Thursday, December 30, 2010


Following is some teaching on Dzogchen, a Tibetan tradition with some similarities to Zen. Thanks to Josh Baran, who provided this quoted material and pointed me to it. In posting it to the OBC (Order of Buddhist Contemplatives) forum, Josh wrote, "... when you see the word 'dzogchen' you could substitute zazen or meditation or just sitting."

The everyday practice of dzogchen is simply to develop a complete carefree acceptance, an openness to all situations without limit.

We should realize openness as the playground of our emotions and relate to people without artificiality, manipulation or strategy.

We should experience everything totally, never withdrawing into ourselves as a marmot hides in its hole. This practice releases tremendous energy which is usually constricted by the process of maintaining fixed reference points. Referentiality is the process by which we retreat from the direct experience of everyday life.

Being present in the moment may initially trigger fear. But by welcoming the sensation of fear with complete openness, we cut through the barriers created by habitual emotional patterns.

When we engage in the practice of discovering space, we should develop the feeling of opening ourselves out completely to the entire universe. We should open ourselves with absolute simplicity and nakedness of mind. This is the powerful and ordinary practice of dropping the mask of self-protection.

We shouldn't make a division in our meditation between perception and field of perception. We shouldn't become like a cat watching a mouse. We should realize that the purpose of meditation is not to go "deeply into ourselves" or withdraw from the world. Practice should be free and non-conceptual, unconstrained by introspection and concentration.

Vast unoriginated self-luminous wisdom space is the ground of being - the beginning and the end of confusion. The presence of awareness in the primordeal state has no bias toward enlightenment or non-enlightenment. This ground of being which is known as pure or original mind is the source from which all phenomena arise. It is known as the great mother, as the womb of potentiality in which all things arise and dissolve in natural self-perfectedness and absolute spontaneity.

All aspects of phenomena are completely clear and lucid. The whole universe is open and unobstructed - everything is mutually interpenetrating. Seeing all things as naked, clear and free from obscurations, there is nothing to attain or realize. The nature of phenomena appears naturally and is naturally present in time-transcending awareness. Everything is naturally perfect just as it is. All phenomena appear in their uniqueness as part of the continually changing pattern. These patterns are vibrant with meaning and significance at every moment; yet there is no significance to attach to such meanings beyond the moment in which they present themselves.

This is the dance of the five elememts in which matter is a symbol of energy and energy a symbol of emptiness. We are a symbol of our own enlightenment. With no effort or practice whatsoever, liberation or enlightenment is already here.

The everyday practice of dzogchen is just everyday life itself. Since the undeveloped state does not exist, there is no need to behave in any special way or attempt to attain anything above and beyond what you actually are. There should be no feeling of striving to reach some "amazing goal" or "advanced state."

To strive for such a state is a neurosis which only conditions us and serves to obstruct the free flow of Mind. We should also avoid thinking of ourselves as worthless persons - we are naturally free and unconditioned. We are intrinsically enlightened and lack nothing.

When engaging in meditation practice, we should feel it to be as natural as eating, breathing and defecating. It should not become a specialized or formal event, bloated with seriousness and solemnity. We should realize that meditation transcends effort, practice, aims, goals and the duality of liberation and non-liberation. Meditation is always ideal; there is no need to correct anything. Since everything that arises is simply the play of mind as such, there is no unsatisfactory meditation and no need to judge thoughts as good or bad.

Therefore we should simply sit. Simply stay in your own place, in your own condition just as it is. Forgetting self-conscious feelings, we do not have to think "I am meditating." Our practice should be without effort, without strain, without attempts to control or force and without trying to become "peaceful."

If we find that we are disturbing ourselves in any of these ways, we stop meditating and simply rest or relax for a while. Then we resume our meditation. If we have "interesting experiences" either during or after meditation, we should avoid making anything special of them. To spend time thinking about experiences is simply a distraction and an attempt to become unnatural. These experiences are simply signs of practice and should be regarded as transient events. We should not attempt to reexperience them because to do so only serves to distort the natural spontaneity of mind.

All phenomena are completely new and fresh, absolutely unique and entirely free from all concepts of past, present and future. They are experienced in timelessness.

The continual stream of new discovery, revelation and inspiration which arises at every moment is the manifestation of our clarity. We should learn to see everyday life as mandala - the luminous fringes of experience which radiate spontaneously from the empty nature of our being. The aspects of our mandala are the day-to-day objects of our life experience moving in the dance or play of the universe. By this symbolism the inner teacher reveals the profound and ultimate significance of being. Therefore we should be natural and spontaneous, accepting and learning from everything. This enables us to see the ironic and amusing side of events that usually irritate us.

In meditation we can see through the illusion of past, present and future - our experience becomes the continuity of nowness. The past is only an unreliable memory held in the present. The future is only a projection of our present conceptions. The present itself vanishes as soon as we try to grasp it. So why bother with attempting to establish an illusion of solid ground?

We should free ourselves from our past memories and preconceptions of meditation. Each moment of meditation is completely unique and full of potentiality. In such moments, we will be incapable of judging our meditation in terms of past experience, dry theory or hollow rhetoric.

Simply plunging directly into meditation in the moment now, with our whole being, free from hesitation, boredom or excitement, _is_ enlightenment.


Anonymous said...

hi stuart
sorry to burst your bubble but dzog chen is not the same as zen. i practise dzog chen since 24 years with an absolute necessary dzog chen master and i can assure you : zen is zen and dzog chen is dzog chen. even though on first glance they look or could look similar , they are not.
we are not talking higher or lower just same or not same.

Anonymous said...

the qoute is from a great dzog chen master dilgo khentse and if you look close you can see it is not zen talk!

Stuart said...

Thanks, anony. "Zen" and "Dzogchen" are names. Names and forms can be used to point to this moment... which isn't dependent on any name or form. What do you see, what do you hear, what are you doing, just now?

Anonymous said...

myself ,what else,naturally

Anonymous said...

sure dzog chen or great perfection is a word for the unspeakable but it refers also to a teaching tradition with a lineage transmission and here we see it is very different from zen and its teachings and its methods ,zazen or koan or whatever. zen has no tantric knowledge , dzog chen is the peak of tantra so it is very different.there are very more methods and completely different view of energy etc etc. so also the result is different.

Anonymous said...

for example what is zen doing with sex ? the pornographic mind and the aggression mind impulses?
nowadays lots of zenmasters look towards western therapy to integrate their shadows in this regards so they don´t need to hump their students.
their is the difference in a nutshell.

Anonymous said...

there is now a trend which says :mukti,moksha,satori,kensho,dirct introduction, all is all the same,all points just to the nonverbal truth or whatever. i don´t think that bthat is very helpfull, if there were no real distinctions why did buddha actually discover his truth? he was a hindu, he did study with yogis, the vedas did already exists then, so why was he not happy with them?? if all is all the same??
in fact it is not all the same.if you like zen fine , no problem, but you can´t say zen equals dzog chen because of some emptyness pointing thats not all there is ,or who is talking? and so on the reintroduction of words you can´t say zen is dzog chen because these words signify something different, believe me, i know. just like dark is not light and sweet is not sour.

joseph said...

hi stuart
i watched your 2 masters video. and ,yeah ,good of course, nice. water is water and all is one , no probs , there is only one world. but then they sit in strange cloth, and have no hair, thatsb fine too and it is zen, it is fine ! but not correct to say it is dzog chen ,says my very authentic dzog chen master. so thats my point, all teach one point and all teach not one point the same way. because even though there is one mountain there are many ways up, some walk some fly some are instantly there. so saying all is the same has little sense ,especially nowadays where there is so much confusion and people even consider guys like andrew cohen enlightened. it is important, says my guru, to be clear that black is black and white is white not red. and dzog chen is dzog chen and zen is zen and not christianity or islam.

Stuart said...

because even though there is one mountain there are many ways up, some walk some fly some are instantly there.

If you really desire to be atop a mountain, then start climbing, have a nice trip.

You might also consider attending to the truth that's already appeared, right in front of you, in this moment... rather than trying to escape to a mountaintop.

joseph said...

aha, because you think i don´t know i am one with all that appears? always already and right now this room is in me ,not i am in the room , right now this universe is in my awareness and there is nothing i need to do to achieve this. still dog chen is dzog chen and zen is zen.
and you should learn to respect a dzog chen master as much as a zenmaster. and if he says : dzog chen is dzog chen and zen is zen then............................
being one with all ,every moment is the natural state and no big achievement

joseph said...

anyway mountain was just an example ,but how far have you to go to be here and how much time to reach now? you really think i do not understand?
the reason i say what i say is because of all the confusion that is generated in the west mixing all and sundry together and then feeling superiour ,calling it all integral like the wilber crowd. that is not helpfull for anybody.why should in be smarter than my master ? if dzog chen says it is not zen then i accept that! why can´t you, are you smarter then padmasambahava? of garab dorje? or nagarjuna? hmmm, smarter?

joseph said...

the complete realization of real dzog chen practise is the rainbowbody.
there has never been a rainbowbody realization in the whole lineage of zen. there couldn´t be becasue they lack the method.
different teachings have different results.
so they are not "the same."
but of course we are all one with the universe, outer and inner are meaningless categories.but that knowledge even the hindus that would mean that zen is really advaita , hmm?

joseph said...

hey i like your sire, whats i called now ethogens , well it was psychedelics in my time, interesting inquiry ,very zen, : ) anyway lots of the people on your site i have met , its the usual searcher confusion, if i only think of poonjai that rascak called me enlightened in 92 , wanted me to teach something , what actually , knowing him , hahaha, anyway i didn´t do it since my dzog chen master just laughed outright when i reported my promotion, hahaha, and i still laugh ,looking at the mess these people create in the name of that word : enlightenment, hahaha, and then still they can´t control sex drugs and rocknroll hahahaha

joseph said...

hallo me again. i will tell you now the real reason why they are not the same but then you said anyway only similar. i guess i am a bit on the heavy side ,this is mainly because i see dzog chen misrepresented all the time especially around the integral and advaita crowd. the dzog chen teachings have a method called tögal by which they induce visions as part of the practise ,a bit like your salvia experiment, only very serious ,because these visions are not menatally created like in the other tantric schools of tibet, no, you are going into a completely dark room and stay there for weeks ,then they come , of course you also use methods in there. these vision ,when they fully start, are difficult to stop ,its a process and thats why these methods are very secret and to get them one has to be able to really be in the natural state consistent. if you don´t do it right it can have heavy consequences for you , but if it works then there are 4 levels and if you managed to stabilze the 3rd, then when you die your body will, inside 7 days, shrink and disappear completly into light ,safe hair and nails. thats then the rainbowbody. in tibet there has been this achievement right up to couple of years back, so this is no fairy tale. so this is the major reason that one cannot say dzog chen is zen or even similar.
so you see it is not a one upmanship, there are real differences and some very superficial similarities, appearantly so. since i found your blog on the whatenlightenment site, i thought you might be interested in the real truth, and thats the reason in tell you this.not to be heavy or something but you know i have been around too , since 38 years now,on the spiritual road nowhere,i am 53, knowing ramana maharishi since i am 15 teen. my first 1 year trip to india was in 77 , so...what i said in the other post is true too poonjaji gave me the name janaka and i should be teaching according to him, a fully realized satsang guru. but since i had already been initiated into dzog chen at that time i could see that this was just a joke, a bad one at that. but then , there is one from our sangha who met poonjaji and now is satsang guru madukar, i am not sure he is happy, i have a friend who was his friend before (they toured india together)and he still visits him and this friend says: well , i think he went mad, . but he is not sure, so....... for me the dzog chen teachings are very profound and according to them i am enlightened but not very realized , so no need to go out to confuse others. so you see the system is very different : zen advaita or dzog chen they are all not the same.and i noticed in your long list of spiritual trips and roadblocks there is no dzog chen now it seems dzog chen is starting to contact you : ) hello.

Anonymous said...

did you hear? genpo roshi disrobed because of sexual misconduct. thats my point. get it now?

Stuart said...

Anonymous said...
did you hear? genpo roshi disrobed because of sexual misconduct. thats my point. get it now?

Genpo Roshi (a Zen Master from the Japanese Soto tradition who started a for-profit psychological workshop called Big Mind) did indeed step down as a Zen Master, due to sexual misconduct.

Don't get me wrong... I like a good sex scandal in the way I might (on occasion) enjoy a soap opera or gossip magazine. But when it comes to life-direction, I think it's 10,000 times better to pay attention to my own actions, rather than attaching too much importance to what anyone else does.