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.

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