André A. Pais

Though most practitioners definitely need relative and gradual teachings, these are good pointers to contemplate. Taken from a thread in Dharma Wheel.
1. There is no view on which one has to meditate.
2. There is no commitment, or samaya, one has to keep.
3. There is no capacity for spiritual action one has to seek.
4. There is no mandala one has to create.
5. There is no initiation one has to receive.
6. There is no path one has to tread.
7. There are no levels of realization (bhumis) one has to achieve through purification.
8. There is no conduct one has to adopt, or abandon.
9. From the beginning, self-arising wisdom has been free of obstacles.
10. Self-perfection is beyond hope and fear.
These ten points are repeated and explained from various angles in different parts of the book and constitute the fundamental feature that distinguishes Dzogchen from the other paths of realization, which are all, to a greater or lesser degree, bound to the notion of cause and effect.


Kyoshu Okan Özaydin
I dare you to post this on Reddit, so I can grab my popcorn and watch you get lynched to oblivion 😃
Soh Wei Yu
It was posted in dharma connection before.
Kyle’s comments are also good:
Ground, Path, Fruition
Ground, Path, Fruition
Ground, Path, Fruition
Soh Wei Yu
Joel Agee wrote:
"Is it necessarily a misrepresentation of Dzogchen teachings to say "no path, practices, stages, etc. are necessary"? Here is a quote from the Kunjed Gyalpo, one of the oldest Dzogchen texts, that seems to say precisely that:
The Ten Absences
1. There is no view on which one has to meditate.
2. There is no commitment, or samaya, one has to keep.
3. There is no capacity for spiritual action one has to seek.
4. There is no mandala one has to create.
5. There is no initiation one has to receive.
6. There is no path one has to tread.
7. There are no levels of realization (bhumis) one has to achieve through purification
8. There is no conduct one has to adopt, or abandon
9. From the beginning, self-arising wisdom has been free of obstacles
10. Self-perfection is beyond hope or fear.
(“The Supreme Source,” Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and Adriano Clemente, pp. 67-68.)"
I replied:
"The ultimate or the way things are is said in dzogchen to be the unity of primordial purity and spontaneous presence. Primordial purity means afflictions are not existent, the delusional constructs like existence and nonexistence, subject and object are fundamentally nonexistent. But the conventional is the way things appear. Deluded constructs appear very real to sentient beings. This needs to be released through practice and wisdom. On the ultimate level nothing needs to be done, that cannot be said for the conventional due to strong karmic propensities."
Kyle Dixon replied:
"Though the kun byed rgyal po is an exposition given from the perspective of one's nature. As it is a sems sde teaching that focuses on "byang chub sems" [skt. bodhicitta] which is the sems sde name for the basis i.e., the nature of mind.
So from the point of view of the nature of mind there is nothing to accept or reject, nothing to improve, no basis, no path, no result. But a Dzogchen practitioner is not the nature of mind. A Dzogchenpa only works with his/her knowledge [rig pa] of the nature of mind. And aspirants initially have no knowledge of that nature to speak of. And then adepts on the path have an incomplete knowledge that is refined through familiarization and practice. Finally at the time of the result that knowledge is complete. But the practitioner has much to do, extensive meditation, extensive practice. Our nature is perfect, but we as practitioners are not.
Not understanding these contexts properly creates big issues for people."
More posts by Kyle Dixon:
Larry writes:
"To claim a superiority of understanding by espousing a view still locked in the duality of correct/incorrect is laughable."
You're welcome to believe that, however these systems are no stranger to identifying corrrect/incorrect or higher/lower views. Even your beloved Longchenpa engages in such valuations, stating:
"Some say: 'Cause and effect, compassion and merits are the dharma for ordinary people, and it will not lead to enlightenment. O great yogis! You should meditate upon the ultimate meaning, effortless as space.'
These kinds of statements are the views of the utmost nihilism, they have entered the path of the most inferior. It is astonishing to expect the result while abandoning the cause."
Soh Wei Yu
Larry, writes:
"The thing is Kyle the water's fine, always has been and always will be."
I'm not even sure what this means, but if you are stating that the suffering of samsara is "fine" and acceptable (and always has been), then you have unfortunately made a wrong turn somewhere.
And to clarify, I only harp on this issue like I do because I used to carry the same view: that everything is already perfect... there's nothing to realize... there's no one here to do anything... there's no such thing as "correct" or "incorrect"... or that concepts were the enemy, and so on, and so on, and so on. All the same narratives you see being spun by most neo-nondual teachers and systems. I remember I used to argue with a friend/mentor all the time about how he doesn't get it, and he's just fooling himself with practice and so on. And I used to cite the same quotations from Longchenpa and others that were speaking from the point of view of the ultimate, and I (in my delusion) provided them as proof that I was correct etc.
Then one day that changed, and I experientially tasted what all of these masters are pointing to. And I was shown directly that I had been wrong, and that was very humbling.
That made these teachings real for me. And surprisingly, instead of continuing to reject practice, and all of these other aspects of these systems that I had previously thought to be extraneous and a waste of time... I saw their value and their place for the first time. It became clear how and why they are applied, where they fit into the scheme of things... and I saw the sheer wisdom behind the structures that I had once mistakenly rejected.
So I only speak out against those who attempt to propagate the same mistakes because I've been there. I was so certain that I was right, and that I "got it", and that others didn't understand. And I was so wrong... unbelievably wrong.
I'm no teacher or messiah, I don't have a superiority complex or have some strange need to be "right", it's nothing like that. I simply speak out because when I see others who appear to be passionate about these teachings, making the same mistakes I made, I see myself, I can't help but to want to say "hey, it really isn't that way." And if all I accomplish is at least planting some shred of a seed of a possibility that X person may think twice and consider being open to the fact that they don't have it completely figured out, then that is good enough for me. If not, that is alright too, but at least I can say I tried......
Larry writes:
"As Longchenpa says, we are free as we are, as free as we will ever be, in this moment. No deferral required."
Seems to be a massive case of confirmation bias going on here in terms of what Longchenpa texts you are reading, and what passages from said texts you are choosing to cherry pick in order to support your view. Because he does not say you are free as you are, quite the opposite in fact:
"Though primordially pure wisdom exists within us, by not recognizing it, we wander here in samsara. This karma of ignorance produces ego-grasping. By that in turn are produced passion, aggression, ignorance, pride, and envy. It is because of these five poisons or kleshas that we are whirling around here in samsara. Why so? As various habitual patterns are superimposed on alaya, we enter into unhappiness.... [after going over the beings who inhabit the six lokas, he states] Each of these (beings) has their own realm of
existence, with its happiness, sorrow, and the states between them. They have their own sorts of good and evil behavior. So it is that we wander helplessly in this plain of the beginningless and endless sufferings of samsara, so difficult to cross.... Thinking about that, and seeing the weariness of sentient beings, exhausted by the burden of their long wandering here in samsara, I wanted to compose a treatise giving the instructions of how we can ease this weariness."
This is clearly not the exposition of a man who believes you are "free as you are", which means you are taking that statement far out of context.
Right, "everything is primordially liberated" is only true from the standpoint of having recognized that, and when resting directly in that knowledge [rig pa].
Those who haven't recognized their nature, which is a vast majority, cannot say everything is primordially liberated, because it isn't for them.
And then for those who have recognized their nature: in the practice of a Dzogchen yogin traversing the path, they fluctuate between mind [sems] and wisdom [ye shes]. So while resting in wisdom, sure every thing appears primordially liberated, because one is directly and experientially cognizing emptiness. However once one becomes distracted and falls back into mind they again perceive phenomena dualistically and again cannot make blanketed statements like everything is primordially liberated. Because while in post-equipoise they perceive conditioned phenomena. The "path" of Dzogchen is the process of gaining stability in that view, which is no walk in the park.
Only those who have realized the result can say everything is primordially liberated at all times. And those beings are rarer than stars in the daytime, as it is said. Even my teacher Chögyal Namkhai Norbu says he is not in a direct knowledge of his nature at all times. So to hear people claim in this thread that they don't need to do anything and that all is perfect just means they're living in a fantasy. Which is fine, but should be pointed out as the misconception it is.Which takes years, decades, lifetimes, and is why serious Dzogchenpas spend their entire lives practicing in solitary retreats.The Nyarong Tertön Rinpoche (i.e., Tertön Sogyal) said:
“At this, the time for discovering Buddha directly, you must remain alone, without companions, in an isolated mountain retreat—with a staff to the right, a container of grain to the left, a copper pot in front, and a cave behind. From now until the attainment of enlightenment, you must look upwards, entrusting ourselves to the teacher and Three Jewels, and downwards, into the naked unity of awareness and emptiness. At all times and in all situations, you must guard the fortress of the view, just as you would cherish a diamond. And you must continue meditating until, your eyes turned lifeless and blue, you breathe your very last breath.”
Again, these are not examples of advice given by individuals who think there's nothing to do and everything is already perfect.
Soh Wei Yu
Also (this is not from the link above):
“Mr. JK said: What you're describing is the duality found in Christianity. saying we are impure and must better ourselves.
Kyle Dixon replied: Not at all, this is literally the teaching of Dzogchen, Śrī Siṃha one of the original Dzogchen masters, who was Padmasambhava’s guru, states:
This is acceptable since a so called “primordial buddhahood” is not asserted. Full awakening is not possible without being free of the five afflictions... It is not possible for wisdom to increase without giving up afflictions. Wisdom will not arise without purifying afflictions. (Bolded and emphasized by Soh)
Likewise, Khenpo Ngachung, one of the greatest luminaries of recent times states:
In any system of sutra or tantra, without gathering the accumulations and purifying obscurations, Buddhahood can never be attained. Though the system of gathering accumulations and purifying obscurations is different, in this respect [dzogchen] is the same.
Longchenpa states:
All phenomena of samsara depend on the mind, so when the essence (ngo bo) of mind is purified, samsara is purified... The essence of mind is an obscuration to be given up. The essence of vidyā is pristine consciousness (ye shes) to be attained... That being so, it is very important to differentiate mind and pristine consciousness because all meditation is just that: all methods of purifying vāyu and vidyā are that; and in the end at the time of liberation, vidyā is purified of all obscurations because it is purified of the mind.
Even Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche’s father, states:
Purification happens through training on the path. We have strayed from the basis and become sentient beings. To free the basis from what obscures it, we have to train. Right now, we are on the path and have not yet attained the result. When we are freed from obscuration, then the result - dharmakāya - appears... the qualities of the result are contained in the state of the basis; yet, they are not evident or manifest. That is the difference between the basis and the result. At the time of the path, if we do not apply effort, the result will not appear.
Thus there is still much for you to understand about how Dzogchen actually works. You are only speaking of the side of the nature, the state of Dzogchen, but the side of appearances, the side of the practitioner, is not pure and perfect just yet. The two sides meet when the practitioner recognizes that nature, which is not presently known, and trains in the method and view.
5” – Kyle Dixon, 2021, krodha (u/krodha) - Reddit
"All of the faults of samsara arise from the deluded mind which apprehends a personal self or a self of phenomena. Since this deluded mind also is adventitious like clouds in the sky, from the beginning neither mixing nor polluting the luminous clarity of the primordial basic nature, these faults are separate from the basic element and suitable to be removed. Therefore, the essence of the basic element is empty of these faults; it is untainted. Without depending on the polluting delusion, the basic element is luminous and clear by its own nature; self-existing wisdom permeates the thusness197 of all phenomena. It is not empty of that which it is inseparable from, the basic element of consummate qualities, because in its essence, this is the basic nature from which it is inseparable—like the sun and its rays of light.
In this way, the naturally abiding heritage is established as the unconditioned essence of the Truth Body, which is primordially endowed with qualities. Due to the potential to be a buddha, the Wisdom Truth Body, without decrease or increase, necessarily resides in the mind-streams of all sentient beings, because in training on the path, the potential to be a buddha is established by the power of fact. Also, since the Truth Body at the time of being a buddha is unconditioned—it is not possible for it to be a conditioned phenomenon that is newly formed by causes and conditions—it is established that “it presently resides as the essence of the buddha.”
Regarding this, some people think, “If it presently resides as the essence of the buddha, why does that omniscient wisdom not dispel the obscurations of these sentient beings?” Or fixating upon the range of meanings of the common vehicle, they think, “Since the buddha is the effect and sentient beings are the cause, the effect being present in the cause is invalidated by reason, using such reasoning as the eating of food would [absurdly entail] the eating of excrement.”
For you who have been guided by merely a limited understanding of the common scriptures and have not trained in the meaning of the extremely profound, definitive meaning sutras, it is no wonder that such qualms have arisen! These [objections of yours], however, are not the case. Why? Although the suchness that is luminous and clear wisdom is present in everything without distinction, when adventitious delusion arises in one’s mind, the basis of designation of samsara is only this deluded mind together with its object; due to this delusion, one’s suchness is not known as it is. For example, when sleeping, due to the power of mental consciousness alone, unrestricted appearances arise such as the body, objects, and eye-consciousness, and so forth. At that time, although the subject and object are observed and apprehended separately, the mental consciousness itself is not able to know its own mode of being, in which the perceived [object] and the perceiving [subject] are not established as different; even though it is not known, there is nothing other than this mode of being. Likewise, all phenomena abide as emptiness; even so, merely being like this does not entail that everyone realizes this, because there is the possibility of delusion—appearances that do not accord with reality.
Therefore, since mind and the wisdom of the essential nature are [respectively] phenomenon and suchness, sentient beings and the Buddha are taught in terms of the mode of appearance and the mode of reality. Thus, using the reason that the effect is present in the cause to invalidate this position is simply not understanding it. In this way, this reasoning is that the evidence of a clear manifestation of the Truth Body at the time of the fruition establishes that the heritage, primordially endowed with qualities, is present at the time of the cause because there is no temporal causality in the mode of reality; nevertheless, in dependence upon the mode of appearance, it is necessarily posited as cause and effect. —LION’S ROAR: EXPOSITION ON BUDDHA-NATURE, 575–79
Duckworth, Douglas; Mipam, Jamgon. Jamgon Mipam: His Life and Teachings (pp. 164-165). Shambhala. Kindle Edition.”
Soh Wei Yu
from atr guide:
Arcaya Malcolm, teacher of Dzogchen (see: recently said in his group that maps of awakening in Buddhism are governed by the elimination of the twin obscurations of affliction and knowledge, and that Dzogchen (Soh: which, along with Mahamudra, are considered the highest teachings of Tibetan Buddhism) is the same in this respect.
Also in dharmawheel he related the Thodgal stages to the bhumi scheme:
" According to Khenpo Ngachung, the paths and stages don't really map to Dzogchen, but you can explain things that way:
Visions 1 & 2, below the path of seeing.
Vision 3; path of seeing and path of cultivation (bhumis 1-7)
vision 4; end of path of cultivation and path of no more learning (stages 8 to 16)."
“There are three traditional methods of dealing with emotions: abandoning them, transforming them, and recognizing their nature. All three levels of Buddhist teaching, all three yanas, describe how to deal with disturbing emotions. It is never taught, on any level, that one can be an enlightened buddha while remaining involved in disturbing emotions - never. Each level deals with emotions differently.
Just like darkness cannot remain when the sun rises, none of the disturbing emotions can endure within the recognition of mind nature. That is the moment of realizing original wakefulness, and it is the same for each of the five poisons.
In any of the five disturbing emotions, we do not have to transmute the emotion into empty cognizance. The nature of the emotion already is this indivisible empty cognizance.” - Vajra Speech, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
“Why would you accept afflictive emotions? They are afflictive and are the root cause of suffering.
Either you renounce them, transform them or self-liberate them. But you certainly don't accept them. That way just leads to further rebirth in samsara.
M” – Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith
“We do bad things, non-virtuous things, because we are afflicted. Afflictions are never a part of oneself but they do define us as sentient beings. If you want to stop being a sentient being and start being an awakening being you have to deal with your afflictions via one of three paths I mentioned.
Why am I a sentient being and not a Buddha? Because I am subject to afflictions. How do I become a Buddha? By overcoming afflictions and attaining omniscience. How do I begin? By setting out on one of the three paths, depending on my capacity.” – Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith
Dzogchen Retreat with Arcaya Malcolm
Dzogchen Retreat with Arcaya Malcolm
Dzogchen Retreat with Arcaya Malcolm
Soh Wei Yu
"Elsewhere, Malcolm also said with regards to hongaku ("original enlightenment"), "Definitely a wrong view, even in Dzogchen.", "Chinese Buddhism departs from Indian Buddhism in many respects. Still, the idea of "inherent awakening" is patently absurd and cannot be taken literally or seriously by any means."
Malcolm: ""Another interesting thing they do is try to show is that Dogen had a change of heart and rejected hongaku and BNI late in his life.
Noriaki cites this example, from the Shōbōgenzō shizen bhikkhu, as presented in Pruning the Bodhi Tree, pg. 123:
Some people say that, because the enlightenment of the Buddhas and Tathagatas encompass the whole world, even a speck of dust manifests that enlightenment. Because that enlightenment encompasses both subject and the object, mountains, rivers, earth, sun, moon, stars, and the four illusions and three poisons express it as well. To see mountains and rivers is to see the Tathagathas, and the four illusions and three poisons are the Buddha-dharma. To see a speck of dust is to see the dharma-dhatu and each spontaneous act is a manifestation of supreme enlightenment. They say this is the great understanding and call it a Patriarchal transmission. In latter-day Sung China, those who subscribe to this view are as numerous as rice plants, hemp. bamboo, and reeds. Their [religious] lineage is unknown, but it is clear they do not understand Buddhism.
All and all an interesting book, quite relevant to the present discussion.
"John Tan
When Dogen was still a monk in Tendai School, he was puzzled and couldn't understand the teaching of "original enlightenment". If we were originally enlightened, how can we be lost? Unsatisfied he traveled to China in search for answers and when he returned back to Japan, he began promoting "practice-enlightenment". What did Dogen realize from this koan of "original enlightenment" into "practice-enlightenment"?
Indeed this is similar to anatta insight. When no self/Self is seen through, seen is just seen and heard is just heard. When original enlightenment is seen through, sitting is just sitting, walking is just walking, and sleeping is just sleeping -- practice enlightenment!"
Soh Wei Yu
Having said all these, the top post is correct from the POV of primordial purity (kadag) also known as -A in John Tan's terminology:
Soh Wei Yu
“Hey, hey, apparent yet nonexistent retinue: listen well! There is no object to distinguish in me, the view of self-originated wisdom; it did not exist before, it will not arise later, and also does not appear in anyway in the present. The path does not exist, action does not exist, traces do not exist, ignorance does not exist, thoughts do not exist, mind does not exist, prajñā does not exist, samsara does not exist, nirvana does not exist, vidyā (rigpa) itself does not even exist, totally not appearing in anyway.”
-- Unwritten Tantra (Acarya Malcolm Smith's translation)
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