Introduction to the Practice of Dzogchen

Excerpt from “Introduction to the Practice of Dzogchen” by Lopon Tenzin Namdak, edited by John Myurdhin Reynolds (from the book “Bonpo Dzogchen Teaching”)

“It is necessary for us to know what Dzogchen is, how to practice it, and the result of this practice. Even in Tibet it was not easy to get these teachings. They have been kept very secret since the eighth century. Even before that there were twenty-four masters of Dzogchen in the Zhang-zhung Nyan-gyud lineage (สายการปฏิบัติชางชุง เญียนจุด), all of whom realized Jalu (‘ja’-lus), or the Rainbow Body (กายรุ้ง/กายประภัสสร).

However, each of them only gave the transmission to a single disciple. Furthermore, from the eighth century until today this Dzogchen lineage has remained unbroken. It was kept very secret, but now in the second half of the twentieth century because of the circumstances have changed, both the Dakinis (พระฑากินีผู้ปกป้องคำสอน) and the Guardians (พระธรรมบาล ผู้คุ้มครองผู้ปฏิบัติธรรม) have given permission to teach Dzogchen much more openly.

The Dzogchen teachings are the same in both Bonpo (นิกายเพินโป/ยุงตรุงเพิน)) and Nyingmapa (นิกายญิงมาปะ), but the lineages are different. This is the principal difference. Historically speaking, the Zhang-zhung Nyan-gyud is the most important lineage for Dzogchen. It came not from Tibet, but from the ancient kingdom of Zhang-zhung (อาณาจักรชางชุง) to the west, centered in the Mt. Kailas region. Dzogchen was the highest teaching in the religious culture of Zhang-zhung and from there the Dzogchen tradition was transmitted to Tibet…

Both the Bonpo and the Nyingmapas have a system of Thegpa Rimgu, or nine successive vehicles (ลำดับการปฏิบัติ 9 ขั้น) to enlightenment, and in both cases the ninth and highest vehicle is Dzogchen…

When we begin as practitioners on the path of Dzogchen, we first need a direct introduction to the Natural State (สภาวะธรรมชาติของจิต/สภาวะจิตเดิมแท้) from someone who has directly experienced the Natural State personally. But just meeting it for one time, like meeting a new acquaintance, is not enough. We must discover the Natural State within ourselves over and over again, so that we have no doubt about it.

For this reason we do practice and look back at our thoughts, observing them arise, stay and then pass away again. We look to find from where they arise, where they stay, and where they go. In this way we discover that thoughts are insubstantial; they just arise and disappear again, leaving no trace behind. If we do not interfere with them or try to modify them, they will liberate and dissolve in themselves. And so we must learn how to keep ourselves in this Nature and how to remain without modifications. There is nothing to change or modify or correct (ma bcos-pa). Thoughts just arise and then they liberate…

Author: Krisadawan Kalsang Dawa กฤษดาวรรณ เมธาวิกุล

Dharma teacher, founder and president of the Thousand Stars Foundation

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