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Friday, September 21, 2007

Great Description of Dzogchen

From Lama Surya Das:

means the innate great completeness. It points to our own innate wholeness, our own true Buddha nature, our untramelled spirit, perfect and pure from the beginningless beginning. It is what we call the Buddha within -- not an oriental Buddha, not an historical Buddha, not one of stone, not male or female, but the Buddha nature within each of us, true and wise, loving and compassionate. We want to come back to that, awaken it, cultivate it -- that is what the path is about. We don't get it from outside, from someone or somewhere else, or even from our own ideas of what we are. The Havajra tantra says we are all Buddhas by nature but must, through our own spiritual work, awaken to ourselves.

Sometimes the spiritual or religious path seems like a jungle, a thicket of theories and practices and opinions. But there is at the center a sunlit clearing where all the teachings converge. The mystical teachings meet at this awakening to what is within us. It is also in everything around us, so our awakening isn't narcissistic. We see Buddha nature in the eyes and hearts of fellow humans and creatures in the natural world. It is there too. That is what we discover through these practices of meditation, self-inquiry, chanting, inner investigation, prayer, yoga, and so on.

I think our Dharma (spiritual) practice is an opportunity we should really treasure. It was a secret teaching in the East, almost unknown even to Tibetans. Many teachers have required ten or twenty years of preliminary study and monastic training before giving access to this teaching, but my teachers say this is the moment of Dzogchen. People have little time and the Dharma is fading in the East, but Dzogchen is something we can actually do here and now. With or without the Buddhist religious overlay, we can simply awaken with inquiry, awareness practice, and a loving heart. It is not obscure but simple. We can take great joy in that. This is the time of Dzogchen.

Emaho! (EE-MA-HO -- a Tibetan exclamation of cosmic delight)

Lama Surya Das

~Peace to all beings~

PHOTO: Dzogchen teacher Lama Surya Das picture from Snow Lion Publications

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Greenwoman said...

Thank you...I learned alot from this post! *smiles*

google said...

Why does Surya Das want to reduce Buddhism to something so "simple"? The Dzogchen teachings are not appropriate for beginning meditators, despite what he says. You can spend the rest of your life trying to "wake up to the present moment" or you can spend five to ten years studying hard, listening to meaningful teachings, developing some understanding of what enlightment might be like and then perhaps start practicing Mahamudra or Dzogchen. The thing about Surya Das is that he uses the title Lama, uses the term Dzogchen, but discards virtually every other element of the Tibetan Buddhist path and replaces it with his watered-down, simplistic approach that may help book sales but isn't Tibetan Buddhism. Don't bother with Surya Das just because he's got a nice smile and makes it all sound so easy.

They call him James Ure said...


Good!! I love to learn something new everyday. I never want to stop learning.


You know, I'm not an expert on Dzogchen. I've read a book on it and seen Surya Das speak but other then that I don't know much. So, I couldn't say one way or the other on this issue. I like what I've read about Dzogchen, however.

morrillt said...

I prefer more literary approaches to describing the great emptiness that dzogchen speaks to. Dzogchen is our promordial nature, and not owned by any group. I like how dorris lessing describes it:

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