Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Radical Dzogchen

Thought I'd post a bigger section from Keith Dowman's intro to Longchenpa's Radical Dzogchen:

Initiatory experience* is present in this very moment and nothing can be done to facilitate its advent. Any kind of preparation or fore-practice muddies the waters in its assumption of a goal to be reached. Access to the clarity and the zing of reality, on the contrary, is more likely to be found in an innocent pristine mind that has not been conditioned by the cultural and religious assumptions of a “sophisticated” tradition. Purity of karma, putative rebirth, guru-relationship, degree of meditation-concentration, facility in visualization, levels of attainment, and so on, are all issues pertinent to acceptance and success within a hierarchical cult wherein a particular ideal form of social and psychological behavior is a goal to be achieved; but to the formless experience of Dzogchen such considerations have no relevance. Striving in any kind of preparatory endeavor is an exercise in shooting oneself in the foot, or at least running after a mirage. In fact, to reach the point of relaxation in the moment that provides intimation of rigpa, nonaction is the sole precept. This perspective in radical Dzogchen is exclusive to those who have no need or inclination to exchange their inbred cultural norms and mores for those belonging to a more exotic or “spiritual” tradition, or to reject their cultural legacy and educational conditioning in an effort to change their psychological make-up. Recognition of our lived experience, just as it is, in its miraculous immediacy and beauty, without any yen for change, is the praxis of radical Dzogchen and belief in personal development and improvement, progress towards a social ideal, moral evolution of the species, and so on, is deviation from the pure pleasure of the unthought timeless moment.

* He clarifies earlier that this means introduction to the nature of mind, in which rigpa is glimpsed. This is THE crucial initiation into Dzogchen.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A return to the Source

I entered the above search ([a return to the source]) into Google, because it fairly well describes what it is I've been searching for all my life. I think it also matches what some religions might call "a return to God's love" or somesuch.

One of the results on the first page is from Shinzen Young, a Buddhist teacher. Read page 7, "How to do nothing":

"In other words,you don’t have to try to get to the Source—you just stop doing anything and wait for it to get to you!"

Then recall the Taoist phrase "do nothing, and everything is done." And here's a quote from the translator's intro to Longchenpa's Radical Dzogchen:

In fact, to reach the point of relaxation in the moment that provides intimation of rigpa, nonaction is the sole precept.

Recall that in Dzogchen, resting continuously in rigpa is equivalent to the full enlightenment of a Buddha.

And watch Tony Parsons here at 15:00:

Q: So in order to come out of the dream, I have to do nothing?
A: No, no, because if you think you have to do nothing, then there's someone doing nothing. All you end up with is someone doing nothing, and that has no relevance to awakening at all. Because what you are is someone very busily doing nothing.
Q: So what can I do?
A: (Smirks, eyebrows raise, and shrugs with hands raised. Much laughter from the audience, and someone blurts out, "nothing.") I'll tell you what you could do, you could start a club. There's a guy over there... you could call it the "I'm f*ing pissed off club."

He's a teacher in "neo-Advaita," which is a somewhat maligned tradition for good reason. If you suck at it, you'll end up like character B here without realizing it.

But if you catch the fundamental gist of what all of these pointers are about, I can't imagine that you end up in different places with each of them. That's certainly what some (most) proponents of the traditions would have you believe, but I just don't buy it.

After all, how many different ways can there be to truly do nothing?