Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Shambhala Vision & Dzogchen

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"Dzogchen is not simply a teaching, not another philosophy, not another elaborate system, not a seductive clutch of techniques. Dzogchen is a state, the primordial state...that is the heart essence of all spiritual paths....Dzogchen was not widely taught in Tibet...this is the time for Dzogchen to spread." ...Sogyal Rinpoche (Tibetan: བསོད་རྒྱལ་, Wylie: Bsod-rgyal) (born 1947) is a Tibetan Dzogchen lama of the Nyingma tradition.......(Sogyal: 1992..Pg 150-151)

Chogyam Trungpa...Naropa Public Talk...The Blue Pancake

" Dzogchen did not originate in Tibet itself, but had a Central Asian origin and was subsequently brought to Central Tibet by certain masters known as Mahasiddhas or great adepts......When taught as an independent vehicle, Dzogchen practice does not require any antecedent process of Tantric transformation of the practitioner into a deity, and so on, before entering into the state of even contemplation (mnyam-bzhag).".....http://vajranatha.com/articles/traditions/dzogchen.html?start=2

"The Dzogchen presentation of the origin of cyclic existence is unique in that it defines the universe as primordial purity. Kongtrul clearly states that the Dzogchen system stands at the summit of spirituality." (Kongtrul: 1995..pg 54)

Kongtrul, Jamgon (Lodro Taye)..."Myriad Worlds: Buddhist Cosmology in Abhidharma, Kalachakra, and Dzog-chen"...(1995)
Tulku Thondup..."The Practice of Dzogchen"...(Snow Lion:1996)
Norbu..."Dzogchen: The Self Perfected State"....1996
Reynolds..."Self Liberation Through Seeing With Naked Awareness"...1989
Wangyal, Tenzin..."Wonders of the Natural Mind"...1993
Reynolds,John..."The Golden Letters"(1996)
Norbu...The Mirror: Advice on the Presence of Awareness...1996

"From an historiographic view (relative truth), early Nyingma Dzogchen was formatively influenced primarily by the Indian Buddhist tantras, but also by Taoist Ch’an, indigenous Tibetan Bon, Tibetan Nestorian Christianity and Kashmiri Shivaism (Namkhai Norbu 1984 and in Reynolds 1989; Dowman 1996)

"Garab Dorje or Garap Dorje is the only attested name. The Sanskrit offerings are reconstructions. No Sanskrit name has been found in a colophon to attest to historicity. That said, Germano (1992: p.4) cited "Vajraprahe" in the "Direct Consequence of Sound Tantra" within the Nyingma Gyubum (NGB1 24,1) and goes on to state in the same work that Reynolds (1989, 2000 revised) reverses the two words in the contraction in his translation and analysis of a section of the Bardo Thodol from Tibetan into English, specifically the rig pa ngo sprod gcer mthong rang grol (Wylie) where he employs "Prahevajra". Germano (1992: p.4) holds that Reynolds lexical choice of "Prahevajra" was informed by a mantra of a short Guru Yoga text by Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro (c.1893-1959)........Prahevajra or Pramodavajra (Tibetan: Garab Dorje, Tibetan: དགའ་རབ་རྡོ་རྗེ་, Wylie: dga’ rab rdo rje; Sanskrit: Prahevajra or Pramodavajra) ......http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garab_Dorje

..."The Dzogchen teachings are neither a philosophy, nor a religious doctrine, nor a cultural tradition. To practice Dzogchen it is not necessary to convert to either Buddhism or Bon." (Norbu: 1996..pg 28)

.."Both the Nyingma and Bon lineages of Dzogchen originated in the Iranian Central Asian borderlands (Uddiyana and sTag-gzig)." (Reynolds: 1996..pg 227)

..."From the 11th century onwards in Tibet, Dzogchen remained an ever controversial subject." (Karmay: 1975..pg 214)

...Photism, the interaction of darkness and light, plays a major role in Dzogchen...

There are three lineages of Dzogchen in Bon tradition....In the Bön religion, three separate Dzogchen traditions are attested and continue to be practiced: A-tri (Wylie: a khrid), Dzogchen (Wylie: rdzogs chen, here referring narrowly to the specific lineage within the Bön tradition), and Shang Shung Nyen Gyu (Wylie: zhang zhung snyan rgyud). All are traced back to the founder of Bön, Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche (Wylie: ston pa gshen rab mi bo che)

Dzogchen is the practice of Open Presence. Openness and presence are the inherent aspects of Dzogchen. The unification of openness and presence is its essence. Dzogchen teaches us how ten thousand things every day, every hour, and every moment distract us. Many things, such as external objects that we perceive through our sense fields constantly influence us physically, emotionally and mentally. Some of these are shocking, some are pleasurable, and some are joyful." ....Tempa Dukte Lama (excerpt from The Intimate Mind)

The essence of the Dzogchen teaching is the direct transmission of knowledge from master to disciple. Garab Dorje epitomized the Dzogchen teaching in three principles, known as the Three Statements of Garab Dorje (Tsik Sum Né Dek):
Direct introduction to one's own nature (Tib. ngo rang thog tu sprod pa)
Not remaining in doubt concerning this unique state (Tib. thag gcig thog tu bcad pa)
Continuing to remain in this state (Tib. gdeng grol thog tu bca' pa)
In accordance with these three statements, Garab Dorje's direct disciple Manjushrimitra (Tib. 'jam dpal bshes gnyen) classified all the Dzogchen teachings transmitted by his master into three series:
Semde (Wylie: sems sde; Skt: cittavarga), the series of Mind, that focuses on the introduction to one's own primordial state;
Longde (Wylie: klong sde; Skt: abhyantaravarga), the series of Space, that focuses on developing the capacity to gain familiarity with the state and remove doubts;
and Menngagde (Wylie: man ngag sde, Skt: upadeshavarga), the series of secret Oral Instructions, focusing on the practices in which one engages after gaining confidence in knowledge of the state.

"There is also a tradition that Dzogchen,and Padmasambhava, come from a place called Oddiyana in Shamballa. Texts from this same Tun huang site identify Oddiyana as "Shamis en Balkh" in modern day Balkh, Afghanistan where many ruins, Buddhist stupas and monasteries exist. This is the town oft associated with Padmasambhava, and Rabia and Rumi as well. Although Padmasambhava is usually thought to be Indian, it is possible that he is from the Afghanistan region also associated with his name.

Elevated/raised is Persian bala and sham is Persian candle. ...CANDLE (Pers.-Ar. šamʿ). The Arabic word (Ar. also šamaʿ) literally means “beeswax” (Ebn Manẓūr; Dehḵodā), for which Persian uses mūm (Dehḵodā, Moʾīn, s.v.).

It is believed by some that the Prophet Mani was the source of the Dzogchen teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. Others are of the opinion that Padmasambhava is the source of the Buddhist Dzogchen teachings in Tibet. In either case, it is evident that Dzogchen was introduced to Tibet by way of Central Asia. The Dzogchen teachings are the heart of the Nyingma tradition of Buddhism, with which they are primarily associated.

"Both the Buddhist Nyingmapas and the Bonpos assert that their respective Dzogchen traditions were brought to Central Tibet in the eighth century, the Nyingmapa transmission from the Mahasiddha Shrisimha in living in Northern India and the Bonpo transmission from a line of Mahasiddhas dwelling around Mount Kailas and the lake country of Zhang-zhung to the west and north of Tibet. Thus there appear to exist two different historically authentic lineages for the transmission of these teachings.....http://www.angelfire.com/vt/vajranatha/bondzog.html

....."for the historical origins of Bonpo Dzogchen, for this second authentic lineage of the Dzogchen teachings also did not originate in India proper, but was brought to Central Tibet in the ninth and tenth centuries from Zhang-zhung in Northern Tibet by the disciples decending from Gyerpung Nangzher Lodpo. Until the eighth century, the country of Zhang-zhung had been an independent kingdom with its own language and culture. It lay in what is now Western and Northern Tibet and the center of the country was dominated by the majestic presence of the sacred mountain of Gangchen Tise or Mount Kailas. Examining the available evidence, it now appears likely that before Indian Buddhism came to Central Tibet in the seventh and eighth centuries, Zhang-zhung had extensive contacts with the Buddhist cultures that flourished around it in Central Asia and in the Indo-Tibetan borderlands. Just to the west of Zhang-zhung there once existed the vast Kushana empire which was Buddhist in its religious culture. It was an area in which Indian Buddhism interacted with various strands of Iranian religion-- Zoroastrian, Zurvanist, Mithraist, Manichean, as well as Indian Shaivism and Nestorian Christianity. This was also true of the oasis cities of the Silk Route to the northeast of Zhang-zhung such as Kashgar. Some scholars have seen this region beyond India as playing a key role in the development of certain aspects of Mahayana Buddhism, and later also in the development of Tantric form of Buddhism known as Vajrayana. [40] For example, the revelation of the Guhyasamaja Tantra is said to have occurred to king Indrabhuti in Uddiyana and was later brought to India proper by the Mahasiddhas Saraha and Nagarjuna. Moreover, the Kalachakra Tantra is said to have been brought from Shambhala in Central Asia to Nalanda in India in the tenth century by the Mahasiddha Tsilupa.The Bonpos came to identify this Shambhala with Olmo Lungring itself. All this suggests that certain trends within Yungdrung Bon, rather than being later plagiarisms and imitations of Indian Buddhism concocted in the tenth century, actually do go back to a kind of syncretistic Indo-Iranian Buddhism that once flourished in the independent kingdom of Zhang-zhung before it was forcibly incorporated into the expanding Tibetan empire in the eighth century. This "Buddhism", known as gyer in the Zhang-zhung language and as bon in the Tibetan, was not particularly monastic, but more Tantric in nature and its diffusion was stimulated by the presence of various Mahasiddhas in the region such as the illustrious Tapihritsa and his predecessors dwelling in caves about Mount Kailas and about the lakes to the east in Northern Tibet. Even into this century, Kailas remained an important site of pilgrimage drawing Hindu sadhus and yogis from India." .....http://www.angelfire.com/vt/vajranatha/bondzog.html

Trungpa Rinpoche incorporated elements from numerous traditions into the Shambhala Path that he thought would be beneficial to practitioners. Similar elements in the Bön religion, Shenlha Okar, Nine Brothers Who Created Existence, Werma, Dralha and Lhasang are of interest. From Confucianism comes a framework of heaven, earth, and man for understanding the proper relationship between different elements of compositions of all kinds. From Taoism comes the use of feng shui and other incorporations. From the Shinto tradition comes the Sun Goddess and the Sacred Mirror, the Kami shrine at RMSC. From the Manichaeans, the vegetarian diet is of interest...Trungpa talked about Mithra. Was curious about Native American wisdom. Jack Niland, an early student of Chögyam Trungpa, relates the tale of Chögyam Trungpa and the I Ching - that he “used the I Ching for everything...there are hexagrams everywhere if you can see them.”

As Chögyam Trungpa says in Great Eastern Sun, The Wisdom of Shambhala, p 133: "Shambhala vision applies to people of any faith, not just people who believe in Buddhism… the Shambhala vision does not distinguish a Buddhist from a Catholic, a Protestant, a Jew, a Moslem, a Hindu. That’s why we call it the Shambhala kingdom. A kingdom should have lots of spiritual disciplines in it. That’s why we are here."

The most highly esteemed practices are those of the Dzogchen (rDzogs-chen, 'Great Perfection') traditions....There are four streams or methods of meditation in Dzogchen, collectively known as A-Dzog-Nyangyud, i.e., Atri (A-khrid), the 'Teaching on A,' founded in the 11th century by Dampa Meu Gongjad Ritro Chenpo (1038-1096); Dzogchen, founded in 1088 A.D. by terton Zhoton Nogrub Dragpa (gZhod-ston dNgos-grub Grags-pa); Nyangyud (its full title is Zhang zhung sNyan-rgyud, the 'Oral Transmission of Zhang-zhung') and Yeti tasel, a lineage deriving from Tonpa Shenrab, but passing through India and translated from Sanskrit to Zhangzhung-pa....The Zhang zhung sNyan-rgyud is the oldest and most important Dzogchen tradition and meditation system in Bön. While the other three are terma traditions based on rediscovered texts, the third is an oral tradition based on continuous transmission by an uninterrupted lineage of masters.....The Zhang-zhung Nyangyud cycle of teachings was first put in writing by the important 8th century master Gyerphung Nangzher Lodpo, the foremost disciple of Tapihritsa, revered by Bonpos as the union of all the lineage masters....http://shenten.org/en/yungdrung-bon/history

"Myriad World is an explanation of Buddhist cosmology. The author has used the interpretation of three different tradition to explain the cosmology. These traditions are : Sarvastivada (very similar with Theravada), Kalachakra (which is of a Vajrayana tradition) and the Dzogchen tradition. The author believes that these three explanations are not contradictory; instead they compliment each other - the explanation found in Kalachakra has a deeper meaning than that of Sarvastivada system, and the author concludes that Dzogchen interpretation is the final view.".....Kongtrul, Jamgon (Lodro Taye)..."Myriad Worlds: Buddhist Cosmology in Abhidharma, Kalachakra, and Dzog-chen"...(1995)

The Three Traditions of Bonpo Dzogchen

In general, within the Bon tradition, there exist different lines of transmission for the Dzogchen teachings which are collectively known as A rdzogs snyan gsum. The first two of them represent Terma traditions based on rediscovered treasure texts, whereas the third is an oral tradition (snyan brgyud) based on a continuous transmission through an uninterrupted line of realized masters. These three transmissions of Dzogchen are as follows:

1. A-khrid...... The first cycle here of Dzogchen teachings is called A-khrid (pronounced A-tri), that is, the teachings that guide one (khrid) to the Primordial State (A). The white Tibetan letter A is the symbol of Shunyata and of primordial wisdom. The founder of this tradition was Meuton Gongdzad Ritrod Chenpo, who was frequently just known as Dampa, "the holy man." [48] He extracted these Dzogchen precepts from the Khro rgyud cycle of texts. Together with the Zhi-ba don gyi skor, these texts formed part of the sPyi-spungs yan-lag gi skor cycle of teachings that belong to the Father Tantras (pha rgyud) originally attributed to Tonpa Shenrab in the guise of Chimed Tsugphud ('Chi-med gtsug-phud). To this collected material, Meuton added his own mind treasure (dgongs gter) and organized the practice of the cycle into eighty meditation sessions extending over several weeks. This was known as the A-khrid thun mtsham brgyad-cu-pa. The instructions were divided into three sections dealing with the view (lta-ba), the meditation (sgom-pa), and the conduct (spyod-pa). Upon a successful completion of the eighty session course, one received the title of Togdan (rtogs-ldan), that is, "one who possesses understanding."

The system was later condensed by his successors. In the thirteenth century Aza Lodo Gyaltsan [49] reduced the number of sessions to thirty and subsequently in the same century Druchen Gyalwa Yungdrung wrote a practice manual in which the number of sessions in retreat (thun mtsham) was further reduced to fifteen. This popular practice manual is known as the A-khrid thun mtsham bco-lnga-pa. [50] And in the present century, the great Bonpo master Shardza Rinpoche wrote extensive commentaries on the A-khrid system, together with the associated dark retreat (mun mtshams). [51] The A-khrid tradition, where the practice is very systematically laid out in a specific number of sessions, in many ways corresponds to the rDzogs-chen sems-sde of the Nyingmapa tradition. [52]

2. rDzogs-chen....... Here the term rDzogs-chen does not mean Dzogchen in general, but the reference is to a specific transmission of Dzogchen whose root text is the rDzogs-chen yang-rtse'i klong-chen, "the Great Vast Expanse of the Highest Peak which is the Great Perfection," rediscovered by the great Terton Zhodton Ngodrub Dragpa in the year 1080. This discovery was part of a famous cycle of treasure texts hidden behind a statue of Vairochana at the Khumthing temple at Lhodrak. This root text is said to have been composed in the eighth century by the Bonpo master known as Lishu Tagring. [53]

3. sNyan-rgyud................ The third cycle of transmission of the Dzogchen teachings within the Bon tradition is the uninterrupted lineage of the oral transmission from the country of Zhang-zhung (Zhang-zhung snyan-rgyud), which is the subject of the present study. Because this tradition has a continuous lineage extending back to at least the eighth century of our era, and so does not represent Terma texts rediscovered at a later time, it is of particular importance for research into the question of the historical origins of Dzogchen. [Excerpted from Space, Awareness, and Energy: An Introduction to the Bonpo Dzogchen Teachings of the Oral Tradition from Zhang-zhung, by John Myrdhin Reynolds, Snow Lion Publications forthcoming in 2001.]....http://vajranatha.com/teaching/BonpoDzogchen.htm

The state of even contemplation (mnyam-bzhag, Skt. samahita) represents the culmination of the Tantric process of transformation known as sadhana (grub-thabs). Just as the visualization process begins from the state of emptiness or Shunyata, generating the pure forms of the deity and the mandala out of this primordial condition of pure potentiality, so at the conclusion of the practice of the transformation, the visualization of the deity and its sacred space is dissolved once more back into its source, the state of Shunyata. The dissolving of all the pure forms generated in the creation process (bskyed-rim) of the sadhana back into emptiness does not, however, represent a true destruction or annihilation in any absolute sense. To assert that this is the case would represent the erroneous philosophical position of nihilism (chad-lta). Rather, it represents a re-enfolding of manifest forms back into their source, where they remain in their full potentiality. Having dissolved the visualization once more, the meditator rests for a period of time in Shunyata or pure unmanifest potentiality, in what is called a condition of even contemplation (mnyam-bzhag), out of which, subsequently, the sights and sounds of normal everyday life re-emerge as the post-meditation condition (rjes-thob). The Sanskrit term samahita is cognate with the more familiar term samadhi, both of which I translate into English as "contemplation," in order to distinguish them from "meditation" (sgom-pa, Skt. bhavana). In terms of Dzogchen, this remaining in the state of contemplation is equated with being in the Natural State (gnas-lugs). However, within the practice of Tantra, it is necessary to first go through this elaborate process of visualization and transformation in order to find oneself in the condition of contemplation once the visualization is dissolved back again into Shunyata. This visualization process recapitulates the creation, the evolution, and the dissolution of the entire manifest universe. But in the context of Dzogchen practice, it is not necessary to first transform something into something else in order to find oneself in the condition of contemplation. Rather, one simply relaxes and just finds oneself in contemplation at the very beginning of practice and remains thereafter in it, by whatever means. This represents the principal practice of Dzogchen, in relation to which all Tantric transformation practices are considered secondary. On this question, also see David Jackson, Enlightenment by a Single Means: The Tibetan Controversies on the "Self-Sufficient White Remedy" (dkar po chig thub), Der Ostereichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 1994.".....http://vajranatha.com/articles/traditions/dzogchen.html?start=5

"According to Nyingmapa tradition, the Dzogchen precepts were first expounded in our human world by the Nirmanakaya Garab Dorje (dGa'-rab rdo-rje, Skt. *Prahevajra) in the country of Uddiyana and were later propagated in India by his disciple Manjushrimitra. The latter transmitted them to his diciple Shrisimha who, in turn, conferred them upon Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra, and Vairochana the translator. These three brought the precepts to Tibet in the middle part of the eighth century. Thus, this teaching was originally a secret oral instruction restricted to a small group of Tantric initiates. The tradition claims that it originally came from the mysterious country of Uddiyana to the northwest of India. Therefore, it appears most likely that it is to the Indo-Tibetan borderlands of the northwest that we should look for the origins of Dzogchen. .....http://vajranatha.com/articles/traditions/dzogchen.html?start=3

"This seems equally true for the historical origins of Bonpo Dzogchen, for this second authentic lineage of the Dzogchen teachings also did not originate in India proper, but was brought to Central Tibet in the ninth and tenth centuries from Zhang-zhung in Northern Tibet by the disciples decending from Gyerpung Nangzher Lodpo. Until the eighth century, the country of Zhang-zhung had been an independent kingdom with its own language and culture. It lay in what is now Western and Northern Tibet and the center of the country was dominated by the majestic presence of the sacred mountain of Gangchen Tise or Mount Kailas. Examining the available evidence, it now appears likely that before Indian Buddhism came to Central Tibet in the seventh and eighth centuries, Zhang-zhung had extensive contacts with the Buddhist cultures that flourished around it in Central Asia and in the Indo-Tibetan borderlands. Just to the west of Zhang-zhung there once existed the vast Kushana empire which was Buddhist in its religious culture. It was an area in which Indian Buddhism interacted with various strands of Iranian religion-- Zoroastrian, Zurvanist, Mithraist, Manichean, as well as Indian Shaivism and Nestorian Christianity. This was also true of the oasis cities of the Silk Route to the northeast of Zhang-zhung such as Kashgar. Some scholars have seen this region beyond India as playing a key role in the development of certain aspects of Mahayana Buddhism, and later also in the development of Tantric form of Buddhism known as Vajrayana. For example, the revelation of the Guhyasamaja Tantra is said to have occurred to king Indrabhuti in Uddiyana and was later brought to India proper by the Mahasiddhas Saraha and Nagarjuna. Moreover, the Kalachakra Tantra is said to have been brought from Shambhala in Central Asia to Nalanda in India in the tenth century by the Mahasiddha Tsilupa. The Bonpos came to identify this Shambhala with Olmo Lungring itself. All this suggests that certain trends within Yungdrung Bon, rather than being later plagiarisms and imitations of Indian Buddhism concocted in the tenth century, actually do go back to a kind of syncretistic Indo-Iranian Buddhism that once flourished in the independent kingdom of Zhang-zhung before it was forcibly incorporated into the expanding Tibetan empire in the eighth century. This "Buddhism", known as gyer in the Zhang-zhung language and as bon in the Tibetan, was not particularly monastic, but more Tantric in nature and its diffusion was stimulated by the presence of various Mahasiddhas in the region such as the illustrious Tapihritsa and his predecessors dwelling in caves about Mount Kailas and about the lakes to the east in Northern Tibet. Even into this century, Kailas remained an important site of pilgrimage drawing Hindu sadhus and yogis from India....."...http://vajranatha.com/articles/traditions/dzogchen.html?start=3

"In the Bon tradition, Dzogchen practice is the highest teaching. Through the practice of Dzogchen one can attain enlightenment in this very lifetime. Dzogchen is a Tibetan term that is made up of two words. The first word is ‘Dzog’, the second word is ‘Chen’. ‘Dzog’ means complete, and ‘Chen’ means great. In the West, Dzogchen is known as The Great Perfection. Dzogchen practice is found in Bon teaching and also in the Nyingmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism.....There are three lineages of Dzogchen in Bon tradition.....Dzogchen.....A-Khrid......Zhang Zhung Nyengyud.....The Dzogchen practice is to face each moment of our lives as it is without fear, and without judgment.....When we turn away from things as they are, we are creating a wall between the reality and the nature of our mind....When we are free from grasping imposed by conditioning, we make it possible to experience reality as it is. .....Anything that we do with a lack of awareness will strengthen our afflictions. It will not allow us to see reality as it is." ......http://www.olmoling.org/contents/dzogchen

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Email....okarresearch@gmail.com

John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….October 2012

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