Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

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Malcolm
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Malcolm » Sun May 21, 2017 1:15 am

michaelb wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
michaelb wrote: He explicitly and repeatedly does NOT equate advaita with dzogchen.
He explicitly does, right on page 132, "The two traditions seek to provoke the same insight into the nonduality of conciousness..."
Are you suggesting that dzogchen does not seek to provoke insight into the nonduality of consciousness?
Yogācāra already offers insights into the nonduality of consciousness. Indeed, that is the point of the whole school.

Since Dzogchen rejects Yogācāra insights ( i.e. a Buddhist nondual realism) concerning the nonduality of consciousness, why would it accept Advaita (i.e. a non-Buddhist nondual eternalism) presentations concerning the nonduality of consciousness? Dzogchen texts and teachings take explicit pains to differentiate themselves from non-Buddhist schools such as Saṃkhya, Vedanta and so on, as well as Yogācāra and so on. Mañjuśrīmitra takes pains to explain why Dzogchen and Yogācāra are not commensurate views. So does Rongzom, so does Longchenpa, etc.

More importantly, he makes a gross error in asserting that Dzogchen and Advaita seeks to provoke the same insight. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I also expect you will now withdraw your claim, "He explicitly and repeatedly does NOT equate advaita with dzogchen," because he repeatedly and explicitly does.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

michaelb
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by michaelb » Sun May 21, 2017 7:20 am

Malcolm wrote:
michaelb wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
He explicitly does, right on page 132, "The two traditions seek to provoke the same insight into the nonduality of conciousness..."
Are you suggesting that dzogchen does not seek to provoke insight into the nonduality of consciousness?
Yogācāra already offers insights into the nonduality of consciousness. Indeed, that is the point of the whole school.

Since Dzogchen rejects Yogācāra insights ( i.e. a Buddhist nondual realism) concerning the nonduality of consciousness, why would it accept Advaita (i.e. a non-Buddhist nondual eternalism) presentations concerning the nonduality of consciousness? Dzogchen texts and teachings take explicit pains to differentiate themselves from non-Buddhist schools such as Saṃkhya, Vedanta and so on, as well as Yogācāra and so on. Mañjuśrīmitra takes pains to explain why Dzogchen and Yogācāra are not commensurate views. So does Rongzom, so does Longchenpa, etc.

More importantly, he makes a gross error in asserting that Dzogchen and Advaita seeks to provoke the same insight. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I also expect you will now withdraw your claim, "He explicitly and repeatedly does NOT equate advaita with dzogchen," because he repeatedly and explicitly does.
Miserable sophistry, selective quotations and distorted interpretation. Harris does not go into the ontological positions of either advaita or dzogchen. He does not differentiate non-dual realism or non-dual eternalism. He talks about how they are taught, how insight is gained, how this is experienced and how adherents describe it. In both dzogchen and advaita consciousness is described as non-dual. This is what he means and no matter how many times you underline, italicise or embolden the word "same" does not change that. He means no more than they both seek a non-dual consciousness. If you think dzogchen seeks a dualistic consciousness, please say.

Harris talks about his experience from the first person and not though studying the literature. He gives an overview of his experience and how he interpreted it. To expect a dissection of various schools of Indo-Tibetan philosophy would be stupid. He repeatedly contrasts the approach of his advaita teacher and that of his dzogchen teachers. He illustrates this with the anecdote of when his supposedly realised advaita friend has her "enlightenment" dismantled by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.

It is Harris's discussion of receiving teachings from Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche that I find most interesting. He says that Tulku Urgyen introduced him to the nature of mind and I have no reason to doubt what he says or how he describes it. Someone might object on the basis of a mistranslated word or a less than thorough examination of philosophical differences but they would be totally missing the point to an almost autistic degree.

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Malcolm
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Malcolm » Sun May 21, 2017 1:19 pm

michaelb wrote: If you think dzogchen seeks a dualistic consciousness, please say.
Dzogchen does not seek a "dualistic" consciousness, because consciousness is always dualistic. It is always with concepts.

Dzogchen and Mahāmudra seek to identify the so called mind-essence. This teaching does not exist in Advaita, and there is nothing remotely like it in that system. There is therefore no way that one can say that Dzogchen and Advaita seek to provoke the same insight. This is why I pointed out that Dzogchen rejects Yogācāra, because indeed, Yogācāra is predicated on seeking a nondual consciousness.

It is an error to dismiss the fact that the underlying view of Dzogchen teachings is emptiness, whereas the underlying view of Advaita is a truly existing yet featureless consciousness called "brahmin."

The insight provoked in Dzogchen couldn't be further away from Advaita.

Harris talks about his experience from the first person and not though studying the literature. He gives an overview of his experience and how he interpreted it. To expect a dissection of various schools of Indo-Tibetan philosophy would be stupid.
The Dzogchen literature over and over again gives a detailed summation of the various yānas. Why? So that people will not confuse their experiences in this or that yāna with the underlying principles Dzogchen is based upon.

It seems attractive when people "share" their experience. But it is always an error because experiences are temporary and deceptive. Knowledge on the other hand, is not.

It is Harris's discussion of receiving teachings from Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche that I find most interesting. He says that Tulku Urgyen introduced him to the nature of mind and I have no reason to doubt what he says or how he describes it.
Many people have been introduced to the nature of the mind by this or that famous Dzogchen master. It does not mean they understood what they were being introduced to. But the fact that he continues to state that the point of Dzogchen is the same as Advaita (nondual consciousness) to me shows that he misunderstood the intent of Dzogchen teachings.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by smcj » Sun May 21, 2017 2:24 pm

But the fact that he continues to state that the point of Dzogchen is the same as Advaita (nondual consciousness) to me shows that he misunderstood the intent of Dzogchen teachings.
Not everyone has a need to keep Dzogchen so unique that there can be no comparison (contamination) to anything else.

To me the thing that makes Vajrayana special and unique is not the philosophy or the practices, but the fact that each generation has produced people with some degree of realization that can pass it on to the next generation, to people like you and me.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Malcolm
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Malcolm » Sun May 21, 2017 2:29 pm

smcj wrote:
But the fact that he continues to state that the point of Dzogchen is the same as Advaita (nondual consciousness) to me shows that he misunderstood the intent of Dzogchen teachings.
Not everyone has a need to keep Dzogchen so unique that there can be no comparison (contamination) to anything else.
People who truly understand Dzogchen know that it is incomparable. Others are like "Dzogchen? Meh."
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

smcj
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by smcj » Sun May 21, 2017 3:45 pm

I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by dzogchungpa » Sun May 21, 2017 3:45 pm

Malcolm wrote:People who truly understand Dzogchen know that it is incomparable. Others are like "Dzogchen? Meh."
I think it is mostly the "Dzogchenpas" that provoke the latter reaction, honestly. :smile:
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Malcolm
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Malcolm » Sun May 21, 2017 3:48 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:People who truly understand Dzogchen know that it is incomparable. Others are like "Dzogchen? Meh."
I think it is mostly the "Dzogchenpas" that provoke the latter reaction, honestly. :smile:
Yeah, maybe but "meh."
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Gyurme Kundrol » Sun May 21, 2017 5:59 pm

Malcolm wrote:
smcj wrote:
But the fact that he continues to state that the point of Dzogchen is the same as Advaita (nondual consciousness) to me shows that he misunderstood the intent of Dzogchen teachings.
Not everyone has a need to keep Dzogchen so unique that there can be no comparison (contamination) to anything else.
People who truly understand Dzogchen know that it is incomparable. Others are like "Dzogchen? Meh."
The problem as I see it is that people dont really believe what Dzogchen teaches while at the same time trying to practice it. The result is a cherry picked Dzogchen "system" mixed with other views and yanas. They lack faith in themselves, in the teaching, and in the Guru. Few people try to just practice Dzogchen, they are too afraid or too attached to something. Even those who do try to practice it seem not to have sat down and critically examined what Dzogchen is saying and tried to apply it to themselves and their life. I mean if you really look at what it says you have to look at yourself and make a decision and either say "This is something I want to do and can do and will try to do" or "This isnt something I want to do/something I cant do". If you go with the first then the only path forward in my opinion is to really do just that, take Dzogchen as your path in all that entails. If you think the latter, then you should stick with non-Dzogchen until you have that kind of faith and resolve. Its OK to take Dzogchen teachings if you dont think you can realize them in this life, but why bother with a half assed approach? It doesn't work, and the result is almost always (seemingly) confusion.

Well before you make the "decisive choice to rest in the natural state" you must make a similarly decisive choice in regards to even trying to practice Dzogchen. Without this kind of examination and resolve, I fail to see how anyone could receive much benefit from Vajrayana in general actually, let alone Dzogchen.

The problem with someone like Harris is that there is often not really a clear explanation. This is whats happening with a lot of western teachers/authors who are trying to present this material, no matter how good their motivations in doing so might be. It ends up being a lot of fluff, a lot of terms thrown around without lucid explanations about how they relate to each other, lots of lip service to secular "Dharma", and so forth. People then get this watered down, muddy idea of what Dzogchen is but they think that is what it really is because they havent really done any serious looking into what Dzogchen entails for whatever reason. Then when they meet with real Dzogchen they reject it on some basis or another, and this is precisely why you should be extremely careful before standing up and claiming to be teaching Dzogchen to people in my opinion. You may well just be turning people from the one chance they had at liberation within this lifetime for... who knows how long? Another few countless eons? Just to tip toe around the anger of nihilistic secularists? Way to go bud!

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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by michaelb » Sun May 21, 2017 8:32 pm

Malcolm wrote:Dzogchen and Mahāmudra seek to identify the so called mind-essence.
Please explain the features and characteristics of mind-essence? Is mind-essence in any way cognisant?

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Malcolm
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Malcolm » Sun May 21, 2017 9:11 pm

michaelb wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Dzogchen and Mahāmudra seek to identify the so called mind-essence.
Please explain the features and characteristics of mind-essence? Is mind-essence in any way cognizant?
The mind essence is unconditioned, empty clarity. The mind is conditioned. A person who has directly perceived their own mind essence is someone who has rig pa, knowledge.

The mind essence is not cognizant, however, any more than a mirror is cognizant of the reflections on its surface.

For example, to use a metaphor Norbu Rinpoche frequently employs for making people understand clarity, when you look at a vista and swiftly move your head from one side to the other, all of the impressions on your sense organ of the eyes (in this example) are part of your clarity, but one has no awareness or cognizance of any object within that field. If you recognize something in that field and pick it out, that is mind, not clarity.

"Cognizant" (meaning to know of or be aware of something, ) means that one must have something to be cognizant of. It's built into the way the word is used in our language. You never use the verb without "of" being appended to it.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Sun May 21, 2017 10:21 pm

michaelb wrote:Is mind-essence in any way cognizant?
michaelb wrote:The mind essence is not cognizant
Malcolm wrote:The mind essence is unconditioned, empty clarity.

Malcolm wrote:to use a metaphor Norbu Rinpoche frequently employs for making people understand clarity, when you look at a vista and swiftly move your head from one side to the other, all of the impressions on your sense organ of the eyes (in this example) are part of your clarity, but one has no awareness or cognizance of any object within that field.
You are talking past each other, you know. In the contemporary parlance of cognitive sciences (and phenomenology), 'cognisance' is often used in such a way that it does cover what Malcolm is referring to as 'clarity.' Some phenomenologists used 'cognisance' to refer to the kind of being-in-the-world in which the figure/ground tension melts away.
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .

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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by michaelb » Sun May 21, 2017 10:35 pm

Malcolm wrote:
michaelb wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Dzogchen and Mahāmudra seek to identify the so called mind-essence.
Please explain the features and characteristics of mind-essence? Is mind-essence in any way cognizant?
The mind essence is unconditioned, empty clarity. The mind is conditioned. A person who has directly perceived their own mind essence is someone who has rig pa, knowledge.
This empty clarity is what Harris refers to as non-dual awareness, what Tulku Urgyen's translator in the earlier linked video refers to as empty cognisance and what Tsultrim Allione refers to as empty yet radiant or empty and luminous here:

phpBB [video]


Indeed, Tsultrim Allione's explanation is remarkably similar to Sam Harris's. I'm aware that these presentations play rather fast and loose with exact terminology and precise definitions but it would be unfair to them to disregard them as Yogacara or Advaita because they use terms like cognisant, consciousness and awareness, when they are actually pointing to something other than conceptual, dualistic mind. They all explain what sems is and are at pains to distinguish it from sems nyid, going on to suggest how we might also distinguish these. That Harris's explanation is remarkably similar to Allione's as well as Tulku Urgyen shows to me that his presentation is not to be dismissed out of hand.

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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by michaelb » Sun May 21, 2017 10:44 pm

Malcolm wrote:"Cognizant" (meaning to know of or be aware of something, ) means that one must have something to be cognizant of. It's built into the way the word is used in our language. You never use the verb without "of" being appended to it.
This is not what Sam Harris means by it, or non-dual awareness, come to that.

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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Dechen Norbu » Sun May 21, 2017 10:54 pm

Gyurme Kundrol wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
smcj wrote: Not everyone has a need to keep Dzogchen so unique that there can be no comparison (contamination) to anything else.
People who truly understand Dzogchen know that it is incomparable. Others are like "Dzogchen? Meh."
The problem as I see it is that people dont really believe what Dzogchen teaches while at the same time trying to practice it. The result is a cherry picked Dzogchen "system" mixed with other views and yanas. They lack faith in themselves, in the teaching, and in the Guru. Few people try to just practice Dzogchen, they are too afraid or too attached to something. Even those who do try to practice it seem not to have sat down and critically examined what Dzogchen is saying and tried to apply it to themselves and their life. I mean if you really look at what it says you have to look at yourself and make a decision and either say "This is something I want to do and can do and will try to do" or "This isnt something I want to do/something I cant do". If you go with the first then the only path forward in my opinion is to really do just that, take Dzogchen as your path in all that entails. If you think the latter, then you should stick with non-Dzogchen until you have that kind of faith and resolve. Its OK to take Dzogchen teachings if you dont think you can realize them in this life, but why bother with a half assed approach? It doesn't work, and the result is almost always (seemingly) confusion.

Well before you make the "decisive choice to rest in the natural state" you must make a similarly decisive choice in regards to even trying to practice Dzogchen. Without this kind of examination and resolve, I fail to see how anyone could receive much benefit from Vajrayana in general actually, let alone Dzogchen.

The problem with someone like Harris is that there is often not really a clear explanation. This is whats happening with a lot of western teachers/authors who are trying to present this material, no matter how good their motivations in doing so might be. It ends up being a lot of fluff, a lot of terms thrown around without lucid explanations about how they relate to each other, lots of lip service to secular "Dharma", and so forth. People then get this watered down, muddy idea of what Dzogchen is but they think that is what it really is because they havent really done any serious looking into what Dzogchen entails for whatever reason. Then when they meet with real Dzogchen they reject it on some basis or another, and this is precisely why you should be extremely careful before standing up and claiming to be teaching Dzogchen to people in my opinion. You may well just be turning people from the one chance they had at liberation within this lifetime for... who knows how long? Another few countless eons? Just to tip toe around the anger of nihilistic secularists? Way to go bud!
:good:

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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by michaelb » Sun May 21, 2017 11:10 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:
Gyurme Kundrol wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
People who truly understand Dzogchen know that it is incomparable. Others are like "Dzogchen? Meh."
The problem as I see it is that people dont really believe what Dzogchen teaches while at the same time trying to practice it. The result is a cherry picked Dzogchen "system" mixed with other views and yanas. They lack faith in themselves, in the teaching, and in the Guru. Few people try to just practice Dzogchen, they are too afraid or too attached to something. Even those who do try to practice it seem not to have sat down and critically examined what Dzogchen is saying and tried to apply it to themselves and their life. I mean if you really look at what it says you have to look at yourself and make a decision and either say "This is something I want to do and can do and will try to do" or "This isnt something I want to do/something I cant do". If you go with the first then the only path forward in my opinion is to really do just that, take Dzogchen as your path in all that entails. If you think the latter, then you should stick with non-Dzogchen until you have that kind of faith and resolve. Its OK to take Dzogchen teachings if you dont think you can realize them in this life, but why bother with a half assed approach? It doesn't work, and the result is almost always (seemingly) confusion.

Well before you make the "decisive choice to rest in the natural state" you must make a similarly decisive choice in regards to even trying to practice Dzogchen. Without this kind of examination and resolve, I fail to see how anyone could receive much benefit from Vajrayana in general actually, let alone Dzogchen.

The problem with someone like Harris is that there is often not really a clear explanation. This is whats happening with a lot of western teachers/authors who are trying to present this material, no matter how good their motivations in doing so might be. It ends up being a lot of fluff, a lot of terms thrown around without lucid explanations about how they relate to each other, lots of lip service to secular "Dharma", and so forth. People then get this watered down, muddy idea of what Dzogchen is but they think that is what it really is because they havent really done any serious looking into what Dzogchen entails for whatever reason. Then when they meet with real Dzogchen they reject it on some basis or another, and this is precisely why you should be extremely careful before standing up and claiming to be teaching Dzogchen to people in my opinion. You may well just be turning people from the one chance they had at liberation within this lifetime for... who knows how long? Another few countless eons? Just to tip toe around the anger of nihilistic secularists? Way to go bud!
:good:
Either of you read Harris's book? Maybe better to comment on the content rather than some preconceived idea of what "nihilistic secularists" think.

For the record, I would say Harris's book is useful because he examines issues that are often hot topics here; Sudden vs Gradual approaches, the necessity for clear guidance from an authentic teacher, the need for clearly distinguishing sems from sems nyid (or sems ngo), the problems with teachers advertising that they teach dzogchen whilst actually teaching something else, etc. All the things people like to argue about here.

Harris's advice for anyone that wants to practice dzogchen is simple. Find a lama that teaches it clearly and unambiguously. He mentions two, Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Mingyur Rinpoche, by name but says there are more out there. He says not to be satisfied with your practice until you clearly understand what you need to practice.

I say again, I recommend Harris's book to anyone interested in Dzogchen just to get another viewpoint from what I thought is a rather surprising source.

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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by aflatun » Sun May 21, 2017 11:22 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:In the contemporary parlance of cognitive sciences (and phenomenology), 'cognisance' is often used in such a way that it does cover what Malcolm is referring to as 'clarity.'
treehuggingoctopus wrote:Some phenomenologists used 'cognisance' to refer to the kind of being-in-the-world in which the figure/ground tension melts away.
I would be interested in examples if you can provide them? (Philosophy nerd here)

If pm is better to keep the thread clear that's OK too

Thanks in advance
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Dechen Norbu
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Dechen Norbu » Sun May 21, 2017 11:36 pm

michaelb wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:
Gyurme Kundrol wrote:
The problem as I see it is that people dont really believe what Dzogchen teaches while at the same time trying to practice it. The result is a cherry picked Dzogchen "system" mixed with other views and yanas. They lack faith in themselves, in the teaching, and in the Guru. Few people try to just practice Dzogchen, they are too afraid or too attached to something. Even those who do try to practice it seem not to have sat down and critically examined what Dzogchen is saying and tried to apply it to themselves and their life. I mean if you really look at what it says you have to look at yourself and make a decision and either say "This is something I want to do and can do and will try to do" or "This isnt something I want to do/something I cant do". If you go with the first then the only path forward in my opinion is to really do just that, take Dzogchen as your path in all that entails. If you think the latter, then you should stick with non-Dzogchen until you have that kind of faith and resolve. Its OK to take Dzogchen teachings if you dont think you can realize them in this life, but why bother with a half assed approach? It doesn't work, and the result is almost always (seemingly) confusion.

Well before you make the "decisive choice to rest in the natural state" you must make a similarly decisive choice in regards to even trying to practice Dzogchen. Without this kind of examination and resolve, I fail to see how anyone could receive much benefit from Vajrayana in general actually, let alone Dzogchen.

The problem with someone like Harris is that there is often not really a clear explanation. This is whats happening with a lot of western teachers/authors who are trying to present this material, no matter how good their motivations in doing so might be. It ends up being a lot of fluff, a lot of terms thrown around without lucid explanations about how they relate to each other, lots of lip service to secular "Dharma", and so forth. People then get this watered down, muddy idea of what Dzogchen is but they think that is what it really is because they havent really done any serious looking into what Dzogchen entails for whatever reason. Then when they meet with real Dzogchen they reject it on some basis or another, and this is precisely why you should be extremely careful before standing up and claiming to be teaching Dzogchen to people in my opinion. You may well just be turning people from the one chance they had at liberation within this lifetime for... who knows how long? Another few countless eons? Just to tip toe around the anger of nihilistic secularists? Way to go bud!
:good:
Either of you read Harris's book? Maybe better to comment on the content rather than some preconceived idea of what "nihilistic secularists" think.

For the record, I would say Harris's book is useful because he examines issues that are often hot topics here; Sudden vs Gradual approaches, the necessity for clear guidance from an authentic teacher, the need for clearly distinguishing sems from sems nyid (or sems ngo), the problems with teachers advertising that they teach dzogchen whilst actually teaching something else, etc. All the things people like to argue about here.

Harris's advice for anyone that wants to practice dzogchen is simple. Find a lama that teaches it clearly and unambiguously. He mentions two, Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Mingyur Rinpoche, by name but says there are more out there. He says not to be satisfied with your practice until you clearly understand what you need to practice.

I say again, I recommend Harris's book to anyone interested in Dzogchen just to get another viewpoint from what I thought is a rather surprising source.
Can't say that I have. I liked his post. If Harris fits his depiction, I ignore. However, the name Harris can easily be replaced by other examples. Perhaps I should have mentioned it, sorry.

michaelb
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by michaelb » Mon May 22, 2017 12:02 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:Can't say that I have. I liked his post. If Harris fits his depiction, I ignore. However, the name Harris can easily be replaced by other examples. Perhaps I should have mentioned it, sorry.
I think you should. I think there are bits you might like. I'm not saying it's the best book on meditation or dzogchen or anything, but it has some interesting bits and, for its flaws, I don't think his explanation differs too much from other writers I have mentioned here. And you can listen to the audio book for free as part of a free trial on Audible. Chapter 4 deals most with dzogchen. I'd be interested to see what other people think.

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Malcolm
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Malcolm » Mon May 22, 2017 1:15 am

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Some phenomenologists used 'cognisance' to refer to the kind of being-in-the-world in which the figure/ground tension melts away.
What does this have to do with Dzogchen?
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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