The Great Secret of Mind

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Gee, I finally found a book on Dzogchen that I like!

The reason I like it is because the instructions are very clear and precise and those instructions also contain some of the experiences that one can look forward to from the pure practice of Dzogchen.


It is rare to find this mentioned in a Dzogchen book.


So, I thought I'd share a section of it.




The following is extracted from Longchenpa’s The Most Secret Essence of the Lama:


"To sustain informal contemplation experience, first, in formal contemplation, hang loosely, relaxed, with open, natural clarity, without labeling and without any attachment to the primal awareness of naked empty presence. Without reifying the form in the eye, the sound in the ear, the taste on the tongue, the sensation in the body, or the hosts of positive or negative thoughts in the mind—the six kinds of phenomena—with open cognition, know pure presence. Without following or running after the object, in translucence, experiencing forms that are without hope or fear, without modification or adulteration, without rejecting appearance, they are released by themselves. The mind that apprehends apparent objects is in this way reflexively released, and there is nonduality of subject and object.


The purified eye is a god’s eye, without obscuration, so that, for example, walls, fences, mountains, and so on, appear transparent. The ears can hear the voices of the gods and the nagas, for instance, regardless of whether they shout or whisper. The nose has a vast range of smell, larger than the human range. The tongue without eating can taste the hundreds of tastes of concentrated absorption. The body can feel the heat of clarity and bliss and primal awareness. The mind can remember our own many lives and see those of others, and is clairvoyant. That is our conduct when all is completely undefiled.


No matter what appears in informal contemplation, the gap between meditation sessions should be understood to be like one of the eight metaphors of magical illusion; and thereby we are released from desire, hatred, and all emotional affliction. When positive or negative mental display arises, convinced that it is without root or base, neither fixate upon it nor reject it.


While the ego still has not dissolved into its inner spaciousness, meditate according to the profound instruction, abide by the law of karma, and through devotion and pure vision, do not let the notion of sin or error stain the mind. Stay alone in solitude, keeping the sutric commitments and vows. Without distraction and frivolity, depend upon renunciation. Without desire, without forming attachments, walk the path of selflessness. Keep death in mind and keep the fires of exertion burning. Day and night, consumed by meritorious activities, abandon the concerns of this life. Serve the rigzin-lama and pray devotedly to him. Remain without any ambition or goal and stay in nonaction. Abandon the distinction between oneself and others and eradicate fear and hope. Take misfortune as the path and visualize all appearances as the lama. Understanding that all experience is one’s own envisionment, get rid of egoistic clinging. Since everything is without substance, sustain the joke of the absurd. Understanding primordial emptiness and adventitious emptiness, everything always arises as one’s own envisionment. Through such conduct, by such means, practice day and night.


So long as mental conditions allow, optimize the creativity of pure presence. Stay in a place of solitude. As long as we still make judgments and hold to them adamantly, as long as virtue and vice are still distinguishable, we must familiarize ourselves with nonduality. When there is apparent conflict, turn the argument upside down and look at inherent pure presence. When there is fear of birth and death, we familiarize ourselves with the meaning of birthlessness. In that manner all internal and external phenomena arise as dharmakaya, and we reside in the yoga of nonmeditation that is like the flow of a river."


In both sutra and tantra what needs to be abandoned are the shackles of concepts and the shackles of attachment. But their manner of doing so is different, as explained above. Some will run away from the poisonous tree, some will try to cut it at its root, and some will take its fruit as medicine. The method of Dzogchen yogins and yoginis is to allow every emotional affliction at the moment of its arising to dissolve into its own natural state of being. There is no attempt to turn the affliction into something positive or to neutralize it by application of antidotes. Over time, through familiarization with the methods of Dzogchen, whatever thought a yogin might have arises as the meditation; but from outside, from the point of view of ordinary beings, the appearance of the fear of suffering and the hope for happiness seems no different. Unlike Dzogchen yogins, ordinary people turn these into solid entities, cultivating them or rejecting them, thus accumulating karma. For the yogin or yogini, whatever appears is released in the very moment of its appearing, so there is never any opportunity to become attached to it. At first, simply by knowing the thought, it is released, just like meeting a long lost friend. In the middle, the thought releases itself, just like a snake unwinding its coil. At the end, the thought releases without help or harm, just like a thief entering an empty house. To comprehend the manner of release is crucial. If we understand the manner of release, we will be free of the bonds of a dualistic mind.


When we venture into the kingdom of gold, we will find nothing but golden stones; just so, no matter what emotionally adulterated thoughts arise, they are all just objects of meditation. Even if we look for some substantial delusions or material objects, we will not find them. At all times and in all situations the sole practice is the reflexive release of whatever arises, and, as the main practice, it is imperative to scrutinize whatever appears. The person who has such a practice is certain to be released in the bardo of this birth, the bardo of the death process, the bardo of reality, or the bardo of rebirth. And besides, we can live in harmony with our friends, relatives, parents, and all living creatures. As Dudjom Rinpoche says in Calling the Lama from Afar, “Whoever is friendly and happy, he is a heart-son of Padmasambhava.”


On the basis of such practice of formal contemplation and informal contemplation, the great rigzin Garab Dorje and the other seven great rigzin, the eighty great siddhas of India, Padmasambhava and the twenty-five, king and subjects, and the eighty great drubtop of Yerpa attained buddha.



Rigtsal, Tulku Pema (2013-02-19). The Great Secret of Mind: Special Instructions on the Nonduality of Dzogchen (Kindle Locations 4606-4654). Snow Lion. Kindle Edition.




The Great Secret of Mind




A translation of the Tibetan Sems kyi gsang ba mngon du phyung ba Tulku Pema Rigtsal Translated and edited by Keith Dowman SNOW LION BOSTON AND LONDON 2012





Edited by Tibetan_Ice
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