tomamundsen wrote: Jnana wrote:
Blue Garuda wrote:There is a very important limitation to Dzogchen Teaching - the ability of the Guru to give Direct Introduction.
Yes, as well as the willingness and receptivity of the student, i.e. devotion to the guru and the acceptance of the teaching. This narrows the field of potential candidates for dzogchen instruction. Also, it seems that one has to have functioning eyesight (or hearing) in order to engage in tögal practice. These are reasons why anyone who has received the bodhisattva vow can't really limit themselves to dzogchen. In this respect, the exoteric Buddhadharma is far more important than dzogchen for making liberation available to sentient beings.
Are all practices in Dzogchen actually REQUIRED? I can see guru yoga being indispensible, but something like skygazing in thogal? I didn't think it really worked that way.
On the account given by ChNNR, Ati Guruyoga is required: it is the core, the heart-essence. Everything else is secondary, there to be used on the basis of the specific circumstances in which one finds oneself or, there being no limitations, simply because one wants to do them. That is not to say that secondary practices are not likely to be useful -- they seem to be regarded as a toolbox from which one is encouraged to find tools which will be helpful in one's particular circumstances.There are a good number of secondary practices which might otherwise have been helpful which are closed to me because of physical constraints. Thankfully, those involving sight are still possible; but some years down the line, if my body lasts that long, who knows? This is an impediment to making full use of the toolkit, to be sure; but it does not impede Dzogchen practice as such and places no limitation on the ability to experience Dzogchen.
It should be noted that physical constraints can limit one's ability to do certain practices which loom large in the exoteric Buddha-dharma -- classical sitting practice, for example, and certain forms of mindfulness of the body such as walking meditation, which are immensely valuable. This can pose considerable difficulties, though there are other practices and the difficulty is therefore not insuperable. Such physical constraints in the context of exoteric Buddhism do not rule out practices which get to the heart-core, though they probably make the lives of practitioners more difficult than they would have been otherwise. Instead, one might do practices which use the capacities of the mind more and get around bodily constraints, or to use the bodily constraints themselves as subjects of contemplation which foster insight into the three characteristics. Is Dzogchen practice radically different in this regard? As long as you are not comatose, the core-practice is do-able.[/quote]
Your reply does indicate some physical constraints.
But if one has understood the preliminary philosophy of Citta matra, here is everything " mind only ", to a certain degree of course.
Preliminaries like prosternations can be done with mind, also the welcoming of the Master can be done in mind, one does not need to be in front of the Master and do prosternations in front of him, that can also done with the Mind.
So if all is done with compassion and with the Mind of Wisdom, there are nearly no restrictions.
Restrictions are there if Dzogchen is thought about with the thinking mind, that is anyway no Dzogchen approach.
Further wouldn' t no Dzogchen Master, like in your case, urge you to do prosternations, that is very clear.
But i agree there are some fanatics who will recommend that in all circumstances, but that is not what we want, isn' t it? That Master shoud not be followed that is clear, because here is no insight and compassion possible. Only a blindfolded following of instructions.
But your exceptions are not counting for everybody that is also very clear.Here one can see that Dzogchen has also compassion and insight, without compassion + Wisdom, Dzogchen would be incomplete.
So again i don' t see here no reasons to shoot down secondary methods, sure in case when thoughts can be very strong earthed.
I do understand that you are in a hurry, so i hope that there is very soon result for you, the cause is clear here.
Best wishes and success
in searching / quest for the real Master on your path.
May that result in quick Realisations
because time is running out.