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#2515 - Monday, July 3, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee  

Bonpo Dzogchen Teachings; Lopon Tenzin Namdak

the Lopon:      

"So we should simply observe thoughts without trying to change or modify these.  Just keep everything as it is and thoughts will dissolve by themselves.  This is self-liberation.  These self-arise and these self-liberate.  But we should not think "empty" or "dissolved" because this is thinking which is the operation of the mind.  The Natural State is beyond the mind, and if we start to think, we lose it.  So just leave everything as it is.  This state which we discover is inconceivable as well as inexpressible.  Here there is nothing to create, nothing to develop or visualize.  This is totally complete and perfect just as it is--which is why we call it Dzogchen or the Great Perfection.  Here there is nothing to be added to this or subtracted from it; nothing to be modified or corrected.  This is just as it is--totally perfect.  Everything is already present.  So just leave it as it is.  Here there is no problem; so do not create any problems.

"Just after a thought dissolves, we may have an experience of no thought and of emptiness which is inexpressible.  After the session is over, we can examine and think about this experience; we can even discuss it and check to see whether our mind is like this or not.  We have a memory of the experience, so we are able to check it.  But when we are in contemplation, in the Natural State, we do not do any examining or checking because that is the mind working.  Each of us needs to have our individual experience of this.  We look back into our mind at the thought, and then it dissolves.  Does this happen or not?  Do we find this gap between thoughts?"  



"If we realize this Natural State for the moment, then thre's no special description to be made of the state of calm or of the movement of thoughts.  There is just this presence, whether there is calm or movement.  It makes no difference.  But this Natural State of Rigpa is not the same as just relaxing and having a blank mind for a little while, or like deep sleep without dream, or like unconsciousness generally.  This is because a bright clarity is present here in the Natural State.  We are aware and we are alert, although we are not thinking.  This is nothing special and quite normal, but usually we are unaware that we are aware.  It is also normal for thoughts to arise, and we should recognize this process, as well as thes gaps between thoughts.  And in these gaps we find an awareness or presence--this is Rigpa and this gives us the opportunity to see the Nature of Mind directly and nakedly (that is, without interference of mind and thoughts).  But normally we do not recognize this, just as we don't recognize the presence of the sun in the sky when it is entirely filled with clouds.  Although we do not see the face of the sun, the sun is there all the time.  If it was not there, we would have no illumination at all.  So we don't think about anything, but simply remain in this state of presence as long as we can.  This is the real meditation.      

"When the next thought arises, we do not try to do anything or change anything.  We just recognize it's arising and leave this as it is.  But we are totally aware.  It is like a mirror reflecting whatever is set before it.  The mirror does not have to do anything; it is just its inherent quality to reflect and it does this effortlessly, naturally, and spontaneously.  And when we do not interfere by means of this mind, these thoughts simply liberate by themselves.  We do not have to do anything.  It is like the wind blowing the clouds from the sky, and these dissolve into space without our having to do anything.  We just watch these thoughts like we watch the clouds in the sky.  We do not care one bit, whether these come or not.  The thoughts liberate and we remain in a state of awareness.  We have no expectations and no regrets.  In the beginning of meditation practice, we wait for the thought to dissolve.  This is by way of an introduction., but later we do not need to do this.  Dzogchen means that we leave everything as it is.  We do not need to focus or to expect or to wait--we do none of these things, yet we are globally aware and present.  So there is nothing special here; we are simply like the bright empty sky."    

Richard on Dzogchen Practice

Summer Night with 3 photos by Alan Larus

 'Baby' by Odd Nerdrum and two oystercatchers on the beach:

see links for more photos by Alan Larus

from Rob Preece's "The Wisdom of Imperfection"        

It is important to recognize the difference between an enlightened experience and the state of enlightenment. To penetrate the veil is to see the nature of reality for the first time. This enlightened experience in the Zen tradition might be called a satori. This is a powerful shift of insight that shakes our reality. No longer can we live with the delusion we may have once held. Our solidly held concepts about reality begin to crumble. Samsara shakes, as Lama Yeshe once put it. This experience may not be comfortable. To come so close to this existential threshold challenges our secure sense of identity and can be frightening. Indeed, as a Tibetan lama once said, this fear is a sign that we are close to the edge. We are beginning to recognize the lack of substance of our ego-identity. Our "wisdom eye" has opened to a new truth--an ultimate truth, as opposed to relative truth. When we penetrate the veil, however, the work is not yet done. We may have had an enlightened experience, but there is further to travel. As Gen Jhampa Wangdu once said while I was in retreat, it is not difficult to experience emptiness; the problem is holding it. For this insight to have its full effect, the mind needs to be able to sustain awareness for prolonged periods of time. Tibetan teachers will sometimes say we may hit the nail, but only with a quality of focused attention can we repeatedly do so. With the development of tranquil abiding, the veil can be cleared completely in the way the red ring of fire created by the incense burn[ing] slowly expands and consumes the entire film of tissue paper. The mind is gradually cleansed of the emotional turmoil and confusion that is generated by the misconceptions we have about reality.  

--from The Wisdom of Imperfection: The Challenge of Individuation in Buddhist Life by Rob Preece, published by Snow Lion Publications  

Wendlyn Alter on Dzogchen Practice


Hear Masters Here   Recorded talks of dozens of Dzogchen teachings


Some of the audio quality on some of the offerings isn't too great...but if one were to play around, then it should be at least somewhat audible.  I recommend Namkhai Norbu's audio in the first group (about an hour's worth)...  

...and H.H. the Dalai Lama's (very long) presentation in the second link I sent (, of the singularly very rare discourse on "Garland of Views", which is H.H.'s presentation of the only true version accepted and authenticated widely by scholars and masters alike to have been actually written in Padmasambhava's own hand.   

You can also find the textual offering of the same teaching @ (Note that the terms 'Rosary' and 'Garland', are the same word and are interchangable in Tibetan...)  

It's also rare because I believe it's the only teaching of 'the Garland' ever given by any of our current masters...ever!  How fortunate indeed are we?  haha!  Gotta love this techno-teaching!  Like it was prophesied in Padmasambhava's time..."in those days, the teachings will "fall from the sky"."  

more resources on Bonpo Dzogchen  

See also:    

Richard on Dzogchen Practice

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