Mahayana & philosophical background for Dzogchen

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Spelare
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Mahayana & philosophical background for Dzogchen

Post by Spelare » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:07 pm

I feel that it might be beneficial to study some non-tantric texts that are relevant to Dzogchen. My current knowledge is based mainly on tertiary sources and relatively concise explanations by lamas in the context of short retreats. In figuring out what comes next, I've decided I should probably read some primary texts with their commentaries by Dzogchen masters of the Nyingma or Rimé tradition. I already have access to some commentaries written by Mipham Rinpoche on texts concerning emptiness and buddha-nature, for example, but I don't know the best order in which to proceed. I also have the Padma Samye Ling Shedra series books on Madhyamaka and Rangtong/Shentong views. There's so much out there, though: commentaries on commentaries on commentaries . . .

In your experience as a Dzogchen practitioner, can such study be helpful? If so, how? Which texts have been most helpful to you or are recognized as important in this regard?

Malcolm
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Re: Mahayana & philosophical background for Dzogchen

Post by Malcolm » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:24 pm

Spelare wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:07 pm
I feel that it might be beneficial to study some non-tantric texts that are relevant to Dzogchen. My current knowledge is based mainly on tertiary sources and relatively concise explanations by lamas in the context of short retreats. In figuring out what comes next, I've decided I should probably read some primary texts with their commentaries by Dzogchen masters of the Nyingma or Rimé tradition. I already have access to some commentaries written by Mipham Rinpoche on texts concerning emptiness and buddha-nature, for example, but I don't know the best order in which to proceed. I also have the Padma Samye Ling Shedra series books on Madhyamaka and Rangtong/Shentong views. There's so much out there, though: commentaries on commentaries on commentaries . . .

In your experience as a Dzogchen practitioner, can such study be helpful? If so, how? Which texts have been most helpful to you or are recognized as important in this regard?

Study Indian masters, not Tibetans. Nāgārjuna, Śantideva, Vasubandhu, Asanga, and so. And in particular stay away from the whole rang stong gzhan stong debate. It is completely irrelevant to Dzogchen.

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Boomerang
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Re: Mahayana & philosophical background for Dzogchen

Post by Boomerang » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:38 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:24 pm
Spelare wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:07 pm
I feel that it might be beneficial to study some non-tantric texts that are relevant to Dzogchen. My current knowledge is based mainly on tertiary sources and relatively concise explanations by lamas in the context of short retreats. In figuring out what comes next, I've decided I should probably read some primary texts with their commentaries by Dzogchen masters of the Nyingma or Rimé tradition. I already have access to some commentaries written by Mipham Rinpoche on texts concerning emptiness and buddha-nature, for example, but I don't know the best order in which to proceed. I also have the Padma Samye Ling Shedra series books on Madhyamaka and Rangtong/Shentong views. There's so much out there, though: commentaries on commentaries on commentaries . . .

In your experience as a Dzogchen practitioner, can such study be helpful? If so, how? Which texts have been most helpful to you or are recognized as important in this regard?

Study Indian masters, not Tibetans. Nāgārjuna, Śantideva, Vasubandhu, Asanga, and so. And in particular stay away from the whole rang stong gzhan stong debate. It is completely irrelevant to Dzogchen.
Why shouldn't Tibetan philosophers be studied?

Malcolm
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Re: Mahayana & philosophical background for Dzogchen

Post by Malcolm » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:42 pm

Boomerang wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:38 pm

Why shouldn't Tibetan philosophers be studied?
It is not that they should not be studied, but if one is mainly interested in practice, becoming familiar with the intricacies of the debates between different Tibetan scholars is rather a large waste of time. They got involved in all kinds of debates which really are not germane to the main issues the Indian masters were explicating.

This is less of a problem when reviewing the works of pre-14th Century Tibetan scholars.

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Spelare
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Re: Mahayana & philosophical background for Dzogchen

Post by Spelare » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:43 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:24 pm
Spelare wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:07 pm
I feel that it might be beneficial to study some non-tantric texts that are relevant to Dzogchen. My current knowledge is based mainly on tertiary sources and relatively concise explanations by lamas in the context of short retreats. In figuring out what comes next, I've decided I should probably read some primary texts with their commentaries by Dzogchen masters of the Nyingma or Rimé tradition. I already have access to some commentaries written by Mipham Rinpoche on texts concerning emptiness and buddha-nature, for example, but I don't know the best order in which to proceed. I also have the Padma Samye Ling Shedra series books on Madhyamaka and Rangtong/Shentong views. There's so much out there, though: commentaries on commentaries on commentaries . . .

In your experience as a Dzogchen practitioner, can such study be helpful? If so, how? Which texts have been most helpful to you or are recognized as important in this regard?

Study Indian masters, not Tibetans. Nāgārjuna, Śantideva, Vasubandhu, Asanga, and so. And in particular stay away from the whole rang stong gzhan stong debate. It is completely irrelevant to Dzogchen.
Okay. Are there any English translations of those Indian masters that you have found to be particularly clear?

florin
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Re: Mahayana & philosophical background for Dzogchen

Post by florin » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:46 pm

Spelare wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:07 pm
I feel that it might be beneficial to study some non-tantric texts that are relevant to Dzogchen. My current knowledge is based mainly on tertiary sources and relatively concise explanations by lamas in the context of short retreats. In figuring out what comes next, I've decided I should probably read some primary texts with their commentaries by Dzogchen masters of the Nyingma or Rimé tradition. I already have access to some commentaries written by Mipham Rinpoche on texts concerning emptiness and buddha-nature, for example, but I don't know the best order in which to proceed. I also have the Padma Samye Ling Shedra series books on Madhyamaka and Rangtong/Shentong views. There's so much out there, though: commentaries on commentaries on commentaries . . .

In your experience as a Dzogchen practitioner, can such study be helpful? If so, how? Which texts have been most helpful to you or are recognized as important in this regard?
Studying and reflecting on dzogchen tantras and their commentaries is important in that they help consolidate an intelectual understanding of the view. Since this understanding is the ego's play it needs to be dealt with correctly , that is with the help , introduction and explanation of a teacher that has knowledge of what lies beyond. In the end, understanding or not understanding, it doesn't matter a bit.

Malcolm
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Re: Mahayana & philosophical background for Dzogchen

Post by Malcolm » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:48 pm

florin wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:46 pm
In the end, understanding or not understanding, it doesn't matter a bit.
Typical sems sde extremism.

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Re: Mahayana & philosophical background for Dzogchen

Post by Virgo » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:42 pm

Some add-hom and meta-discussion has been removed.

We can challenge each others views, but not their person. Thank you everyone.

Kevin

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Spelare
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Re: Mahayana & philosophical background for Dzogchen

Post by Spelare » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:44 pm

Any recommendations of particular texts or translations? Currently in my library (most of these are committee translations by Padmakara or Dharmachakra):

Vasubandhu
Thirty Verses on Consciousness Only

Asanga/Maitreya
Uttaratantra Shastra (Buddha Nature)
Madhyantavibhaga (Middle Beyond Extremes)
Dharmadharmatavibhanga (Distinguishing Phenomena from their Intrinsic Nature)

Nagarjuna
Mulamadhyamakakarika (Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way)
Letter to a Friend

Chandrakirti
Madhyamakavatara (Introduction to the Middle Way)

Shantarakshita
Madhyamakalankara (The Adornment of the Middle Way)

Shantideva
Bodhicharyavatara (The Way of the Bodhisattva)

Malcolm
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Re: Mahayana & philosophical background for Dzogchen

Post by Malcolm » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:49 pm

Spelare wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:44 pm
Any recommendations of particular texts or translations? Currently in my library (most of these are committee translations by Padmakara or Dharmachakra):

Vasubandhu
Thirty Verses on Consciousness Only

Asanga/Maitreya
Uttaratantra Shastra (Buddha Nature)
Madhyantavibhaga (Middle Beyond Extremes)
Dharmadharmatavibhanga (Distinguishing Phenomena from their Intrinsic Nature)

Nagarjuna
Mulamadhyamakakarika (Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way)
Letter to a Friend

Chandrakirti
Madhyamakavatara (Introduction to the Middle Way)

Shantarakshita
Madhyamakalankara (The Adornment of the Middle Way)

Shantideva
Bodhicharyavatara (The Way of the Bodhisattva)
All good.

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Spelare
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Re: Mahayana & philosophical background for Dzogchen

Post by Spelare » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:02 am

Malcolm wrote:And in particular stay away from the whole rang stong gzhan stong debate. It is completely irrelevant to Dzogchen.
This is sort of a side question, but how is it that some people get the impression that it is relevant? I was talking to someone recently whose view of emptiness is more from a Gelug perspective, and in his mind he associated Dzogchen with gzhan stong views. It's not that I want to get bogged down in those debates; rather, I want to familiarize myself with the exit door.

Malcolm
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Re: Mahayana & philosophical background for Dzogchen

Post by Malcolm » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:09 am

Spelare wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:02 am
Malcolm wrote:And in particular stay away from the whole rang stong gzhan stong debate. It is completely irrelevant to Dzogchen.
This is sort of a side question, but how is it that some people get the impression that it is relevant? I was talking to someone recently whose view of emptiness is more from a Gelug perspective, and in his mind he associated Dzogchen with gzhan stong views. It's not that I want to get bogged down in those debates; rather, I want to familiarize myself with the exit door.
It is because a small number of very recent masters of Dzogchen favored a version of that view at the sūtra level.

But when it comes to Dzogchen, sūtra views are irrelevant since they are a product of intellectual analysis and do not go beyond it.

Anyway, you just tell them that Longchenpa and Jigme Lingpa both proclaimed Prasanga Madhyamaka to be the view of Madhyamaka closest to the intention of Dzogchen.

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Mahayana & philosophical background for Dzogchen

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:26 am

Spelare wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:07 pm
I feel that it might be beneficial to study some non-tantric texts that are relevant to Dzogchen. My current knowledge is based mainly on tertiary sources and relatively concise explanations by lamas in the context of short retreats. In figuring out what comes next, I've decided I should probably read some primary texts with their commentaries by Dzogchen masters of the Nyingma or Rimé tradition. I already have access to some commentaries written by Mipham Rinpoche on texts concerning emptiness and buddha-nature, for example, but I don't know the best order in which to proceed. I also have the Padma Samye Ling Shedra series books on Madhyamaka and Rangtong/Shentong views. There's so much out there, though: commentaries on commentaries on commentaries . . .

In your experience as a Dzogchen practitioner, can such study be helpful? If so, how? Which texts have been most helpful to you or are recognized as important in this regard?
i study sutras, is great in general
very good for getting back to earth
and look where we are
totally recommended :)

zerwe
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Re: Mahayana & philosophical background for Dzogchen

Post by zerwe » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:48 am

My experiences with the aforementioned texts by Chandrakirti and Shantarakshita
are that they are steeped in the debates between Tenet systems. And, if I am not mistaken the
wisdom section of Shantideva's Bodhicaryavatara is as well.
With that said I feel that with these texts it is first nice to approach without the commentaries.
There is certainly something to learn from them at face value.

However, with my own study in order to better understand the 6th Chapter of Chandrakirti's,
(and at the request of one of my teachers) I have spent the last 3 years studying Tenets specifically
Jetsun Chokyi Gyaltsen's root text and am currently dipping into Jamyang Shayba's Great Expostion as a support.

Now whether or not I am wasting my time...I was instructed specifically that I should not be engaged in such study merely for the
sake of knowledge, but with the motivation (that when appropriate) to share what I have learned with others. However,
I feel strongly that there is certainly no danger that what I might share would be considered helpful for anyone. LOL.


Shaun :namaste:

Simon E.
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Re: Mahayana & philosophical background for Dzogchen

Post by Simon E. » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:12 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:09 am
Spelare wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:02 am
Malcolm wrote:And in particular stay away from the whole rang stong gzhan stong debate. It is completely irrelevant to Dzogchen.
This is sort of a side question, but how is it that some people get the impression that it is relevant? I was talking to someone recently whose view of emptiness is more from a Gelug perspective, and in his mind he associated Dzogchen with gzhan stong views. It's not that I want to get bogged down in those debates; rather, I want to familiarize myself with the exit door.
It is because a small number of very recent masters of Dzogchen favored a version of that view at the sūtra level.

But when it comes to Dzogchen, sūtra views are irrelevant since they are a product of intellectual analysis and do not go beyond it.

Anyway, you just tell them that Longchenpa and Jigme Lingpa both proclaimed Prasanga Madhyamaka to be the view of Madhyamaka closest to the intention of Dzogchen.
:thumbsup: :D Jigme Lingpa,aka Dzogchenpa Rangjung Dorje.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

pael
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Re: Mahayana & philosophical background for Dzogchen

Post by pael » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:45 am

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:49 pm
Spelare wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:44 pm
Any recommendations of particular texts or translations? Currently in my library (most of these are committee translations by Padmakara or Dharmachakra):

Vasubandhu
Thirty Verses on Consciousness Only

Asanga/Maitreya
Uttaratantra Shastra (Buddha Nature)
Madhyantavibhaga (Middle Beyond Extremes)
Dharmadharmatavibhanga (Distinguishing Phenomena from their Intrinsic Nature)

Nagarjuna
Mulamadhyamakakarika (Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way)
Letter to a Friend

Chandrakirti
Madhyamakavatara (Introduction to the Middle Way)

Shantarakshita
Madhyamakalankara (The Adornment of the Middle Way)

Shantideva
Bodhicharyavatara (The Way of the Bodhisattva)
All good.
How about Kamalashila's Middle Stages of Meditation?
May all beings be free from suffering and causes of suffering

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