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Sat Jan 11, 2020, 03:05 PM

Longchen Rabjam - The Decisive Experience


This is meant for experienced mediators, but exposure can be a seed for those who are not. Dzogchen has a lineage that reserved these definitive teachings for those who were "ready" for it. It can have quite an impact and therefore, it was an esoteric practice. These days, people will "self censor" in that they might miss the essence or spark or juice of the teaching and just move on.

However, those who might feel a deeper need to move from provisional to definitive, Longchenpa's teachings capture the most radical aspects of the Great Perfection, (Great Encompassment, Great Juncture, etc.) Dzogchen. It is a fascinating field of discovery and insight for those who do recognize it as such.

If you like guided meditation and feel so inspired to rest in this, it can be very effective of its own. If you feel very traditional and provisional, then it may just seem peaceful or relaxing. If you are stuck in your practices, these is could be the solvent. All that might be missing are the pointing out instructions or "direct introduction", but this should suffice initially.

I might add that there are many Dzogchen and buddhadharma texts read very gently with etheric background music on that channel and would point out that the teachings of Nisargadatta, (on Hindu side as per Advaita Vedanta) who taught another apotheosis of all teachings as Nisarga Yoga. I consider teachings along these lines as hard core and to the point.

Part One:

Part Two:

For further study, this collection makes a good overall primer. I find that the Keith Dowman translations of Lonchenpa's writings are very cutting edge and radical, to say the least. Natural Perfection, Original Perfection and Spaciousness are wonderful and auspicious translations that make good companions for those in transcendence.


May all beings be happy and filled with loving kindness and free of all suffering of mind and body, safe from inner and outer harm! May genuine joy and equipoise prevail and may all flourish.

Tashi Delek!

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Reply Longchen Rabjam - The Decisive Experience (Original post)
Newest Reality Jan 2020 OP
Taraman Jan 2020 #1
Mike 03 Jan 2020 #2
Mike 03 Jan 2020 #3
Newest Reality Jan 2020 #4
Mike 03 Jan 2020 #5
Newest Reality Jan 2020 #6
Mike 03 Jan 2020 #7
Newest Reality Jan 2020 #8
Mike 03 Jan 2020 #9
Newest Reality Jan 2020 #10
Newest Reality Jan 2020 #11

Response to Newest Reality (Original post)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 03:51 PM

1. Nice. Thank you.

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Response to Newest Reality (Original post)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 03:56 PM

2. Excellent suggestions. Thank you for posting this.

I've bookmarked this to watch, perhaps tomorrow.

Also, I completely agree that Keith Dowman's translations are very worthwhile, admitting they are not to everyone's liking. They've been beneficial, even though some of them (i.e., Everything is Light and the Yeshe Lama) I found difficult. But I've never regretted at least trying to "let go completely" and fall into what he's pointing at.

Thanks again!

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Response to Newest Reality (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 08:51 AM

3. Extremely powerful

It seems to make a significant difference, listening as opposed to reading. These teachings are something I will return to again and again.

For what it's worth, this book, "Treasure Trove of Scriptural Transmission" is selling on Amazon for around $80 but can be purchased directly from the publisher (Tibetan Treasures) for $45.

These are precious teachings. They clarified some important areas of confusion. Thank you for sharing them.

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Response to Mike 03 (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 11:23 AM

4. You are welcome!

And yes, they can be extremely powerful and direct for those who are ready to hear it, which, in a sense, could be anyone, anywhere anytime. It is considered good fortune to encounter these teachings for those who seek. In tumultuous times, they are readily available and presenting them is a bit of a toss of the dice.

I agree that there seems to be a difference between reading and listening to this kind of material. Perhaps we are more analytical when reading than passively listening? I appreciate the beautiful way that the lady on that channel paces her readings and allows for long pauses and her choice of ethereal music is rather intuitively appropriate. I have heard some rushed readings with no soundtrack that pale in comparison.

I return to them again and again myself and I am joyful that you found clarification as that is the essence: lucid, empty clarity.

Thanks for the note about the availability of the book, BTW. I would like to note that Keith Dowman is a good source, (as I have mentioned) not just for his astute attempts to do another, modern translation of these deep and difficult texts, (I have had the chance to compare versions) but he provides some excellent commentary, having studied and practiced with masters.

In my opinion, there are two kinds of Dzogchen, (as becomes evident in the ancient sources mentioned in Original Perfection. There is a form that was the result of some sort of frustration about teaching such an esoteric and subtle way, (which also relies on the proclivities of the student) and there is the radical Dzogchen that adheres more to its original intent and simplicity, yet is very profound. While the former rests comfortably in the cradle of traditional Buddhism, (and even benefits from a general knowledge and some previous practice) the latter hovers above that, so to speak, and I think it is even accessible to more people, including the secular world as long as the terminology is understood. It is said that it is so simple that that is what makes it difficult.

I also recommend the series on The Treasury of the Basic Space of Phenomena on the recommended channel. It is a poetic visionary piece that fleshes out Lonchenpa's vision and it is a fine, auspicious transmission of the apex approach. I may post the links here at some point for the benefit.

Rest well in your own true nature! As Longchenpa said, "How can a tight mesh of body, speech and mind reach out to touch its indestructible core?"

It ends where it begins! May Dzochen, (Great Perfection) spread across the land and may there be good fortune everywhere.

Tashi Delek

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 11:57 AM

5. That's fascinating about the 2 types of Dzogchen.

I once saw a video of Keith Dowman doing a teaching and he truly seemed inhabit the teaching. The impression he left was, "This is the real deal... he's there."

IMO this is a powerful way to present "thusness" or whatever one might want to call it.

When I first encountered teachings on emptiness, they were on the level of examining a table. "If you take one leg away, is it still a table? What if we take two, or three legs away? Now let's take the surface/top of the table away. Is it a table still?" It left me with more questions than answers.

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Response to Mike 03 (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 12:20 PM

6. I agree.

Mr. Dowman has done a great job and service by bringing Dzogchen into these times in a way that is more universal.

Oh, we are all there, right now. What's that they say, everyone is a buddha, but some are just sleeping, hence the term Awakened Mind.

Yes, my encounters with emptiness were similar. You can use any object to illustrate it and what I think the main point is that the object is a conceptual fiction. I like the exploded diagram of an automobile as another example, though the classic analogy was a chariot. The same questions can be applied to that since none of the parts is car or has a car in them.

We believe that the compounded objects are things in themselves and that's functionally useful, but useful and the reality of it are what is at question here.

There is a prominent Dzogchen teacher who is of Western origin, (and with a scientific background) Alan Wallace who was giving teachings on that same idea of emptiness using eyeglasses as the subject. The question is, when are the glasses and when are they not. The answer? When we say it it is. That's so simple and it was always right there like when you look for your glasses and they were on your forehead all the time. It IS right here. This is it. It is merely recognition that is pointed out.

So, consider what is a conceptual fiction that is believed to actually "exist", (keeping in mind that the word "exist" comes from the Latin, exsistere, which is to come into being, and standing out). In that sense, things appear to "stand out" and "exist" to us.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 08:01 AM

7. This post has been on my mind since you wrote it.

Last night I had a dream about your metaphor of eyeglasses being taken apart and your answer, "It ceases being eyeglasses when I say so."

This morning I was thinking about the koan MU. A student asks Master Zhaozhao, "Does a dog have Buddha nature?" Master Zhaozhao answered, "Mu."

This could be off base, but my answer this morning was, "Mu means what I say it means."

Students get stuck on this koan. Maybe we are trying to figure out what Mu means to everyone but "ourselves"; to Zhaozhao, or to his student, or to our teachers, or to someone else who has written commentary on this koan.

Of course, there's probably more to it, but is that one way of looking at Mu?

This opens a can of worms in a way, because who is the "me" that decides what Mu means?

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Response to Mike 03 (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 12:48 PM

8. Good!

I'm glad that you have been delving into it. Jump right in.

First, the Buddhist philosophy about reality relies on what is called valid cognition. The simplest way to put that is that one comes to a consensual agreement about what things are by way of those who have all their faculties functioning properly. That way, conventional reality is not disturbed by deeper insights and we can distinguish between what is valid and what is a wrong view based on it. Obviously, we come to the analysis of nama/rupa, or name and form. One insight is that, though we act "as if", a label is not in the thing referred to and the thing referred to is not in the label.

You can see there that there is a conventional limit on consensual cognition, labels and categories for pragmatic purposes. An example is that, if ten people were looking at a horse and nine agreed it was a horse, and you were the tenth person and said it was a unicorn or a donkey, there would be a problem there conventionally. This provides a common basis for deeper insights and, of course, it is transcended.

Mu is not! Look anywhere but in the ten directions or the three times. Now, clean your computer screen and eat your can of worms! Buddha is a dog.

Mu says what you mean it is. Who is saying that?

Of course, the Zen system of koans is formal, but the intent is to breakthrough the concepts of the intellect, (as I assume you already know). I have heard tales that some monks have had to be dragged, kicking and screaming for their interview with the master because of their frustration with solving the koan and the torments of the ego. So, even if there are commentaries and formal answers to them, it misses the point and thos are still conceptual speculations. To me, taking on the koan requires a Zen Master, though koans are still interesting and profound in the wild. One can imagine potentially spending years on just one koan. To me, when you think you have got the answer to the koan, you may have missed the point entirely, eat and go back to your cushion, stone buddha! Polish your brick into a mirror.

The foundations of Buddhism include the idea that we, like the automobile used for illustration, are a collection of parts, or a heap of aggregates. The self is not found in any of the parts when one examines it, (and you are supposed to do an inventory on that very carefully to convince yourself it is so and not just agree). When examined, many assumptions fall away, hence one also looks for the mind, (where it comes from, where it stays, and where it goes) with the mind that looks for it. It is careful investigation and analysis that reveals the nature of Reality in practice. In essence, the "me" is impossible.

As an aside, one comes to a point where a question can arise from that kind of investigation. Okay, there is no actual separate self or soul or entity within or without. Now, if there is rebirth and continuing karma, what is it that keeps incarnating from life to life then? That rascal Chögyam Trungpa had a marvelous answer and I still chuckle at it today because it hit me like an ice cream koan. He sad, "Neurosis!" Consider that.

I tend to mix my Dharma. Dharma should be fun, no? It all goes in the Karma Blender(tm) and that was another tall smoothie.

Thanks for your view. I enjoy hearing from fellow dharma diggers.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 02:33 PM

9. Much to reflect on.

Your posts do reach through the computer screen. Tremendous.

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's answer there, "Neurosis." What if the one asking the questions is the problem? It got me here in the first place, but what good is it, always asking these pesky, unanswerable questions?

EDIT: Is the me that asks questions the "raft" Buddha spoke of, that I'm to float across the river on and then sink?

By the way, I know it's not proper to directly answer such blunt questions. Think of it as rhetorical!

I love thinking about such matters. I'm too attached to thinking. What shall I do?

Thank you again for your teachings.

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Response to Mike 03 (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 02:52 PM

10. Wonderful!

It's all reaching through the display spontaneously, arising as ornaments, adorning basic space.

Well, that's the question, huh? In the Hindu traditions there is neti, neti, and self-inquiry. It is logical in that you verify that you cannot be anything you can know. Is that true, or not? Ah, but that's only half-way! It is said: what good are questions at the beginning of knowledge and what questions can there be when the instrument of questioning is put aside? Nisargadatta was a real Master of those topics as a self-realized one. When it comes to the nature of thoughts, in this case we use a thorn to remove a thorn. This knowledge comes in, removes the ignorance and it, itself, leaves.

So, we get the instrument of questioning and it goes from there. However, to what avail; to what point?

There are beliefs, (the word goes back to the old Germanic, lief, which means to make up, so one is be-liefing in that case). There are concepts, (apparently so, I have never touched one), There is knowledge. All the fingers point at the moon of unmistakable, direct experience of suchness beyond knowing and not knowing. If you ask yourself if you are aware, how long does it take you to answer? How did you know it? Awareness, (which can be differentiated from consciousness, to be picky) is an important key. Your own awareness as presence never strays from Awakened Mind. Awareness can be said to be irreducible. That's easy to check.

Yes, that's just the nature of the intellect, so one can just let it do what it does and watch that. It all arises from one's mind naturally, it is only a matter of not repressing or indulging in them. It becomes evident then, what distraction means in Dharma. Distraction is what is to be emphasized here over the multiplicity of nama/rupa involved.

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Response to Mike 03 (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 03:01 PM

11. We posted around the same time...

So, I didn't catch your edits in my net.

The raft is merely a vehicle, (yana means vehicle, e.g. Mahayana). The river, (or ocean) is a similar simile to the abyss of samsara. With the boat image, you put it down when you cross rather than walk around with it on you head. Which leaves a space there for what is on the other side.

However, leveling up to the transcending of samsara that is the self-liberation of ignorance where one leaps, or flies across that immense abyss completely and without ever looking back. If that sounds odd, final or frightening, well, how is that so and why? Who or what's reacting to it? What is our skin in the game? What's to get or lose? Hone it down to simply being. Ah!

I am not a teacher, just sharing some bright gems of dharma I have found on the shore of existence.

When you realize you are too attached to thinking, isn't that great? One can think about things for a lifetime and miss that point. Of course, your new problem is to then become attached to not being attached to thinking or any views regarding that. Hmmm. Back to Zen there, huh?

It is auspicious to have conversations like this as it represents the Dharma Sangha, or as close as we get here these days.

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