Showing posts with label Traktung Rinpoche. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Traktung Rinpoche. Show all posts

Traktung Khepa on Uncontrived Awareness


>Uncontrived awareness is simply spontaneously present. It is present, not as a static entity, but as a pure process of presencing in/as perceiving and knowingness . Meditation is to relinquish rigidity and fixation on appearances as static objects and perceiver as subjective entity. For awareness to settle relaxedly within its own expanse without fixation, free from reference points, is the essence of Great Perfection meditation of non-meditation.

Alejandro Serrano

TK is an amazing teacher.


Mike Scarf

Can you speak about the conflict of Dzogchen meditation vs something like Vipassana where the former says go straight into awareness and that's it, non meditation only - vs Vipassana which is more formal etc?


Soh Wei Yu

Mike Scarf

How do you define formal? Actually Dzogchen practices can be very "formal". And very serious Dzogchen practitioners actually spend years doing retreats and practicing various forms of contemplations and practices. Of course, we all do our best, and for those that have worldly commitments we just try to practice as much as possible in our daily lives and attend some retreats that we can afford to spare our time to attend. For example John Tan sits 2 hours of meditation everyday or more, and told me to do the same, even though meditation is 24/7. Same for Yin Ling and others, who meditates more hours than that everyday.

Non-meditation does not mean literally no need for meditation, retreats, and so on. It means in actualization or true meditation, both meditator and object of meditation, that duality is exhausted.




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1 year ago

Jean-Luc Achard on Integration of the View and the Role of Diligence in Relation to the Key Points of Trekcho

It is actually pretty easy to enter the experience of rigpa but more difficult to cultivate it without artifice, outside of a retreat context. Most of the westerners I know do not do any retreat. They go to teachings when a lama is there and they call it a retreat. I’ve received a lot of teachings in Tibet and none of the masters ever said a word about integration into daily working life. This is something that a few Tibetan masters have made for the west. Traditionally, when you receive a Dzogchen teaching, you then go into retreat and generate some experience. This takes months at best. Then you come back to the master and relate your experience. Then you get further details on more advanced practice, etc., and you go into another retreat. So not doing any “real” retreat is probably a drawback that affects most people. For instance, the retreat of trekchö in the Kunzang Nyinthik (its the same for those who follow the Yeshe Lama for instance) does not last less than 18 continuous months in a traditional context.

Another point that is related is misunderstanding some key points in trekchö. For instance, all our masters repeat that once you have entered the state of trekchö, then you must not do anything. And you consequently have people not doing anything for years! They just remain like that, glued in a state of total blankness, using vague words like “presence” to describe the actual fogginess of their experience. Actually, what texts say is that you don’t do anything at first, not continually. “At first” means that it’s simply the threshold of trekchö practice. What you actually have to do is once you don’t doubt anymore regarding the actual “flavor” of this state, then you have to cultivate it with artifice during specific sessions (that’s the purpose of the 18 months mentioned above) after which you are quasi-certain to reach a non-regressive stability in this state. Most of the time, this stability is reached quite earlier during the retreat. It’s actually easier to succeed in this during a retreat than during the daily working life when you have all the distractions of your ordinary social life. So during the retreat, at a certain stage, you train in integration. There are four things to integrate: (i) the activities of the three doors, (ii) the activities of the six associations of consciousness, (iii) specific intellectual activities of the mind, and (iv) the variety of circumstances that life puts on your path. So the “doing nothing” is really something for beginners in trekchö. Most people I know mistake it for the real practice. That’s the worst mistake to make because one is never going to make any progress if one goes on like this.

There are plenty of things to do. Rushen for instance in order to clearly deepen this knowledge and have a direct experience that is not produced by our discursiveness. Then, the training of the 3 doors. Then specific techniques such as the four natural accesses to properly access the state of trekchö. [One should not think] there is nothing to do: there are things to do to enter this state, and once you’re in it you cultivate it by integrating other things (after having become familiarized with it). This appears to be not understood by all. When you are in this state, you just have to stabilize it. This takes the whole path to do so! Don’t bypass it because you don’t like it, it’s precisely like this, one has to practice, period. You may state otherwise but this is not Dzogchen anymore. Once you are stable in the experience of the natural state, you realize that this experience is uncompounded, unaltered, etc., and you don’t have to do anything to correct it. But in general, everyone (including our masters at a stage in their life) regresses from it. So one has to become familiar with it, through contemplation practice. But this contemplation practice is aimless if it just means sitting and doing nothing. That means each time you quit your sitting meditation, you are regressing from that state. But, if you want to integrate the natural state in a non-regressive way, you have to do something. Trekchö has to be done for very long sessions during specific retreats in total silence and isolation. The longer the sessions, the deeper the experience grows until, like a sheet which constantly put into water never dries, one does not regress anymore from the experience of the natural state.

— Jean-Luc Achard








Soh Wei Yu

Mike Scarf I'm not a student of Traktung Khepa but if I am not wrong, many of Traktung Khepa's students spend many hours practicing everyday and for years. But certainly what I found from their website is that they hold intensive practice retreats.

"It is clear that this community of Buddhist practitioners is earnest, devoted, and determined to live according to the path they chose. It’s not easy. Tsochen Khandro describes it this way:

"Our community is small because those who study with us have to be like the Navy SEALs of Buddhism. Students here begin and end their days with meditation practice. Normally, they do two or three hours of practice a day. On retreat, they practice eight to ten hours a day. We all put Dharma at the center of our lives.

For decades of my life, while raising young children, I awoke at five a.m. so I could practice before they were awake. And I practiced as soon as they went to bed. I went on a solitary retreat every year for a month once my first daughter reached the age of five. I had no contact with the world, including my family. We had an agreement that I would not be contacted unless my daughter was hospitalized and needed me. But if any member of my family were to die, I would not learn about this until coming out of retreat. I had to let go of everything to go into retreat, not knowing if it would still be there when I came out. This was very good for my practice." - Tsochen Khandro" -

Khandro — Tsogyelgar


Khandro — Tsogyelgar

Khandro — Tsogyelgar

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Mike Scarf

Soh Wei Yu Oh yes I am very aware that non-meditation is still meditation, but that it should be happening always, be quite effortless, and non-dual. Thanks for the reply and information 😃


Soh Wei Yu

Mike Scarf Formal meditation is still important.

As John Tan / Thusness said before:

"After this insight, one must also be clear of the way of anatta and the path of practice. Many wrongly conclude that because there is no-self, there is nothing to do and nothing to practice. This is precisely using "self view" to understand "anatta" despite having the insight.

It does not mean because there is no-self, there is nothing to practice; rather it is because there is no self, there is only ignorance and the chain of afflicted activities. Practice therefore is about overcoming ignorance and these chain of afflictive activities. There is no agent but there is attention. Therefore practice is about wisdom, vipassana, mindfulness and concentration. If there is no mastery over these practices, there is no liberation. So one should not bullshit and psycho ourselves into the wrong path of no-practice and waste the invaluable insight of anatta. That said, there is the passive mode of practice of choiceless awareness, but one should not misunderstand it as the "default way" and such practice can hardly be considered "mastery" of anything, much less liberation."


Soh Wei Yu

Malcolm (Loppon Namdrol) wrote:

Rongzom makes the point very clearly that Dzogchen practitioners must develop the mental factors that characterize the first dhyana, vitarka, vicara, pritvi, sukha and ekagraha, i.e. applied attention, sustained attention, physical ease, mental ease and one-pointedness. If you do not have a stable samatha practice, you can't really call yourself a Dzogchen practitioner at all. At best, you can call yourself someone who would like to be a Dzogchen practitioner a ma rdzogs chen pa. People who think that Dzogchen frees one from the need to meditate seriously are seriously deluded. The sgra thal 'gyur clearly says:

The faults of not meditating are:

the characteristics of samsara appear to one,

there is self and other, object and consciousness,

the view is verbal,

the field is perceptual,

one is bound by afflictions,

also one throws away the path of the buddhahood,

one does not understand the nature of the result,

a basis for the sameness of all phenomena does not exist,

one's vidya is bound by the three realms,

and one will fall into conceptuality

He also added:

Dhyanas are defined by the presence or absence of specific mental factors.

The Dhyanas were not the vehicle of Buddha's awakening, rather he coursed through them in order to remove traces of rebirth associated with the form and formless realms associated with the dhyanas.


Whether you are following Dzogchen or Mahamudra, and regardless of your intellectual understanding, your meditation should have, at base, the following characteristics:

Prthvi -- physical ease Sukha -- mental joy Ekagraha -- one-pointedness Vitarka -- initial engagement Vicara -- sustained engagement

If any of these is missing, you have not even achieved perfect samatha regardless of whether or not you are using an external object, the breath or even the nature of the mind.


(more in link)

Dzogchen, Meditation and Jhana


Dzogchen, Meditation and Jhana

Dzogchen, Meditation and Jhana

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Soh Wei Yu

Excerpt from

Dogen: The way is originally perfect and all-pervading. How could it be contingent on practice and realization? The true vehicle is self-sufficient. What need is there for special effort? Indeed, the whole body is free from dust. Who could believe in a means to brush it clean? It is never apart from this very place; what is the use of traveling around to practice? And yet, if there is a hairsbreadth deviation, it is like the gap between heaven and earth. If the least like or dislike arises, the mind is lost in confusion. Suppose you are confident in your understanding and rich in enlightenment, gaining the wisdom that knows at a glance, attaining the Way and clarifying the mind, arousing an aspiration to reach for the heavens. You are playing in the entranceway, but you are still short of the vital path of emancipation.

Consider the Buddha: although he was wise at birth, the traces of his six years of upright sitting can yet be seen. As for Bodhidharma, although he had received the mind-seal, his nine years of facing a wall is celebrated still. If even the ancient sages were like this, how can we today dispense with wholehearted practice?

Fukan Zazengi (Universally Recommended Instructions for Zazen) | SOTOZEN.COM


Fukan Zazengi (Universally Recommended Instructions for Zazen) | SOTOZEN.COM

Fukan Zazengi (Universally Recommended Instructions for Zazen) | SOTOZEN.COM

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  • Mike Scarf
    Soh Wei Yu Is concentration to crazy magnitudes actually necessary or only if one wants to have certain fleeting states, or needs it as a pre-req to investigate phenomena?
  • Soh Wei Yu
    You can have insight without stable samadhi, but for liberation you need both vipassana/insight and stable samadhi.
    Another excerpt from the Acarya Malcolm's link above:
    Samadhi/dhyāna is a natural mental factor, we all have it. The problem is that we naturally allow this mental factor to rest on afflictive objects such as HBO, books, video games, etc.
    Śamatha practice is the discipline of harnessing our natural predisposition for concentration, and shifting it from afflictive conditioned phenomena to nonafflictive conditioned phenomena, i.e., the phenomena of the path. We do this in order to create a well tilled field for the growth of vipaśyāna. Śamatha ultimately allows us to have mental stability and suppresses afflictive mental factors so that we may eventually give rise to authentic insight into the nature of reality. While it is possible to have vipaśyāna without cultivating śamatha, it is typically quite unstable and lacks the power to effectively eradicate afflictive patterning from our minds. Therefore, the basis of all practice in Buddhadharma, from Abhidharma to the Great Perfection, is the cultivation of śamatha as a preliminary practice for germination of vipaśyāna.
    In the early period of Budddhism, there were two yānas, śamatha yāna and vipaśyāna yāna; beginners went to Śariputra to training in vipaśyāna for stream entry; then they would go train in śamatha with Maudgalyana for further progress.
    Lance Cousins wrote a very interesting article about this.
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  • Soh Wei Yu
    Mike Scarf The Buddha said likewise:
    AN 4.170 PTS: A ii 156
    Yuganaddha Sutta: In Tandem
    translated from the Pali by
    Thanissaro Bhikkhu
    © 1998
    The updated version is freely available at
    This version of the text might be out of date. Please click here for more information
    On one occasion Ven. Ananda was staying in Kosambi, at Ghosita's monastery. There he addressed the monks, "Friends!"
    "Yes, friend," the monks responded.
    Ven. Ananda said: "Friends, whoever — monk or nun — declares the attainment of arahantship in my presence, they all do it by means of one or another of four paths. Which four?
    "There is the case where a monk has developed insight preceded by tranquillity. As he develops insight preceded by tranquillity, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.
    "Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity preceded by insight. As he develops tranquillity preceded by insight, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.
    "Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity in tandem with insight. As he develops tranquillity in tandem with insight, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.
    "Then there is the case where a monk's mind has its restlessness concerning the Dhamma [Comm: the corruptions of insight] well under control. There comes a time when his mind grows steady inwardly, settles down, and becomes unified & concentrated. In him the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.
    "Whoever — monk or nun — declares the attainment of arahantship in my presence, they all do it by means of one or another of these four paths."
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  • Soh Wei Yu
    The Mahayana Sutras, like the Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment and so on, have explored similar themes with much greater elaborations.
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  • Soh Wei Yu
    Mike Scarf I just posted this yesterday:
    Have quality time for practice
    It is crucial to have enough quality time for practice everyday for further breakthrough. As John Tan does himself and told me, sit at least two hours a day (even though meditation is 24/7, even amidst activities).
    No photo description available.
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