Now, with renewed respect for indigenous traditions everywhere, groups like the Bonpos are getting the chance to have their voices heard. In these challenging years for Tibetan people, perhaps self-preservation motivates a wider sense of tolerance for non-Buddhist teachings than has otherwise historically been the case.
While this area of scholarship is pretty much terra incognita at this time, it has become clear to a number of contemporary writers and scholars, such as John Myrdhin Reynolds and Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, that the time has come to redress previous misconceptions about Bon. Taken together, Wonders of the Natural Mind and Heart Drops of Dharmakaya do much to whet our appetites for further archaeological and textual research into Bon.
The latter book points to recent textual evidence that the ancient language of Zhang Zhung in which certain surviving Bonpo texts are composed may predate Tibetan Buddhist written scriptural language and that the design of Bonpo stu pas funerary monuments may date from as early as the first century C. What distinguishes Old Bon from Tibetan Buddhist schools is its incorporation of instructions on harmonizing with the local environment and its deities, as well as related teachings on healing, into the progressive stages of its system. Both Wonders and Heart Drops focus on Dzogchen, the basis of which is the view that resting the mind in the nakedness of its own natural condition is the key to permanent freedom.
Moreover, Bon tradition understands the development of bare awareness as its most significant method, toward which all other practices serve as preparation. Geshe Tenzin Wangyal was born in India in the early s and studied closely with Lopon Tenzin Namdak, the noted Bonpo lineage holder who visited the U. This, he insists, must entail stabilizing preliminary practices under the guidance of a good teacher but can nonetheless be communicated through dedicated study of a text such as the one he presents, which is based on the Zhang Zhung Nyan Gyud , the key Bon treasury of Dzogchen teachings.
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The book concludes with several chapters on the specific qualities of the natural, or already enlightened, state, culminating with a grounded discussion of thc advanced practices known as trekcho , cutting through dualism with continual awareness, and thogal , which involves working with the self-emanated energies that comprise reality and which appear in perfected contemplation, as well as following physical death.
Controversy will most certainly accompany the release of these teachings, and the concerns that some practitioners will raise should not be dismissed. Heart Drops is a teaching by the distinguished Bon master Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen , presented as a direct transmission of advice to students. Lopon Tenzin Namdak rendered the Tibetan book into English for his students in , adding spontaneous oral commentary to the root text. In subsequent centuries these teachings were expanded, most notably in the Longchen Nyingthig by Jigme Lingpa The dzogchen teachings consist of vast anthologies of practices presented as preliminary and auxiliary contemplative techniques, including standard Buddhist meditation techniques and tantra practices which have been integrated into Dzogchen.
This systematisation contextualized the system in terms of Tibetan Buddhism, while simultaneously relegating these preliminaries to a lower status, while emphasizing their necessity. The teachings based on the Longchen Nyingthig are divided into preliminary practices and main practices.
The Ngondro , preliminary practices, consist of outer preliminaries and inner preliminaries. According to Tsoknyi Rinpoche, before one starts with the Dzogchen-practices empowerment is necessary. This plants the "seeds of realization" within the present body, speech and mind. The outer preliminaries are as follows: [web 4].
The inner preliminaries are as follows: [web 4].
According to Berzin, receiving empowerment dbang , initiation and keeping the vows conferred at that time is a necessary step to move on to the main practice. This activates our Buddha-mind, by consciously generating a state of mind that is accompanied by understanding. Alexander Berzin further notes: [web 4]. With the influence of tantra, and the systematisations of Longchenpa, the main Dzogchen practices came to be preceded by preliminary meditative practices. In the text "Finding Comfort and Ease in the Nature of Mind" sems nyid ngal gso , which is part of the Trilogy of Natural Ease ngal gso skor gsum , Longchenpa arranges contemplative practices, split into three sections: exoteric Buddhism 92 , tantra 92 , and the Great Perfection Longchenpa includes the perfection phase techniques of channels, winds and nuclei into the main and concluding phases.
The Great Perfection practices as described by Jigme Lingpa consist of preliminary practices, specific for the Great Perfection practice, and the main practice. Jigme Lingpa mentions two kinds of preliminary practices, ' khor 'das ru shan dbye ba , [note 12] "making a gap between samsara and nirvana,"   and sbyong ba.
Ru shan is a series of visualisation and recitation exercises,  derived from the Seminal Heart tradition. It describes a practice "involving going to a solitary spot and acting out whatever comes to your mind. Sbyong ba is a variety of teachings for training sbyong ba the body, speech and mind.
The training of the body entails instructions for physical posture. The training of the mind is a Madhyamaka-like analysis of the concept of the mind, to make clear that mind cannot arise from anywhere, reside anywhere,or go anywhere. They are in effect an establishment of emptiness by means of the intellect. According to Alexander Berzin, after the preliminary practices follow meditative practices, in which practitioners work with the three aspects of rigpa. The Dzogchen meditation practices also include a series of exercises known as Semdzin sems dzin ,  which literally means "to hold the mind" or "to fix mind.
Lhun grub practice may lead to full enlightenment and the self-liberation of the human body into a rainbow body [note 18] at the moment of death,  when all the fixation and grasping has been exhausted. Some exceptional practitioners such as Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra are held to have realized a higher type of rainbow body without dying. Having completed the four visions before death, the individual focuses on the lights that surround the fingers. Linking the letter with one's breathing, it goes out into space with each exhalation and returns to the tip of the nose with each inhalation.
This fixation inhibits the arising of extraneous thoughts [ Symbolically, the two parts of the syllable indicate the two aspects of enlightenment, that is, PHA signifies Means thabs and TA signifies Wisdom shes rab. According to Reynolds, it is this specific Semdzin practice which was used by Patrul Rinpoche to provide a direct introduction to the knowledge of rigpa. It temporarily blocks the flow of thought, and brings us temporarily in a state of emptiness and clarity. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For the monastery, see Dzogchen Monastery. Key personalities. Practices and attainment.
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Major monasteries. Institutional roles. History and overview. History Timeline Outline Culture Index of articles. Kora Ngagpa. Menri Monastery Triten Norbutse. Related religions. Tantrism Mahasiddha Sahaja.
Buddhahood Bodhisattva Kalachakra. Ganachakra Ullambana Puja. Tantric texts. Symbols and tools. Ordination and transmission. Pointing-out instruction Samaya Vajracharya. Other traditions. Dharma Concepts. Buddhist texts. Buddhism by country. Then come the three vehicles of "outer" yoga, and then the three vehicles of "inner" yoga. The Dzogchen teachings are part of Atiyoga. Kathang Zanglingma , a terma with the biography of Padmasambhava, revealed and transmitted by Nyangrel Nyima Ozer, narrates the "events: which made the Maratika caves a sacred place for Vajrayana practitioners.
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This translation was popularized as "the Tibetan Book of the Dead", but contains many mistakes in translation and interpretation. In the famous scholar Dolpopa visited Tsurphu Monastery for the first time and had extensive discussions with Rangjung Dorje about doctrinal issues. It appears that Rangjung Dorje almost certainly influenced the development of some of Dolpopa's theories, possibly including his Zhentong gzhan stong method. This practice is unusual by any standard, Tibetan or Western, except perhaps for those who have experimented with Stanislav Grof 's Holotropic Breathwork or Primal Scream Therapy.
See also Ego death. In the exercise, a practitioner jumps, prowls, and howls like a wolf and imitates its thought patterns, or pretends to be a mass murderer and then suddenly switches to the outlook of a self-sacrificing saint. So the past thought has ceased, the future thought hasn't yet arisen, and the knife is cutting through this stream of present thought. But one doesn't keep hold of this knife either; one lets the knife go, so there is a gap.
When you cut through again and again in this way, the string of thought falls to pieces. If you cut a rosary in a few places, at some point it doesn't work any longer. The awakened state of rigpa had been pointed out, and I had a lukewarm certainty about what it was. But the ngondro helped me progress.
If one observes the mind and searches for where a thought rnam-rtog arises, where it remains, and where it goes, no matter how much one researches and investigates this, one will find nothing. It is this very "unfindability" mi rnyed of the arising, the abiding, and the passing away of thoughts which is the greatest of all finds. Thoughts do not arise from anywhere byung sa med , they do not remain anywhere gnas sa med , and they do not go anywhere ' gro sa med.
They do not arise from within the body, nor do they arise from outside the body. They are truly without any root or source ghzi med rsta bral. Like the clouds in the sky, they arise only to dissolve again. Thoughts arise out of the state of emptiness and return again into this state of emptiness, which represents pure potentiality. We only have to observe our mind to discover this for ourselves.
And this shunyata, this state of emptiness, is in fact the very essence of the mind sems kyi ngo-bo stong-pa nyid.
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During all that time, they were almost inseparable. Nyoshul Lungtok studied and practiced extremely diligently, and accumulated a wealth of purification, merit, and practice; he was ready to recognize the Rigpa, but had not yet had the final introduction. Then, one famous evening, Patrul Rinpoche gave him the introduction. It happened when they were staying together in one of the hermitages high up in the mountains above Dzogchen Monastery. It was a very beautiful night. The dark blue sky was clear and the stars shone brilliantly.
The sound of their solitude was heightened by the distant barking of a dog from the monastery below. Patrul Rinpoche was lying stretched out on the ground, doing a special Dzogchen practice. He called Nyoshul Lungtok over to him, saying: "Did you say you do not know the essence of Mind? Then Patrul Rinpoche asked him, "Do you see the stars up there in the sky? I had been liberated from the fetters of 'it is' and 'it is not. I was introduced to this realization by his blessing, as the great Indian master Saraha said: He in whose heart the words of the master have entered, Sees the truth like a treasure in his own palm.
UVA Library Virgo. Retrieved The Essential Chogyam Trungpa. Boston, Massachusetts: Shambhala Publications, Inc. State University of New York Press. Wisdom Publications. Part 1 — Buddhism: a Dzogchen Outlook. Evans-Wentz and C. Jung", in Reynolds, John Myrdin ed. Germano, David , "Dzogchen", in Jones, Lindsay ed.
Especially Chapter 9 on rDzogs-chen on pp. Topics in Buddhism. Outline Glossary Index. Category Portal. Authority control GND : Hidden categories: Articles containing Tibetan-language text Webarchive template wayback links Articles containing Chinese-language text Articles with Curlie links Wikipedia articles with GND identifiers.
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