Non-duality in dzogchen

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PSM
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Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by PSM » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:25 pm

I am trying to fully understand the principle of "non-duality" in dzogchen. Specifically understanding hownthe following are not contradictory: the division between subject and object is an illusion, the dharmakaya of all buddhas is one, but mindstreams of sentient beings are separate. Seems there is a fine line to walk between dualism and monism.
"The only virtue which cannot be faked is courage" - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
"Not practicing dharma is painful" - Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche
"We don't want to feel the weirdness of life." - James Low

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Malcolm
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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by Malcolm » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:26 pm

PSM wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:25 pm
I am trying to fully understand the principle of "non-duality" in dzogchen. Specifically understanding hownthe following are not contradictory: the division between subject and object is an illusion, the dharmakaya of all buddhas is one, but mindstreams of sentient beings are separate. Seems there is a fine line to walk between dualism and monism.
The dharmakāya of the buddhas is one because they all realize the same thing.
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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PSM
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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by PSM » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:10 pm

Thanks Malcolm.

I found this quote, mentuined by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche: "As long as duality does not become oneness, there is no enlightenment."

I assume the duality here is subject/object. In what way can subject and object be said to be "one"? Are the phenomena we grasp as subject or object one homogeneous "thing", like the two ends of a stick? To me this is a step further than, for example, saying that there is no real subject "in here", like some homunculus.

Seems my problem is that I can read too many interpretations into statements like this.
"The only virtue which cannot be faked is courage" - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
"Not practicing dharma is painful" - Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche
"We don't want to feel the weirdness of life." - James Low

krodha
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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by krodha » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:57 pm

PSM wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:25 pm
the dharmakaya of all buddhas is one, but mindstreams of sentient beings are separate. Seems there is a fine line to walk between dualism and monism.
Not “one” in a monistic sense, but rather “one” in the sense of an identical generic characteristic. Like the heat of all fires is one and the same as a generic characteristic that all fires have in common, or the wetness of water. Wherever you go, that quality of wetness is uniform and the same, no matter where you encounter water.

The nature of mind of each sentient being is qualitatively identical in that they’re all inseparable clarity and emptiness.

This avoids a transpersonal oneness like tirthika dharmas promote.

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PSM
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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by PSM » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:34 pm

Here's a quote from Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche from As It Is vol. 1:
I am trying to give you a hint as to how the three kayas actually are. Dharmakaya is like space. You cannot say there is any limit in space in any direction. No matter how far you go, you never reach a point where space stops and that is the end of space. Space is infinite in all direc-tions. So is dharmakaya. Dharmakaya is all-pervasive and totally infinite, beyond any confines or limitations. This is so for the dharmakaya of all buddhas. There is no individual dharmakaya for each buddha, as there is no individual space for each country. You cannot say there is more than one space, can you? It is all-pervasive and wide open.It's the same with the dharmakaya level of all buddhas. That is the dharmakaya sphere within which sambhogakaya manifests. No world anywhere in the universe takes form outside of the three kayas -it is simply not possible. The three kayas are the basic dimension within which all mundane worlds manifest and disappear.
Rinpoche really seems to be saying that there is no dharmakaya per buddha. This is not quite the same as saying have identical qualities, like all fires having the property of being hot.

I have come across similar notions from Tsoknyi Rinpoche, who has said we are connected to all beings via emptiness, and this is one of the reasons a yogi in a cave can still benefit others. The form bodies, however, are separate.
"The only virtue which cannot be faked is courage" - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
"Not practicing dharma is painful" - Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche
"We don't want to feel the weirdness of life." - James Low

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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by smcj » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:26 pm

:popcorn:
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by Lukeinaz » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:52 pm

perhaps individual here means unique
You are truly astonishing--going to look for yourself when you already are yourself! --Longchen Rabjam

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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by climb-up » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:53 pm

I just listened to Malcolm on the Wisdom Podcast (Wisdom Publications) and he discusses how Dzogchen refutes both dualism and non-dualism.

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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by Sennin » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:53 pm

Hi PSM, :namaste:

The tantras have established that the basis is ka dag.

The Garland of Pearls state:
  • Given that the nature itself is originally pure, the intrinsic nature as well is spontaneously present.
    Beyond levels, directions, and bias, this is devoid of existing, not existing, or something to be seen.
    It is not within the scope of dialectics or logic, nor is it single, dual, or even conceivable.
    It is naturally present as the great state of emptiness.
The Reverberation of Sound states:
  • In the wisdom of the originally pure nature, ignorance does not
    exist by name nor are there delineations, such as singular or plural.
Take care.
:heart:
Namo Guru Bhyaḥ

krodha
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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by krodha » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:15 am

Diversity and individuality are permitted conventionally in Dzogchen, but not ultimately. Singularity is not held to be tenable conventionally or ultimately.

By “conventionally” I mean in the sense of how things appear [snang lugs], and by “ultimately” I mean how things really are [gnas lugs].

In any case a singular oneness is not found in these teachings either conventionally or in an ultimate sense. Holding to an idea of a singular, ultimate nature that is shared or transpersonal actually breaks the samaya of gcig pu.

Lopön Tenzin Namdak has been very vocal on this matter. Norbu Rinpoche has also clarified that plurality is acceptable but not a shared singularity. Ju Mipham speaks out against a singular ultimate nature. And the Rig pa rang shar also negates tirthika oneness and rejects tirthika systems which promote such a view.

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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by krodha » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:21 am

One’s nature is individual in a conventional sense, because the individual is likewise conventional.

In the actuality of the way things really are there is not any individuality, because entities cannot be established, but this does not mean there is some other ultimate substance that everything is reduced to, or subsumed into.

The ultimate nature of Dzogchen is non-reductive, because it is the unreality of the entities suggested by our ignorance, i.e., the insubstantiality of mind, and the insubstantiality of phenomena.

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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:09 am

PSM wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:25 pm
I am trying to fully understand the principle of "non-duality" in dzogchen. Specifically understanding hownthe following are not contradictory: the division between subject and object is an illusion, the dharmakaya of all buddhas is one, but mindstreams of sentient beings are separate. Seems there is a fine line to walk between dualism and monism.
there is no duality because there is no true individuality, not of self nor phenomena. the "unity" thing is an intelectual-and-non-experiential understanding of non-duality.
what are you doing

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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by krodha » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:26 am

Here is Lopön Tenzin Namdak elaborating on the thig le nyag gcig, what “single” or “one” means in the context of Dzogchen:

  • That is Chigpu - without any partition. It means that each individual being has mind and the Nature is of a very similar quality.

    Don't think that there is just one Nature (for everyone). Don't think it is like the sun, that there is just one sun but its rays cover everywhere. Each being has mind and wherever there is mind, there is Nature- it is not separate from mind but Nature is not just the same (one). Each individual being has Nature and this Nature is practiced and realized by the individual; it is the individual who takes the Result.

    When the text says Thigle Nyagchig, it means similar quality; Emptiness, Clarity and Unification are the same everywhere.

    For example, if you cut down one stick of bamboo you can see it is hollow and so you don't need to cut down all the bamboo. In a similar way, if you realize (the Nature of your Mind) it is your mind which liberates into Nature. All sentient beings who have mind are integrated with Nature. That is Thigle Nyagchig. That is what single means.

He then warns:

  • If you don't understand this clearly but think that one mind pervades everything, then that is what is kept and learnt in Vedanta; that is their very strong view. If you believe this then your Damtsig is broken and you go against the meaning of Dzogchen. 

    Is that clear? You must make sure (of this point). If you think that (Nature) is one without individual partitions, that this 'one' pervades everything, then that is breaking your Dzogchen Damtsig and goes against the Dzogchen View. Hopefully you have understood clearly.

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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by smcj » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:53 pm

I think Lopön Tenzin Namdak and Kongtrul have differing opinions on this matter. That's ok as far as I'm concerned. To each his own.
******************************************
Kongtrul's "Treasury of Knowledge"
Book 1: Myriad Worlds; Buddhist Cosmology in Abhidharma, Kalacakra, and Dzog-chen
p. 204
[II.B.3.b.ii.B’.1’]
Six [claims] concerning the fundamental nature of the original ground are mistaken.

What is the fundamental nature of the original, primordial ground of being, before buddhas appear by realizing it and before sentient beings appear by not realizing it? To answer this, the tradition of Great Perfection states that six claims concerning the ground based on the perspectives of persons who adhere to philosophical tenets are mistaken: the claim that [the ground] is (1) spontaneous; or (2) indeterminate; or (3) determinate; or (4) transmutable into anything; or (5) can be defined in any possible way; or (6) that it is manifold and multifaceted.

These six impressions of the ground are erroneous in that they are partial descriptions of the ground. The reasons for their erroneousness is a s follows:

(1) The claim that [the ground of being] is spontaneous is mistaken because if both faults and qualities existed primordially in the ground, their presence would contradict primordial purity. Furthermore, such a ground would constitute an unsuitable basis for the practice of a path [to freedom], and even if practice were undertaken, freedom would be an unsuitable goal.

(2) The claim that [the ground] is indeterminate is mistaken because if the ground were indeterminate, it would become whatever it is intellectually designated to be, leading to the illogical conclusion that deception might be experienced even after freedom has been attained.

(3) The assertion that [the ground] is determinate is mistaken because [if this were the case], the ground would be unchangeable, which implies that the stains of unawareness could never be purified.

(4) The assertion that [the ground] can be defined in any possible way is mistaken because if phenomena are infinite, the ground would also be infinite. [If this were the case,] one would have to assert the ground to be either permanent or terminated.

(5) The assertion that [the ground] can be defined in any possible way is mistaken because if phenomena are infinite, the ground would also be infinite. [If this were the case,] one would have to assert the ground to be either permanent or terminated.

{6} The assertion that [the ground] is manifold is mistaken because such a ground would be unsuitable as the basis for authentic freedom, since a ground related to many thought constructs cannot be a primordially pure ground.

These six impressions, each in its own way, are erroneous in that they give one-sided views of the ground Thus, they do not provide adequate descriptions of the “ground of being,” permitting only a partial comprehensions of the fundamental nature of the ground.
And on p. 206 there’s this:
The nature of the ground is primordially pure. Thus, the ground transcends the limitations of permanence or existence: it cannot be reduced to substantial or objectifiable characteristics. The character of the ground is spontaneous, and therefore the ground surpasses the limitation of non-existence or annihilation. It is radiant intrinsic awareness, the pure reality of emptiness itself, natural and primordial enlightenment, the immutable wisdom of the reality dimension of awakening. Existing neither a cyclic life nor perfect peace, it remains primordially empty. It is great self-existing wisdom, primordially present like space.
Kongtrul has more to say about it. The next subject in this chapter is "Two or three pristine wisdoms are inherent to the character [of the ground of being]." If I get ambitious I will post some more.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Malcolm
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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by Malcolm » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:12 pm

smcj wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:53 pm
I think Lopön Tenzin Namdak and Kongtrul have differing opinions on this matter. That's ok as far as I'm concerned. To each his own.
They don have differing opinions actually, but in your strange misconception of the Dzogchen, you imagine they do.
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

climb-up
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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by climb-up » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:02 am

krodha wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:26 am
Here is Lopön Tenzin Namdak elaborating on the thig le nyag gcig, what “single” or “one” means in the context of Dzogchen:

  • That is Chigpu - without any partition. It means that each individual being has mind and the Nature is of a very similar quality.

    Don't think that there is just one Nature (for everyone). Don't think it is like the sun, that there is just one sun but its rays cover everywhere. Each being has mind and wherever there is mind, there is Nature- it is not separate from mind but Nature is not just the same (one). Each individual being has Nature and this Nature is practiced and realized by the individual; it is the individual who takes the Result.

    When the text says Thigle Nyagchig, it means similar quality; Emptiness, Clarity and Unification are the same everywhere.

    For example, if you cut down one stick of bamboo you can see it is hollow and so you don't need to cut down all the bamboo. In a similar way, if you realize (the Nature of your Mind) it is your mind which liberates into Nature. All sentient beings who have mind are integrated with Nature. That is Thigle Nyagchig. That is what single means.

He then warns:

  • If you don't understand this clearly but think that one mind pervades everything, then that is what is kept and learnt in Vedanta; that is their very strong view. If you believe this then your Damtsig is broken and you go against the meaning of Dzogchen. 

    Is that clear? You must make sure (of this point). If you think that (Nature) is one without individual partitions, that this 'one' pervades everything, then that is breaking your Dzogchen Damtsig and goes against the Dzogchen View. Hopefully you have understood clearly.
Thank you. Is that from one of his books?
If so, which one?

smcj
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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by smcj » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:20 am

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:12 pm
smcj wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:53 pm
I think Lopön Tenzin Namdak and Kongtrul have differing opinions on this matter. That's ok as far as I'm concerned. To each his own.
They don have differing opinions actually, but in your strange misconception of the Dzogchen, you imagine they do.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
:namaste:
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

krodha
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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by krodha » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:49 am

smcj wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:20 am
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:12 pm
smcj wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:53 pm
I think Lopön Tenzin Namdak and Kongtrul have differing opinions on this matter. That's ok as far as I'm concerned. To each his own.
They don have differing opinions actually, but in your strange misconception of the Dzogchen, you imagine they do.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
:namaste:
(a) that’s gross, (b) it’s not accurate given that Köngtrul was providing a standard description of the basis in general terms and said nothing that contradicts Lopön Rinpoche.

krodha
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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by krodha » Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:02 am

climb-up wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:02 am
Thank you. Is that from one of his books?
If so, which one?
I’m not sure which text. The latter quotation is an excerpt of an explanation that is quite a bit longer.

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu shares the same sentiments:

  • We speak of a space, or sky. We speak of this space as present within a vase or a room, or the sky. It is the same space. This means the zhi [gzhi] or basis for everyone is the same. The difference we explain in Hinduism or in Dzogchen is the difference between individuals. Because when we say individuals, we mean that I am not you. You are not her. We are not the same. Nor does it mean that when someone is realized, everyone is unified into them and it becomes a kind of ??. That is not what is meant.

    Zhi or basis is always composed of a clarity of the individual. This is what we refer to with the example of the sun. If there were ten suns in the sky, we would distinguish ten different suns, and not say that all these ten are one sun. Thus sky and sun are two different things as a way of seeing.

I think people get confused and think that Dzogchen falls short in its view because conventional distinctions are upheld in certain contexts. They really want a “non-dual” view but don’t understand the implications of the Hindu type non-duality they attempt to project onto Dzogchen.

In reality Dzogchen goes further, and refines that non-dual view more than tīrthika dharmas do. All at the same time making more sense, and avoiding the inconsistencies that sometime arise due to the substantial, transpersonal oneness type non-dual views.

Much of these objections are because people think Dzogchen does not go far enough, but it surpasses all other non-dual views.

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PSM
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Re: Non-duality in dzogchen

Post by PSM » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:45 pm

climb-up wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:53 pm
I just listened to Malcolm on the Wisdom Podcast (Wisdom Publications) and he discusses how Dzogchen refutes both dualism and non-dualism.
Perfect timing! I'm listening to it now.
"The only virtue which cannot be faked is courage" - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
"Not practicing dharma is painful" - Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche
"We don't want to feel the weirdness of life." - James Low

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