question on distingushing mind from it's nature

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Lukeinaz
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Re: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by Lukeinaz » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:48 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:37 pm
So here is the million dollar question: if thoughts and concepts are not also of the nature of mind, if they can only be born of delusion, then has EVERYTHING that has been said and quoted in this thread purely delusional?
You changed the wording from your initial "in reality thoughts are none other than the nature of mind"

So which one do you want to go with?
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Re: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:55 pm

Guys, grow up. If you want someone to clarify something, ask a clarifying question instead of trying to play "gotcha" with meta-meta-meta discussion, or I will just lock the thread.

I've certainly gotten the conversation I wanted out of it, so if it continues like this it's a goner.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Re: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by Sennin » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:55 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:37 pm
So here is the million dollar question: if thoughts and concepts are not also of the nature of mind, if they can only be born of delusion, then has EVERYTHING that has been said and quoted in this thread purely delusional?
Drenpa addressed a similar point earlier in the thread here.
"One should always recite mantra, purifying the body."
--Cakrasaṃvara Tantra

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Re: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by zenman » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:17 pm

Drenpa wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:04 pm
Longchenpa also says:
"Although one might have a simple interest in this spiritual approach, the chances of having the good fortune to perceive it thoroughly are not even that of a one-hundredth portion split from a single hair. There are those who swagger in their undiscriminating ignorance, whose brows are adorned with golden chains of jealousy and wrongheaded concepts, and who flatter themselves with the assumption that they understand and so have the haughty gait of an elephant. They indulge in afflictive emotions, ignorance, an erroneous spiritual paths. This is not all, however, for some individuals are inclined toward liberation but have little merit and so are in danger of encountering such people, who give the following kinds of instruction to all who meet them: "Whatever arises is the nature of Dharmakaya. Concepts are in themselves naturally occurring timeless awareness"... In such ways they specifically teach false fabrications that deceive beings, yet they are seen as people who expound profound spiritual teachings not found anywhere else. They are indeed nothing more than thieves who nowadays pervert the teachings of the ati approach".
Choying Dzod Richard Barron translation pp 106-107
What is the point here? That some give such instructions to all who meet them, thus leading those astray who have no capacity to understand?

Heart Sutra teaches that all phenomena is empty. If all phenomena is seen empty, how could thoughts and concepts not arise out of dharmakaya? Is the point of Longchenpa's statement to do preparation, emptiness practice? Sutra, tantra and dzogchen all have same goal, though different means so if this is not Longchenpa's point, wouldn't he be making a false statement?

Sorry for my ignorance.

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Re: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by Sennin » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:29 pm

I think this thread was a great discussion, but at this point I will bow out. Mainly because I'm not informed enough to try and argue these important points. And I've already exposed myself as a jackass know it all. :mrgreen:
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Re: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by Grigoris » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:33 pm

Lukeinaz wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:48 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:37 pm
So here is the million dollar question: if thoughts and concepts are not also of the nature of mind, if they can only be born of delusion, then has EVERYTHING that has been said and quoted in this thread purely delusional?
You changed the wording from your initial "in reality thoughts are none other than the nature of mind"

So which one do you want to go with?
Pedantically splitting hairs is not a valid form of debate. Just in case you didn't know.
"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: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by Drenpa » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:13 am

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:37 pm
So here is the million dollar question: if thoughts and concepts are not also of the nature of mind, if they can only be born of delusion, then has EVERYTHING that has been said and quoted in this thread purely delusional?
Hi Greg,

Good question, and this is a conversation worth having, IMO. It's related to the topic so I hope OP's okay with a response even though it doesn't directly speak to his question. Not completely sure if you're funnin' tongue in cheek or not, but your million dollar question kind of follows naturally based on this distinction made between nature of mind and concepts.

Everything arises from the dynamic energy of the basis, including thoughts and concepts. Samsara (affliction, delusion) begins the very moment that this dynamic energy arising is not recognized for what it is, resulting in the two (or more depending on schema) ignorance's.

To the degree that we labor under this affliction (I certainly do) then what arises for us is afflicted. Including this thread. The purpose of all Dharma practice, the various methods and means for the different types of people, is to eradicate the afflictions.

When we employ the instructions of our teachers and find ourselves, even for a moment, in the state they are transmitting, then for that time Samsara is overturned. The qualities don't bloom fully in that short bit of time, but for that time the movement of thought or concepts is recognized as part of the basis, which is not some universal plenum - It's the basis of *our* mind.

If we can integrate enough to listen, speak and write for a little bit in that knowledge, then what arises is not afflicted, it is wisdom. The swift path of Ati & Mahamudra is where wisdom itself is used as the method to eradicate the afflictions and overturn samsara. Dzogchen is unique because special methods that employ wisdom allow one to eradicate the gross afflictions before even reaching the first bhumi - so even ordinary people with the fortune to meet a knowledge holder can quickly progress in the right circumstances.

For that to happen though, there has to be real experience and confidence, familiarity with that wisdom. That's not an easy task which is why Longchenpa spends so much time differentiating between wisdom & the alaya. We of course have experience when our teachers transmit or point out the nature of mind, but to really have confidence in this isn't easy at all b/c there's nothing to grasp in a moment of unfabricated consciousness, although the 3 doors of liberation and other aspects given in the oral transmission can be distinguished for purposes of gaining confidence. But everything has to be checked against personal experience, the tantras and the teacher. Even then, in the end, we have to be the final authority for ourselves, which can be kind of terrifying to contemplate. It really is a path of self-liberation. One is on their own.

With regards to mind vs nature of mind, here's a wonderful little text by Mipham that actually uses the mistaken experience of resting in the Alaya the state of "lungmaten" (which is easy to do) as a jumping off point for recognizing Rigpa/wisdom/nature of mind. https://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-ma ... ipham-lamp so you see, this point is quite important and the past masters have taken great pains to differentiate this mistaken state, and bring it to the path as a method.

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Re: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by Drenpa » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:45 am

zenman wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:17 pm
Drenpa wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:04 pm
Longchenpa also says:
"Although one might have a simple interest in this spiritual approach, the chances of having the good fortune to perceive it thoroughly are not even that of a one-hundredth portion split from a single hair. There are those who swagger in their undiscriminating ignorance, whose brows are adorned with golden chains of jealousy and wrongheaded concepts, and who flatter themselves with the assumption that they understand and so have the haughty gait of an elephant. They indulge in afflictive emotions, ignorance, an erroneous spiritual paths. This is not all, however, for some individuals are inclined toward liberation but have little merit and so are in danger of encountering such people, who give the following kinds of instruction to all who meet them: "Whatever arises is the nature of Dharmakaya. Concepts are in themselves naturally occurring timeless awareness"... In such ways they specifically teach false fabrications that deceive beings, yet they are seen as people who expound profound spiritual teachings not found anywhere else. They are indeed nothing more than thieves who nowadays pervert the teachings of the ati approach".
Choying Dzod Richard Barron translation pp 106-107
What is the point here? That some give such instructions to all who meet them, thus leading those astray who have no capacity to understand?

Heart Sutra teaches that all phenomena is empty. If all phenomena is seen empty, how could thoughts and concepts not arise out of dharmakaya? Is the point of Longchenpa's statement to do preparation, emptiness practice? Sutra, tantra and dzogchen all have same goal, though different means so if this is not Longchenpa's point, wouldn't he be making a false statement?

Sorry for my ignorance.
Yes, that's more or less the point. There's plenty of evidence on this forum in the past, of this happening precisely as Longchenpa described. Folks who have showed up obviously trolling for students who's words and ideas are in some uncanny way laid bare in texts hundreds of years old - as if they were written precisely for this day. It's spooky and I honestly can't see how they'd see their actions and words described so prophetically and not have pause!

To be clear, this is NOT what I'm saying Greg is doing. I don't have any doubt that he's a sincere and serious practitioner and like the rest of us just doing his best. History shows he can take it as well as dish it out, so I felt comfortable questioning him on this point. I raised this one point b/c it hits close to home. Wrong view is SO easy to fall into and let's be clear about this too - I'm not saying in any way that I'm immune from making mistakes or free from the maras. Only that I have confidence in the teachings of my teachers and the tradition. I've personally struggled with this for years and years. I'm not a young person. Having confidence in the teacher and tradition is one thing, real confidence in one's own understanding of the view is another thing entirely. Self doubt is the default for me given my experience and conditioning.

So Longchenpa is talking about people such as have flashed across the DW firmament from time to time who really can and do lead others astray, and take on students when the scent of Dharma hasn't even touched them. Their fruits are pretty obvious if one is paying attention as has the words of the tradition as a guide, and have they've quickly been called out and exposed in the past, as outright liars (in one case I remember). One person insisted that they didn't teach, and played coy, until they were called out and evidence was presented demonstrating they'd been teaching "Dzogchen" for years to anyone unfortunate enough to have a connection to them.

As to the last part of your question - if you have Dzogchen transmission then the text I cited is publicly available, and Longchenpa has written an amazing commentary - difficult to parse, but wonderful b/c it contains hundreds of fantastic citations from tantras that are no longer extant - The entire text is dedicated to helping the student have a clear understanding of Tregchod, and pointing out the faults and deviations etc. If you don't have transmission but are interested, my advice from the heart would be to seek out and investigate a teacher, receive transmission and follow their guidance. This is the only way one will ever come to confidence and really have knowledge of what Dzogchen is. Teachers with knowledge are as rare as daytime stars, but we are incredibly fortunate to live in a time where it's possible to meet one.

To your comment about Longchenpa making a fasle statement - He is pretty much universally regarded as one of the greatest of the Tibetan writers, so much so that he's referred to as "The Omniscient Lama", so no - he's not making false statements. But understanding his texts, even for a practitioners who speak Tibetan is said to be very difficult - so with the added layers of translation there has to be a sincere process of assaying anything one draws from it, again - not an easy process - but that's the state of things for those relying on just a small sub-set of the cannon like a lot of us.

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Re: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by Grigoris » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:09 am

Drenpa wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:13 am
Grigoris wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:37 pm
So here is the million dollar question: if thoughts and concepts are not also of the nature of mind, if they can only be born of delusion, then has EVERYTHING that has been said and quoted in this thread purely delusional?
Hi Greg,

Good question, and this is a conversation worth having, IMO. It's related to the topic so I hope OP's okay with a response even though it doesn't directly speak to his question. Not completely sure if you're funnin' tongue in cheek or not, but your million dollar question kind of follows naturally based on this distinction made between nature of mind and concepts.

Everything arises from the dynamic energy of the basis, including thoughts and concepts. Samsara (affliction, delusion) begins the very moment that this dynamic energy arising is not recognized for what it is, resulting in the two (or more depending on schema) ignorance's.

To the degree that we labor under this affliction (I certainly do) then what arises for us is afflicted. Including this thread. The purpose of all Dharma practice, the various methods and means for the different types of people, is to eradicate the afflictions.

When we employ the instructions of our teachers and find ourselves, even for a moment, in the state they are transmitting, then for that time Samsara is overturned. The qualities don't bloom fully in that short bit of time, but for that time the movement of thought or concepts is recognized as part of the basis, which is not some universal plenum - It's the basis of *our* mind.

If we can integrate enough to listen, speak and write for a little bit in that knowledge, then what arises is not afflicted, it is wisdom. The swift path of Ati & Mahamudra is where wisdom itself is used as the method to eradicate the afflictions and overturn samsara. Dzogchen is unique because special methods that employ wisdom allow one to eradicate the gross afflictions before even reaching the first bhumi - so even ordinary people with the fortune to meet a knowledge holder can quickly progress in the right circumstances.

For that to happen though, there has to be real experience and confidence, familiarity with that wisdom. That's not an easy task which is why Longchenpa spends so much time differentiating between wisdom & the alaya. We of course have experience when our teachers transmit or point out the nature of mind, but to really have confidence in this isn't easy at all b/c there's nothing to grasp in a moment of unfabricated consciousness, although the 3 doors of liberation and other aspects given in the oral transmission can be distinguished for purposes of gaining confidence. But everything has to be checked against personal experience, the tantras and the teacher. Even then, in the end, we have to be the final authority for ourselves, which can be kind of terrifying to contemplate. It really is a path of self-liberation. One is on their own.

With regards to mind vs nature of mind, here's a wonderful little text by Mipham that actually uses the mistaken experience of resting in the Alaya the state of "lungmaten" (which is easy to do) as a jumping off point for recognizing Rigpa/wisdom/nature of mind. https://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-ma ... ipham-lamp so you see, this point is quite important and the past masters have taken great pains to differentiate this mistaken state, and bring it to the path as a method.
Nicely answered! :twothumbsup:

In which case the nature of mind and our conceptual mind are like milk is to butter.

Quite clearly, even realised teachers utilise concepts and discursive relative thought as a tool to liberate.

As such this idea that discursive thoughts are not a component of enlightened/realised mind is quite clearly BS (to put it bluntly). If we believe this BS to be true, then all we will spend our time doing is tilting at windmills, in our attempt to chase (naughty) thoughts out of our experience of liberation.
"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: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by heart » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:53 am

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:09 am
Drenpa wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:13 am
Grigoris wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:37 pm
So here is the million dollar question: if thoughts and concepts are not also of the nature of mind, if they can only be born of delusion, then has EVERYTHING that has been said and quoted in this thread purely delusional?
Hi Greg,

Good question, and this is a conversation worth having, IMO. It's related to the topic so I hope OP's okay with a response even though it doesn't directly speak to his question. Not completely sure if you're funnin' tongue in cheek or not, but your million dollar question kind of follows naturally based on this distinction made between nature of mind and concepts.

Everything arises from the dynamic energy of the basis, including thoughts and concepts. Samsara (affliction, delusion) begins the very moment that this dynamic energy arising is not recognized for what it is, resulting in the two (or more depending on schema) ignorance's.

To the degree that we labor under this affliction (I certainly do) then what arises for us is afflicted. Including this thread. The purpose of all Dharma practice, the various methods and means for the different types of people, is to eradicate the afflictions.

When we employ the instructions of our teachers and find ourselves, even for a moment, in the state they are transmitting, then for that time Samsara is overturned. The qualities don't bloom fully in that short bit of time, but for that time the movement of thought or concepts is recognized as part of the basis, which is not some universal plenum - It's the basis of *our* mind.

If we can integrate enough to listen, speak and write for a little bit in that knowledge, then what arises is not afflicted, it is wisdom. The swift path of Ati & Mahamudra is where wisdom itself is used as the method to eradicate the afflictions and overturn samsara. Dzogchen is unique because special methods that employ wisdom allow one to eradicate the gross afflictions before even reaching the first bhumi - so even ordinary people with the fortune to meet a knowledge holder can quickly progress in the right circumstances.

For that to happen though, there has to be real experience and confidence, familiarity with that wisdom. That's not an easy task which is why Longchenpa spends so much time differentiating between wisdom & the alaya. We of course have experience when our teachers transmit or point out the nature of mind, but to really have confidence in this isn't easy at all b/c there's nothing to grasp in a moment of unfabricated consciousness, although the 3 doors of liberation and other aspects given in the oral transmission can be distinguished for purposes of gaining confidence. But everything has to be checked against personal experience, the tantras and the teacher. Even then, in the end, we have to be the final authority for ourselves, which can be kind of terrifying to contemplate. It really is a path of self-liberation. One is on their own.

With regards to mind vs nature of mind, here's a wonderful little text by Mipham that actually uses the mistaken experience of resting in the Alaya the state of "lungmaten" (which is easy to do) as a jumping off point for recognizing Rigpa/wisdom/nature of mind. https://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-ma ... ipham-lamp so you see, this point is quite important and the past masters have taken great pains to differentiate this mistaken state, and bring it to the path as a method.
Nicely answered! :twothumbsup:

In which case the nature of mind and our conceptual mind are like milk is to butter.

Quite clearly, even realised teachers utilise concepts and discursive relative thought as a tool to liberate.

As such this idea that discursive thoughts are not a component of enlightened/realised mind is quite clearly BS (to put it bluntly). If we believe this BS to be true, then all we will spend our time doing is tilting at windmills, in our attempt to chase (naughty) thoughts out of our experience of liberation.
I am afraid you are jumping to conclusions Greg. In both Mahamudra and Dzogchen the meditation instruction is to don't follow or repress thoughts, however that don't mean that Buddhas have thoughts. Thoughts are a limited knowing and as such can never correspond with the wisdom of the Buddhas. In Mahamudra the introduction to the natural state comes later and in Dzogchen it comes in the beginning this is the main distinction that creates confusion in this thread.

/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: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by Grigoris » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:32 am

heart wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:53 am
I am afraid you are jumping to conclusions Greg. In both Mahamudra and Dzogchen the meditation instruction is to don't follow or repress thoughts, however that don't mean that Buddhas have thoughts. Thoughts are a limited knowing and as such can never correspond with the wisdom of the Buddhas. In Mahamudra the introduction to the natural state comes later and in Dzogchen it comes in the beginning this is the main distinction that creates confusion in this thread.

/magnus
I did not talk about Buddhas, I said realised/enlightened teachers. Now that is not to say that I believe that Buddhas do not think. I have no idea if Buddhas think or not, though in order to teach a Buddha would have to be able to be able to formulate a conceptual framework which is understandable by an ignorant sentient being. Now if this requires thought or not, for a Buddha, I really cannot know.

I imagine that discussing this would be akin to "angels on the head of a pin" type nonsense.

As to when the introduction to the nature of mind comes in Mahamudra and Dzogchen, that is dependent on the teacher.

If you, as a noob, walk into a HYT empowerment then the introduction happens then and there, regardless of your current background... ;) Can't help karma! :smile:
"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: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by PSM » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:11 am

Here are some quotes I think really clear this up, from Karl Brunnholzl's "a Lullaby to Awaken the Heart":
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

And from a bit later in the book:

Image

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Re: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by heart » Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:43 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:32 am
heart wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:53 am
I am afraid you are jumping to conclusions Greg. In both Mahamudra and Dzogchen the meditation instruction is to don't follow or repress thoughts, however that don't mean that Buddhas have thoughts. Thoughts are a limited knowing and as such can never correspond with the wisdom of the Buddhas. In Mahamudra the introduction to the natural state comes later and in Dzogchen it comes in the beginning this is the main distinction that creates confusion in this thread.

/magnus
I did not talk about Buddhas, I said realised/enlightened teachers. Now that is not to say that I believe that Buddhas do not think. I have no idea if Buddhas think or not, though in order to teach a Buddha would have to be able to be able to formulate a conceptual framework which is understandable by an ignorant sentient being. Now if this requires thought or not, for a Buddha, I really cannot know.

I imagine that discussing this would be akin to "angels on the head of a pin" type nonsense.

As to when the introduction to the nature of mind comes in Mahamudra and Dzogchen, that is dependent on the teacher.

If you, as a noob, walk into a HYT empowerment then the introduction happens then and there, regardless of your current background... ;) Can't help karma! :smile:
One introduction is nothing for most of us, it can freak you out or make you very interested or perhaps be left behind like a strange experience. You have to really recognize the natural state, that is the first statement of Garab Dorje, so not just have a short experience that you can't repeat on your own. So for most of us multiple direct introductions are necessary.

/magnus
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~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: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by Simon E. » Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:51 pm

:good:


That is the experience of many of us.
I had one particular 'pointing out' experience which left me feeling that I had arrived permanently. That I would never again function outside original mind.
It lasted all the way back to the railway station from where I caught the train home. :smile:
Then disappeared like the dew..

Does that mean that the experience was unreal? I don't think so..
It gave a genuine taste of what is really always the case..but that has to be integrated, And for most that is a lifetimes work.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Re: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by Grigoris » Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:06 pm

heart wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:43 pm
One introduction is nothing for most of us, it can freak you out or make you very interested or perhaps be left behind like a strange experience. You have to really recognize the natural state, that is the first statement of Garab Dorje, so not just have a short experience that you can't repeat on your own. So for most of us multiple direct introductions are necessary.

/magnus
I was responding to your statement: "In Mahamudra the introduction to the natural state comes later..."

It is true that we may require multiple introductions to "get it". Some of us may not "get it" even after a lifetime of introductions.

I was not making the claim that people "get it" the first time they are introduced, but that it is possible in a Mahamudra setting to be introduced immediately.
"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: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by Matt J » Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:43 pm

In the Kagyu lineage prayer, it does state:

The nature of thoughts is dharmakya, as is taught.

I think this is a different point from saying that thoughts are the nature of mind, but not terribly far off. I wonder if this is what people are thinking of.

Thrangu Rinpoche explains:

This very famous quotation has become an object of disputation for certain scholars, who have said that the Kagyu view that thoughts are dharmakaya is incorrect, because thoughts are characteristic of confusion, thoughts are themselves confusion, and the dharmakaya is unconfused. Therefore, thoughts could not possibly be dharmakaya. However, as valid as their point may be, we do not say that thoughts are dharmakaya; we say that the nature of thoughts is dharmakaya, which is quite distinct. Our point is not that thoughts in themselves may not be the messengers of confusion, but that the nature of thought need not be fought, need not be viewed as threatening or as something that we need to get rid of. While thoughts, indeed, may be confusion, the nature of any thought, regardless of how confused it may appear to be, is always the unity of cognitive lucidity and emptiness, and therefore it is the dharmakaya.

http://www.rinpoche.com/teachings/pointingout.pdf, p. 49

To tie it back to Dzogchen, some words from Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche:

The essential teaching is never to just recognise dualistic mind. That is what all sentient beings are doing all the time—noticing their feel­ings and thoughts, and then acting upon them. The meditation in­struction is not to perpetuate that; it is more than simply recognising dualistic mind, dualistic thinking. Rather, it is to recognise the essence of this mind. That is the crucial difference. Being caught up in one’s thoughts and acting upon these feelings is the cause of endless samsara. This is being caught up in the expression and not knowing the essence itself.

You may have heard this famous statement by the vajra-holders of the Kagyu lineage: ‘Intrinsic mind essence is dharmakaya; intrinsic ex­perience is the radiance of dharmakaya.’ Experiences and thoughts are not dharmakaya itself, the same way that the smoke from the flames is not the flames, but is the expression or manifestation of the flames. Caught up in noticing the smoke, you forget the flames themselves. The principle in the practice here is not to be occupied with the smoke, meaning recognise the essence and don’t be caught up in the expression. Recognise that this expression doesn’t come from any other place than the essence itself.


https://buddhismnow.com/2013/05/11/reco ... -rinpoche/
"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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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:09 pm

There is also a Mahamudra/Semde instruction (as well as it being in other systems) of ascertaining the difference, similarity, or lack of either between thoughts and mind.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Re: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by Pema Rigdzin » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:23 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:03 pm
Could be a Mahamudra question too:

Once a person begins to have some confidence in distinguishing mind from it's nature, is there any particular point in working with conventional thoughts and appearances in meditation anymore, rather than simply resting in the nature of mind? Is it now time to examine the relationship between the nature of mind and the minds contents?
Once one is confident one has distinguished mind from its nature, the instruction is just to relax in the nature and gradually becomes accustomed with how to continue in that. The realization just works itself out, because there's nothing left to discover other than the nature. Anything layered on top of distinguishing the nature and remaining in it is conceptual elaboration. There is of course another aspect to the main practice, as we know, namely the reversal of our "impure" karmic vision/experience of the 5 elements into their actual state, which is of course togal. But that's a ways off when we're still figuring out trekchod.

This is book greatly simplified trekchod for me: "The Nature of Mind: The Dzogchen instructions of Aro Yeshe Jungne." FYI, this Aro is in no way connected to the modern-day Aro folks. The book contains Aro Yeshe Jungne's teachings, commentary on them by Patrul Rinpoche, and then commentary on it all by Khenchen Palden Sherab and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal; as it's basically a transcript of a live teaching edited into book form, it also has some Q&A sections that are interesting. The general thrust is the approach to the main instruction and how to stabilize trekchod via instructions based on one's capacity: lesser capacity, middling capacity, and higher capacity practitioners, with each level further divided into lesser, middling, and higher capacity, yielding 9 takes on how to stabilize one's practice. My experience with it was in accord with something Rinpoches said in the teaching, which was that while I identified my overall capacity and what approach generally works for me, I also found that my capacity would sometimes vary, sometimes becoming weaker based on the circumstances of the time, and at those times applying the instructions for some degree of lesser capacity practitioner was what I needed in that moment.

My main introductions to Dzogchen have been via mengagde, and this book is semde's approach to trekchod--which when examined is revealed to be more explicitly focused on thoughts and emotions, vs mengagde applying trekchod more globally; but I found that gaining a bit more stability via the approach in the book enabled a more or less seamless bridge to expanding my application to all aspects of my experience once I'd gotten past some deeply entrenched defects in my meditation that had me stuck. Anyway, it's a pretty inexpensive book that's also available via Kindle. Maybe it could help you, too. In any case, I wish you well in finding your way.

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Re: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by PSM » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:52 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:23 pm
This is book greatly simplified trekchod for me: "The Nature of Mind: The Dzogchen instructions of Aro Yeshe Jungne."
That book is fantastic.

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Re: question on distingushing mind from it's nature

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:38 am

:good: Ordered it, thanks!
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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