17 Apr 2016

The topic of this 8-week retreat covers the broad bandwidth from shamatha to vipashyana, to Mahamudra and Dzogchen because the text Naked Awareness is the Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen. Alan is drawing repeatedly from the most foundational teachings of the Buddha, as presented for example in the Pali Canon. The Shravakayana is infact the grounding, the foundation on which you can build a skyscraper touching the sky. And the sky is Dzogchen. In the midst of this whole range of teachings it’s very important for those who are really intuitively drawn to Dzogchen to see that all the teachings are nested within the view of Dzogchen. Dzogchen completely encompasses all the other yanas, or vehicles, including that of the Shravakas, the non Buddhists, the Hindus, the yogis, the Bonpos, the shamans and so on. It’s a perspective from which all of these other spiritual paths make sense. According to the Vajrayana approach as explained by Panchen Rinpoche, a practitioner realizes emptiness with the primordial mind of clear light once he has fully accomplished stage of generation and completion. So when you are almost finished you put in a drop of Mahamudra. This method may sound quite inaccessible to us and we might feel frustrated. It’ easy to feel discouraged because we keep on suffering from amnesia. We keep on forgetting that we are already buddhas. Alan then reads a quote from the Vajra Essence: the words of Padmasambhava, by way of Dudjom Lingpa, explain how to ascertain our ultimate nature, the nature of the ground Samantabhadra. For this there are two methods, the first of which is by directly identifying it in your own being realizing the view by way of pointing out instructions; the second is identifying it in dependence upon the expedient path of the stage of generation and completion. Through the Dzogchen practice you finally come upon the nature of great all-pervasive openness and this is called meditation free of the intellect and devoid of activity. The powerful presentation of Dzogchen meditation by Dudjom Lingpa is quintessential in Dzogchen. It’s based on viewing reality from the perspective of dharmakaya, of rigpa. And in this presentation there is no reference whatsoever to having first achieved stage of generation or completion. That is the Dzogchen path. Finally Alan quotes a comment by H.H. the Dalai Lama on the different approaches of the Gelug, Sakya and Nyingma schools, which can help clear many misunderstandings: “As is said in an oral transmission by the great lama Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, when the great Nyingmapa adept Longchen Rabjam gives a presentation of the ground, path, and fruit, he does so mainly from the perspective of the enlightened state of a Buddha, whereas the Sakyapa presentation is mainly from the perspective of the spiritual experience of a yogi on the path, and the Gelukpa presentation is mainly from the perspective of how phenomena appear to ordinary sentient beings. His statement appears to be worthy of considerable reflection; through it many misunderstandings can be removed.”

The meditation is on Settling the Mind in its Natural State.

Meditation starts at 21:00

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