Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

smcj
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by smcj » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:05 pm

Is the “third turning” gzhan stong or just Yogācāra? Seems only Yogācāra is being referenced in the excerpt despite the assertion that his use of “third turning” is supposed to be a reference to gzhan song
3rd Turning can be interpreted as Mind Only or Empty of Other. Here Rinpoche is interpreting it as Empty of Other.
In any case, gzhan stong as a view in itself is at odds with Dzogchen...
Kongtrul was a Shentonpa/Dzogchenpa, as are all Karma Kagyu Dzogchen practitioners.
however describing Dzogchen as a Madhyamaka-Yogācāra synthesis is perfectly acceptable.
Of course. There is more than one way to skin a cat. (Just don’t ask me why somebody would want to skin a cat in the first place.)
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Malcolm
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Malcolm » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:25 pm

Nine of these passages support your claim.
krodha wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:02 am
smcj wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:23 pm
Page 300 of "The Big Red Book" in the chapter titled "Superiority of Atiyoga". Remember, he is not discussing sutra here. He is discussing Dzogchen and why it is superior to the lower 8 yanas.

Also worthy of note is the fact that he says that Nagarjuna/2nd Turning and Asanga/3rd Turning are both contained in Dzogchen. That is to be expected and does not negate my point. All Shentong view includes Nagarjuna. Elsewhere he explains that his interpretation of the 3rd Turning is "Great Madhyamaka" (a.k.a Shentong). Interestingly he includes the Dharmadhaturstava ("In Praise of Dharmadhatu") as one of Nagarjuna's. It certainly is not like Nagarjuna's other writings.

Now concerning this natural expression of the Great Perfection: The Sugata, during the intermediate promulgation of the transmitted precepts*, did not reveal the structure of the fundamental reality, though he did extensively teach the inconceivable, abiding nature without referring to symbols of elaborate conception. And, during the final promulgation**, though he did reveal the structure of the fundamental reality, he did not teach the characteristic path through which it is actualized. Therefore, the conclusive intention of the Two Promulgators*** actually abides without contradiction in the nature of the Great Perfection. This intention comprises the unaltered intention of the Collection of Madhyamaka Reasoning,, which consists of the commentaries on the intermediate promulgation by the sublime and supreme Nagarjuna; and his [Collection of Eulogies] including the Eulogy to the Expanse of Reality****, and the commentaries by the regent Maitreya, the sublime and supreme Asanga, and his brother [Vasabandhu] and so forth, which together form the intention of the final [promulgation]. If one were to ask why this is the case, it is because these masters did not claim anything other than the profound abiding nature of natural reality, and because the Great Perfection itself is none other than that.
(bolding/underlining mine)

So he says, "... during the intermediate promulgation of the transmitted precepts, did not reveal the structure of the fundamental reality".

But he then say of Asanga/Vasabandhu, "....because these masters did not claim anything other than the profound abiding nature of natural reality...,"

So he accepts the 3rd Turning as being "profound abiding nature of natural reality, and because the Great Perfection itself is none other than that.

So Dudjom R. had no problem utilizing the 3 Turning paradigm to explain and define how Dzogchen is superior to the other yanas. Since he saw it as appropriate, so do I.


*****

*a.k.a. The 2nd Turning of the Wheel of Dharma
**a.k.a. The 3rd Turning of the Wheel of Dharma
*** Nagarjuna and Asanga
****Available in English as "In Praise of Dharmadhatu"

******

All this is in regards to Dudjom R's interpretation of Dzogchen. Evidently he is an outlier in this among Nyingmapas. However Kongtrul also has a Shentong view of Dzogchen, and he is not an outlier among Karma Kagyupas. So at least one major school supports that idea within the context of Dzogchen specifically.
Is the “third turning” gzhan stong or just Yogācāra? Seems only Yogācāra is being referenced in the excerpt despite the assertion that his use of “third turning” is supposed to be a reference to gzhan stong.

In any case, gzhan stong as a view in itself is at odds with Dzogchen... however describing Dzogchen as a Madhyamaka-Yogācāra synthesis is perfectly acceptable.
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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Dorje Shedrub
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Dorje Shedrub » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:20 pm

Didn't HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche teach Shentong?

DS
For as long as space endures
And for as long as living beings remain,
Until then may I, too, abide
To dispel the misery of the world.
- Shantideva, The Way of the Bodhisattva

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by dzogchungpa » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:29 pm

Dorje Shedrub wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:20 pm
Didn't HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche teach Shentong?

DS

Apparently. In a footnote to "The Buddha From Dolpo" Stearns relates the following story:
In the late 1970s I once asked Dezhung Rinpoché for his opinion about the shentong teachings upheld at that time in the different Tibetan traditions. Rinpoché replied that members of the Nyingma and Kagyü traditions had to accept (khas len dgos red) the shentong view because it was the view of Dudjom Rinpoché, Dilgo Khyentsé Rinpoché, and Kalu Rinpoché. When I asked about followers of the Sakya tradition, Dezhung Rinpoché laughed and said they had to keep an open mind about the topic (dag snang dgos red) . When I asked about the Geluk position, Rinpoché exclaimed that they viewed the shentong teachings as the “enemy of the doctrine” (bstan pa’i dgra bo red) .

smcj
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by smcj » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:34 pm

When I asked about followers of the Sakya tradition, Dezhung Rinpoché laughed and said they had to keep an open mind about the topic (dag snang dgos red)
The first time I heard about was from Dezhung R. He was teaching at a Kalu R center, so I guess he thought it appropriate to do so.

From what I can tell Dudjom R and Dilgo Khyentse R were outliers among Nyingmapa in this regard. Either outliers or groundbreakers, depending on how things happen going forward.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

LoveFromColorado
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by LoveFromColorado » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:45 pm

Not to interject on the conversation here, but I am curious about shentong as this is the first I have heard of it. It sounds like the major difference is that rangtong (also new to me) is the predominant view that states all phenomena are empty both relatively and ultimately. Shentong appears to indicate that ultimate reality is "empty only of other" and is the absolute Buddha nature beyond dependent origination. Is this accurate? If so, is this something that is taught today in Dzogchen? I have not had an encounter with such a discussion on emptiness in this respect yet (or at least that I was aware of).

Thank you!!

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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:25 pm

smcj wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:34 pm
From what I can tell Dudjom R and Dilgo Khyentse R were outliers among Nyingmapa in this regard. Either outliers or groundbreakers, depending on how things happen going forward.
Not really. Plenty of shentongs out there, some of them quite different from others, plenty of Nyingma teachers expressing warm feelings towards some of them (TUR!), plenty of Nyingma teachers being silent on the issue, plenty of Nyingma teachers being somewhat skeptical of them in general. And it has been like that for quite some time.
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .

krodha
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by krodha » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:35 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:25 pm
Nine of these passages support your claim.
Mine or smcj’s?

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Malcolm
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:52 am

krodha wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:35 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:25 pm
Nine of these passages support your claim.
Mine or smcj’s?
smcj's...his claim that Dudjom R subordinates Dzogchen to sutrayāna madhyamaka of any kind.
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: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:54 am

smcj wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:05 pm
Is the “third turning” gzhan stong or just Yogācāra? Seems only Yogācāra is being referenced in the excerpt despite the assertion that his use of “third turning” is supposed to be a reference to gzhan song
3rd Turning can be interpreted as Mind Only or Empty of Other.
It can also be understood as restatement of the second turning, i.e., I said this was definitive, and yes, it is definitive.
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

smcj
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by smcj » Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:39 am

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:52 am
krodha wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:35 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:25 pm
Nine of these passages support your claim.
Mine or smcj’s?
smcj's...his claim that Dudjom R subordinates Dzogchen to sutrayāna madhyamaka of any kind.
I do not claim that he “subordinates” Dzogchen at all.
I claim he uses Great Madhyamaka/Shentong to declare the superiority of Dzogchen.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Malcolm
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:27 am

smcj wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:39 am
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:52 am
krodha wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:35 pm

Mine or smcj’s?
smcj's...his claim that Dudjom R subordinates Dzogchen to sutrayāna madhyamaka of any kind.
I do not claim that he “subordinates” Dzogchen at all.
I claim he uses Great Madhyamaka/Shentong to declare the superiority of Dzogchen.
There is no need to do this. This is like saying a lion’s roar needs to be amplified by a dog’s bark.
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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aflatun
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by aflatun » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:30 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:59 pm
"Primordial state" is how ChNN translates the term "gzhi." "Gzhi" simply refer to something we have not realized. If there is some real primordial state, then how does it exist, in whom does it exist, and in what way does it exist, without falling into the four extremes. If it does not exist by way of any of the four extremes, for what reason then it is a fault to say there is no basis? Actually, the assertion that there is no basis is precisely the meaning of Dzogchen, Mahāmudra, and Prajñāpāramitā.
Love it, i.e. MMK XXII.15-16...
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Matt J
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Matt J » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:42 pm

I struggle to see any difference between shentong and a Madhyamaka-Yogacara synthesis. If I recall correctly, Brunnholzl makes the argument that what is called shentong is simply that.
krodha wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:02 am
In any case, gzhan stong as a view in itself is at odds with Dzogchen... however describing Dzogchen as a Madhyamaka-Yogācāra synthesis is perfectly acceptable.
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

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Kunga Lhadzom
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Kunga Lhadzom » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:45 pm

amazing isn’t it...no beginning...no ending...it doesn’t compute in human logic...yet it makes perfect sense...
The Universe flowing through my veins...stars falling from my eyes......rocks rolling in my head...lemon juice dripping down my chin....

https://drunklotus.blog

krodha
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by krodha » Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:04 pm

Matt J wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:42 pm
I struggle to see any difference between shentong and a Madhyamaka-Yogacara synthesis. If I recall correctly, Brunnholzl makes the argument that what is called shentong is simply that.
krodha wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:02 am
In any case, gzhan stong as a view in itself is at odds with Dzogchen... however describing Dzogchen as a Madhyamaka-Yogācāra synthesis is perfectly acceptable.
The defining and novel aspects of gzhan stong are its mapping of the three natures of Yogācāra over the two truths, which ends up compromising the intention of both Yogācāra (3N) and Madhyamaka (2T).

Also gzhan stong’s interpretation of Buddha qualities and the kāyas, specifically how they are treated in the basis, path and result schematic is absolutely in conflict with Dzogchen. Gzhan stong states that the kāyas are fully formed at the time of the basis and are fully established at the time of the result, nothing like this is found in Dzogchen.

Then there is gzhan stong’s novel interpretation of the five treatises, which is unrelated to Dzogchen but a sticking point for many.

Dzogchen synthesizes Yogācāra and Madhyamaka quite well. The same cannot be said for gzhan stong, which is wrought with numerous issues.

Simon E.
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Simon E. » Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:34 pm

Kunga Lhadzom wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:45 pm
amazing isn’t it...no beginning...no ending...it doesn’t compute in human logic...yet it makes perfect sense...
Not computing in terms of human logic has never stopped anyone yet from running it all through the ol' P.C. Sandi... :smile:
Gone fishin' :smile:

smcj
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by smcj » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:02 pm

I do not believe that there is a definitive right way to put this. Ultimately the “other shore” is ineffable, and once you arrive the Dharma is just the words your boat was built from.

I like Shentong because it says Reality has the positive qualities of Buddha Nature. There’s a version of Rangtong that says the same thing without positing a separate substratum. Maybe I’ll migrate over there soon.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Matt J
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Matt J » Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:24 pm

I have really come around to the Shentong presentation via the Kagyu presentation. First, it seems to be based in experience rather than logic and dialectics. Second, it really enhances the sense of compassion one has both for oneself and for all sentient beings. I have often found a lot of Nyingma presentations to be very well reasoned, but dry and somewhat distant. On the other hands, Kagyu presentations seem more emotionally approachable.

I have also found, in my own personal experience, that Kagyu centers and people I meet overall tend to be warmer and kinder than others.
smcj wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:02 pm
I do not believe that there is a definitive right way to put this. Ultimately the “other shore” is ineffable, and once you arrive the Dharma is just the words your boat was built from.

I like Shentong because it says Reality has the positive qualities of Buddha Nature. There’s a version of Rangtong that says the same thing without positing a separate substratum. Maybe I’ll migrate over there soon.
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

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Malcolm
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:31 pm

Matt J wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:42 pm
I struggle to see any difference between shentong and a Madhyamaka-Yogacara synthesis. If I recall correctly, Brunnholzl makes the argument that what is called shentong is simply that.
krodha wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:02 am
In any case, gzhan stong as a view in itself is at odds with Dzogchen... however describing Dzogchen as a Madhyamaka-Yogācāra synthesis is perfectly acceptable.
Well. The actual difference is that the Yogācāra Madhyamakas do not use the three own natures doctrine.
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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