Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

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Mantrik
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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by Mantrik » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:14 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:47 pm
Mantrik wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:46 pm
heart wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:32 pm
Sadhanas don't block you from recognising the natural state, if that was so then "integration" in ordinary life would be impossible. But if you are a beginner then everything can be an obstacle and feel very difficult. Monastic normally goes in to extended retreat in order to attain the stability necessary for actually "integrate" in all different situations.

/magnus
Yes, I can't help thinking the 'no more doubt' of the 2nd of Garab Dorje's statements isn't best attained that way. Integration after stabilisation doesn't seem to me to be improved by being a monk or having a monastic routine.
I think the more you practice the easier it is to make progress in every way. You need to purify as much karma and accumulate as much merit as possible, which should help with integration and everything else. As far as I understand, just being beyond doubt does not mean you can suddenly start integrating during daily tasks just because you try to do that.
I thought that having stabilised the state you continue with it and gradually manage to remain for longer and in different circumstances you work with. I'm not sure if 'try' is the way to look at it.

If experiences are limited to a monastic life, if a person disrobes, they may find it harder to integrate because of the previous limitations.

So once stabilised, you integrate immediately..........how could you do otherwise unless you decide to have set sessions and 'switch off' deliberately.

The 3rd Statement (ChNN's version) says this, and for sure it is a process:

''THE DISCIPLE CONTINUES IN THE STATE of non-dual contemplation, the primordial state, bringing contemplation into every action, until that which is every individual’s true condition from the beginning (the Dharmakaya), but which remains obscured by dualistic vision, is made real, or realized. One continues right up to Total Realization.''
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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by Mantrik » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:19 pm

heart wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:12 pm
Mantrik wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:46 pm
heart wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:32 pm
Sadhanas don't block you from recognising the natural state, if that was so then "integration" in ordinary life would be impossible. But if you are a beginner then everything can be an obstacle and feel very difficult. Monastic normally goes in to extended retreat in order to attain the stability necessary for actually "integrate" in all different situations.

/magnus
Yes, I can't help thinking the 'no more doubt' of the 2nd of Garab Dorje's statements isn't best attained that way. Integration after stabilisation doesn't seem to me to be improved by being a monk or having a monastic routine.
Nevertheless, I know a lot of monastics practicing Dzogchen. Most of them seems to be doing quite good.

/magnus
It is such an individual thing.
Would they have done as well in lay life?
Were they child monastics or ordained as adults after lay experience?
What does their monastic life comprise?
If they disrobe, how do they fare in the lay world?
So many variables.

ChNN talks of limitations. For some, lack of distraction is a positive factor, for sure, but I am more persuaded by the suggestion that a solitary retreat would do more in that case, rather than monastic life.
Of course, I don't know, so like eveyone else I can only speculate.
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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by Aryjna » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:20 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:14 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:47 pm
Mantrik wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:46 pm


Yes, I can't help thinking the 'no more doubt' of the 2nd of Garab Dorje's statements isn't best attained that way. Integration after stabilisation doesn't seem to me to be improved by being a monk or having a monastic routine.
I think the more you practice the easier it is to make progress in every way. You need to purify as much karma and accumulate as much merit as possible, which should help with integration and everything else. As far as I understand, just being beyond doubt does not mean you can suddenly start integrating during daily tasks just because you try to do that.
I thought that having stabilised the state you continue with it and gradually manage to remain for longer and in different circumstances you work with. I'm not sure if 'try' is the way to look at it.

If experiences are limited to a monastic life, if a person disrobes, they may find it harder to integrate because of the previous limitations.

So once stabilised, you integrate immediately..........how could you do otherwise unless you decide to have set sessions and 'switch off' deliberately.

The 3rd Statement (ChNN's version) says this, and for sure it is a process:

''THE DISCIPLE CONTINUES IN THE STATE of non-dual contemplation, the primordial state, bringing contemplation into every action, until that which is every individual’s true condition from the beginning (the Dharmakaya), but which remains obscured by dualistic vision, is made real, or realized. One continues right up to Total Realization.''
Yes, but how can you continue in that state when you are running around or working in an office. If it was that easy to integrate why would it be needed to practice the more advanced methods. You could just start integrating and never need to practice in a formal session again.

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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by Mantrik » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:30 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:20 pm
Mantrik wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:14 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:47 pm


I think the more you practice the easier it is to make progress in every way. You need to purify as much karma and accumulate as much merit as possible, which should help with integration and everything else. As far as I understand, just being beyond doubt does not mean you can suddenly start integrating during daily tasks just because you try to do that.
I thought that having stabilised the state you continue with it and gradually manage to remain for longer and in different circumstances you work with. I'm not sure if 'try' is the way to look at it.

If experiences are limited to a monastic life, if a person disrobes, they may find it harder to integrate because of the previous limitations.

So once stabilised, you integrate immediately..........how could you do otherwise unless you decide to have set sessions and 'switch off' deliberately.

The 3rd Statement (ChNN's version) says this, and for sure it is a process:

''THE DISCIPLE CONTINUES IN THE STATE of non-dual contemplation, the primordial state, bringing contemplation into every action, until that which is every individual’s true condition from the beginning (the Dharmakaya), but which remains obscured by dualistic vision, is made real, or realized. One continues right up to Total Realization.''
Yes, but how can you continue in that state when you are running around or working in an office. If it was that easy to integrate why would it be needed to practice the more advanced methods. You could just start integrating and never need to practice in a formal session again.
If we manage to remain in the state for even a brief time it is darn good. It isn't a sudden process of total integration, unless I've got it all wrong. I think it is more like discovering that we are able to remain in the state rather than setting out to instantly and fully integrate it with driving or sex.
We can be sure we understand what it feels like to be stable standing up as a toddler, but we can't remain in that stable state for long, so the process is iterative. Why can you not gradually integrate with daily life and have set sessions as well? Maybe see life as a continuum rather than a series of separate events.
Last edited by Mantrik on Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Thanno Garuda Prachodayath

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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by heart » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:33 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:19 pm
heart wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:12 pm
Mantrik wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:46 pm


Yes, I can't help thinking the 'no more doubt' of the 2nd of Garab Dorje's statements isn't best attained that way. Integration after stabilisation doesn't seem to me to be improved by being a monk or having a monastic routine.
Nevertheless, I know a lot of monastics practicing Dzogchen. Most of them seems to be doing quite good.

/magnus
It is such an individual thing.
Would they have done as well in lay life?
Were they child monastics or ordained as adults after lay experience?
What does their monastic life comprise?
If they disrobe, how do they fare in the lay world?
So many variables.

ChNN talks of limitations. For some, lack of distraction is a positive factor, for sure, but I am more persuaded by the suggestion that a solitary retreat would do more in that case, rather than monastic life.
Of course, I don't know, so like eveyone else I can only speculate.
It is a limitation to look at monastics as failed laymans also. I think you just don't know enough about the Nyingma tradition. Khenpo Ngawang Palzang was a monk and also one of the greatest Dzogchen practitioners in recent times. His "namthar", "The wondrous dance of illusion", is utterly inspiring. I am just rereading Tulku Thondrup's "Masters of meditation and miracles" a wonderful book. Many both lay and monastics going way beyond any limitations.

http://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-mas ... -statement

/magnus
Last edited by heart on Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by Aryjna » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:36 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:30 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:20 pm
Mantrik wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:14 pm


I thought that having stabilised the state you continue with it and gradually manage to remain for longer and in different circumstances you work with. I'm not sure if 'try' is the way to look at it.

If experiences are limited to a monastic life, if a person disrobes, they may find it harder to integrate because of the previous limitations.

So once stabilised, you integrate immediately..........how could you do otherwise unless you decide to have set sessions and 'switch off' deliberately.

The 3rd Statement (ChNN's version) says this, and for sure it is a process:

''THE DISCIPLE CONTINUES IN THE STATE of non-dual contemplation, the primordial state, bringing contemplation into every action, until that which is every individual’s true condition from the beginning (the Dharmakaya), but which remains obscured by dualistic vision, is made real, or realized. One continues right up to Total Realization.''
Yes, but how can you continue in that state when you are running around or working in an office. If it was that easy to integrate why would it be needed to practice the more advanced methods. You could just start integrating and never need to practice in a formal session again.
If we manage to remain in the state for even a brief time it is darn good. It isn't a sudden process of total integration, unless Ive got it all wrong. I think it is more like discovering that we are able to remain in the state rather than setting out to instantly and fully integrate it with driving or sex. Why can you not gradually integrate with daily life and have set sessions as well? Maybe see life as a continuum rather than a series of separate events.
I do not really know myself obviously, but from what I have understood you need a lot of practice too. Also implied in a text Magnus posted recently in another thread. These two short texts are maybe the most interesting ones I've read recently.

http://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-mas ... re-of-mind
As a means of bringing about realisation in this way,
Devotion and the accumulations are of the utmost importance

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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by Aryjna » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:52 pm

Also, a relevant quote by ChNNR from The Foundation of the Path (which is not restricted):
In general this also happens to us, who are unaware of having the seed of the Tathagatas or, as it said in Dzogchen, infinite potentiality. We have to awaken this knowledge, cultivating Bodhichitta the same way we cultivate a seed that has the capacity to produce a fruit. It is not enough just to sow it, we also have to protect it from animals that could eat it, provide it with the water and light it needs etc. This is the view of the Mahayana, but we do the same in Dzogchen. In fact every day we do various purification practices because purifying means developing clarity, and by developing clarity we can awaken the knowledge of our potentiality.
Not talking about integration specifically, but it seems to me that it applies for everything.

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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by Mantrik » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:05 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:52 pm
Also, a relevant quote by ChNNR from The Foundation of the Path (which is not restricted):
In general this also happens to us, who are unaware of having the seed of the Tathagatas or, as it said in Dzogchen, infinite potentiality. We have to awaken this knowledge, cultivating Bodhichitta the same way we cultivate a seed that has the capacity to produce a fruit. It is not enough just to sow it, we also have to protect it from animals that could eat it, provide it with the water and light it needs etc. This is the view of the Mahayana, but we do the same in Dzogchen. In fact every day we do various purification practices because purifying means developing clarity, and by developing clarity we can awaken the knowledge of our potentiality.
Not talking about integration specifically, but it seems to me that it applies for everything.
Yes, perfect.:)
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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by Grigoris » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:17 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:03 am
You clearly didn't understand my references to the need for the person, having received DI to work towards having 'no more doubt' and the context of doing so in monastic or lay settings.
It was a reference to the 2nd of GD's Statements which I assumed you would understand, but clearly not able to understand in context. My last post addressed this by showing you what it means.
The explanation is even more confused than the initial statements. It is around about now that I stop trying to make sense of what you are posting.
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"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by Dorje Shedrub » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:04 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:20 am
florin wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:35 pm
I wanted to help, that is all.
Maybe it is just me who thinks that attempting to practice two different curriculums from two different transmissions while living as a monastic in a monastic setting might present some potential for confusion.
Okay, I get your point now. But one would not need to continue practicing in the DC if they ordained as a monastic. There would be no value in that. One would imagine that the monastic curriculum would be more than enough.

We are in the Dzogchen forum, not a DC forum, so there is no real assumption that the OP would have to practice in the DC too, if they chose to become an ordained monastic.
I dont see why one could not continue to do the main DC practices and be a monastic. The main practice is guru yoga. As for me, I have never been to any DC practices except online (I am technically no longer a member - I can not afford it). The monasteries I have looked into all give time for personal practice besides the group practices.

I am still curious if any DC members are monastics.

DS
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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by heart » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:07 pm

Dorje Shedrub wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:04 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:20 am
florin wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:35 pm
I wanted to help, that is all.
Maybe it is just me who thinks that attempting to practice two different curriculums from two different transmissions while living as a monastic in a monastic setting might present some potential for confusion.
Okay, I get your point now. But one would not need to continue practicing in the DC if they ordained as a monastic. There would be no value in that. One would imagine that the monastic curriculum would be more than enough.

We are in the Dzogchen forum, not a DC forum, so there is no real assumption that the OP would have to practice in the DC too, if they chose to become an ordained monastic.
I dont see why one could not continue to do the main DC practices and be a monastic. The main practice is guru yoga. As for me, I have never been to any DC practices except online (I am technically no longer a member - I can not afford it). The monasteries I have looked into all give time for personal practice besides the group practices.

I am still curious if any DC members are monastics.

DS
Guru Yoga in the DC means resting in the recognition of the natural state.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by Dorje Shedrub » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:13 pm

:zzz:
Mantrik wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:39 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:23 pm
Mantrik wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:48 am
Does anyone know whether in monastic life it would be easy to focus on Guruyoga and Dzogchen and treat all the Tantric practice as 'secondary'?
As far as I know this is the normal way to practice in general. And in any case you can apply the main practice to any practice, so there is no need to differentiate.
What would a typical week's activities look like, when there is no major event taking place?
I'm wondering how many sessions are taken up with long sadhanas and work duties.
Here is the structure at Sravasti Abbey (the page gives more details):
5:00 a.m. Wake up
5:30 a.m. Meditation Practice
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:15 a.m. Resident’s Stand-up Meeting
8:30-12:30 p.m. Offering Service
12:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. Dishes & break
2:30 p.m. Offering service
4:30 p.m. Study time
6:00 p.m. Medicine meal
7:00 p.m. Meditation or Chanting
8:15 p.m. Study & personal time
10:00 p.m. Lights out
This seems to be a typical monastic schedule, except for monastics studying in a shedra, where there is scheduled time for classes. Service to the community seems to be contribution for room and board.

DS
Homage to the Precious Dzogchen Master
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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by Mantrik » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:21 pm

Dorje Shedrub wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:13 pm
:zzz:
Mantrik wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:39 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:23 pm


As far as I know this is the normal way to practice in general. And in any case you can apply the main practice to any practice, so there is no need to differentiate.
What would a typical week's activities look like, when there is no major event taking place?
I'm wondering how many sessions are taken up with long sadhanas and work duties.
Here is the structure at Sravasti Abbey (the page gives more details):
5:00 a.m. Wake up
5:30 a.m. Meditation Practice
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:15 a.m. Resident’s Stand-up Meeting
8:30-12:30 p.m. Offering Service
12:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. Dishes & break
2:30 p.m. Offering service
4:30 p.m. Study time
6:00 p.m. Medicine meal
7:00 p.m. Meditation or Chanting
8:15 p.m. Study & personal time
10:00 p.m. Lights out
This seems to be a typical monastic schedule, except for monastics studying in a shedra, where there is scheduled time for classes. Service to the community seems to be contribution for room and board.

DS
Thanks. :)
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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by Aryjna » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:22 pm

In shedras it seems there is almost no time for practice at all. But the break and meal times are quite long so you can maybe practice then if you want to.

http://www.palyul.org/eng_shed06_daily.htm

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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by Grigoris » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:23 pm

heart wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:07 pm
Guru Yoga in the DC means resting in the recognition of the natural state.

/magnus
This is what Guru Yoga ultimately means in all Vajrayana traditions. ;)
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by heart » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:28 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:23 pm
heart wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:07 pm
Guru Yoga in the DC means resting in the recognition of the natural state.

/magnus
This is what Guru Yoga ultimately means in all Vajrayana traditions. ;)
True.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by Dorje Shedrub » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:10 pm

Some have mentioned that long personal retreat is better, but I am one who could benefit from a more structured discipline, and also community. But, I am probably too old and have to many health problems anyway, but monastic life seemed to me a good way to have community, disciplined practice, merit, and helping others.

DS
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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by haha » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:57 am

It is interesting to know the monastic schedule for the practice. It seems there are no much differences on house-holders’ morning and evening schedule, except for the environment. According to some life-stories, mahasiddhas did not fit in monastic setting and that’s why they used to leave.

Essential different in guru yoga is that what they emphasis from very beginning. If one knows the main point, his conduct should not be deviated from the main point.

Probably many people here know it but I would like to post the Tulku Urgen Rinpoche's remark, which may be beneficial:
(As it is vol 1 and 2)
There is one way of structuring that I feel is very practical. In the morning you begin a sadhana and practice up until the recitation. You recite as much as you feel like at that point. Immediately, without leaving the sadhana behind, go and start doing your daily work. At the end of the day, sit down again and recite the vowels and consonants, repeat the offerings, praises and the purification mantra. After that, bring the sadhana to a conclusion. In this way, your entire day is part of the sadhana.

In this world hatred never ceases with hatred
With non hatred it ceases, this is the ancient lore.

Upakilesasuttaṃ

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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by Grigoris » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:29 am

Dorje Shedrub wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:13 pm
Here is the structure at Sravasti Abbey (the page gives more details):
5:00 a.m. Wake up
5:30 a.m. Meditation Practice
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:15 a.m. Resident’s Stand-up Meeting
8:30-12:30 p.m. Offering Service
12:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. Dishes & break
2:30 p.m. Offering service
4:30 p.m. Study time
6:00 p.m. Medicine meal
7:00 p.m. Meditation or Chanting
8:15 p.m. Study & personal time
10:00 p.m. Lights out
This seems to be a typical monastic schedule, except for monastics studying in a shedra, where there is scheduled time for classes. Service to the community seems to be contribution for room and board.

DS
That is 3.5 hours a day of formal meditation, plus another 2 hours in the evening for personal practice, for a total of 5.5 hours a day of practice. That plus another 1.5 hours of Dharma studies!

Shiiiiiiiitt... I don't think I could ever pull that off on my daily schedule.

Between work, relationships, physical training and making people's life a misery on Dharma Wheel :tongue: I am lucky if I can squeeze in 2 hours of practice (with interruptions) a day.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Is Monastic Ordination the Better Option for Single Dzogchen Practitioners?

Post by Marc » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:58 am

If I may...
There is Dzogchen practice, and there is Dzogchen practice...
ChNN clearly says that achieving Rainbow Body requires years of intensive retreat. When he says so, he also admits that because of his circumstances he could not do that much practice...

So called integration in daily life doesn’t cut it, unless much retreats have been done before and one is already quite advanced on the path of Thögal.

The question then is, can one do more practice as a lay practitioner or as a monk ?

It depends... But for most, monastic life definitely offers more time for serious practice.
(Carefull: I’m not saying that it would be the best for everyone one...)

Monasteries are not all about Shedra and Pujas... There are also Drupdras, dedicated to serious practice.
For instance the Bönpo monastery of Triten Norbutse has a 4 years curriculum dedicated to Dzogchen...

Even in a monastery that does not offer such opportunities, if one is seriously motivated and dedicated, it may be possible to accomodate the schedule, or even just be in retreat in one’s cell... But this must be discussed before.

Monasteries are busy places.
The great masters of the past usually recommended to avoid them and instead to go in solitary wilderness...
But here again... This is far from easy and not for everyone...

We tend, at least I tend, to think and plan ahead “in abstract / absolute term”: What would be THE best ?
But this is a trap. One should really concretely and practically experience for oneself and figure out what is the most conducive for the flurishing of one’s practice...

My 2 cents of the day
Cheers everyone

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