What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

krodha
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What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by krodha » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:32 pm

I am interested to hear what the general consensus is on this, as this topic has come up recently on another forum where someone stated "My opinion is that if you're practicing dzogchen, you're a dzogchen practitioner," to which I inquired what it actually means to practice Dzogchen?

This individual was raised into a Dzogchen lineage (which is wonderful) has received "the empowerments, instructions, etc and are doing those practices according to a dzogchen masters guidance," and that is all well and good, but still I'm curious, does that make one a "Dzogchenpa?"

To this proposition they retorted "I wonder if you would come to our retreat and tell people they aren’t dzogchenpas because they don’t fit a certain criteria," which I certainly would never do, who am I to judge? The question I'm proposing is just an honest line of inquiry. If people want to call themselves "dzogchenpas" they are welcome to, yet for the sake of the discussion I am still interested what that title really means?

krodha
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Re: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by krodha » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:33 pm

My point was this: I wouldn't call someone a mechanic if they have never touched a car engine. These individuals may be practitioners engaged in sadhānas, sure. Aspirants, certainly. But yogins of ati, I personally feel that is something different.

Even if they claim to be practicing tregcho and so on, how do I know what they are doing? One can claim to be practicing tregcho yet merely be sitting, distracted, in something that merely resembles samatha. Similarly, one can claim to be practicing thogal, yet just be sitting there, completely distracted, enjoying a light show. There is no way to tell who is applying these views accurately.

That being the case, are the individuals in question practicing Dzogchen? Outwardly it may appear that way. Inwardly though, where it truly matters, I cannot say. For all I know they may be just like someone dressed up in a police officer costume, outwardly appearing as such, yet in actuality not so.

In any case, for asking this question I've now been labeled: arrogant, pedantic, lost, a teapot filled with poison, a mess, and was told: Knowing your real name I'll also encourage others to stay clear.

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Aryjna
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Re: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by Aryjna » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:44 pm

ChNNR says in 'Longchenpa's Advice from the Heart'
At the beginning, we may dwell in our real potentiality or real nature for five or ten seconds in a period of twenty-four hours. Then, applying the practice more and more, we may be able to remain for some minutes, then for some hours, thus becoming Dzogchen yogins.
That would probably exclude a large percentage of the people who are practicing Dzogchen.

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dzogchungpa
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Re: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by dzogchungpa » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:47 pm

Well, obviously, it means whatever Malcolm says it means.
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: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:48 pm

krodha wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:33 pm
My point was this: I wouldn't call someone a mechanic if they have never touched a car engine. These individuals may be practitioners engaged in sadhānas, sure. Aspirants, certainly. But yogins of ati, I personally feel that is something different.

Even if they claim to be practicing tregcho and so on, how do I know what they are doing? One can claim to be practicing tregcho yet merely be sitting, distracted, in something that merely resembles samatha. Similarly, one can claim to be practicing thogal, yet just be sitting there, completely distracted, enjoying a light show. There is no way to tell who is applying these views accurately.

That being the case, are the individuals in question practicing Dzogchen? Outwardly it may appear that way. Inwardly though, where it truly matters, I cannot say. For all I know they may be just like someone dressed up in a police officer costume, outwardly appearing as such, yet in actuality not so.

In any case, for asking this question I've now been labeled: arrogant, pedantic, lost, a teapot filled with poison, a mess, and was told: Knowing your real name I'll also encourage others to stay clear.

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's answer to this is simple— if you are doing practices which are included in the Dzogchen path, and that includes such preliminaries as creation, completion, rushan, and so on, you are a Dzogchen practitioner.
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

krodha
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Re: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by krodha » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:49 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:44 pm
ChNNR says in 'Longchenpa's Advice from the Heart'
At the beginning, we may dwell in our real potentiality or real nature for five or ten seconds in a period of twenty-four hours. Then, applying the practice more and more, we may be able to remain for some minutes, then for some hours, thus becoming Dzogchen yogins.
That would probably exclude a large percentage of the people who are practicing Dzogchen.
The first instance of recognizing said nature is the point that "practicing Dzogchen" begins, at least in my understanding.

The path [lam] consists of fluctuating between equipoise and post-equipoise, which is what Rinpoche is referring to.

Whether that excludes a large percentage I'm not sure.

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Malcolm
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Re: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:49 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:47 pm
Well, obviously, it means whatever Malcolm says it means.
Yes. See my post above.
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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Malcolm
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Re: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:52 pm

krodha wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:49 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:44 pm
ChNNR says in 'Longchenpa's Advice from the Heart'
At the beginning, we may dwell in our real potentiality or real nature for five or ten seconds in a period of twenty-four hours. Then, applying the practice more and more, we may be able to remain for some minutes, then for some hours, thus becoming Dzogchen yogins.
That would probably exclude a large percentage of the people who are practicing Dzogchen.
The first instance of recognizing said nature is the point that "practicing Dzogchen" begins, at least in my understanding.

The path [lam] consists of fluctuating between equipoise and post-equipoise, which is what Rinpoche is referring to.

Whether that excludes a large percentage I'm not sure.
This is too narrow a definition. If you are practicing practices characteristic of Dzogchen, etc., then you are a Dzogchen practitioner.

For example, if you are solely a practitioner of Lamdre, you are not a Dzogchen practitioner. On the other hand, there is no difference in meaning between Dzogchen trekcho, Kagyu Mahamudra, the view of the inseparability of samsara and nirvana, etc.
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: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by MiphamFan » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:02 am

krodha wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:32 pm
I am interested to hear what the general consensus is on this, as this topic has come up recently on another forum where someone stated "My opinion is that if you're practicing dzogchen, you're a dzogchen practitioner," to which I inquired what it actually means to practice Dzogchen?

This individual was raised into a Dzogchen lineage (which is wonderful) has received "the empowerments, instructions, etc and are doing those practices according to a dzogchen masters guidance," and that is all well and good, but still I'm curious, does that make one a "Dzogchenpa?"

To this proposition they retorted "I wonder if you would come to our retreat and tell people they aren’t dzogchenpas because they don’t fit a certain criteria," which I certainly would never do, who am I to judge? The question I'm proposing is just an honest line of inquiry. If people want to call themselves "dzogchenpas" they are welcome to, yet for the sake of the discussion I am still interested what that title really means?
I saw your Reddit thread, I don't know what is there to argue about.

There are two options:

1) You just call someone a Dzogchenpa based on external criteria, what practices they engage in, whether they seem to have calmed their minds, etc. This is all we can do as ordinary beings, and in the end we will never know for sure anyway.

2) Achieve the path of seeing at least so we can observe others' minds.

The guy you are arguing with does have a point; you don't know yourself for sure if someone really is resting in their nature of mind, in fact you can't even know unless you have some siddhis. But in the end, does it really matter to you? That's between the guru and student.

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Malcolm
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Re: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:09 am

krodha wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:49 pm
The first instance of recognizing said nature is the point that "practicing Dzogchen" begins, at least in my understanding.

This is when you become a Dzogchenpa, not just a Dzogchen practitioner.
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

krodha
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Re: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by krodha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:15 am

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:52 pm
This is too narrow a definition. If you are practicing practices characteristic of Dzogchen, etc., then you are a Dzogchen practitioner.

For example, if you are solely a practitioner of Lamdre, you are not a Dzogchen practitioner. On the other hand, there is no difference in meaning between Dzogchen trekcho, Kagyu Mahamudra, the view of the inseparability of samsara and nirvana, etc.
Ok. I suppose I've been under the impression that the basis, path and result are defined by Garab Dorje's three statements, and that the basis is defined as the knowledge [rig pa] of the nature of mind.

But I can understand how this makes things too narrow.

Edit: nevermind just saw your last post.

krodha
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Re: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by krodha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:17 am

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:09 am
krodha wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:49 pm
The first instance of recognizing said nature is the point that "practicing Dzogchen" begins, at least in my understanding.

This is when you become a Dzogchenpa, not just a Dzogchen practitioner.
Makes sense.

krodha
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Re: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by krodha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:25 am

MiphamFan wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:02 am
The guy you are arguing with does have a point; you don't know yourself for sure if someone really is resting in their nature of mind, in fact you can't even know unless you have some siddhis. But in the end, does it really matter to you? That's between the guru and student.
This was my point though, how does one know? There's really no way.

In any case this was more of an open inquiry, but this person became quite offended so things spun out a bit.

Dawai Gocha
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Re: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by Dawai Gocha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:48 am

Krodha, I wasn't so offended but for me, saying I practice dzogchen isn't a big deal considering that's all I've been around since I was a kid. Then you're essentially saying that me and my family are not practicing dzogchen (multiple times) so I was really just pointing out the ridiculousness of that statement. I do apologize if my words seemed harsh but the exclusivity bugs me sometimes.

krodha
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Re: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by krodha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:59 am

Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:48 am
Krodha, I wasn't so offended but for me, saying I practice dzogchen isn't a big deal considering that's all I've been around since I was a kid. Then you're essentially saying that me and my family are not practicing dzogchen (multiple times) so I was really just pointing out the ridiculousness of that statement. I do apologize if my words seemed harsh but the exclusivity bugs me sometimes.
That you or your family are not practicing Dzogchen is not an assertion I made. I merely asked what it means to be an "atiyogin."

I feel Malcolm's distinction between a "Dzogchen practitioner" and a "Dzogchenpa" answers the question in a way that satisfies both sides of the inquiry.

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Re: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by Dawai Gocha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:11 am

krodha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:59 am
That you or your family are not practicing Dzogchen is not an assertion I made. I merely asked what it means to be an "atiyogin."

I feel Malcolm's distinction between a "Dzogchen practitioner" and a "Dzogchenpa" answers the question in a way that satisfies both sides of the inquiry.


You asserted that by my standards anyone practicing samatha is practicing dzogchen, even after I described empowerments, instructions, etc. as part of the practice. Then you made other assertions like "I wouldn't call someone a mechanic...etc." Which doesn't make sense, you're comparing someone who's gotten countless dzogchen empowerments, instructions, etc. to someone who has never touched a car engine. Getting instructions from an authentic guru is indeed touching the car engine.


In regards to the distinction Lopon made, i would ask again - would we not consider a tulku in a dzogchen lineage to be a dzogchenpa?

krodha
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Re: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by krodha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:23 am

Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:11 am
krodha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:59 am
That you or your family are not practicing Dzogchen is not an assertion I made. I merely asked what it means to be an "atiyogin."

I feel Malcolm's distinction between a "Dzogchen practitioner" and a "Dzogchenpa" answers the question in a way that satisfies both sides of the inquiry.

You asserted that by my standards anyone practicing samatha is practicing dzogchen, even after I described empowerments, instructions, etc. as part of the practice.
Sure, so then by the aforementioned criteria, someone practicing śamatha after having received empowerments, instructions etc., would then be a practitioner of Dzogchen, but not necessarily a Dzogchenpa. It was the "Dzogchenpa" aspect I was referring to before.
Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:11 am
Then you made other assertions like "I wouldn't call someone a mechanic...etc." Which doesn't make sense, you're comparing someone who's gotten countless dzogchen empowerments, instructions, etc. to someone who has never touched a car engine.
Then I am saying someone who has not recognized the nature of their mind is not a "Dzogchenpa," however they can be called a practitioner of Dzogchen.
Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:11 am
Getting instructions from an authentic guru is indeed touching the car engine.
In the way I was using the example, someone who has a direct, experiential knowledge of the nature of their mind, has "touched the car engine."
Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:11 am
In regards to the distinction Lopon made, i would ask again - would we not consider a tulku in a dzogchen lineage to be a dzogchenpa?
Depends on the tulku. Like I mentioned, some are legitimate, some are mere symptoms of a political climate.

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Re: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by Dawai Gocha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:36 am

Just don't see the point in establishing this rigid intellectual trapping of the word. They have Theravadins, Mahayanists, Tantrikas, etc., but those in dzogchen lineages can't be called dzogchenpas? Doesn't seem to make sense.

We have tulkus in our lineage and even at a few years old, I don't have a problem calling them dzogchenpas.

krodha
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Re: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by krodha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:29 am

Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:36 am
Just don't see the point in establishing this rigid intellectual trapping of the word. They have Theravadins, Mahayanists, Tantrikas, etc., but those in dzogchen lineages can't be called dzogchenpas? Doesn't seem to make sense.

We have tulkus in our lineage and even at a few years old, I don't have a problem calling them dzogchenpas.
The point being made is that there are (i) those who actually possess a knowledge of their nature and (ii) those who don't.

Those who possess that knowledge [rig pa] have come to directly know the meaning of "Dzogchen." The same cannot be said for those who haven't.

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Malcolm
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Re: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:33 am

krodha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:29 am
Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:36 am
Just don't see the point in establishing this rigid intellectual trapping of the word. They have Theravadins, Mahayanists, Tantrikas, etc., but those in dzogchen lineages can't be called dzogchenpas? Doesn't seem to make sense.

We have tulkus in our lineage and even at a few years old, I don't have a problem calling them dzogchenpas.
The point being made is that there are (i) those who actually possess a knowledge of their nature and (ii) those who don't.

Those who possess that knowledge [rig pa] have come to directly know the meaning of "Dzogchen." The same cannot be said for those who haven't.
Yup, but let’s be sure not to turn that nature into an object too.
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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