Daily Tun practice and obstacles

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LolCat
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Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:50 am

Daily Tun practice and obstacles

Post by LolCat » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:10 pm

I asked this question in the Dzogchen Community thread, but it quickly got drowned among the other posts, so I decided to post this in a separate thread.

I read here recently that resting in the nature of mind is not an effective practice if you want to effect changes in your life, since you need secondary causes for those changes to appear, and that is why we use secondary practices. I have also read that the short and medium tuns aren't pure Dzogchen practices, but we need them since we are living in the real world with obstacles to practice.

Am I correct in understanding that the purpose of the daily tuns is to clear obstacles to practice(along with leading to enlightenment of course)? I ask because I have being doing Guru Yoga and SOV along with Shamatha/Mindfulness, Brahmaviharas and Vipashyana(Mingyur Rinpoche's Joy of Living series), but no daily short or medium Tun, or much deity practice at all. The only exceptions would be when I did Green Tara practice quite intensively when I wanted to get into grad school, and recently when I was searching for a job. My life has been absolutely chaotic during that period with very little stability and lots of stress and emotional pain. Could this have been avoided if I had been doing the tun practice regularly? If so, would Green Tara practice have the same effect and does it differ for the Anuyoga practice vs the 21 Praises?

I have a somewhat unrelated question, but don't want to start a new topic for it, so I will ask it here:
In the book(at least for Arya Tara) Rinpoche also mentions perfect visualization as a requirement for accomplishing the practice, I am not sure what this means, does it mean seeing the root syllable perfectly in my mind's eye? I am still pretty bad at visualizing and relaxing at the same time, so I just try to assume/feel the presence for now.

climb-up
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Re: Daily Tun practice and obstacles

Post by climb-up » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:45 pm

I don't at all have an official answer, but the thuns combine the essence of maha, anu and ati yoga and definitely help with both stabilizing your practice and eliminating obstacles.

Perfect visualization is not necessary, or the main point. Just do your best.

Your specific problems may or may not be directly helped by performing the thuns. "If you have a goat you'll have goat problems" and if you live in the world you'll have worldly problems.
BUT, even if it doesn't resolve your problems, they will probably help you in dealing with your problems. :)

chimechodra
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Re: Daily Tun practice and obstacles

Post by chimechodra » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:42 pm

In regards to "perfect practice," I believe this advice is specifically regarding action mantras. If you want to activate the action mantras of Green Tara, you must do a perfect retreat. But otherwise in a day-to-day practice, just try your best.

In regards to obstacles, yes, the thuns are great practices for controlling negativities and dispelling obstacles. Do not mistake them for being ati-yoga practices, however, which Rinpoche constantly mentions.

LolCat
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Re: Daily Tun practice and obstacles

Post by LolCat » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:53 pm

Thank you for the replies, I think it's about time I start doing these practices, my reasons for not starting out with them a couple of years back no longer exist, so I have no excuse to not do them daily.

Would Green Tara practice have the same effect as the thun practices? I know Rinpoche recommends the practice for finding jobs, but is it good for a daily practice instead of the short or medium thuns, or do these practices have a different purpose?

chimechodra
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Re: Daily Tun practice and obstacles

Post by chimechodra » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:46 am

It depends on various factors, including the nature of your circumstances, your connection to the various deities, and so on. I remember someone on DW a few months (years?) ago commenting that technically, you could do Vajrasattva-like purification while visualizing a different deity over your head, since the nature of all deities is ultimately the same. I would suggest you spend a few weeks/months trying out the thun practices, which are very simple to do (even simpler than Green Tara), and if nothing changes, try doing a few months of Green Tara. The only way to really get concrete answers to your question is to try it out yourself and observe your own experiences.

In general, most practitioners will likely find that if they are having concrete obstacles, Simhamukha/Guru Dragphur will have a more immediate effect in removing these issues. Green Tara can help too, but I've found that it's a different "flavor" of help, if this makes any sense. The latter is like a helping hand, the former is more like an axe chopping through confusion. Also, the thun practices have dogpa, etc. which are very helpful. More importantly, all these practices have the primary purpose of bringing you to realization. These secondary effects are just that: secondary.

But in general, if you have a strong enough practice, I believe you can accomplish any effect with any deity. Of course this is my own very meager understanding, and if any of the more established DW practitioners can comment, I'd listen to them primarily over me.

meepits
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Re: Daily Tun practice and obstacles

Post by meepits » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:20 am

Definitely not trying to derail the secondary-practice-specific conversation here, but FWIW I’m finding that working hard on the advice in the Cycle of Day and Night is effecting real change in my life. If that ever breaks down, it’s nice to know the secondary practices are there. My 2c.

marting
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Re: Daily Tun practice and obstacles

Post by marting » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:34 am

chimechodra wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:46 am
I remember someone on DW a few months (years?) ago commenting that technically, you could do Vajrasattva-like purification while visualizing a different deity over your head, since the nature of all deities is ultimately the same.
I wouldn't do anything like that unless the Lama instructing you in the practice OKs it. Don't make-up or change Dharma. :)

LolCat
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Re: Daily Tun practice and obstacles

Post by LolCat » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:39 am

chimechodra wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:46 am
It depends on various factors, including the nature of your circumstances, your connection to the various deities, and so on. I remember someone on DW a few months (years?) ago commenting that technically, you could do Vajrasattva-like purification while visualizing a different deity over your head, since the nature of all deities is ultimately the same. I would suggest you spend a few weeks/months trying out the thun practices, which are very simple to do (even simpler than Green Tara), and if nothing changes, try doing a few months of Green Tara. The only way to really get concrete answers to your question is to try it out yourself and observe your own experiences.

In general, most practitioners will likely find that if they are having concrete obstacles, Simhamukha/Guru Dragphur will have a more immediate effect in removing these issues. Green Tara can help too, but I've found that it's a different "flavor" of help, if this makes any sense. The latter is like a helping hand, the former is more like an axe chopping through confusion. Also, the thun practices have dogpa, etc. which are very helpful. More importantly, all these practices have the primary purpose of bringing you to realization. These secondary effects are just that: secondary.

But in general, if you have a strong enough practice, I believe you can accomplish any effect with any deity. Of course this is my own very meager understanding, and if any of the more established DW practitioners can comment, I'd listen to them primarily over me.
That makes a lot of sense, thank you for the suggestion, I will try out Thun practices for the next few months, or at least in March when I can afford to buy the required books, I am still reeling financially from one of these obstacles I mentioned.

I have already tried out Green Tara practice, and find that my troublesome situation resolves itself, but in a painful and drawn out manner after the situation becomes more chaotic than before, like old wounds getting opened up so that they can heal more cleanly, and usually results me in losing something, but in the end I realize its not the end of the world and my mental clarity improves by quite a bit? I can see why effects like that would lead to enlightenment. :lol: It's also surprising to me because it's usually not the way people describe the effects of the practice(swift, because Green Tara and the air element). After a few years of that I am a bit tired though, and just want some financial stability and opportunity to build up some good career capital so that I can do some things I want to, like physically go for retreats, which is something I have been aspiring towards for the last few years now.
Last edited by LolCat on Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

LolCat
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Re: Daily Tun practice and obstacles

Post by LolCat » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:42 am

meepits wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:20 am
Definitely not trying to derail the secondary-practice-specific conversation here, but FWIW I’m finding that working hard on the advice in the Cycle of Day and Night is effecting real change in my life. If that ever breaks down, it’s nice to know the secondary practices are there. My 2c.
I will definitely get the book once I can, thank you for the suggestion.

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