MiphamFan wrote: ↑
Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:59 am
Malcolm wrote: ↑
Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:49 am
But I didn't receive any teachings on those practices and AFAIK for Vajrayana practitioners, one's root guru is the ultimate arbiter in case of doubts.
This is a tiresome and repetitive excuse. Thanks goodness ChNN did not just remain passive. When he did not understand something related to practice, he took it to the cushion so he could have his own experience and understanding.
I didn't receive any teachings on dhyanas from a lineage, while I have for other teachings, so I will just continue with the practices I did receive as far as I understand them.
You are free to do as you like, but you, and everyone else, will be a much more solid practitioner if you cultivate the first dhyana. It involves cultivating these five mental factors. You start with mindfulness of breathing, four foundations of mindfulness, and so on. This is no different, really, than reciting a mantra. A mantra is just another way to perfect śamatha.
I did try to read and research about shamatha, it just made me more and more confused about who's right, and more importantly, what to do.
You have to discover these things for yourself. That is the point I am making.
In the end, I decided that I should just follow ChNN, as far as I can understand his teachings, in terms of my practice.
In every retreat, he talks about the five capacities: one of those is samadhi. That samadhi is just a one-pointed mind. In ChNN systems of SMS, after level two, one is expected to be able to sit in meditation for 2 hours a session. This is based on Rongzom's text we have been discussing. One practices either common śamatha or mantra practice, with an aim to arouse these five factors. Rongzom says it is irrelevant which way one practices as long as one combines them with Dzogchen view.
but the practices I received are still primary rather than going off and trying to practise Hinayana/common Mahayana.
Mastering śamatha is a preliminary practice for Dzogchen.
Anyway, right now, as far as I understand right now: the Sautrantika definition of the dhyanas was pretty much accepted at least in the Mahayana world. Modern Theravadins who also try to go back to the sutras, as the Sautrantikas did in their time, came up with pretty much the same understanding of the dhyanas, such as Geoff in his post here
. Geoff quoted some interesting examples from the Pali Canon illustrating the vitarka, vicara etc which I find more illuminating than the Kosa definition. Do you think that his outline there is accurate from a Mahayana PoV?
Again, one needs to experience these things personally. As Dzogchen practitioners, we are supposed to gain experience in everything. As to yourt question, Geoff's analysis is fine and matches more or less what I can find in the sūtras and tantras (where these factors are also discussed at length in the commentaries).