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Words of Dzogchen

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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 Tulku Thubton Rinpoche
November 8 & 9, 2003

During the teachings visualize that each of us is in a mandala and we are all Dakas and Dakinis and the teachings are from the Buddha. Unsurpassable tantra yoga teachings.

Every moment needs to be infused with this awareness of transformed world. You will leave with a sacred outlook. We go into retreat to practice - it’s not a school. Interaction with sangha and teacher, the teachings, prayers, meditation –is all practice.

Doha is the Sanskrit word for Vajra Song. These songs are mystical songs written by those in the state of Dharmakaya mind. The following commentary is on the Doha called the Words of Dzogchen.

Dzogchen teachings are vast. They describe the pervasive reality of the essence of all things. Universal essence. Oneness, not plural. The nature of reality which never changes. The Primordial Buddha. Buddha is not a person at all. From Dzogchen perspective, it’s the Dharma of the concept. Lonchenpa is one of the great lamas of Dzogchen. He says that once we realize Dzogchen we are on the top of the mountain. You can see all the other mountains and you understand the essence and wisdom of all the teachings. You can never understand the nature of reality unless you’re on the Dzogchen path.

Once you realize the Buddha Samantabhadra, you are free from suffering. Samantabhadra is the self-arising Buddha. No biography. No Colors. Realizing your own true naturerigpa – that pervades all existence. Nirvana and Samsara, gods and sentients beings, hatred and loved. All is the manifestation of Buddha Samantabhadra. If you get this, you’d be out dancing and singing instead of sitting here in painful lotus position!

Utopian spiritual abstractions? Seems like it because we are bound to our ordinary conceptions. We’re obscured by deeply rooted karmic imprints in our consciousness through countless lifetimes. We’re trying to clean this big mess through meditation, retreats, sadhanas. They all help to overcome this tendency of egoism and karmic obscurations.

We don’t have to go anywhere, be anywhere to experience dharmata, rigpa. Everywhere is actually Dharmata paradise. All beings are Buddha Samantabhadra in immeasurable miraculous reality. Humans, especially those who are seeking spiritual nirvana, are in a hurry to attain enlightenment. To run away from suffering by transcending their body or their life. Samsara – and nirvana – are not outside. They are in our consciousness.

One of the vows you take at Dzogchen initiation is to believe that samsara is not real. That’s one of the reasons that Dzogchen practitioners are the happiest people. All matters.

Look for Samsara. You can’t find it.

Dzogchen is a way of abiding in Rigpa or Buddha awareness. Self-arising awareness. Not an ordinary awareness. It exists already in your consciousness. Not produced by mantras…it’s simply there. Like Mount Rainier behind the clouds. Rigpa is behind the ego and mental obscuration of the 84,000 kleshas. Buddha mind is always with you even when you’re angry or suffering or depressed which comes from self-hatred and not realizing your true nature. When you’re judgmental against yourself, you’re judgmental against all others.

We can always go to Rigpa to rest. Great Dzogchen lamas welcome tragedies. We’re tragedy phobics – that’s why we depend so much on insurance. We’re constantly running from tragedy. Without suffering, there’s no dharma. It provides us the opportunity to cultivate the noble path. Tragedy is not the enemy that we perceive it to be. It also is a manifestation of our consciousness. It enhances our practice. It’s sharpens our meditation and realization. If you realize you have rigpa while you're suffering any more enlightened, you are free from Samsara.

Timeless Time
State of consciousness which transcends time. Time does not exist. We can’t experience timeless time when we’re caught up in the past and future. Rigpa is a momentary experience similar to a momentary sensation. It is the present awareness of the realization of everything.

Timeless Awareness
The past and future only exist in the relative world. The ultimate truth is the Dharmadatu. In the realm of relative truth there is the existence of time birth and death. We are tormented by these beliefs. Time, as well as ego, passed, and future He is illusory in the realm of rigpa. You abide in the single present moment. There is neither Good nor bad, samsara or nirvana, meditator or ego. Only constant awareness; wisdom time. Beyond any conception. The present time is the primordial time. The suffering. We are living in this time every moment. When we get distracted we grasp to the illusory objects as if they were real. We project into the future and create anxiety. There is no future. This is the only moment that exists. This is the present and last moment. Belief in the future is a difficult habit to break. This can only be experienced through meditation.

The Ground
The ground of all things is not nirvana, not samsara, happiness or suffering, good or bad.
Beyond conceptual understanding. Nirvana is an idea. The ground is not an idea. It exists every moment ... the awareness we are experiencing right now. The ground of all things is the source of all things. Where all things dissolve eventually. Everything, positive or negative, is manifestation of the zhi-awareness that is residing in all of us. Luminous consciousness. Free of concepts. The source of samsara and nirvana is present in each of us every moment. Our supreme consciousness has 1) mental obscurations (sees objects as solid) and 2) is free of all conditions; peaceful. When we experience our fantasy thoughts and get caught up in them, there is also Buddha mind, utterly pure and luminous. All conflicting emotions arise from the ground and dissolve back into the ground. There is no duality between what arises and the ground. Everything is you. “I’m the Buddha and I’m the sentient being”. “I’m the Everything”. I’m the earth & I’m the Heaven.” Once realized or glimpsed, there is nothing more to realize. It’s what Buddha realized.

No truth to be realized no samsara to be rejected. Liberation is not a place or condition that you can acquire. All the effort of running from something we don’t want or running to something we think we want is pointless. By realizing shi we can have the ultimate rest. The ultimate vacation. Liberation is very simple. Rest. Retired forever. Not tormented by exertion and effort. Even great meditators sometimes overexert and strive too hard for enlightenment. Exertion itself is suffering; egoism.

Dzogchen talks of four levels of meditation. All phenomena is exhausted, dissolved in the place of Dharmatu. Chiusasa – the highest level. There are living masters who have arrived at that level of realization. Literally living in a different dimension.

You can always remain in the state of zhi even through the six bardos of sleeping, meditating, dying. You no longer are trying to choose one condition or another. Everything is equal manifestation of the ground. No judgments, no preferences. While living in the awareness you purify your karma.

Mind is not mind. It is luminous awareness. So taught the Buddha. Consciousness cannot be grasped. Like god, it cannot be comprehended. Inexpressible. It is the essence of the Buddha mind in all of us – our true identity. Everything else is illusory. You are not your blue jeans. That would be quite sad if you identified with your tee-shirt or blue jeans. But that is what we are doing. Our body was no different from the blue jeans.

What is different from personality and Buddha nature? Personality is a collection of your perceptions, ideas, projections, political and social preferences, gender and so on. Dzogchen goes beyond-breaks down –this ego-structure so we can actualize our true essence of the Buddha Samantabhadra. Divine pride (different from ordinary pride) is to be convinced that we are Buddha Samantabhadra. Knowing that we are already the Buddha. How to realize this? We must go beyond the current ego-structure.

Enlightenment is not a place to go or to become. It’s an awakening to our tru essence of Buddha Samantabhadra. There is an original face prior to birth and kleshas and suffering. Gzhi rigpa awareness; clear light awareness.

Empty your consciousness; be ready. Then when the Dzogchen teachings are given, a person can recognize this nature. Remember the times during teachings when you have completely let go of fear of death, fear of letting go of ego. Wisdom of enlightened wisdom is non-attachment. Source of all freedom, awareness, dignity, integrity, knowledge. Letting go of attachments to possessions and ideas, pride, ego, concepts about even dharma, enlightenment. Practice “No Dzogchen Dzogchen”. Buddhism beyond Buddhism. Transcends. Universal.

The Ground, the Path, and Fruition
Ground Dzogchen. “No Dzogchen Dzogchen”. All pervasive, pure awareness. The true essence. Timeless reality, non-duality.

Path. Systemized traditions of the teachings. Based on rules and disciplines and commitments in order to manifest the ground. Transformation is required. We must prepare. There needs to be a rocket to fly through space.

Techok – cutting through. Entering into Dharmatu meditaion and glimpsing on the spot without process. Waken immediately.

Thogalleaping over. Visionary path. Practice deity visions visualization. Very rare teaching.

Actual attainment of Buddhahood
Actual attainment of realization of yourself as Buddha Samantabhadra
Actual attainment of rainbow body at death.

Meditation is a mental process to develop the transcendent nature mind. Conventional meditation is analytical. It requires constant effort to chase after something. In Dzogchen meditation, no exertion should be made. Rather to rest in the natural state of consciousness. It comes naturally. Completely content in the present moment. You don’t look for anything else. Nature of consciousness is already enlightened. Rest in the treasure house of all attributes the highest Buddha paradise. Meditation chases after you as if you have an aura which is always with you. You don’t restrain yourself. It arises naturally. However, this is not easy. All worry, hatred, anger drops away.

Vajra Posture
Chant Hum. Everything, the universe becomes of the nature of hum. Visualize from your heart, fire that consumes the ego-related ideas, forms & concepts. When you are no longer able to sustain the posture, lie down on the floor and rest in the non-conceptual mind.

Ignorance can be permanently deleted from our life. Our true essence is what is permanent.

Vajrayana means diamond path. Diamond means precious and indestructible. There is a diamond-like Buddha entity in all of us. Personality and ego are illusory, not real. Therefore not permanent. Realization of this nature mind comes about unexpectedly.

Dzogchen understanding of coming into samsara
We lost primordial wisdom and ended up taking mental state of mind in samsara.
1)Unconsciousness is the root of samsara. We are obscured by mental conditions. Ma rigpa. No light of awareness; delusional, temporarily stained. This becomes rooted in our mind (Bakchaks). That’s not who we are. Not the real consciousness. Dharma is a cleansing of the obscurations. Like the clouds moving away from the mountain. Burdens of habitual tendencies take a long time to overcome.
2)Dualist mind begins to polarize objects as appearances. Everything is miraculous appearance. The dualistic mind sees them as separate from our conscious. External, objectives, attachments, aversion, grasping, aversion and attachment.

Everything is appearance. “It’s Happening”. It’s neither good nor bad. It’s happening. Rain or shine, “It’s raining”. Neither favorable or unfavorable.

You see an object then separate it form yourself not realizing it is part of the supreme source. This can get expensive. You feel attachment and fear that someone will take the object. You label things naming things that are unnamable. This is the greatest sin! Original sin. That’s when you fall from the heaven of Dharmatu. Instead, experience the oneness between you and the object.

Enlightenment can occur suddenly when there’s synchronicity. When you become exhausted in the infantile dharma. Striving for enlightenment “out there” is based on dualism. This is infantile. Allow yourself to be exhausted. (The vajra posture is designed to allow this physical and mental exhaustion.) Then the realization can be spontaneous. Buddhism is a hard work religion. But Dzogchen uses language like ‘allow yourself to be exhausted’. We’ve been working hard spiritually through countless lifetimes. Running a spiritual marathon during meditation instead of completely immersing yourself in the relaxation.

Ask yourself what you are trying to gain. There is no great meaning of Life. Right here, right now is the meaning of life. Our ego is always trying to succeed at something. Constant striving for the future to fill the emptiness and loneliness we’re trying to run from. All we look for is already residing within. The true essence, the true awareness, is in all of us.

Gjhi – ground; rigpa; source of all. Like air. Self-arising awareness. All inner and outer phenomena arise and dissolve into it. Make prostration to everything. All is manifestation of the Buddha. Pay homage and honor EVERYTHING. Even illness and tragedy.

Jhena – manifestation of ground

Ground Rigpa – pervades the consciousness of all sentient beings. Shines upon all. Essence of ALL is sacred.

Path Rigpa – glimpsed through Dzogchen meditation.

Dzogchen practice includes the vajra posture, sky gazing (does not require rituals or sadhana. This can lead to unity with supreme awareness), 9 breath exercise.

9 Breath Exercise

Always begin meditation with this exercise. It is a yoga to clean the channels and balance the chakras.

Sit in lotus posture. Vajra mudra. Imagine the central channel from the navel to the crown open so clean wisdom energy can travel smoothly. Everything can then be experienced.

Press both hands at base of channels at thigh level.


In a circle motion bring right hand up to cover right nostril.

Exhale. Visualize all karmic obscurations expelled.

Same with Left Hand/left nostril

Press both hands again at base of channels at thigh level.

Repeat three times (9 rounds)

Then do refuge (take refuge in self-awareness essence), bodhichitta, guru yoga sadhana (visualize diety in your heart. Fire dissolves leaving space for love.)

Sky Gazing

Read Prayer of Samantabadhra
Place palms on knees. This is the mudra of resting in awareness of unconditioned consciousness. Rest; relax, demonstrates the most important wisdom.

Keep body straight for synchronizing central channel. Consciousness is therefore straight. Awakening mind can arise spontaneously. Initiated as noble sun or daughter by Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. If not straight, prana energy will be imbalanced. Sitting in Vajra posture is a very subtle art. Very subtle movement makes huge difference in subjective balance in your meditation.

Outer Sky, Inner Sky, Secret Sky
Outer Sky is the empty space around us. Blue sky. Vast space. You must stare. Eyes as wide as you can. Simply look at space in front of you. Thoughts arise. You don’t judge them or reject them or get attracted to good thoughts no matter how transcendent. Our duty is to be the observer. To witness. To simply observe. You may experience pain or emotional dullness. Regard all as equally clear.

Experience the one taste. Truly liberating. The peacefulness experienced is called Inner Sky. From which you can experience Buddha mind. You can see through walls and see different dimensions. Love grows for all sentient begins and you can embrace all living beings.

If you find yourself attached to an emotion, use “PHAT” loudly with all your strength to shake up, cut through. To bring back to awareness. That awareness is called the Secret Sky.