I bet it's a whole lot different than what the Niguma do. Now i'll read the books on it, though i doubt if will be helpful. But one never knows where i'm going to find something. There are other practices i've run across that have caught my interest also.

The creation and completion stage? I have no idea? I wonder? Naropa's had preliminaries. We had none. I did say ours were stripped down. Perhaps a lot of things others do are might be considered unnecessary.+-


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santamonicacj

Misbehavior by individuals is everywhere. This is the Kali Yuga after all.

I think this is cute -
From the Dharma Wheel:
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"Right, that's it then. Thread locked unless somebody can come up with a really good reason as to why it should be reopened.
And just to be clear, let me tell you all that: "it's amusing to poke fun at *****" will not count as a good reason."

 ~ ~ ~ Global Moderator

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I think of it more like character traits. Bullies and know-it-alls exist everywhere. These are the minority, i hope. There are probably far more that try to be helpful without being judgmental. The first type can destroy a thread very quickly though.

More widespread is the differences in practices. Or the ideas of what is needed to do a practice, what the prerequisite practices are, if empowerments are needed. That comes up a lot. Obviously different teachers have different ways or there wouldn't be so much argument about it. But given that, then what's all the arguing or debating about? This also destroys threads quickly.

It's that i am very hesitant about asking questions or posting on a Dzogchen forum.

And then there's us, "What's an empowerment?"

Seems an awful lot of them are needed. For almost each and every little thing and there are an awful lot of things. We have/use sutra, tantra, mantra, yantra, yoga, meditation practices. Those are just categories that everyone has except tantra. The sutras are open to the public. If one decides they want to join they request darshons with a lama they knew and are comfortable with dependent upon, of course, if the lama has room in their schedules. After a few darshons to form rapport and to ensure they have some understanding of the trinity they are asked if they want to take refuge. Upon saying yes they become a member of the sangha. It is announced at the next meeting. No ceremony. One other thing they knew about before taking refuge is how the initiations are done. I think to not do so would be using sorcery. Or worse, creating the idea of something like a divinity. Since this was a common topic of sutra, everyone knew that by taking refuge they were also giving consent. Our teacher described it often. No doubt when people would return to listen to the sutras. He said we were taught as the Buddhas were, buddha to buddha. That the transmissions and lessons were not merely oral.

We were told that we differed from the others (lineages, schools) in that their initiations were merely rituals whereas ours were real. Ours are done through phowa in the form of consciousness sharing and usually dreams. I think of it like a process and difficult to describe. It culminates in a vivid dream. He creates the dream rather like a play, the plot, the scenery, characters (thought forms) and he, disguised, interacts with the person within the dream. One goes through the dream as a participant and must react in a very specific way in order to prove they've 'gotten' the insight, realization. A person is not told when this will happen. So people might go through an initiation without knowing about until they are told so at darshon by their lama. Using dreams for darshon was encouraged. Vivid dreams are easier to remember, therefor it was likely that an initiation dream would be told to one's lama. However, since the the process at times caused a lot of intense inner turmoil, one might guess that they were undergoing an initiation. Initiations could be easy or very difficult.  With a hard one we could see how haggard and exhausted a person was. And sometimes during the process a persons behavior would change somewhat, act strange or get edgy, irritable. This is one of the times when the sanghas support is important. There were lots of ways to fail initiations, to which i can attest. But pass or fail we were relieved to have it over with. I wonder, they were called initiations after all, perhaps instead of feeling relief an end of of it we should have been more concerned about what we were getting into next?

The initiates class, Tantra, required the first initiation. You are not considered Dzogchen until you had passed 7 initiations. There are over a hundred total, i'm thinking 120 -130, i forget. It's remarkable to manage 10 in a lifetime, 12 is extraordinary. These carry over lifetime to lifetime, obviously. If they have names or divisions in them i'm not aware of them.

Empowerments were never mentioned. I don't know, perhaps something similar is included in our initiation process?

Sutras, tantra, mantras, use of yantra and symbols, yogas of course, but i have few names for them or what they were for. Either i can't remember them, they didn't have a name or the one's that did, would be exclusive to the sangha. I might recognize the elements of a practice of a school as being similar to ours, assuming i had the time and patience to get through the jargon. A  practice, using visualization of dakinis, yoginis, buddhas, etc. that i'm not sure of what category it falls in, was taught upon becoming an initiate. A meditation, described as an adaptation form of sky gazing used, and some other meditations and practices for various purposes recommended. Yidums. Rigpa, one of the first requirements - to prove one had at least recognition of it. These are some of the things that come to mind now.

Developing tantric sight, clairvoyance, long distance viewing, astral projection, etc. all discussed, encouraged, or taught within group. And something without getting into it - includes Shambhala. Although the Nyingma have Copper Mountain, i've not seen mention as of yet, so I have no idea as to how they view it. And something i dealt with a bit during darshons that which was not taught in tantra class, though it was mentioned, i think i can describe it somewhat, simply, without revealing terma -  moving and seeing within the energy realm. And there are things so esoteric they are probably not taught at all except to the highest level initiate/initiates, chosen to carry on the methods of transmission and initiations. Something like tulkus maybe.

Any of this sound like Nyingma? Or Kagyu?


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santamonicacj

The Nyingmas have the least emphasis on academics, the least emphasis on monastic vows (and thus the least restrictions on personal behavior), and the least structured organization. Plus, for those that get REALLY serious about doing 3 year retreat, they are allowed to have beds. The Kagyus have to sit up in their meditation box for 3 years. Ugh! So yeah, the Nyingmas are the liberal, easy ones!

They sure quote a lot of books and authors! And have a lot of 'supplementary' and books required.

As i said, we were told not to read books. He okayed a few Buddhist sutras, specific translations that he recommended, and the Heart Sutra. Not too long after a big old house had been acquired for our Dharma Center the Tibetan Monks came to town to put on a performance to earn money. Always before they had been farmed out amongst the intellectual crowd, like the University professors, or the well to do. Nice little tidbit to drop at social functions, that you had a Tibetan monk as a houseguest. Having loads of room at the Center they were invited to stay and of course they did. The sangha was told they could socialize with with them for a few hours. This allowed the monks to have the place to themselves as only the abbot was in residency. I regretfully did not get to be there as i was out of town. The next meeting our teacher told us emphatically how embarrassed he was because we didn't know anything. Yep, and me laughing. What did he expect? We were told not to read books and he didn't teach us anything.  Apparently the whole sangha had done what he said, maybe far more so than he meant. After that a small library was started and continued to grow. Just available, nothing required. No Dzogchen, of course. He also finally read some of the Buddhist Sutras to us with a beautiful running commentary. We have no texts, nothing was written except a long mantra, which might not have been considered esoteric.The Abbot or our teacher may have written something since, but it wouldn't involve practice.

I don't do vows. Our restrictions on personal behavior i think would be to try to refrain from killing each other. As for the Nyingmas being the liberal, with themselves maybe, not with others? Once again, not all Nyingmas, just some.

Retreat from what? Sorry. As i jokingly said to someone lately, we have retreats too.That's when somone's had enough, overwhelmed, and runs away, retreats from the sangha, the initiations, the teaching, or the teacher. It maybe months or many years, most, i think, come back. I've been away 10 years but through phowa (consciousness sharing) have a form of contact with our teacher. But i quit all practices, except those so much a part of one and constant habit that they are not even thought of as practice. There is a point you can not - not be Dzogchen. It's not a practice, it's what you are. That 7th initiation maybe? Thus one could be born Dzogchen and never have heard of it. I also avoided any concentration and oddly, had to be careful with music. Reading requires focus and can lead to concentration so i pretty much quit that also. All of this was because of something other than Dzogchen.

As far a Kagyu meditation box, i wonder what they get out of it? It sounds more like a form of torture. In which case there's all kinds of devices they could use if torture leads to enlightenment. It seems silly. Now that i think of it, where on earth did they come up with that idea? Some teacher probably had a really irritating disciple.....I've met people i would have liked to put in a box. Lot of people would probably like to put me in one.



Plus, for those that get REALLY serious about doing 3 year retreat,....


$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

I don't know even know anyone who could afford it. Why go anywhere anyway?

When i first started  googling Dzogchen (and NOT JUST  Dzogchen here, to be fair) I was appalled at what looks like the buying and selling of the Dharma. Price tags on everything. It looks as though a Buddhist will give nothing away if they can make a buck on it. Dzogchen teachers going around the world giving empowerments like traveling salesmen. Retreats advertized everywhere like 'get-away' vacations. Maybe everything is so esoteric because something harder to get brings a higher price? Hard to sell something if it's easily obtainable elsewhere for free and a lot less prestige in having it.

Then i thought to go to the directories and googled over 30 Dzogchen sanghas and also used google images with each one. The vast majority are far from rich or elaborate.They look like they are holding their meetings in borrowed or rented spaces, or in someone's living room, attic or basement. I think the impression the internet gives has more to do with celebrity worship than with actuality.

We have beds too, and refrigerators, houses, cars and jobs to pay for them, including the lamas. I'm in awe of them. Though some may have retired fom their jobs by now, most must still be working full time. There are many days a week they are required to be at the Center, for their classes, the tantras, and other things, besides doing individual darshons weekly with each of their disciples, and still make time for their own practice, families and household chores. Because of the time restraints they can handle only so many disciples. In order for this system to work it would have to produce a lot of lamas.


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santamonicacj

Just out of curiosity, where did you teacher get his training in Dzogchen? What are his qualifications to teach?

Isn't that the equivalent of asking what his lineage is? Which would therefor be the sangha's also. We have none. Where do lineages start? They all had to start somewhere. Where did the practices come from in the first place?

Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: santamonicacj on February 21, 2013, 10:35:07 pm
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Isn't that the equivalent of asking what his lineage is? Which would therefor be the sangha's also. We have none.
Well, you do now. Lineages are teacher to student instruction and transmission. After time, the student then becomes a teacher, and so on. Sounds like yours is just getting started.

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Where do lineages start? They all had to start somewhere. Where did the practices come from in the first place?
Well, in the case of the 6 Yogas of Naropa, they start with Naropa. He then taught his main disciple Marpa, who brought them from India to Tibet and translated them. His Dharma heirs call themselves "Kagyu". Marpa then taught his main student Milarepa, who taught his main student Gompopa, who then taught his main student, the first Karmapa. The first Karmapa figured out how to predict where and when he would be reborn, and started the system that we now know of as tulkus, or reincarnated lamas. He has reincarnated 17 times so far, each time predicting his rebirth (except once) and receiving instruction from the main student of his previous incarnation, and then transmitting them to his student, who teaches his next incarnation. You can Google his current, 17th incarnation.

But this is the 21st century, and people don't buy into the idea of reincarnate lamas or the idea that there might be a chain of enlightened masters-to-students going back over 1,000 years. It is a very unpopular idea especially here on the internet. They do not believe that lineages have any credibility, and that schools are mostly about money, power and prestige. I do not ask that you, or anybody else, believe anything in particular, but if you read the signature caveat at the bottom of any of my posts you'll see that I find the lineages credible.

In any case, you have your path and your teacher. So, good luck with it!
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: Scotsman56 on March 15, 2014, 12:11:53 pm
The primary basis for dzogchen practice is getting a direct transmission of the nature of mind; until you have that, anything you experience will be theoretical. Chogyal Namhkai Norbu does direct transmission webcasts three times a year. They are an excellent way to begin on the dzogchen path, then connect with a local group, or if there is none local, keep up with his frequent open webcasts.Check out any of the Dzogchen community websites for more information. Google Namkhai Norbu direct transmission.
Title: Re: What is the order of Dzogchen practices?
Post by: humanitas on January 23, 2015, 09:19:56 am
The primary basis for dzogchen practice is getting a direct transmission of the nature of mind; until you have that, anything you experience will be theoretical. Chogyal Namhkai Norbu does direct transmission webcasts three times a year. They are an excellent way to begin on the dzogchen path, then connect with a local group, or if there is none local, keep up with his frequent open webcasts.Check out any of the Dzogchen community websites for more information. Google Namkhai Norbu direct transmission.

Three words: Ati Guru Yoga.

A.
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