Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

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smcj
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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by smcj » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:55 pm

florin wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:35 pm
smcj wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:37 am
Tantric or Dzogchen ngondro?
I’ve never heard of a separate “Dzogchen NgonDro”.
The 7 lojongs, semdzins, outer, inner and secret rushen from upadesha class, no?
Working with the essence of the elements, 6 lokas from sems de?
Those are called “NgonDro“? If so, then ok.
smcj does not practice or study Dzogchen. That's why he has no idea.
True.

I just had a guy that’s done (1) 3 year Kagyu/Mahamudra retreat and (1) 3 year Nyingma/Dzogchen retreat walk into the lunch room. With prep retreats that's 7 years in retreat. Since he was standing there I asked him about your point. I got a five minute response that I didn’t understand well enough to repeat.

If I was really mischievous I’d get him to start posting here.
:rolling:
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Malcolm
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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:38 pm

smcj wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:55 pm
Those are called “NgonDro“? If so, then ok.
Yes, they are also called preliminaries (sngon 'gro).

In Dzogchen proper, the so-called tantic preliminaries (prostrations, etc.) are considered part of the common preliminaries; whereas the preliminary practices unique to Dzogchen are called uncommon preliminaries.
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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florin
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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by florin » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:38 pm

smcj wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:55 pm
florin wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:35 pm
smcj wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:37 am

I’ve never heard of a separate “Dzogchen NgonDro”.
The 7 lojongs, semdzins, outer, inner and secret rushen from upadesha class, no?
Working with the essence of the elements, 6 lokas from sems de?
Those are called “NgonDro“? If so, then ok.
smcj does not practice or study Dzogchen. That's why he has no idea.
True.

I just had a guy that’s done (1) 3 year Kagyu/Mahamudra retreat and (1) 3 year Nyingma/Dzogchen retreat walk into the lunch room. With prep retreats that's 7 years in retreat. Since he was standing there I asked him about your point. I got a five minute response that I didn’t understand well enough to repeat.

If I was really mischievous I’d get him to start posting here.
:rolling:
I have a close friend who has done 8 years and i know several others who have done 12 to 16 years of kagyu retreat.
Most of those ngondros are considered preliminaries or preparatory type of practices.

But now, thinking about it, some of the practices that i listed above, like korde rushen for example, are not really preliminaries because as CNNR explains they are working directly on the level of developing capacity for contemplation. In short they are introducing you directly to the state of contemplation.
"Bow down to me for I thirst for an infinite ocean of blood, since the innumerable torrents of floods at kalpa's end that terrify all world systems do not even wet the tip of my tongue"

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smcj
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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by smcj » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:59 pm

I have a close friend who has done 8 years and i know several others who have done 12 to 16 years of kagyu retreat.
That's some serious retreat time. Even Tibetans have to respect those numbers.

Are those people teaching? Still on retreat? Any public profile? Any chance of getting them to start posting here?

I know a half dozen that have done (2) 3 year retreats. And I know of one woman on her 3rd 3 year retreat. I thought that was pretty substantial. And I've heard of one woman on a lifetime retreat, but I don't know how far into it she has gone into it. I'd not heard of Western Kagyupas doing 12+ except for Tenzin Palmo.
Last edited by smcj on Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Josef
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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by Josef » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:02 pm

florin wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:38 pm
But now, thinking about it, some of the practices that i listed above, like korde rushen for example, are not really preliminaries because as CNNR explains they are working directly on the level of developing capacity for contemplation. In short they are introducing you directly to the state of contemplation.
The same can be said of any practice.
Depending on the practitioner.
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Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by Snowbear » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:08 pm

smcj wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:55 pm
If I was really mischievous I’d get him to start posting here.
:rolling:
That would be interesting. You should definitely try to get them to post, if you can. Doesn't hurt to ask.

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Malcolm
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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:11 pm

smcj wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:59 pm
... I'd not heard of Western Kagyupas doing 12+ except for Tenzin Palmo.
Whose main practice is actually Sakya.
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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florin
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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by florin » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:45 pm

smcj wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:59 pm
I have a close friend who has done 8 years and i know several others who have done 12 to 16 years of kagyu retreat.
That's some serious retreat time. Even Tibetans have to respect those numbers.

Are those people teaching? Still on retreat? Any public profile? Any chance of getting them to start posting here?

I know a half dozen that have done (2) 3 year retreats. And I know of one woman on her 3rd 3 year retreat. I thought that was pretty substantial. And I've heard of one woman on a lifetime retreat, but I don't know how far into it she has gone into it. I'd not heard of Western Kagyupas doing 12+ except for Tenzin Palmo.
Some of these people who have done several retreats have been scarred by their experiences and left and never came back.

Some have benefited tremendously but very few.
One of these very few is Donald Creedon who if am not mistaken has done 3 retreats and some dark retreat(please correct if i am wrong).
Another person who has done lots of retreat is the Mahakala Nun from Samye who has been doing a 3 month in 1 month out type of retreat for over 20 years.ON Holy Isle the nun who is retreat lopon for women's retreat has done at least 4 retreats or thereabouts...And so on.

I think Stewart who comes here sometimes knows more accurate details about these people than me.

So for the past 3 decades, quite a few people who were connected to samye ling have done lots and lots of retreat.
"Bow down to me for I thirst for an infinite ocean of blood, since the innumerable torrents of floods at kalpa's end that terrify all world systems do not even wet the tip of my tongue"

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smcj
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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by smcj » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:08 pm

On Holy Isle the nun who is retreat lopon for women's retreat has done at least 4 retreats or thereabouts...
The women’s retreat on Holy Isle is off limits, which is fortunate for them but unfortunate for us/me.
So for the past 3 decades, quite a few people who were connected to samye ling have done lots and lots of retreat.
Any of these people still hanging around Samye Ling? I’d love to meet them. I’m pretty good about being respectful and observing personal boundaries.

I’d ask one simple question: What do you know now that you wish you had understood when you started?
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Malcolm
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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:05 pm

smcj wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:08 pm
What do you know now that you wish you had understood when you started?
Everything I know now and everything I will learn.
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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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by PSM » Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:11 pm

Josef wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:02 pm
The same can be said of any practice.
Depending on the practitioner.
Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche told us a story of a man he met who'd done a phenomenal amount of prostrations - as in several million. He was amazed at the level of insight and siddhis the man had developed, including clear indications of reading Rinpoche's mind, which seemed to have been developed solely from prostrations.

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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by Grigoris » Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:17 pm

smcj wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:59 pm
I have a close friend who has done 8 years and i know several others who have done 12 to 16 years of kagyu retreat.
That's some serious retreat time. Even Tibetans have to respect those numbers.

Are those people teaching? Still on retreat? Any public profile? Any chance of getting them to start posting here?

I know a half dozen that have done (2) 3 year retreats. And I know of one woman on her 3rd 3 year retreat. I thought that was pretty substantial. And I've heard of one woman on a lifetime retreat, but I don't know how far into it she has gone into it. I'd not heard of Western Kagyupas doing 12+ except for Tenzin Palmo.
Well, obviously you hang with the wrong Kagyupa! A friend of mine is currently on a 12+ year. At the monastery in France where he is doing it, there are others also in the midst of it (accompanying him) and there are also a number of western monastics on lifetime retreat there.
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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by florin » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:03 pm

smcj wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:08 pm
On Holy Isle the nun who is retreat lopon for women's retreat has done at least 4 retreats or thereabouts...
The women’s retreat on Holy Isle is off limits, which is fortunate for them but unfortunate for us/me.
So for the past 3 decades, quite a few people who were connected to samye ling have done lots and lots of retreat.
Any of these people still hanging around Samye Ling? I’d love to meet them. I’m pretty good about being respectful and observing personal boundaries.

I’d ask one simple question: What do you know now that you wish you had understood when you started?
From what I can see some of them still visit, but handful of them are permanently in Samye, still around. As to their commitment to dharma in the present, i wouldn't know what to say.
"Bow down to me for I thirst for an infinite ocean of blood, since the innumerable torrents of floods at kalpa's end that terrify all world systems do not even wet the tip of my tongue"

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smcj
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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by smcj » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:04 pm

A friend of mine is currently on a 12+ year. At the monastery in France where he is doing it, there are others also in the midst of it (accompanying him) and there are also a number of western monastics on lifetime retreat there.
Damn. Those Europeans always show up the Americans!

My hope for the Vajrayana in the West has been rekindled.
Last edited by smcj on Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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florin
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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by florin » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:08 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:17 pm
smcj wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:59 pm
I have a close friend who has done 8 years and i know several others who have done 12 to 16 years of kagyu retreat.
That's some serious retreat time. Even Tibetans have to respect those numbers.

Are those people teaching? Still on retreat? Any public profile? Any chance of getting them to start posting here?

I know a half dozen that have done (2) 3 year retreats. And I know of one woman on her 3rd 3 year retreat. I thought that was pretty substantial. And I've heard of one woman on a lifetime retreat, but I don't know how far into it she has gone into it. I'd not heard of Western Kagyupas doing 12+ except for Tenzin Palmo.
Well, obviously you hang with the wrong Kagyupa! A friend of mine is currently on a 12+ year. At the monastery in France where he is doing it, there are others also in the midst of it (accompanying him) and there are also a number of western monastics on lifetime retreat there.
This could be Chanteloube, a place connected with Dilgo Kyentse R. Same as you, i heard that there are people who made a commitment to do long life retreat.
So yes, i think based on these facts there is the potential that some westerners will be at least as higly realised as any contemporary master or any master from the past.
"Bow down to me for I thirst for an infinite ocean of blood, since the innumerable torrents of floods at kalpa's end that terrify all world systems do not even wet the tip of my tongue"

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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by Aryjna » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:16 pm

florin wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:45 pm

Some of these people who have done several retreats have been scarred by their experiences and left and never came back.

Some have benefited tremendously but very few.
I've heard this before a few times here, and it sounds quite strange. How can it be that they were scarred, the result should have been the opposite.

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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by heart » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:26 pm

florin wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:08 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:17 pm
smcj wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:59 pm

That's some serious retreat time. Even Tibetans have to respect those numbers.

Are those people teaching? Still on retreat? Any public profile? Any chance of getting them to start posting here?

I know a half dozen that have done (2) 3 year retreats. And I know of one woman on her 3rd 3 year retreat. I thought that was pretty substantial. And I've heard of one woman on a lifetime retreat, but I don't know how far into it she has gone into it. I'd not heard of Western Kagyupas doing 12+ except for Tenzin Palmo.
Well, obviously you hang with the wrong Kagyupa! A friend of mine is currently on a 12+ year. At the monastery in France where he is doing it, there are others also in the midst of it (accompanying him) and there are also a number of western monastics on lifetime retreat there.
This could be Chanteloube, a place connected with Dilgo Kyentse R. Same as you, i heard that there are people who made a commitment to do long life retreat.
So yes, i think based on these facts there is the potential that some westerners will be at least as higly realised as any contemporary master or any master from the past.
I think Grigoris is talking about Gendun Rinpoches place in France.

I also know people doing multiple long retreats, but I think that if you have 1000 people doing multiple long retreats there might only one or so that becomes a real master. Maybe not even that.

/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: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by florin » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:40 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:16 pm
florin wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:45 pm

Some of these people who have done several retreats have been scarred by their experiences and left and never came back.

Some have benefited tremendously but very few.
I've heard this before a few times here, and it sounds quite strange. How can it be that they were scarred, the result should have been the opposite.
Let's not cling to " should". These retreats, especially when you are cooped up with 10 or 20 other prople of all kinds of inclinations temperaments and knowledge can be terribly intense and unpleasant. But some fare better than others.
I only did one month of nyunye retreat and by the end of it i felt like i finished a 10 years prison sentence.
How about 4 years?
"Bow down to me for I thirst for an infinite ocean of blood, since the innumerable torrents of floods at kalpa's end that terrify all world systems do not even wet the tip of my tongue"

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smcj
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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by smcj » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:50 pm

I think Grigoris is talking about Gendun Rinpoches place in France
What’s the name of the place in France that burned down recently?
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Malcolm
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Re: Can a complete beginner benefit from Dzogchen practice?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:50 pm

florin wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:40 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:16 pm
florin wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:45 pm

Some of these people who have done several retreats have been scarred by their experiences and left and never came back.

Some have benefited tremendously but very few.
I've heard this before a few times here, and it sounds quite strange. How can it be that they were scarred, the result should have been the opposite.
Let's not cling to " should". These retreats, especially when you are cooped up with 10 or 20 other prople of all kinds of inclinations temperaments and knowledge can be terribly intense and unpleasant. But some fare better than others.
I only did one month of nyunye retreat and by the end of it i felt like i finished a 10 years prison sentence.
How about 4 years?
I did a 3.5 year solitary retreat. It was great. On the other hand, I had a bit of difficulty adjusting to normal life when I got out, but even so, it was very much worth it.
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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