What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

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

Post by Dawai Gocha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:43 am

The point being made is that there are (i) those who actually possess a knowledge of their nature and (ii) those who don't.


I think we all know there are people with and without recognition. The point of this post was to determine who gets called a dzogchen practitioner or not. It then evolved into who gets called dzogchenpa or not.

So far, I haven't seen a case made for why it matters. We can call yangsi a dzogchenpa and it's fine.

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

Post by krodha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:38 am

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:33 am
Yup, but let’s be sure not to turn that nature into an object too.
I try to remain mindful of that.

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

Post by krodha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:47 am

Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:43 am
So far, I haven't seen a case made for why it matters.
It doesn't matter, ultimately.

I personally view a "Dzogchenpa" as someone who has come to know something quite specific about the nature of their own mind and phenomena.

The notion isn't something I attribute or delegate loosely. You choose to think of it more loosely. To each their own.

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: What Does It Actually Mean to Practice Dzogchen?

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:04 am

krodha wrote:
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.
Yep.

Dzogchenpa is who dwells in rigpa
Dzogchen practitioner is who practices a dzogchen method in the correct way

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

Post by Dawai Gocha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:50 am

I personally view a "Dzogchenpa" as someone who has come to know something quite specific about the nature of their own mind and phenomena.

The notion isn't something I attribute or delegate loosely. You choose to think of it more loosely. To each their own.


Actually, I use the term generally and don't believe I'm in a position to "delegate" it.

This was your main premise, that because the people at our retreats might lack recognition (according to you), they aren't practicing dzogchen. So you go ahead and keep dozogchen for yourself brother, I'm ok with just being a practitioner.

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

Post by krodha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:30 am

Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:50 am
Actually, I use the term generally and don't believe I'm in a position to "delegate" it.
You assign it the meaning you feel is appropriate, just as I do.
Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:50 am
This was your main premise, that because the people at our retreats might lack recognition (according to you), they aren't practicing dzogchen.
Right, and in this thread it was pointed out that "practicing Dzogchen" does not necessitate a knowledge of the basis, whereas being a "Dzogchenpa" does.

The definitive view of Dzogchen is found within the basis, path and result. Prior to that point one is implementing methods to recognize that nature. Dzogchen is your nature.
Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:50 am
So you go ahead and keep dozogchen for yourself brother, I'm ok with just being a practitioner.
We see things differently, and that isn't a problem. Are we not allowed different opinions on this matter? I'm merely sharing my view, not attempting to persuade you to adopt it.

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

Post by Dawai Gocha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:48 am

Yes we can have different opinions so here's mine—you're teaching dzogchen on reddit and positing some questionable views. Saying someone practicing according to empowerment/instruction isn't practicing dzogchen just seems like confusion. This is literally how the conversation went...

Me: I meant really, it doesn't make sense. You're implying that someone practicing togyal and trekchod in an authentic dzogchen lineage, isn't practice dzogchen.

You: How do you know what they are doing? One can claim to be practicing tregcho yet merely be sitting, distracted, in something that merely resembles samatha. etc etc


The 'dzogchenpa' distinction didn't come up until later and I think a bunch of people weren't sure about that one. I'm still not sure because we have Gelugpa, Nyingmapa, etc., so what would somebody from Dzogchen Monastery be called for example? Seems like it can have multiple contexts. I don't think any conventional use will take away from the sanctity of its true meaning either way.

It's nothing personal, if you want to iron things out in a web of words I'll put my spider to work.

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

Post by Dawai Gocha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:43 am

Both dictionaries define 'dzogchenpa' as someone who practices dzogchen.

http://www.thlib.org/reference/dictiona ... nslate.php

http://rywiki.tsadra.org/index.php/rdzogs_chen_pa

Interesting too, while I was researching this on viewtopic.php?f=81&t=7616&start=60

Krodha from another time: "...dzogchenpa, I think its more a term of endearment one refers to another with, not really a self appointed title to identify with. I also recall rinpoche touching on this in a retreat a long time ago."

And...

Another user: "Is it acceptable grammatically to refer to a woman who practices the Great Perfection as a Dzogchenpa? is that normal usage?"

Lopon Malcolm: Yes.


Another user named Norwegian: And, just to add, several times Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche have said that the Tibetan word for "Dzogchen practicioner" is "Dzogchenpa"

So maybe the word still has a chance for liberation.

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

Post by krodha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:30 am

Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:48 am
Yes we can have different opinions so here's mine—you're teaching dzogchen on reddit and positing some questionable views.
I've never taught Dzogchen in my life and have no interest in doing so.
Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:48 am
Saying someone practicing according to empowerment/instruction isn't practicing dzogchen just seems like confusion. This is literally how the conversation went...

Me: I meant really, it doesn't make sense. You're implying that someone practicing togyal and trekchod in an authentic dzogchen lineage, isn't practice dzogchen.

You: How do you know what they are doing? One can claim to be practicing tregcho yet merely be sitting, distracted, in something that merely resembles samatha. etc etc
Right, and I still stand by the question as it is completely reasonable.
Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:48 am
The 'dzogchenpa' distinction didn't come up until later and I think a bunch of people weren't sure about that one. I'm still not sure because we have Gelugpa, Nyingmapa, etc., so what would somebody from Dzogchen Monastery be called for example? Seems like it can have multiple contexts.
Obviously.

And the "Dzogchenpa" distinction allows both of us to maintain our points of view in a rather harmonious way.
Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:48 am
I don't think any conventional use will take away from the sanctity of its true meaning either way.
I never suggested it does.

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

Post by florin » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:53 am

According to CNNr you "finally become a dzogchen practitioner" when you have achieved the level of released shine or the ability to integrate with circumstances.

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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 1:58 pm

florin wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:53 am
According to CNNr you "finally become a dzogchen practitioner" when you have achieved the level of released shine or the ability to integrate with circumstances.
That is one of the that things he has said, but not the only thing he has said on this issue.
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

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

Post by Dawai Gocha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:10 pm

krodha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:30 am


And the "Dzogchenpa" distinction allows both of us to maintain our points of view in a rather harmonious way.
Maybe check out my second post that wasn't approved until later, it might be worth entertaining.

Seems 'dzogchenpa' can be used in both contexts. Both dictionaries define it as 'practitioners of dzogchen' and teachers have used it in this way.

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

Post by krodha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:40 pm

Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:10 pm
krodha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:30 am


And the "Dzogchenpa" distinction allows both of us to maintain our points of view in a rather harmonious way.
Maybe check out my second post that wasn't approved until later, it might be worth entertaining.

Seems 'dzogchenpa' can be used in both contexts. Both dictionaries define it as 'practitioners of dzogchen' and teachers have used it in this way.
The main point is again, that "Dzogchen" is the living and experiential dimension of equipoise. Those who have known Dzogchen are awakened individuals.

Even within the scope of the buddhadharma, there are "practitioners of the buddhadharma" and then there are those who have awakened, given the title "ārya." In the same way only those who have awakened to their nature have come to know "Dzogchen," and those who have not yet awakened cannot be said to know the meaning of "dzogchen."

Nevertheless they are practicing to create circumstances that are conducive to awakening. Those who have awakened and have lapsed back into their relative condition are also creating conducive circumstances to continually re-visit said equipoise, as that is the entire point.

Just as in the buddhadharma the distinction of an ārya is made, I feel it is appropriate to make the distinction we are discussing. The āryas of the world have tasted chocolate so to speak, they have an experiential, working knowledge of that taste. Those who have not tasted chocolate do not possess that knowledge.

This all started because I said "as an alleged atiyogin, you know X to be the case." You then asked what I meant by "alleged" and this is what I mean, as someone who has allegedly tasted chocolate, you possess an experiential knowledge of that taste. Likewise a yogin of ati, or a "Dzogchenpa" is someone who, if they aren't knowing it constantly, has at least awakened to know "Dzogchen."

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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 8:13 pm

krodha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:40 pm
Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:10 pm
krodha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:30 am


And the "Dzogchenpa" distinction allows both of us to maintain our points of view in a rather harmonious way.
Maybe check out my second post that wasn't approved until later, it might be worth entertaining.

Seems 'dzogchenpa' can be used in both contexts. Both dictionaries define it as 'practitioners of dzogchen' and teachers have used it in this way.
The main point is again, that "Dzogchen" is the living and experiential dimension of equipoise. Those who have known Dzogchen are awakened individuals.

Even within the scope of the buddhadharma, there are "practitioners of the buddhadharma" and then there are those who have awakened, given the title "ārya." In the same way only those who have awakened to their nature have come to know "Dzogchen," and those who have not yet awakened cannot be said to know the meaning of "dzogchen."

Nevertheless they are practicing to create circumstances that are conducive to awakening. Those who have awakened and have lapsed back into their relative condition are also creating conducive circumstances to continually re-visit said equipoise, as that is the entire point.

Just as in the buddhadharma the distinction of an ārya is made, I feel it is appropriate to make the distinction we are discussing. The āryas of the world have tasted chocolate so to speak, they have an experiential, working knowledge of that taste. Those who have not tasted chocolate do not possess that knowledge.

This all started because I said "as an alleged atiyogin, you know X to be the case." You then asked what I meant by "alleged" and this is what I mean, as someone who has allegedly tasted chocolate, you possess an experiential knowledge of that taste. Likewise a yogin of ati, or a "Dzogchenpa" is someone who, if they aren't knowing it constantly, has at least awakened to know "Dzogchen."

Again, Kyle, this is too narrow. But I am not going to discuss it here other than to say one does not need to be an ārya to be said to know Dzogchen directly and experientially. You are mixing up sūtra and Dzogchen here.
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 8:19 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:13 pm
Again, Kyle, this is too narrow. But I am not going to discuss it here other than to say one does not need to be an ārya to be said to know Dzogchen directly and experientially. You are mixing up sūtra and Dzogchen here.
I was attempting to offer an example of another distinction that is somewhat similar in nature.

In any case seems this conversation has probably ran its course.

The distinction isn't important anyway but Dawai Gocha's blatant refusal to even consider its merits is a bit strange to me.

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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 8:24 pm

krodha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:19 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:13 pm
Again, Kyle, this is too narrow. But I am not going to discuss it here other than to say one does not need to be an ārya to be said to know Dzogchen directly and experientially. You are mixing up sūtra and Dzogchen here.
I was attempting to offer an example of another distinction that is somewhat similar in nature.

In any case seems this conversation has probably ran its course.

The distinction isn't important anyway but Dawai Gocha's blatant refusal to even consider its merits is a bit strange to me.
I understand, it is just that the special feature of Dzogchen is that ordinary people are able to recognize their dharmatā experientially in a direct perception without having realized emptiness.
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

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

Post by Dawai Gocha » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:20 pm

Krodha, from my perspective you were trying to correct a Theravada practitioner about the true nature of reality. Then assumed I know these things because I practice dzogchen. My point was simple—just because I practice dzogchen doesn’t mean I have any special knowledge or realization. This seemed to be the antithesis of your belief.

I know these things have secret meanings and more profound context but this relates to more conventional usuage of terms. You guys didn’t comment on the dictionary definitions and Namkhai Norbu’s apparent usage, but I think it could offer clarity for others.

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

Post by krodha » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:17 am

Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:20 pm
Krodha, from my perspective you were trying to correct a Theravada practitioner about the true nature of reality.
Just offering other perspectives in a setting where the Theravada position is highly promulgated and said views tend to err into substantialism.

The Theravadins on Reddit are good at reciting and parroting what they've read in the suttas, but have no knowledge of Mahāyāna tenets. Some even harbor the classic Theravada fundamentalism that rejects the legitimacy of other Buddhist systems due to their narrow definition of buddhavacana. I'm never attempting to correct anyone, but if a topic is not Theravada specific and it seems worthwhile to share a different perspective I will.
Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:20 pm
Then assumed I know these things because I practice dzogchen. My point was simple—just because I practice dzogchen doesn’t mean I have any special knowledge or realization. This seemed to be the antithesis of your belief.
The core tenets of the system are quite specific, however.
Dawai Gocha wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:20 pm
I know these things have secret meanings and more profound context but this relates to more conventional usuage of terms. You guys didn’t comment on the dictionary definitions and Namkhai Norbu’s apparent usage, but I think it could offer clarity for others.
Ok. The use of the word is not my interest, to be completely honest. I was exploring the meaning that the term may represent in the context discussed in this particular thread... but like I said, you can obviously use the term however you like.

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

Post by mirrormind » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:34 pm

This is taken from the short introduction to chap 5 of "Simply Being" by James Low and might offer another helpful angle to understanding what it means to start and continue practising dzogchen.
The term ‘great meditator’ (sgom chen) is used here, and also by Patrul Rinpoche, in a rather tongue-in-cheek manner, for are those who are struggling with the basics of dzogchen great meditators? In a true sense they are, for they have given up the local games of worldly benefit and have entered the international league of enlightenment in one lifetime. They are great because they are participating in a great enterprise. Dzogchen conduct is to stay present at all times and in all places – it does not require any great shift in behaviour and so it can be implemented by people in all walks of life, of any age or gender. However, in the early stages it takes much effort to really get established, and the title ‘great meditator’ is also a salute to the diligence required for that.
You can't think your way out of samsara.

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