[8/10/21, 8:56:46 PM] John Tan: Read the foundation of dzogchen philosophy
[8/10/21, 9:13:05 PM] John Tan: It is in the book
[8/10/21, 9:13:59 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Ok
[8/10/21, 9:25:44 PM] John Tan: The book "foundation" goes in extensively to define what is zhi and kun zhi, their histories and development...etc...both r termed as "ground" which I do not think it as appropriate for a praxis that rest entirely on abolishing "ground" even when talking abt "zhi".  Malcolm is more cautious on this aspect.
[8/10/21, 11:17:28 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
[8/10/21, 11:17:58 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Malcolm translate it as basis
[8/10/21, 11:18:06 PM] Soh Wei Yu: malcolm:

And this so-called "god" aka basis [gzhi] is just a nonexistent mere appearance, that is, our primordial potentiality also has no real existence, which is stated over and over again in countless Dzogchen tantras.

For those whom emptiness is possible, everything is possible.
For those whom emptiness is not possible, nothing is possible.

-- Nāgārjuna.
[8/10/21, 11:21:37 PM] Soh Wei Yu: master shen kai teacher chen lzls etc uses the term 宇宙本体
[8/10/21, 11:26:48 PM] John Tan: Although David Higgins used the word "ground", he qualifies it as "insubstantial and unestablished in any sense".
[8/10/21, 11:27:07 PM] Soh Wei Yu: oic..
[9/10/21, 2:16:55 AM] Soh Wei Yu: Tommy McNally
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Tommy McNally
Hiya! Thanks for adding me to the group, it's really good to see you and John's opinions on the subtleties of Dzogchen as they seem to align with my own. I've been writing another blog for the last year that's mainly dharma-based, but I've tried to keep it simple and practical while combining it with motivation/mindset training. There's a few posts on there that I'd love to hear your opinion on, especially in the context of John's 7 stage model.

[9/10/21, 7:57:37 AM] John Tan: What r the posts?
[9/10/21, 4:35:37 PM] John Tan: I wonder y there is a need for Dzogchen to emphasize so much on gzhi and kun gzhi.  I do not see any real help in actual practice.  In fact seeing through self-nature is sufficient.  Direct and simple and straight forward🤣.  Although there r some important points in the praxis of dzogchen.
[9/10/21, 4:39:30 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
[9/10/21, 4:48:35 PM] John Tan: Also in early texts of Dzogchen and Nyingma scholars actually do not differentiate between gzhi and kun gzhi.
[9/10/21, 5:13:47 PM] John Tan: Btw how is ur uncle?
[9/10/21, 5:20:17 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Dont know.. never heard since
[9/10/21, 5:20:19 PM] Soh Wei Yu: I see
[9/10/21, 7:23:42 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Mahamudra also talk about “ground” but dunno what term they use


The ground of purification is the mind itself,
indivisible cognitive clarity and emptiness.
That which purifies is the great vajra yoga of mahamudra.
What is to be purified are the adventitious,
temporary contaminations of confusion,
May the fruit of purification, the stainless dharmakaya, be manifest.
Resolving doubts about the ground brings conviction in the view.
Then keeping one's awareness unwavering in accordance with the view,
is the subtle pith of meditation.
Putting all aspects of meditation into practice is the supreme action.
The view, the meditation, the action--may there be confidence in these.
All phenomena are illusory displays of mind.
Mind is no mind--the mind's nature is empty of any entity that is mind
Being empty, it is unceasing and unimpeded,
manifesting as everything whatsoever.
Examining well, may all doubts about the ground be discerned and cut.
[9/10/21, 7:23:53 PM] Soh Wei Yu: I suppose dzogchen and mahamudra should be the same view
[9/10/21, 7:57:53 PM] John Tan: Dzogchen is the path that starts from taking the view that anatta is a seal, always and already so.
[9/10/21, 7:59:37 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic.. mahamudra is the same?
[9/10/21, 8:09:09 PM] John Tan: I guessed so but I don't want to comment on this.
[9/10/21, 8:22:32 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Ic.. i guess zen should also be so
[9/10/21, 8:22:36 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Especially for dogen soto zen
[9/10/21, 8:22:42 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Even bodhidharma
[9/10/21, 8:34:03 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Even for sixth patriarch hui neng although initially talk about Self, in his teachings he said impermanence is buddha nature and refute non buddhist views
[9/10/21, 8:35:02 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Yet sadly few zen masters in china understand that. Maybe ven hui lu (See: True Mind and Unconditioned Dharma) and hong wen liang
[9/10/21, 8:40:21 PM] Soh Wei Yu: 僧志彻:弟子常览《涅槃经》,未晓常无常义。乞和尚慈悲,略为解说。   师曰:无常者,即佛性也;有常者,即一切善恶诸法分别心也。   曰:和尚所说,大违经文。   师曰:吾传佛心印,安敢违于佛经?   曰:经说佛性是常,和尚却言无常;善恶诸法,乃至菩提心,皆是无常,和尚却言是常。此即相违。令学人转加疑惑。   师曰:《涅槃经》,吾昔听尼无尽藏读诵一遍,便为讲说,无一宇一义不合经文。乃至为汝,终无二说。   曰:学人识量浅昧,愿和尚委曲开示。   师曰:汝知否?佛性若常,更说什么善恶诸法,乃至穷劫,无有一人发菩提心者。故吾说无常,正是佛说真常之道也。又一切诸法若无常者,即物物皆有自性,容受生死,而真常性有不遍之处。故吾说常者,正是佛说真无常义。佛比为凡夫外道执于邪常,诸二乘人于常计无常,共成八倒。故于涅槃了义教中,破彼偏见,而显说真常、真乐、真我、真净。汝今依言背义,以断灭无常,及确定死常,而错解佛之圆妙最后微言,纵览千遍,有何所益?   行昌忽然大悟,说偈云:   因守无常心,佛说有常性。   不知方便者,犹春池拾磔。   我今不施功,佛性而现前。   非师相授与,我亦无所得。   师曰:汝今彻也,宜名志彻。彻礼谢而退。
引自 佛性无常
[9/10/21, 9:07:56 PM] Soh Wei Yu: The monk Chih-ch’e was a native of Kiangsi. . . . After the Zen school split into southern and northern factions, though the leaders of the two groups made no such discriminations themselves, rivalry grew between their followers, which gave rise to intense feelings of partiality. Followers of the northern faction arbitrarily put forward their leader Shen-hsiu as the Sixth Patriarch and were thus envious when it became widely known that the patriarchal robe had been transmitted to Hui-neng, leader of the southern group. They enlisted the services of Hsing-ch’ang and told him to murder Hui-neng. Hui-neng, with his all-knowing mind, perceived what they were about. He placed ten taels of silver in his room. One dark night, Hsing-ch’ang entered the room and prepared to strike Hui-neng. Hui-neng stretched out his neck in readiness. Hsing-ch’ang struck three times but was unable to inflict any injury. Hui-neng said, “A just sword does not miss its mark; an unjust sword cannot strike true. I’ll give you money, but not my life.” Hsing-ch’ang fell over in a swoon. When he revived, he penitently begged Hui-neng to pity him and make him a monk. Handing him the money, Hui-neng said, “You had best leave. I’m afraid my followers might try to take revenge. In the future you can disguise yourself and come here again. I will receive you then.” Hsing-ch’ang followed Hui-neng’s advice and escaped into the night.
Afterward, he went to a priest and had himself ordained, receiving the full precepts and devoting himself to religious practice. One day, recalling Hui- neng’s words, he traveled to visit him. Hui-neng said, “You’ve been on my mind all this time. What has kept you so long?” Hsing-ch’ang said, “Before, you forgave my criminal behavior. Today, I am engaged in austere discipline as a monk. But I have been unable to find any way to requite your kindness. I will just do all I can to transmit the Dharma for the sake of others. I always study the Nirvana Sutra, but I haven’t been able to grasp the meaning of permanence and impermanence. Please, master, in your compassion, would you briefly explain it for me?” Hui-neng said, “Impermanence is the Buddha-nature. Per- manence is the mind that discriminates all the various dharmas good and bad.” “That’s not at all what the sutra says,” replied Hsing-ch’ang. “I transmit the seal of the Buddha-mind, why would I deliberately say something that is counter to the Buddha’s sutras?” said Hui-neng. “The sutra preaches that the Buddha- nature is permanent, but you say it is impermanent. The sutra says all dharmas good and bad and even the mind of enlightenment are impermanent. You say they are permanent,” said Hsing-ch’ang. “Those differences only deepen my doubt.” Hui-neng said, “Once when I heard the nun Wu Chin-tsang read the Nirvana Sutra, I made some impromptu comments on it. Not one of my words or their meaning was in disagreement with the sutra’s. It’s the same when I teach you. I never say anything different from the sutra.” Hsing-ch’ang said, “My powers of understanding are poor. Please, could you explain it in more detail?” Hui-neng said, “If the Buddha-nature were permanent, what would be the need to preach beyond that about all dharmas good and bad? Even in the passage of an entire kalpa, there would not be a single person who would ever raise the mind of enlightenment. That is why I preach impermanence, and that itself is the way of true permanence preached by the Buddha. If, on the other hand, all dharmas were impermanent, then each thing would have a selfhood and take part in birth-and-death, and there would be areas to which true permanence did not reach. Therefore, I preach permanence, and it is just the same as the meaning of true impermanence preached by the Buddha. The attachment to illusory permanence of unenlightened non-Buddhists, and the discriminations of followers of the two vehicles that take permanence as imper- manence—which together make up the eight topsy-turvy views—were refuted as distorted, one-sided views by the Buddha when he expounded his complete and perfect teaching of nirvana and made explicit the teaching of true permanence, true pleasure, true self, and true purity. By relying merely on words, you now subvert their inner meaning. If you mistake the perfect and subtle words the Buddha spoke just prior to his demise as indicating nihilistic imper- manence or lifeless permanence, you could get no benefit from the Nirvana Sutra, even though you read it a thousand times over. Hsing-ch’ang suddenly attained a great enlightenment. He made a verse:
Holding firmly to the mind of impermanence The Buddha preached permanence;
Those unaware of his skillful means
Just seize on a pebble in a spring pool. Though I now put forth no effort at all, Buddha-nature is right under my nose.
It is not received from my teacher, Nor is it something I gained either.
Hui-neng said, “You have penetrated it. I must give you the name Chih- ch’e (Aspiration Penetrates).” Chih-ch’e bowed in thanks and left (from the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch [Liu-tsu t’an-ching]).

(Translation taken from The Heart of Dogen's Shobogenzo translated by Norman Waddell and Masao Abe)
[9/10/21, 9:10:30 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Hui neng is saying impermanence is buddha nature (anatta) and furthermore all dharmas are non arising without selfhood (emptiness)
[9/10/21, 9:12:17 PM] Soh Wei Yu: So actually platform sutra leads to the seven phases lol first the hui neng koan what is your original face before thinking good and bad, then the teaching about impermanence is buddha nature and non arising of dharmas
[9/10/21, 9:23:43 PM] John Tan: Original face means to realize that appearances has always been one's radiance clarity, primordially luminous and naturally free.
[9/10/21, 9:23:56 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
[9/10/21, 9:31:32 PM] John Tan: Problem is most ppl that engaged in the so called highest teachings r having a dualistic and substantialist view.  If we do not recognize the nature of appearances and kept emphasizing on primordial knowing, taking the non-progressive is imo a great disservice than help.
[9/10/21, 9:33:28 PM] John Tan: Just like when u r at I M, u already like to talk about spontaneous presence which I caution u don't talk about that until at least mature non-dual.
[9/10/21, 9:37:43 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Ic.. lol yeah

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