Dechen Norbu wrote:With the caveat of avoiding teachers whose actual Dzogchen teachings and practice
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Dechen Norbu wrote:are only dispensed after years and years of practicing something else, but Dzogchen.
Some teachers teach this way, and it is not for mere students to judge them, any more than it is for students to judge teachers who open Dzogchen up to everyone who has a computer screen. Neither teachers nor students fit into a "one size fits all" model.
Yes, some teachers do all sorts of stuff. Doesn't mean I'm cool with that. Fortunately some students can still think critically in the presence of a tibetan lama. Others seem to swallow whatever they are given, like going to a math class and instead of learning math ending up in a workshop about origami, thinking this is perfectly normal.
There are probably as many ways to teach Dzogchen as there are Dzogchen masters. This is fine. And probably even more ways to pretend to teach Dzogchen while teaching something else. This is not fine and poor is the student who falls for the later because he lost the ability to judge. At this point lies the seed of each and every personality cult. Instead of seeing the obvious, people become so emotionally invested that they rationalize and come up with all sorts of justifications not to face the obvious. In this case, that they are not learning and practicing Dzogchen.
Anyway, Dzogchen was always a bother to the establishment. It will always be such. That said, there's no need to open that can of worms. We are already off topic as it is...
We never know when death comes. If someone is interested in learning and practicing Dzogchen, such person has the right to search for a teacher who actually teaches Dzogchen from the start, not after years and years of learning and practicing other stuff. Things were a little different if such person was in a monastery going for a khenpo degree, completely immersed in study and practice. In the west, this is very rare. Time is precious. Can't ever buy it back.
What I'm saying is that, in this day and age, if someone wants to practice Dzogchen, he should not be bullshited into going through other things as if they were Dzogchen when they aren't. Many teachers of impeccable lineage can help in this matter. If that bothers you, and makes me sound judgmemental, I can live with it.
What I'm NOT saying is that everyone should practice Dzogchen. But those who do want it have the right to know what they are getting into. If a teacher is said to be a Dzogchen teacher, then he should teach Dzogchen from the start, not in some far away future when hopefully the student becomes oh so special that he can finally learn. Most likely... it will never happen. Most probable...not the student's fault.