Yidam and Dzogchen

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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby heart » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:01 pm

alwayson wrote:
feel free to disagree with Norbu


I just rely on my own Guru, I hope that doesn't upset you.

/magnus
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Sönam » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:04 pm

heart wrote:
Sönam wrote:
booker wrote:Sorry and again the quote I've put was copied from Wikipedia. There are so such statements in the book they refer to. *sigh*

However then, how is it explained in Nyingma about Ati Yoga falling into Vajrayana since obviously there's no transformation in Ati Yoga? Just asking.


and as Namdrol already explained it, there is two approach, one witin the yanas and one direct. And as Mengagdé (Inner most secret) does not rely on words, how could it part of Vajrayana, and how it could rely on tantras?

Sönam


The 17 Tantras are not Tantras?

/magnus


As I read (I think from ChNN but I cannot guarantee, anyway by a respectable master), in Dzogchen it is called tantra but it is for speaking convenience, but it is not like other tantras.

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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Pero » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:06 pm

I think that as long as you understand the difference between transformation and self-liberation it is irrelevant whether you think Dzogchen belongs to Vajrayana or not. It is just a matter of classification (where Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche is most likely in the minority), pointless to argue about it.
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby alwayson » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:09 pm

Both ways are equally valid.

Be like Martin Luther King jr. and accept both ways. :twothumbsup:
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:10 pm

heart wrote:
alwayson wrote:Namdrol doesn't think Dzogchen Upadesha / Mennagade is part of "regular" Vajrayana and disagrees with the standard nine yanas classification of the Nyingmas.


Dzogchen Upadesha is an independent Buddhist vehicle.


With all respect to Namdrol I will side with the mainstream Nyingmas in this matter. You are of course free to believe whatever you want.

/magnus



Hi Magnus:

There have been epochs, traditionally speaking, where only the teaching of Dzogchen has been taught, and nothing else. In this respect, then, Dzogchen must be considered an independent and separate vehicle.

It can also be taught as the apogee of the nine yanas.

In our world system, Dzogchen is part of Vajrayana, in general.

N
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby heart » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:14 pm

Namdrol wrote:
heart wrote:
alwayson wrote:Namdrol doesn't think Dzogchen Upadesha / Mennagade is part of "regular" Vajrayana and disagrees with the standard nine yanas classification of the Nyingmas.


Dzogchen Upadesha is an independent Buddhist vehicle.


With all respect to Namdrol I will side with the mainstream Nyingmas in this matter. You are of course free to believe whatever you want.

/magnus



Hi Magnus:

There have been epochs, traditionally speaking, where only the teaching of Dzogchen has been taught, and nothing else. In this respect, then, Dzogchen must be considered an independent and separate vehicle.

It can also be taught as the apogee of the nine yanas.

In our world system, Dzogchen is part of Vajrayana, in general.

N


I have no problem accepting that Namdrol.

/magnus
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:25 pm

Basically there are, in the terminology of Dzogchen itself, three classes of vehicles; vehicles of the cause (sravaka through bodhisattvayānas), vehicles of the result (kriya tantra through anuyoga), and the vehicle beyond cause and result i.e. Dzogchen.

We can classify them by path as well, renunication, transformation and self-liberation.

Each vehicle is so called because it offers a complete path to liberation. One can attain the stature of an ārya through any one of the nine vehicles. In this respect, all nine vehicles stand alone and are independent from one another and may be taught as self-sufficient paths.

So, it is an error to assert that Dzogchen is a seperate vehicle, but the others are not. All nine vehicles have the necessary teachings to bring someone to the state of being an ārya.

Whether they can bring one to the state of perfect buddhahood, however, is a different story. Indirectly, all are capable of doing so. Only the three inner yanas can do so in a single lifetime.
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby alwayson » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:59 pm

Namdrol wrote:Each vehicle is so called because it offers a complete path to liberation. One can attain the stature of an ārya through any one of the nine vehicles. In this respect, all nine vehicles stand alone and are independent from one another and may be taught as self-sufficient paths.

So, it is an error to assert that Dzogchen is a seperate vehicle, but the others are not. All nine vehicles have the necessary teachings to bring someone to the state of being an ārya.



Exactly what I was going to say.

Even if Dzogchen is part of the nine yanas, every yana is totally independent from each other anyway.
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:11 am

booker wrote:
heart wrote:Dzogchen is Vajrayana. It is not some new idea, it is as old as the Dzogchen Tantras.

Weird, I though the very basic thing is Dzogchen is path of self-liberation, whereas Vajrayana is path of transformation. Hence they can't be equated.

Also, I thought the Dzogchen texts are called tantras but this isn't automatically making Dzogchen path of transformation, since it's a path of self-liberation. No?


Hmmm


Hmm, then what to make of the Dzogchen teachings found in the Guhyagarba tantra - the root Mahayoga tantra? Or the complete interconnectedness of Maha, Anu, and Ati, mentioned in some Dzogchen tantras as ground, path, and fruit? Vajrayana does not only equal transformation. In Nyingma - the lineage through which all (Buddhist) Dzogchen teachings in our world have come to us - the three inner tantras of Vajrayana are Maha, Anu, and Atiyoga, and they are not so distinct as one might think. Now, depending on one's needs and capacity, one may practice the three inner tantras together or individually, including practicing Dzogchen as a completely stand-alone path. Of course the latter is not very practical for hardly anyone, which is why until a very advanaced stage, you really don't see anyone doing that. But Dzogchen pretty indisputably contains everything from A to Z to enable one to achieve absolute awakening.

It is also indisputable, though - for anyone who has received any of the main Dzogchen triyigs in this world - that the Dzogchen preliminary practices specific to the upadesha class make frequent and explicit mention of transformation level practices and at certain points incorporate them (in Anuyoga instant style), albeit with an emphasis unique to Dzogchen. Dzogchen upadesha often speaks in a way that presumes the disciple's previous receipt of Maha and Anuyoga empowerments and an understanding of those levels of practice... Anyone here claiming that Dzogchen upadesha doesn't contain or make use of so-called transformation practices really is presuming a knowledge of the Dzogchen approach that he doesn't yet have. Heck, upadesha even references one's previous learning of the four main Buddhist tenet systems, etc. and incorporates that learning into certain preliminaries. Granted, the knowledge from that learning itself is not the main point in said preliminaries, but the inclusion of every level of Buddhist teaching shows how comprehensive and all-inclusive Dzogchen actually is. Again, Dzogchen doesn't demand one take the nine yanas approach or that one take the Dzogchen stand-alone approach. The Dzogchen approach encompasses all those options.

I know though for us Westerners who are generally pretty well educated and are used to having exhaustive information at our disposal, it is our habit to quickly absorb a bunch of intellectual information and process it with our reasoning powers and relatively quickly come to have a fairly comprehensive understanding of topics... and there's a certain comfort in being able to do that. I also understand that for many of us, not being able to do that with Dzogchen can be kind of disorienting and uncomfortable. We often can't resist the temptation to do the same with Dzogchen: absorb some information, categorize it in our minds, feel comfortable that the limited amount we've actually learned about it is actually comprehensive. But understanding Dzogchen requires much more than reading a handful of books and hearing several short teachings and thereby glomming on to some concepts that really hit home. I'm sure those concepts hit home due to both karmic connections and the blessings of our gurus, and this is the beginning of opening up to real knowledge. But we have to allow ourselves to admit that our understanding about this topic is NOT comprehensive and that we don't understand it inside and out for as long as that remains to be true. I think the attitude of feeling grateful for what our gurus have enabled us to understand so far, combined with maintaining the attitude of one who still has much to learn, is a much more profitable outlook for a Dzogchen practioner than the know-it-all approach. The latter approach would seem to generally cause more blockages in one's practice than progress.
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby alwayson » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:54 am

The logic of these arguments doesn't work.

Bodhicitta motivation is also a part of Dzogchen, but that does not mean that Dzogchen becomes a part of regular Mahayana.
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby deepbluehum » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:09 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
booker wrote:
heart wrote:Dzogchen is Vajrayana. It is not some new idea, it is as old as the Dzogchen Tantras.

Weird, I though the very basic thing is Dzogchen is path of self-liberation, whereas Vajrayana is path of transformation. Hence they can't be equated.

Also, I thought the Dzogchen texts are called tantras but this isn't automatically making Dzogchen path of transformation, since it's a path of self-liberation. No?


Hmmm


Hmm, then what to make of the Dzogchen teachings found in the Guhyagarba tantra - the root Mahayoga tantra? Or the complete interconnectedness of Maha, Anu, and Ati, mentioned in some Dzogchen tantras as ground, path, and fruit? Vajrayana does not only equal transformation. In Nyingma - the lineage through which all (Buddhist) Dzogchen teachings in our world have come to us - the three inner tantras of Vajrayana are Maha, Anu, and Atiyoga, and they are not so distinct as one might think. Now, depending on one's needs and capacity, one may practice the three inner tantras together or individually, including practicing Dzogchen as a completely stand-alone path. Of course the latter is not very practical for hardly anyone, which is why until a very advanaced stage, you really don't see anyone doing that. But Dzogchen pretty indisputably contains everything from A to Z to enable one to achieve absolute awakening.

It is also indisputable, though - for anyone who has received any of the main Dzogchen triyigs in this world - that the Dzogchen preliminary practices specific to the upadesha class make frequent and explicit mention of transformation level practices and at certain points incorporate them (in Anuyoga instant style), albeit with an emphasis unique to Dzogchen. Dzogchen upadesha often speaks in a way that presumes the disciple's previous receipt of Maha and Anuyoga empowerments and an understanding of those levels of practice... Anyone here claiming that Dzogchen upadesha doesn't contain or make use of so-called transformation practices really is presuming a knowledge of the Dzogchen approach that he doesn't yet have. Heck, upadesha even references one's previous learning of the four main Buddhist tenet systems, etc. and incorporates that learning into certain preliminaries. Granted, the knowledge from that learning itself is not the main point in said preliminaries, but the inclusion of every level of Buddhist teaching shows how comprehensive and all-inclusive Dzogchen actually is. Again, Dzogchen doesn't demand one take the nine yanas approach or that one take the Dzogchen stand-alone approach. The Dzogchen approach encompasses all those options.

I know though for us Westerners who are generally pretty well educated and are used to having exhaustive information at our disposal, it is our habit to quickly absorb a bunch of intellectual information and process it with our reasoning powers and relatively quickly come to have a fairly comprehensive understanding of topics... and there's a certain comfort in being able to do that. I also understand that for many of us, not being able to do that with Dzogchen can be kind of disorienting and uncomfortable. We often can't resist the temptation to do the same with Dzogchen: absorb some information, categorize it in our minds, feel comfortable that the limited amount we've actually learned about it is actually comprehensive. But understanding Dzogchen requires much more than reading a handful of books and hearing several short teachings and thereby glomming on to some concepts that really hit home. I'm sure those concepts hit home due to both karmic connections and the blessings of our gurus, and this is the beginning of opening up to real knowledge. But we have to allow ourselves to admit that our understanding about this topic is NOT comprehensive and that we don't understand it inside and out for as long as that remains to be true. I think the attitude of feeling grateful for what our gurus have enabled us to understand so far, combined with maintaining the attitude of one who still has much to learn, is a much more profitable outlook for a Dzogchen practioner than the know-it-all approach. The latter approach would seem to generally cause more blockages in one's practice than progress.


Here is a person who clearly understands dharma and Dzogchen. A novice would wisely take these words to heart.
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:14 am

alwayson wrote:The logic of these arguments doesn't work.

Bodhicitta motivation is also a part of Dzogchen, but that does not mean that Dzogchen becomes a part of regular Mahayana.


By "regular Mahayana", I'm assuming you are referring to the Mahayana's causal vehicle. No one has argued such a thing here, least of all me. Dzogchen is certainly a Mahayana vehicle, though.
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby alwayson » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:19 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
alwayson wrote:The logic of these arguments doesn't work.

Bodhicitta motivation is also a part of Dzogchen, but that does not mean that Dzogchen becomes a part of regular Mahayana.


By "regular Mahayana", I'm assuming you are referring to the Mahayana's causal vehicle. No one has argued such a thing here, least of all me. Dzogchen is certainly a Mahayana vehicle, though.



Ok then you should agree that having shared elements with lower teachings by coincidence, does not connect Dzogchen with those lower teachings in any way.
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:47 am

alwayson wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:
alwayson wrote:The logic of these arguments doesn't work.

Bodhicitta motivation is also a part of Dzogchen, but that does not mean that Dzogchen becomes a part of regular Mahayana.


By "regular Mahayana", I'm assuming you are referring to the Mahayana's causal vehicle. No one has argued such a thing here, least of all me. Dzogchen is certainly a Mahayana vehicle, though.



Ok then you should agree that having shared elements with lower teachings by coincidence, does not connect Dzogchen with those lower teachings in any way.


No, I should not agree that Dzogchen has "no connection in any way" with lower yanas, because that's not what many Dzogchen upadesha tantras say, or what eminent Dzogchen guidance manuals like Yeshe Lama and Lamrim Yeshe Nyingpo say, or what my Dzogchen gurus have taught. And the "shared elements" you speak of are no "coincidence" - certain tenet systems and creation stage practices are mentioned explicitly in a way that presupposes one's experiential familiarity with them. In particular, the three inner yanas of Maha, Anu, and Ati are very connected. They don't have to be practiced in tandem, but it sure is helpful when they are.

Also, let's not forget that all Buddhist yanas are connected in that their source is a Buddha. From the big picture POV, all teachings - including Dzogchen - are nothing more than skillful means of the Buddhas to help sentient beings awaken.
Last edited by Pema Rigdzin on Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Virgo » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:53 am

Namdrol wrote:He almost never transmits teachings like thogal and yangti, though he has given the lungs for these practices any number of times with the proviso that he is not teaching thogal or yangti.

And he has not done a major cycle of empowerments since 2002 when he gave a long transmission for many cycles of his own termas known as the klong gsal mkha' 'gro snying thig.

Namdrol,

Why doesn't ChNN teach Thogal very often?
'
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Kai » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:25 am

Namdrol wrote:Whether they can bring one to the state of perfect buddhahood, however, is a different story. Indirectly, all are capable of doing so. Only the three inner yanas can do so in a single lifetime.


Hmmm, I'm sure that not long ago, you mentioned that only one yana (Dzogchen Upadesha/Mennagade or Longde) can bring one to the Perfect Buddhahood while the rest are only temporal Buddhahood and are hence reversible. No? Or a change in stance?

Ok then you should agree that having shared elements with lower teachings by coincidence, does not connect Dzogchen with those lower teachings in any way.


It is not a coincidence...............I see it as a gradual evolution of Buddhist Dharma over the centuries.
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:07 pm

Kai wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Whether they can bring one to the state of perfect buddhahood, however, is a different story. Indirectly, all are capable of doing so. Only the three inner yanas can do so in a single lifetime.


Hmmm, I'm sure that not long ago, you mentioned that only one yana (Dzogchen Upadesha/Mennagade or Longde) can bring one to the Perfect Buddhahood while the rest are only temporal Buddhahood and are hence reversible. No? Or a change in stance?


From the thirteenth bhumi onwards, they are stages of "abiding in wisdom". Presuming one manages to attain the thirteen bhumi, it is unlikely that one's realization will be blocked.

N
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Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:26 pm

Virgo wrote:
Namdrol wrote:He almost never transmits teachings like thogal and yangti, though he has given the lungs for these practices any number of times with the proviso that he is not teaching thogal or yangti.

And he has not done a major cycle of empowerments since 2002 when he gave a long transmission for many cycles of his own termas known as the klong gsal mkha' 'gro snying thig.

Namdrol,

Why doesn't ChNN teach Thogal very often?
'
Kevin

Because not many are ready to practice it, I guess.
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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Virgo » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:55 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:Because not many are ready to practice it, I guess.


Hi Dechen, yeah that is what I assumed to really was.

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Re: Yidam and Dzogchen

Postby Kai » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:37 pm

Everyone, after one day of digging into my books, I find something rather interesting to share.......Its taken from Jamgon Kongtrul's latest translated book called "Journey and Goal" from his great treasury of Knowledge. In one section where He talked about Atiyoga and its stage, it is stated that:

In each of the four visions, there are four stages: those of manifestation, increase, attainment and complete attainment. So there are, in fact, some sixteen stages of visionary experiences; these serve as measures of one's experience maturing into that of timeless awareness........


The more interesting part comes later when He added that:

Thus, the sixteen stages that are termed "Causal" or "fruition" levels, are complete in either of two situations: that of one's gaining freedom in a body of light in this lifetime and that of one's gaining freedom in the intermediate state after death


Okay, the above is added because I know some people here will be interested in that. What I'm really getting at is the one below:

Rigpa Rangshar Chenpo Rgyud states: What are termed "levels" do not, in fact, exist in and of themselves. In a single individual who have been introduced to their true nature first perceive the truth that arouses in them a sense of joy:this is the first level, that of The Utterly Joyful One............He moved on to talk about other fifteen stages


FYI, Rigpa Rangshar Chenpo Rgyud is the Dzogchen tantra that elaborates on the sixteen bhumi and apparently when JKT explained on the Tantra's verse, it would appear that the one stage of the first vision (Direct introduction) does indeed equate to that of Bodhisattva's 1st bhumi as they share the same "name". However, later on in the same section, it was discovered that its not really the case.

As this passage indicates, one is brought in stages from the first level that of the Utterly Joyful One (First Bhumi), to the eleventh, that of Total Illumnation and thence to the special levels such of the Lotus Bearing One (12 bhumi). However, although they are all approached in a similar manner from the point of view of how they manifest in one's experience, fundamentally these levels are distinguished from the perspective of their being aspects of the manifestation of a single level of utterly lucid awareness, which involves neither training nor traversal................These (16) levels are not the ten actual Bodhisattva levels............


Over here, we can clearly see that JKT is trying to warn us against comparing and equating the Dzogchen's system of 16 bhumis with the Sutric ten bhumis despite them having the same label or title. The 16 bhumis work for Dzogchen because it clearly and neatly tied and matched the 16 different phrases of experiences of the four visions as shown above. He further stated that those 16 stages of experiences are in reality, meaningless divisions of one actual Bhumi; that of sentinel beings and Buddhas. The former failed to recognize or maintain Rigpa while the latter could.

However, when we tried to assimilate or impute the traditional Mahayana into Dzogchen systems and claims that the Sutra's ten bhumis is actually the Dzogchen's lower ten Bhumis, we faces several problems since they are two complete different system and path of practices. As a result and quite inevitably, their practitioners will have different types and levels of spiritual experiences from one another as they transverse their own spiritual path. Therefore, using a Dzogchen system to describe a Sutric practitioners' stages of attainment would seem erroneous indeed.

Jamgon Kongtrul is a great Kagyu master but He is a famed Dzogchen master, so His conclusion can't be far away from the truth and it also resolves certain "dilemmas" in this thread.

:cheers:
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