Dzogchen and Buddhism

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Grigoris
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Grigoris » Mon May 21, 2012 4:34 pm

Sönam wrote:no ... I say that without the Buddhadharma, one could have also the opportunity to abide in the true nature of their mind.
So you are saying that somehow the truth is seperate to ones true nature?
:namaste:
"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: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Sönam » Mon May 21, 2012 4:38 pm

heart wrote:
Sönam wrote:Some teachings from recent retreats ...
"Discussion is useless thing, only manifestation our ego" 2/6/2012
/magnus
This is very true, nevertheless ...
"Of course, logic has its role. If someone is debating and discussing, establishing a point of view, then you must answer appropriately. One person asks, another replies." ChNN - Dzogchen Teachings

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
- Longchen Rabjam -

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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Sönam » Mon May 21, 2012 4:40 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Sönam wrote:no ... I say that without the Buddhadharma, one could have also the opportunity to abide in the true nature of their mind.
So you are saying that somehow the truth is seperate to ones true nature?
:namaste:
no, I say it is not restricted to the Buddhadharma, the opportunity can also belong to any dharma ...

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
- Longchen Rabjam -

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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Grigoris » Mon May 21, 2012 4:45 pm

Sönam wrote:no, I say it is not restricted to the Buddhadharma, the opportunity can also belong to any dharma ...
Yet another example of the confounding of meaning. Now you are confounding Buddhism with Buddhadharma, as all along there was the confounding of Dzogchen (state) with Dzogchen-ism (method). I think you may find that we are actually agreeing with each other.
:namaste:
"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: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Malcolm » Mon May 21, 2012 4:58 pm

gregkavarnos wrote: Now (and here I refer back to the original post) it seems that to experience the state of Great Perfection one does not need the theoretical framework (method) of Buddhism (or Bon, or even Dzogchenism), the only thing that is needed is know the state (have it pointed out to you). I believe though that without Buddhadharma (and by this I mean a system of practice that is based on the Four Dharma Seals, something that Dzogchenism is also) one would have no opportunity to abide in the true nature of their mind.
:namaste:
Hi Greg:

What are the four seals?

All conditioned phenomena are impermanent.
All afflicted phenomena are suffering
All phenomena lack identity
Nirvana is bliss.

You can find these four seals in Advaita Vedanta as well. Just substitute brahman for nirvana and you have a perfect match. It is very hard to differentiate brahman from nirvana. Really, go ahead and try.

I once forced Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso to admit (I have a witness, incidentally) that there was no substantial difference between Advaita Vedanta and Gzhan stong in terms of how they presented their view. His only response was a sectarian polemic "But there is no buddhahood in Vedanta!" Now, mind you, I am not saying that there is such a thing. But when you study these texts, you come to realize, even as Bhavaviveka and Shantaraksita both observed, that language of Advaita and the language of Madhyamaka are more or less identical. Shantaraksita complains in his Tattvasiddhi to the effect "If you accept the nature of things is non-arising, why do you not become Buddhist!?"

Now, again, I am not saying that if you practice Advaita you will become a buddha -- I honestly do not know. But I am saying that when you study these things, philosophically, at any rate, it is very hard to show the difference between Advaita and Madhyamaka. The main difference between them is that Hindus accept the Vedas as self-originated and Buddhists do not.

But in Dzogchen we accept that Dzogchen tantras are self-originated, that they arise directly out of the sound of dharmatā. So, this is not really very different than what the Vedic scholars believe. For example, the Song of the Vajra is just the intrinsic sound of dharmatā, the state of realization of Samantabhadra and Samantabhadri in union.

Though Dzogchen tantras do take pains to differentiate themselves from Upanishadic doctrines of the atman, these very same ideas get used in Dzogchen in a very similar way -- which is why there is a rebuttal in Dzogchen tantras of certain ideas we find in the Upanishads so we don't run out and say "The Upanishads teach the same thing as Dzogchen".

So we can find a lot of parallels in Dzogchen and non-Buddhist teachings. The one main difference between Dzogchen and most non-Buddhist traditions is that in Dzogchen there is a definite rejection of creation by a creator. Even in Advaita, on a relative level, they accept Ishvara as a creator. So this is an important difference.

Don't beleive it when people say that Kun byed rgyal po is a Buddhist creator myth. It is not true. Kun byed gyal po refers to the mind. It does not mean Samantabhadra is a primordial creator deity or a kind of Buddhism theism. People who claim this like Alan Wallace and Eva Dargyay-Neumier are mistaken.

But as Chogyal Namkhai Norbu says, "God" can be understood as a symbol of one's primordial state. So we do not necessarily have to reject "God" if we are Dzogchen practitioners, if by "God" we mean our own primordial potentiality and the primordial potentiality of everything. This is why we have that famous passage the text on Rigpa from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, cribbed by Shabkar in this way:

Now then, fortunate beloved children, listen!
Concerning this important term widely known as “mind”,
in terms of existence, the mind does not exist as a single entity.
In terms of sources, the mind is the source of the diverse happiness and suffering of samsara and nirvana.

Assertions about the mind exist in many categories of the vehicles.
The mind is designated by inconceivable different names:
ordinary people call the mind “I”;
some non-Buddhists give it the name “atman”;
the shravakas call it the “selfless person”;
the mind-only school gives it the name “mind”;
some call it “the perfection of wisdom”;
some give it the name” sugatagarbha”;
some give it the name “mahāmudra”;
some give it the name “madhyamaka”;
some give it the name “the single unique sphere”;
some give it the name “dharmadhātu”;
some give it the name “all-basis”;
some give it the name “ordinary mind”.
Although it is given inconceivable names,
since it is just this mind in reality, one must recognize it.

You must let the mind itself go free just where it is.
Having been let go, naked ordinary awareness,
a clarity that cannot be seen by looking for it,
the clear and vivid personal experience of vidyā,
is not established in any way at all, empty and pellucid.
Brilliant non-dual clarity and emptiness
is not permanent— not established at all;
is not annihilated— clear and vivid;
is not single— manifold, knowing and clear;
is not manifold— indivisible, one taste.
Not existing elsewhere, this is one’s own vidyā,
the true face of the original guide dwelling within one’s heart,
seen here right now in one’s personal experience.
Never be separate from this beloved children!


We could add a passage:

"other non-Buddhists give it the name “god”..."

This passage illustrates the point I have made all along. We do not need to imagine that all faiths lead to the same point, we merely have to accept that all humans beings are trying to find the same thing: the peace and happiness that comes from freedom.

I feel that Dzogchen is one path which can lead all of us beyond all schools so we can all find that peace and happiness that comes from freedom. Why? Because whatever measure of freedom, and the ensuing peace and happiness, I have found comes from practicing Dzogchen teachings.

Someone might object, and say but what about your Sakya practice, etc. Of course all of these things have helped. But I was a very sectarian Sakyapa, even while receiving teachings about Dzogchen, I was very conditioned by Sakya Pandita, and so on. For me, Dzogchen was just another completion stage system. I found it very hard to understand Dzogchen as a separate independent path because I was so conditioned by the Sakya school's point of view, conditioned by Madhyamaka before that, and so on. I can't really say when my present understanding arose. I think it has been some time. To a large extent, in the past few years, I have been slowly shedding my fabricated identity as a "buddhist". If it is important for others such as Buddhist to regard me as a buddhist, that's ok, but that is more about them than it is about me. For me "Dzogchen practitioner" is enough.

I have been thinking about my comments about Dzoghen and how they related to Mahāmudra. I think one can say the same thing about Mahāmudra. I also think that Mahāmudra in a real sense transcends the boundaries of sect and culture. Why? Because it too is based on direct introduction.

I think it is possible to teach Mahāmudra and Dzogchen without insisting on the label "Buddhist". In India, the siddhas taught Mahāmudra to Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. Naropa had many non-Buddhist students, actually, just as one example. Gorkshanatha is a mahasiddha who practiced both Vajrayāna Buddhism and Shaivism side by side. If you read his texts he moves from Shunyatā to Shiva in one breath.

Some people think that what I am saying amounts to pissing on Buddhism, but that would be a wrong perception. What I am saying is that there is no happiness in these labels "Buddhist", "Christian", "Muslim", "Hindu", "Jew" and so on-- none at all. We all have the same nature, the same primordial state. It is time we recognised that in each other and put an end to the pretense of otherness. According Dzogchen doctrine, all sentient beings will realize their primordial state. I can't say if this is really true, but I hope it is. A Christian might say "We and everything else were all created for His (i.e. God's) enjoyment." This is very similar to the Shaivaite idea of all phenomena being the lila of Shiva. This is very similar to the idea of all phenomena being the rol pa, display of bodhicitta,in Dzogchen and Virupa's statement in his Doha:

All sentient beings are emanations of mahāmudrā,
the essence of those emanations is the forever non-arising dharmadhātu,
also all characteristics of dualistic appearances, happiness, suffering and so on,
are the play of mahāmudrā, the original dharmatā.


We should be circumspect about criticizing others since that creates enemies in a concrete sense. I guess a large part of my present point of view has a lot to do with the sectarian arguments I have taken part in here on this board and E-sangha. Really, I feel very sad about that. We were all trying to do our best on E-Sangha -- but I myself, and we together, admins and mods, made many mistakes.

I feel a little sad about what happened with Jax. Oh, I don't agree with his approach or much of what he says, and I find it sad that he has positioned himself as a master when there are more qualified masters one can follow; but I feel a little sad that I was so harsh with him. It was unnecessary and disrespectful -- so since you are reading this, "Sorry Jax, my bad". That action of mine turned a person into an enemy. This is my fault. The same is true of the rest of what I have to say.

I also feel sad about my strong criticism of the Aro folks and Kirkpatrick. Of course that came about because I am a student of Ngagpa Yeshe Dorje (whose memory is dear to me-- I was with him at the very end of his life -- he showed me personally how a real yogi faces death). But in the end, given all the evil that is in the world today, what they are doing is not really harmful at all on any level. Actually, Kirkpatrick has a beautiful farm and tries to help people in Pemakod, etc. So this is a good thing. Chogyam has a ranch near Kalispell Montana and likes to dress up like a 1880's cowboy. I am sure they have a lot of fun. To be honest, while we were all groaning, pissing and moaning about the Aro thing, they were largely ignoring us and having a blast, so who really lost in that exchange?

I am not really sorry for criticizing the NKT. I think the pratice of Shugden is a harmful erroneous practice and should be ended. But on the other hand, they are never going to listen to what we say, so what is the point of saying anything at all? They are very successful, people like their scene. We should leave them alone.

We also leave alone animists in Africa, and they make blood sacrifices to some very heavy worldly deities every day, deities that are much worse than Shugden. Millions of chickens, goats, and cows are sacficed to them every year in Africa. But at least they eat the animals afterwards, and in many instances their motivations are perfectly altruistic (which is not to say they won't turn to black magic in a second if they feel threatened by an enemy) because they are making offerings to benefit the whole world -- this is what they beleive. Also the NKT strongly beleive that what they are doing is positive. In other words, if someone is practicing something we think is based on an error, we just avoid that practice ourself. Still of course, if someone asks me about them, I am going to be honest and say "Better you look elsewhere." But if someone is happy in NKT, it is not our job to condition that person. We also need to respect that person, even when they make what we might consider poor choices.

I am also not sorry for [lightly] criticizing the Diamond Mountain scene. I think that there are many things going on in that scene that are pretty unhealthy. But again, apart from observing that it is not for me, what else is there to do? And I feel sad that Christy Macnally's second husband died such an awful death and that she is in pain (Michael Roach was husband number 1).

I do feel sad for having criticized Lama Tsongkhapa's point of view. This is the sectarian side of the Sakya school that I find distasteful. I also find it distasteful that we in the West just pick up and carry Tibetan polemics as if they are our own. This is a mistake.

I feel sad for having allowed Theravada people think that I feel their practice is inferior.

I am sorry about the whole Zen thing, the Jundo Cohen episode. I tried to handle that skillfully, but it was Indo-Tibetan sectarian bullshit on my part, even though my motive was to try and bring clarity about who was a monk and who was not.

I also feel sad about having indulged in Sakya polemics about Kagyu Mahāmudra.

There are probably many other things I should feel sad about in my online relations with others. But I can't remember everything I said. So, my blanket apology is-- If I said something upsetting to you that came from narrow-mindedness on my part, I am sorry". So I have made a lot of mistakes. I am sorry that I hurt anyone.

I do not believe that anyone who is attached to a sectarian outlook, whether towards Buddhists or towards non-Buddhists can really be a fully integrated person. I do not beleive that such a person, be they a student of Dzgchen or "master", has integrated the meaning of their primordial state completely.

All the conflicts in the world come about because of religion and ideology, whether political or economic. But Dzogchen is not based on ideology or belief, it is based on personal experience that is introduced by a master, someone who has integrated that knowledge into their life completely.

My personal goal in this life is to be as integrated as I can be. I have still have a lot of work to do on that score, but I am trying. That for me is the main point, in case anyone cares.

M
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: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Pero » Mon May 21, 2012 5:23 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Pero wrote:
treehuggingoctopus wrote:Perfectly clear. Can't remember the date or the place, though.

(Note that Malcolm is hardly alone here - I've heard it from Valby, Pubants and other SMS instructors as well.)
Well it's a little funny to me because I seem to remember him saying the opposite. So if so many are saying that it's odd that it isn't in any book...
I surely may have misheard - once or even twice, or perhaps even thrice; such things are obviously possible. But Valby's words I still seem to remember fairly well . . . :thinking:

Would love to have it settled.
Well he does say things like "unify all teachers of all traditions" but I have found it always in context with Buddhism and Dzogchen. Nowhere (that I know of) does he directly say things like "unify with your Catholic priest", but he did say things like you don't have to (I think it wasn't that you can't, just that it doesn't make much sense) unify with your teacher of carpenting or Jesus etc.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by dakini_boi » Mon May 21, 2012 5:35 pm

Great post, Malcolm. I agree with you completely - I have noticed that when getting really into Buddhism, becoming snobby only served to cut me off from others. This is a great reminder not to do that.

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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Grigoris » Mon May 21, 2012 5:47 pm

Malcolm wrote:Hi Greg:...in case anyone cares. M
You won't see me disagreeing. Buddha, after all, means enlightened one, nothing more. Anything that satisfies the Four Seals is Buddhadharma.
:namaste:
"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: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Mon May 21, 2012 5:47 pm

Malcolm wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote: Now (and here I refer back to the original post) it seems that to experience the state of Great Perfection one does not need the theoretical framework (method) of Buddhism (or Bon, or even Dzogchenism), the only thing that is needed is know the state (have it pointed out to you). I believe though that without Buddhadharma (and by this I mean a system of practice that is based on the Four Dharma Seals, something that Dzogchenism is also) one would have no opportunity to abide in the true nature of their mind.
:namaste:
Hi Greg:

What are the four seals?

All conditioned phenomena are impermanent.
All afflicted phenomena are suffering
All phenomena lack identity
Nirvana is bliss.

You can find these four seals in Advaita Vedanta as well. Just substitute brahman for nirvana and you have a perfect match. It is very hard to differentiate brahman from nirvana. Really, go ahead and try.

I once forced Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso to admit (I have a witness, incidentally) that there was no substantial difference between Advaita Vedanta and Gzhan stong in terms of how they presented their view. His only response was a sectarian polemic "But there is no buddhahood in Vedanta!" Now, mind you, I am not saying that there is such a thing. But when you study these texts, you come to realize, even as Bhavaviveka and Shantaraksita both observed, that language of Advaita and the language of Madhyamaka are more or less identical. Shantaraksita complains in his Tattvasiddhi to the effect "If you accept the nature of things is non-arising, why do you not become Buddhist!?"

Now, again, I am not saying that if you practice Advaita you will become a buddha -- I honestly do not know. But I am saying that when you study these things, philosophically, at any rate, it is very hard to show the difference between Advaita and Madhyamaka. The main difference between them is that Hindus accept the Vedas as self-originated and Buddhists do not.

But in Dzogchen we accept that Dzogchen tantras are self-originated, that they arise directly out of the sound of dharmatā. So, this is not really very different than what the Vedic scholars believe. For example, the Song of the Vajra is just the intrinsic sound of dharmatā, the state of realization of Samantabhadra and Samantabhadri in union.

Though Dzogchen tantras do take pains to differentiate themselves from Upanishadic doctrines of the atman, these very same ideas get used in Dzogchen in a very similar way -- which is why there is a rebuttal in Dzogchen tantras of certain ideas we find in the Upanishads so we don't run out and say "The Upanishads teach the same thing as Dzogchen".

So we can find a lot of parallels in Dzogchen and non-Buddhist teachings. The one main difference between Dzogchen and most non-Buddhist traditions is that in Dzogchen there is a definite rejection of creation by a creator. Even in Advaita, on a relative level, they accept Ishvara as a creator. So this is an important difference.

Don't beleive it when people say that Kun byed rgyal po is a Buddhist creator myth. It is not true. Kun byed gyal po refers to the mind. It does not mean Samantabhadra is a primordial creator deity or a kind of Buddhism theism. People who claim this like Alan Wallace and Eva Dargyay-Neumier are mistaken.

But as Chogyal Namkhai Norbu says, "God" can be understood as a symbol of one's primordial state. So we do not necessarily have to reject "God" if we are Dzogchen practitioners, if by "God" we mean our own primordial potentiality and the primordial potentiality of everything. This is why we have that famous passage the text on Rigpa from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, cribbed by Shabkar in this way:

Now then, fortunate beloved children, listen!
Concerning this important term widely known as “mind”,
in terms of existence, the mind does not exist as a single entity.
In terms of sources, the mind is the source of the diverse happiness and suffering of samsara and nirvana.

Assertions about the mind exist in many categories of the vehicles.
The mind is designated by inconceivable different names:
ordinary people call the mind “I”;
some non-Buddhists give it the name “atman”;
the shravakas call it the “selfless person”;
the mind-only school gives it the name “mind”;
some call it “the perfection of wisdom”;
some give it the name” sugatagarbha”;
some give it the name “mahāmudra”;
some give it the name “madhyamaka”;
some give it the name “the single unique sphere”;
some give it the name “dharmadhātu”;
some give it the name “all-basis”;
some give it the name “ordinary mind”.
Although it is given inconceivable names,
since it is just this mind in reality, one must recognize it.

You must let the mind itself go free just where it is.
Having been let go, naked ordinary awareness,
a clarity that cannot be seen by looking for it,
the clear and vivid personal experience of vidyā,
is not established in any way at all, empty and pellucid.
Brilliant non-dual clarity and emptiness
is not permanent— not established at all;
is not annihilated— clear and vivid;
is not single— manifold, knowing and clear;
is not manifold— indivisible, one taste.
Not existing elsewhere, this is one’s own vidyā,
the true face of the original guide dwelling within one’s heart,
seen here right now in one’s personal experience.
Never be separate from this beloved children!


We could add a passage:

"other non-Buddhists give it the name “god”..."

This passage illustrates the point I have made all along. We do not need to imagine that all faiths lead to the same point, we merely have to accept that all humans beings are trying to find the same thing: the peace and happiness that comes from freedom.

I feel that Dzogchen is one path which can lead all of us beyond all schools so we can all find that peace and happiness that comes from freedom. Why? Because whatever measure of freedom, and the ensuing peace and happiness, I have found comes from practicing Dzogchen teachings.

Someone might object, and say but what about your Sakya practice, etc. Of course all of these things have helped. But I was a very sectarian Sakyapa, even while receiving teachings about Dzogchen, I was very conditioned by Sakya Pandita, and so on. For me, Dzogchen was just another completion stage system. I found it very hard to understand Dzogchen as a separate independent path because I was so conditioned by the Sakya school's point of view, conditioned by Madhyamaka before that, and so on. I can't really say when my present understanding arose. I think it has been some time. To a large extent, in the past few years, I have been slowly shedding my fabricated identity as a "buddhist". If it is important for others such as Buddhist to regard me as a buddhist, that's ok, but that is more about them than it is about me. For me "Dzogchen practitioner" is enough.

I have been thinking about my comments about Dzoghen and how they related to Mahāmudra. I think one can say the same thing about Mahāmudra. I also think that Mahāmudra in a real sense transcends the boundaries of sect and culture. Why? Because it too is based on direct introduction.

I think it is possible to teach Mahāmudra and Dzogchen without insisting on the label "Buddhist". In India, the siddhas taught Mahāmudra to Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. Naropa had many non-Buddhist students, actually, just as one example. Gorkshanatha is a mahasiddha who practiced both Vajrayāna Buddhism and Shaivism side by side. If you read his texts he moves from Shunyatā to Shiva in one breath.

Some people think that what I am saying amounts to pissing on Buddhism, but that would be a wrong perception. What I am saying is that there is no happiness in these labels "Buddhist", "Christian", "Muslim", "Hindu", "Jew" and so on-- none at all. We all have the same nature, the same primordial state. It is time we recognised that in each other and put an end to the pretense of otherness. According Dzogchen doctrine, all sentient beings will realize their primordial state. I can't say if this is really true, but I hope it is. A Christian might say "We and everything else were all created for His (i.e. God's) enjoyment." This is very similar to the Shaivaite idea of all phenomena being the lila of Shiva. This is very similar to the idea of all phenomena being the rol pa, display of bodhicitta,in Dzogchen and Virupa's statement in his Doha:

All sentient beings are emanations of mahāmudrā,
the essence of those emanations is the forever non-arising dharmadhātu,
also all characteristics of dualistic appearances, happiness, suffering and so on,
are the play of mahāmudrā, the original dharmatā.


We should be circumspect about criticizing others since that creates enemies in a concrete sense. I guess a large part of my present point of view has a lot to do with the sectarian arguments I have taken part in here on this board and E-sangha. Really, I feel very sad about that. We were all trying to do our best on E-Sangha -- but I myself, and we together, admins and mods, made many mistakes.

I feel a little sad about what happened with Jax. Oh, I don't agree with his approach or much of what he says, and I find it sad that he has positioned himself as a master when there are more qualified masters one can follow; but I feel a little sad that I was so harsh with him. It was unnecessary and disrespectful -- so since you are reading this, "Sorry Jax, my bad". That action of mine turned a person into an enemy. This is my fault. The same is true of the rest of what I have to say.

I also feel sad about my strong criticism of the Aro folks and Kirkpatrick. Of course that came about because I am a student of Ngagpa Yeshe Dorje (whose memory is dear to me-- I was with him at the very end of his life -- he showed me personally how a real yogi faces death). But in the end, given all the evil that is in the world today, what they are doing is not really harmful at all on any level. Actually, Kirkpatrick has a beautiful farm and tries to help people in Pemakod, etc. So this is a good thing. Chogyam has a ranch near Kalispell Montana and likes to dress up like a 1880's cowboy. I am sure they have a lot of fun. To be honest, while we were all groaning, pissing and moaning about the Aro thing, they were largely ignoring us and having a blast, so who really lost in that exchange?

I am not really sorry for criticizing the NKT. I think the pratice of Shugden is a harmful erroneous practice and should be ended. But on the other hand, they are never going to listen to what we say, so what is the point of saying anything at all? They are very successful, people like their scene. We should leave them alone.

We also leave alone animists in Africa, and they make blood sacrifices to some very heavy worldly deities every day, deities that are much worse than Shugden. Millions of chickens, goats, and cows are sacficed to them every year in Africa. But at least they eat the animals afterwards, and in many instances their motivations are perfectly altruistic (which is not to say they won't turn to black magic in a second if they feel threatened by an enemy) because they are making offerings to benefit the whole world -- this is what they beleive. Also the NKT strongly beleive that what they are doing is positive. In other words, if someone is practicing something we think is based on an error, we just avoid that practice ourself. Still of course, if someone asks me about them, I am going to be honest and say "Better you look elsewhere." But if someone is happy in NKT, it is not our job to condition that person. We also need to respect that person, even when they make what we might consider poor choices.

I am also not sorry for [lightly] criticizing the Diamond Mountain scene. I think that there are many things going on in that scene that are pretty unhealthy. But again, apart from observing that it is not for me, what else is there to do? And I feel sad that Christy Macnally's second husband died such an awful death and that she is in pain (Michael Roach was husband number 1).

I do feel sad for having criticized Lama Tsongkhapa's point of view. This is the sectarian side of the Sakya school that I find distasteful. I also find it distasteful that we in the West just pick up and carry Tibetan polemics as if they are our own. This is a mistake.

I feel sad for having allowed Theravada people think that I feel their practice is inferior.

I am sorry about the whole Zen thing, the Jundo Cohen episode. I tried to handle that skillfully, but it was Indo-Tibetan sectarian bullshit on my part, even though my motive was to try and bring clarity about who was a monk and who was not.

I also feel sad about having indulged in Sakya polemics about Kagyu Mahāmudra.

There are probably many other things I should feel sad about in my online relations with others. But I can't remember everything I said. So, my blanket apology is-- If I said something upsetting to you that came from narrow-mindedness on my part, I am sorry". So I have made a lot of mistakes. I am sorry that I hurt anyone.

I do not believe that anyone who is attached to a sectarian outlook, whether towards Buddhists or towards non-Buddhists can really be a fully integrated person. I do not beleive that such a person, be they a student of Dzgchen or "master", has integrated the meaning of their primordial state completely.

All the conflicts in the world come about because of religion and ideology, whether political or economic. But Dzogchen is not based on ideology or belief, it is based on personal experience that is introduced by a master, someone who has integrated that knowledge into their life completely.

My personal goal in this life is to be as integrated as I can be. I have still have a lot of work to do on that score, but I am trying. That for me is the main point, in case anyone cares.

M
Malcolm, Well done! This post, plus your other long one of Thursday last, 17 May, shows the good heart radiating through and overriding the lower, contentious mind.
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Sally Gross
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Sally Gross » Mon May 21, 2012 5:58 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Hi Greg:

...



There are probably many other things I should feel sad about in my online relations with others. But I can't remember everything I said. So, my blanket apology is-- If I said something upsetting to you that came from narrow-mindedness on my part, I am sorry". So I have made a lot of mistakes. I am sorry that I hurt anyone.

I do not believe that anyone who is attached to a sectarian outlook, whether towards Buddhists or towards non-Buddhists can really be a fully integrated person. I do not beleive that such a person, be they a student of Dzgchen or "master", has integrated the meaning of their primordial state completely.

All the conflicts in the world come about because of religion and ideology, whether political or economic. But Dzogchen is not based on ideology or belief, it is based on personal experience that is introduced by a master, someone who has integrated that knowledge into their life completely.

My personal goal in this life is to be as integrated as I can be. I have still have a lot of work to do on that score, but I am trying. That for me is the main point, in case anyone cares.

M
Another awesome posting from Malcolm. An image which comes to mind -- not really an adequate one -- is seeing a flower open and blossom, displaying more and more beauty. E ma ho! :anjali:
Last edited by Sally Gross on Mon May 21, 2012 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Dukkham eva hi, na koci dukkhito,
kaarako na, kiriyaa va vijjati,
atthi nibbuti, na nibbuto pumaa,
maggam atthi, gamako na vijjati


Suffering there certainly is, but no sufferer,
no doer, though certainly the deed is found.
peace is achieved, but no-one's appeased,
the way is walked, but no walker's to be found.

- Visuddhimagga XVI, 90

Simon E.
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Simon E. » Mon May 21, 2012 6:02 pm

:namaste: here too. :hug:
Back to fishin' folks... :namaste:

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Malcolm
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Malcolm » Mon May 21, 2012 6:03 pm

Pero wrote: Well he does say things like "unify all teachers of all traditions" but I have found it always in context with Buddhism and Dzogchen. Nowhere (that I know of) does he directly say things like "unify with your Catholic priest", but he did say things like you don't have to (I think it wasn't that you can't, just that it doesn't make much sense) unify with your teacher of carpenting or Jesus etc.
When I first heard ChNN explain Ati Guru Yoga he said unify all teachers of all knowledge you have received from a positive source, no matter what it is. I beleive at the time he included school teachers as an example.

Since the vehicle of gods and men is included in the nine yānas, then this also includes all teachers one may have had or will have who are not necessarily Buddhists. This does not mean you are mixing traditions. It means that all knowledge you have learned contributes to your integration and practice of your main path, in this instance, Dzogchen.

BY the way, just to be clear, I am not for one second advocating combining this or that random thing with Dzogchen. Absolutely not. We have to respect other traditions, and we have respect Dzogchen. "Combining" is not respecting. That is why I rejected Jikan's propostition about "HIndu Dzogchen, Catholic Dzogchen, etc. There is only one Dzogchen. But it can be practiced by anyone.
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

Heartland
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Heartland » Mon May 21, 2012 6:07 pm

I just wanted to add my thanks for your last post as well.
:namaste:

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Sönam
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Sönam » Mon May 21, 2012 6:15 pm

Pero wrote: ...
Well he does say things like "unify all teachers of all traditions" but I have found it always in context with Buddhism and Dzogchen. Nowhere (that I know of) does he directly say things like "unify with your Catholic priest", but he did say things like you don't have to (I think it wasn't that you can't, just that it doesn't make much sense) unify with your teacher of carpenting or Jesus etc.
As you underligne it, I'm absolutely shure he has expressed it that way ... "you can also unify with Jesus ..." let's say in the 2 last years. We need to set-up a group to listen to all teachings since.

:spy:
Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
- Longchen Rabjam -

Andrew108
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Andrew108 » Mon May 21, 2012 6:16 pm

Malcolm wrote:
I once forced Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso to admit (I have a witness, incidentally) that there was no substantial difference between Advaita Vedanta and Gzhan stong in terms of how they presented their view. His only response was a sectarian polemic "But there is no buddhahood in Vedanta!" Now, mind you, I am not saying that there is such a thing. But when you study these texts, you come to realize, even as Bhavaviveka and Shantaraksita both observed, that language of Advaita and the language of Madhyamaka are more or less identical. Shantaraksita complains in his Tattvasiddhi to the effect "If you accept the nature of things is non-arising, why do you not become Buddhist!?"

M
Hi Malcolm. Lovely post again. Great to read this. One thing though. The assertion of buddhahood in Shentong and it's absence in Vedanta is not merely being sectarian. It's of vital importance. The reason is that buddhahood / buddhanature is dynamic and responsive and is an active non-duality rather than the Advaita assertion of unchanging passive non-duality.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.

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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Adamantine » Mon May 21, 2012 6:24 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:For a Dzogchen practitioner those are secondary practices, meaning that you use them if you feel such need. .

I think it would be more accurate to predicate that with "For a Dzogchen Community practitioner", although I know it is common practice here to conflate DC with everyone practicing Dzogchen in this world-system... yet that is not the case!
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

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Malcolm
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Malcolm » Mon May 21, 2012 6:35 pm

Andrew108 wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
I once forced Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso to admit (I have a witness, incidentally) that there was no substantial difference between Advaita Vedanta and Gzhan stong in terms of how they presented their view. His only response was a sectarian polemic "But there is no buddhahood in Vedanta!" Now, mind you, I am not saying that there is such a thing. But when you study these texts, you come to realize, even as Bhavaviveka and Shantaraksita both observed, that language of Advaita and the language of Madhyamaka are more or less identical. Shantaraksita complains in his Tattvasiddhi to the effect "If you accept the nature of things is non-arising, why do you not become Buddhist!?"

M
Hi Malcolm. Lovely post again. Great to read this. One thing though. The assertion of buddhahood in Shentong and it's absence in Vedanta is not merely being sectarian. It's of vital importance. The reason is that buddhahood / buddhanature is dynamic and responsive and is an active non-duality rather than the Advaita assertion of unchanging passive non-duality.
That is a misreading of Advaita. Advaita is a great deal more subtle than your summary here. Maya is the sport (lila) of Brahman, so it is not static at all.
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

Heartland
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Heartland » Mon May 21, 2012 6:38 pm

Adamantine wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:For a Dzogchen practitioner those are secondary practices, meaning that you use them if you feel such need. .

I think it would be more accurate to predicate that with "For a Dzogchen Community practitioner", although I know it is common practice here to conflate DC with everyone practicing Dzogchen in this world-system... yet that is not the case!
Not only Dzogchen Community. There are other Dzogchen teachers who would be in agreement with this.

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Karma Dorje
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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Karma Dorje » Mon May 21, 2012 6:38 pm

Andrew108 wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
I once forced Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso to admit (I have a witness, incidentally) that there was no substantial difference between Advaita Vedanta and Gzhan stong in terms of how they presented their view. His only response was a sectarian polemic "But there is no buddhahood in Vedanta!" Now, mind you, I am not saying that there is such a thing. But when you study these texts, you come to realize, even as Bhavaviveka and Shantaraksita both observed, that language of Advaita and the language of Madhyamaka are more or less identical. Shantaraksita complains in his Tattvasiddhi to the effect "If you accept the nature of things is non-arising, why do you not become Buddhist!?"

M
Hi Malcolm. Lovely post again. Great to read this. One thing though. The assertion of buddhahood in Shentong and it's absence in Vedanta is not merely being sectarian. It's of vital importance. The reason is that buddhahood / buddhanature is dynamic and responsive and is an active non-duality rather than the Advaita assertion of unchanging passive non-duality.
That's a mischaracterization of the advaita position. There is very little difference between the advaita (or more properly advaya) of the Gaudapadiyakarikas and the Madhyamaka of Nagarjuna. In fact, there are shlokas in the GK that are almost identical to the MMK. In the Shankara maths, they complement the via negativa practice of analytic meditation such as "neti, neti" which leads to realization of the empty aspect with the via positiva practice of the tantra of Shrividya which focuses on realization of the responsive aspect of awareness. This is also reflected in the image of Kali, who appears as the dance of experience before the prone Shiva who has swooned in samadhi.
"Although my view is higher than the sky, My respect for the cause and effect of actions is as fine as grains of flour."
-Padmasambhava

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Re: Dzogchen and Buddhism

Post by Pero » Mon May 21, 2012 6:45 pm

Malcolm wrote: Since the vehicle of gods and men is included in the nine yānas, then this also includes all teachers one may have had or will have who are not necessarily Buddhists. This does not mean you are mixing traditions. It means that all knowledge you have learned contributes to your integration and practice of your main path, in this instance, Dzogchen.
Ohhh interesting point...
Sonam wrote: As you underligne it, I'm absolutely shure he has expressed it that way ... "you can also unify with Jesus ..." let's say in the 2 last years. We need to set-up a group to listen to all teachings since.
Yes I think I never said you can't do that.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

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