Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

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Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

Postby bryandavis » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:50 pm

Greetings,

I suppose my question has a few parts. For the most part, my choice to follow dharma, practice etc was due to connecting with Gar Rinpoche. That being said I don't have a lot of experience of comparing how other Kagyu teachers approach Mahamudra, but it seems to me that Garchen (due to obvious influence from his root guru) teaches with much more of a Dzogchen flavor, including points he uses to illustrate our nature than most kagyu lamas do.

Does anybody have experience with Gar Rinpoche as well as other kagyu lamas, and can compare their styles to some Dzogchen/Nyingma Lamas? Im curious as to how different or not his style is compared to orthodox teachers when it comes to presentation.

The second part of my question is really just asking for further views / comments on this teaching:

"The basic difference between mahamudra and dzogchen is that both can dissolve, or subdue namthogs. But in the the case of mahamudra, it is not explained how to dissolve. Where as in the Great Perfection, the method, explains the cutting off, but it is not applied to mahamudra." - Garchen Rinpoche


look forward to any comments or views. :namaste:

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Re: Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:58 pm

bryandavis wrote:Greetings,

I suppose my question has a few parts. For the most part, my choice to follow dharma, practice etc was due to connecting with Gar Rinpoche. That being said I don't have a lot of experience of comparing how other Kagyu teachers approach Mahamudra, but it seems to me that Garchen (due to obvious influence from his root guru) teaches with much more of a Dzogchen flavor, including points he uses to illustrate our nature than most kagyu lamas do.

Does anybody have experience with Gar Rinpoche as well as other kagyu lamas, and can compare their styles to some Dzogchen/Nyingma Lamas? Im curious as to how different or not his style is compared to orthodox teachers when it comes to presentation.
Why are you curious? Anyway, your question is based on the (false) premise that Mahamudra is specific to Kagyu and Dzogchen to Nyingmapa. You are aware of the fact that there were a number of Karmapas that held both Mahamudra and Dzogchen lineage transmissions? That Milarepa and Gampopa practiced both Dzogchen and Mahamudra? etc...
The second part of my question is really just asking for further views / comments on this teaching:

"The basic difference between mahamudra and dzogchen is that both can dissolve, or subdue namthogs. But in the the case of mahamudra, it is not explained how to dissolve. Where as in the Great Perfection, the method, explains the cutting off, but it is not applied to mahamudra." - Garchen Rinpoche


look forward to any comments or views. :namaste:

bryan
It's going t require a lot more context to make sense of those three sentences. And the translation looks a bit off to me.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

Postby bryandavis » Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:14 pm

...your question is based on the (false) premise that Mahamudra is specific to Kagyu and Dzogchen to Nyingmapa.


hard to tell what my view would be on that subject off of just that question, or too assume I have a "false" premise that holds to that view. I am aware of the cross culture of dharma between kagya/ nyingma, all be it not at some scholarly level.

I could try to hash out my question a bit better perhaps. I was asking simply if about the teaching style of Gar Rinpoche compared to and with Other teachers on the matter. As i stated in my OP i don't have a lot of experience with other teachers. and as to
Why are you curious?
is it not ok to wonder or be interested in what people think, jeez! I thought exploring various angles of approach was acceptable?

As for the quoted statement I will try to provide more context to the conversation that was taking place.

Thanks for the input.

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Re: Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:47 pm

Every teacher has their own angle. Every teacher differs from every other teacher.

Try looking at/going to teachings by other teachers and see for yourself. If travel/distance/money/time/etc... is a factor then why not try some webcasts by other teachers? Some youtube teachings?
is it not ok to wonder or be interested in what people think, jeez! I thought exploring various angles of approach was acceptable?
Of course it is. I was just curious to know why you were curious. I mean, you may be curious because you don't trust what he says. You may be curious because you have problems understanding what he means. You may be curious for any number of reasons, I was just trying to understand why you were curious. I makes it easier to answer your question.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

Postby smcj » Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:37 am

...your question is based on the (false) premise that Mahamudra is specific to Kagyu and Dzogchen to Nyingmapa.

Of course they are not "specific", as in exclusive, to each tradition. But I think it fair to say that Mahamudra is the central practice for Kagyupas, as Dzogchen is for the Nyingmapas. My impression is that there are more Kagyu lamas that do Dzogchen than Nyingmas that do Mahamudra, but that is based on my own limited personal experience. That could be completely off-base. Plus Bonpos do Dzogchen, Gelugpas do Mahamadra, etc., so in no sense are they "specific" to a tradition. (Although I think it only in the last few years that any Gelugpas did Dzogchen, and that only at HHDL's insistence.)

That Milarepa and Gampopa practiced both Dzogchen and Mahamudra?

Well each had their exposure to Dzogchen early on in their lives. Gompopa was a Nyingma doctor and Mila had at least one Nyingma teacher before he met Marpa, and a second when he ran away from Marpa for a short bit of time. But I don't remember ever reading anything about them continuing their practice of Dzogchen after engaging in their Kagyu training.
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Re: Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

Postby Soap-Bubble » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:58 am

bryandavis wrote:
"The basic difference between mahamudra and dzogchen is that both can dissolve, or subdue namthogs. But in the the case of mahamudra, it is not explained how to dissolve. Where as in the Great Perfection, the method, explains the cutting off, but it is not applied to mahamudra." - Garchen Rinpoche

The best guess I can offer is that he was talking about thodgal, a method that doesn't exist in Mahamudra. Although it's difficult to know what Rinpoche meant for someone who more or less understands only one of the teachings you inquire about. So please take my words with a grain of salt.
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Re: Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

Postby Sherlock » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:43 pm

smcj wrote:(Although I think it only in the last few years that any Gelugpas did Dzogchen, and that only at HHDL's insistence.)


The Fifth and Sixth Dalai Lamas were Dzogchen practitioners, the Rebgong area was historically Gelugpa too. There are more than them definitely. I think HHDL emphasizes Tsongkhapa's curriculum for Gelugpas although he says there is nothing wrong with practicing Dzogchen of course.
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Re: Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

Postby Karma Jinpa » Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:38 am

bryan,

Garchen Rinpoche was influenced by his root guru, the Nyingmapa Khenpo Munsel a great deal, of course. However, that's not the only flavor of Dzogchen teachings he received, by any stretch of the imagination (not that you said or implied that).

In the Drikung Kagyu tradition in particular, there is a whole cycle of Dzogchen terma cycle called the Yangzab which was first revealed by the 17th Drikung throneholder, Gyalwa Rinchen Phuntsok, and later was further revealed by the likes of Lho Nuden Dorje and others after him. Thus there is a whole corpus of Drikung Dzogchen for him to draw on as well.

In addition, Garchen has received countless teachings from the cycles of Ratna Lingpa, Chokgyur Lingpa, etc. And almost every Drikungpa I've come in contact with holds the Lonchen Nyingthik, too. So obviously Gar Rinpoche has received Dzogchen from many, many streams, and these have influenced his teaching style, no doubt. Dzogchen is certainly not foreign to him as a practice, whereas with some Kagyupas it could be. He is a Dzogchen master as much as a Mahamudra master, if not more so.

As to how he compares with other Dzogchen teachers, my ability to comment is limited, as I only have one strictly Nyingmapa teacher from the Palyul lineage. Except for the Drikung cycle of Dzogchen, I can say that Garchen's situation regarding having received the teachings of several tertons is not uncommon for Nyingmapas, either. My own lama, Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche, can just as easily teach from Dudjom Rinpoche's texts and the Longchen Nyingthik, since there is a lot of cross-pollination and the various lineages didn't want to miss out on teachings which were universally acknowledged to be of great merit.

Basically, each lineage is going to have it's specializations or cycles particular to it, and the combination of each lama's training, practice, and realization will lead to their own unique blend, too. I think it's pretty safe to say that you'd be hard pressed to have a Drikungpa teach on the Namchö cycle as well as a Palyulpa could, and conversely a Palyulpa would likely not do as good a job in teaching the Yangzab as a Drikung Dzogchenpa would. Then again, there are some exceptional beings who simply seem to have no limit to their scope of knowledge (and Garchen Rinpoche has been known to pull from the Namchö from time to time).

I have yet to hear anything contradictory between Garchen Rinpoche and Khen Rinpoche, and many of the analogies they use are tried and true. I will say, though, that Kyabjé Garchen has a much more streamlined approach to explaining samaya than many other lamas, distilling it all down to the root of love and patience (similar in style to HH the Dalai Lama's public talks), and not having his students worry about the branch samayas. Then again, samaya aren't needed if one realizes the natural state, so that's really not Dzogchen.

Alas, I've not received Trekchöd or Thögal teachings from anyone, so it's beyond my purview to speculate on any substantive differences in how Garchen teaches Dzogchen as compared to other Dzogchen masters. Perhaps someone who's received such instructions from the likes of Kyabjé Dilgo Khyentse, Tulku Urgyen, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, or another great teacher can lend you some assistance in that regard...

Here's hoping my post was of some benefit, and not just an exercise in me running my mouth ;)
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

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Re: Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

Postby heart » Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:44 am

I understand that Garchen Rinpoche have students that practice Dzogchen. I heard that they start with the Longchen Nyingtik Ngondro.

/magnus
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Re: Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

Postby Karma Jinpa » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:46 am

heart wrote:I understand that Garchen Rinpoche have students that practice Dzogchen. I heard that they start with the Longchen Nyingtik Ngondro.

/magnus


That's news to me, thought obviously I don't know all or even most of his Dzogchen students. Maybe these were students who already had Nyingma lamas or a prior connection? Who knows. :shrug:

My experience is that he, Traga Rinpoche, and Lama Thubten Nima (a.k.a. Gapé Lama) have the Drikung Yangzab as the go to Dzogchen ngondro for their students. Not sure about what Lama Bunima and Lama Abao have their students focus on. I'm sure they're great lamas in their own right, but I've only known them in their roles as Garchen Rinpoche's two main attendants.

The lama who's most focused on propagating the Yangzab though, by far, is Lho Ontul Rinpoche. He even established the Drikung Dzogchen Community for his Western students to help ensure that his centers continue to study and practice the entire Yangzab cycle. Ontul's son, Karma Ratna Rinpoche, has been traveling with him to the West in the last several years to help in this endeavor.
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།
ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།


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Re: Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

Postby heart » Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:30 am

Karma Jinpa wrote:
heart wrote:I understand that Garchen Rinpoche have students that practice Dzogchen. I heard that they start with the Longchen Nyingtik Ngondro.

/magnus


That's news to me, thought obviously I don't know all or even most of his Dzogchen students. Maybe these were students who already had Nyingma lamas or a prior connection? Who knows. :shrug:



Khenpo Munsel gave the oral transmission of the Longchen Nyintik in great detail and several times while they were staying together in prison. Anyway Longchen Nyingtik is a condensed version of the Nyintik Yabshi as you probably know. Perhaps that is true for the Yangzab as well?

Also, my information is hearsay, so it could be inaccurate.

/magnus
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Re: Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

Postby pensum » Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:06 pm

Adeu Rinpoche, who was both a Drukpa Kagyu lama and a master of Dzogchen, spent many years in the same prison as Garchen Rinpoche and also shared teachings with Khenpo Munsel. He gave a long explanation discussing the similarities and differences between Dzogchen and Mahamudra that is well worth reading. http://www.amazon.com/Freedom-In-Bondage-Adeu-Rinpoche/dp/9627341665. This same teaching can also be found in Quintessential Dzogchen, which also contains another text on the same topic by Tsele Natsok Rangdrol http://www.amazon.com/Quintessential-Dzogchen-Confusion-Dawns-Wisdom/dp/9627341584/.
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Re: Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

Postby Jikan » Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:38 pm

I have nothing factual to add to this discussion. I would like to mention that Garchen Rinpoche is among the Buddhist masters for whom I have the greatest respect. I've had the good fortune to hear his teachings and also to run into him in unexpected circumstances more than once (for instance, on the sidewalk in Washington, DC around the time HHDL was giving the Kalachakra empowerment there). Just thinking of him makes me feel warm, fuzzy, joyful.

Whatever the provenance of his teachings and transmissions, Garchen Rinpoche is surely a realized one. To me, that's the most salient point.
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Re: Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

Postby Jinzang » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:13 am

I've been taught mahamudra by Garchen Rinpoche and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. There's no significant difference between the two.
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Re: Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

Postby Karma Jinpa » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:39 am

Jikan wrote:I have nothing factual to add to this discussion. I would like to mention that Garchen Rinpoche is among the Buddhist masters for whom I have the greatest respect. I've had the good fortune to hear his teachings and also to run into him in unexpected circumstances more than once (for instance, on the sidewalk in Washington, DC around the time HHDL was giving the Kalachakra empowerment there). Just thinking of him makes me feel warm, fuzzy, joyful.

Whatever the provenance of his teachings and transmissions, Garchen Rinpoche is surely a realized one. To me, that's the most salient point.

This :twothumbsup:

He's such a wonderful Lord of Refuge, isn't he? Simply exudes love and compassion, like any true emanation of Chenrezig should. We're exceedingly fortunate to have him here in the West, and that he makes himself so available to so many. And he's so forward thinking! The webcasts are such a blessing.

For anyone with a connection to him, I highly encourage you to recite Rinpoche's long-life prayer whenever you're able. It's really beautiful, and I think it captures his essence very well. Here's the link for it in pecha form: http://www.garchen.net/library/long-life-extended-pecha.pdf

Jinzang wrote:I've been taught mahamudra by Garchen Rinpoche and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. There's no significant difference between the two.

Their teaching styles are quite similar, so I can definitely see how what your saying would be the case. These two are like two chambers of my heart :heart:

From what I understand, they're actually good friends. Khen Rinpoche invited Gar Rinpoche to teach at KTD back in 2007, and credits him for the surge of quality prayer wheels and their use in the West. Khenpo-la spoke very highly of Rinpoche when I saw him in person last year.
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།
ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།


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Re: Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

Postby Lhasa » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:10 pm

Is there another way to get to the garchen.net library? Just shortening the link you gave ends in a forbidden message. I'd like to see what else is in there.
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Re: Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

Postby dzogchungpa » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:41 pm

Lhasa wrote:Is there another way to get to the garchen.net library? Just shortening the link you gave ends in a forbidden message. I'd like to see what else is in there.

https://www.google.com/search?q=site:www.garchen.net/library
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Re: Dzogchen and Garchen Rinpoche

Postby Lhasa » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:50 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Lhasa wrote:Is there another way to get to the garchen.net library? Just shortening the link you gave ends in a forbidden message. I'd like to see what else is in there.

https://www.google.com/search?q=site:www.garchen.net/library


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