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According to some schools of Tibetan Buddhism and Bön, Dzogchen is the natural, primordial state or natural condition of the mind. Dzogchen, or "Great Perfection", is a central teaching of the Nyingma school, that is also practised by adherents of other Tibetan Buddhist sects. According to Dzogchen literature, Dzogchen is the highest and most definitive path to enlightenment. The Madhyamaka teachings on emptiness are fundamental to and thoroughly compatible with Dzogchen practices.

Our ultimate nature is said to be pure, all-encompassing, primordial awareness or naturally occurring timeless awareness. This "intrinsic awareness" has no form of its own and yet is capable of perceiving, experiencing, reflecting, or expressing all form. It does so without being affected by those forms in any ultimate, permanent way. The analogy given by Dzogchen masters is that one's nature is like a mirror which reflects with complete openness but is not affected by the reflections, or like a crystal ball that takes on the colour of the material on which it is placed without itself being changed. Other evocative phrases used by masters describe it as an "effulgence", an "all-pervading fullness" or as "space that is aware". When an individual is able to maintain the dzogchen state continually, he or she no longer experiences dukkha, or feelings of discontent, tension and anxiety in everyday life. (Compare with nirvana).

Nomenclature, orthography and etymology

The word Dzogchen has been translated variously as Great Perfection, Great Completeness, Total Completeness, and Supercompleteness. These terms also convey the idea that our nature as intrinsic awareness has many qualities that make it perfect. These include indestructibility, incorruptible purity, non-discriminating openness, flawless clarity, profound simplicity, all-pervading presence and equality within all beings (i.e., the quality, quantity and functionality of this awareness is exactly the same in every being in the Universe). It is said that the impressive personal qualities of the fully-enlightened Buddha derived from the fact that he was fully aligned with this already-existing primordial nature. Descriptions of a buddha as omniscient and omnipresent refer to their ultimate nature as this awareness. The Tibetan term dzogchen is a sometimes said to be a rendering of the Sanskrit term mahāsandhi,Dzogchen: The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection by the [14th] Dalai Lama, Snow Lion, 2004. ISBN 1559392193. pg 208 and is also used to render the Sanskrit term ''ati yoga'' (primordial yoga).Keown, Damien. (2003). ''A Dictionary of Buddhism'', p. 24. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860560-9. A homonymous term ''dzogchen'' designates a [[meditation]] practice and body of teachings aimed at helping an individual to recognize the Dzogchen state, to become sure about it, and to develop the capacity to maintain the state continually. Pettit (1999: p. 4) identifies the various contextual usages and implications of the term "Dzogchen" (Wylie: ''rdzogs chen'') that are often conflated and mentions [[Agama (text)|agama]], [[siddhanta]] and [[darśana]]:
"Great Perfection" variously indicates the texts (''āgama, lung'') and oral instructions (''upadeśa, man ngag'') that indicate the nature of enlightened wisdom (''rdzogs chen gyi gzhung dang man ngag''), the verbal conventions of those texts (''rdzogs chen gyi chos skad''), the yogis who meditate according to those texts and instructions (''rdzogs chen gyi rnal 'byor pa''), a famous monastery where the Great Perfection was practiced by monks and yogis (''rdzogs chen dgon sde''), and the philosophical system (''siddhānta, grub mtha''') or vision (''darśana, lta ba'') of the Great Perfection."Pettit, John Whitney (1999). ''Mipham's beacon of certainty: illuminating the view of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection''. Somerville, MA, USA: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-157-2 (alk. paper) p.4
===Maha Ati=== '''Maha Ati''' is a term coined by [[Trungpa Rinpoche]]{{Fact|date=June 2008}}, a master of the [[Kagyu]] and [[Nyingma]] lineages of Tibetan [[Vajrayana Buddhism]]. He generally preferred to introduce Sanskrit rather than Tibetan terms to his students, and felt "Maha Ati" was the closest equivalent for "Dzogpa Chenpo," although he acknowledged it was an unorthodox choice. ==Transmission== The Dzogchen teachings are the highest of the nine [[Yana (Buddhism)|yana]], (Tibetan ''theg pa'', vehicle) of the Nyingma (Wylie: ''rnying ma'') school of Tibetan Buddhism and the Tibetan Bön (Wylie: ''bon'') tradition. Many lamas, particularly of the [[Nyingma]] and [[Kagyu]] schools, regard them as the most profound teachings altogether.''Dzogchen: The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection'' by the Dalai Lama, trans. by Thupten Jinpa & Richard Barron, fore. by Sogyal Rinpoche, ed. by Patrick Gaffney. Snow Lion. 1559392193 The instructions that point to the Dzogchen state are sometimes described as a set of "inner" or "heart" (Wylie: ''snying thig'') teachings. Practicing Tibetan Buddhists{{Who|date=December 2007}} consider that the state pointed to by these teachings is very difficult to describe, and can only be discovered through its transmission by an authentic [[Vajrayana|Vajra]] Master.{{Fact|date=December 2007}} Some teachers also regard Dzogchen as a teaching completely in its own right, independent of Buddhism or Bön. Namkhai Norbu says that, as our primordial nature, Dzogchen has existed since the beginning of time and is pointed to by various masters throughout the universe.Norbu (1999) ==Background== According to one tradition, the first master of the Buddhist Dzogchen lineage in our world was [[Garab Dorje]] (Wylie: ''dga' rab rdo rje'', Sanskrit *''prahevajra'') from [[Uddiyana]] (Wylie:. ''o rgyan''). ====Indian originators==== From Garab Dorje, Dzogchen is said to have been passed down as listed following. Often, practitioners are said to have lived for hundreds of years, and there are inconsistencies in the lifespan dates given, making it impossible to construct a sensible timeline. # [[Prahevajra]] (Tib. ''Garab Dorje'', Wylie: ''dga' rab rdo rje'') 184 BCE to 57 CE # [[Manjusrimitra|Mañjuśrīmitra]] (Tib. ''Jampal Shenyen'', Wylie: '' 'jam dpal bshes gnyen'') 2nd century BCE (elder contemporary of Prahevajra) # [[Sri Singha|{{IAST|Śrī Siṃha}}]] (Tib. ''Palgyi Senge'', Wylie: '' dpal gyi senge'') 3rd century CE (500 years before Vimalamitra)''The Tantra that Reveals the Intrinsic Buddha Mind'', translated in :- Erik Pema Kunsang (translator) : ''Wellsprings of the Great Perfection''. Rangjung Yeshe Publications, Hong Kong, 2006. p. 215 # [[Padmasambhava]] (Tib. ''Pema Jungne'' or ''Guru Rinpoche'') fl. mid-8th CE # [[Vimalamitra]] (Tib. ''Drime Shenyen'', Wylie: ''dri med bshes gnyen'') fl. late 8th CE # [[Vairotsana]] (Tib. ''Nampar Nangdze Lotsawa'', Wylie: ''rnam par snang mdzad lo tsa ba'' ) fl. late 8th CE ====In Tibet==== Padmasambhava (Tib. ''Pema Jugne'' or ''Guru Rinpoche'', Wylie: ''padma 'byung gnas'', ''gu ru rin po che'') is considered the source of the Buddhist Dzogchen teachings in Tibet (Tib. ''bod''), which are the heart of the Nyingma (Wylie: ''rnying ma'') tradition, with which they are primarily associated. Dzogchen has also been practiced in the [[Kagyu]] (Wylie: ''bka' brgyud'') lineage, beginning with [[Milarepa]] (Wylie: ''mi la ras pa'') and most notably by the Third [[Karmapa]], [[Rangjung Dorje]] (Wylie:. ''rang byung rdo rje''). The [[Lozang Gyatso, 5th Dalai Lama|Fifth]], [[Thubten Gyatso, 13th Dalai Lama|Thirteenth]], and [[Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama|Fourteenth]] (present) [[Dalai Lama]]s (Wylie: ''ta la'i bla ma'') are also noted Dzogchen masters, although their adoption of the practice of Dzogchen has been a source of controversy among more conservative members of the [[Gelug]] (Wylie: ''dge lugs'') tradition. In the Bön religion, three separate Dzogchen traditions are attested and continue to be practiced: A-tri (Wylie: ''a khrid''), Dzogchen (Wylie: ''rdzogs chen'', here referring narrowly to the specific lineage within the Bön tradition), and Shang Shung Nyen Gyu (Wylie: ''zhang zhung snyan rgyud''). All are traced back to the founder of Bön, [[Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche]] (Wylie: ''ston pa gshen rab mi bo che''). ==Concepts== The essence of the Dzogchen teaching is the direct transmission of knowledge from master to disciple. [[Garab Dorje]] epitomized the Dzogchen teaching in three principles, known as the Three Statements of Garab Dorje: #Direct introduction to one's own nature (Tib. ''ngo rang thog tu sprod pa'') #Not remaining in doubt concerning this unique state (Tib. ''thag gcig thog tu bcad pa'') #Continuing to remain in this state (Tib. ''gdeng grol thog tu bca' pa'') In accordance with these three statements, Garab Dorje's direct disciple Manjushrimitra (Tib. '''jam dpal bshes gnyen'') classified all the Dzogchen teachings transmitted by his master into three series: # [[Semde]] (Wylie: ''sems sde''; Skt: ''cittavarga''), the series of Mind, that focuses on the introduction to one's own primordial state; # [[Longde]] (Wylie: ''klong sde''; Skt: ''abhyantaravarga''), the series of Space, that focuses on developing the capacity to gain familiarity with the state and remove doubts; and # [[Menngagde|Men-ngak]] (Wylie: ''man ngag sde'', Skt: ''upadeshavarga''), the series of secret Oral Instructions, focusing on the practices in which one engages after gaining confidence in knowledge of the state. The Dzogchen teachings focus on three terms: View, Meditation, and Action. To see directly the absolute state of our mind is the ''View''; the way of stabilizing that View and making it an unbroken experience is ''Meditation''; and integrating that View into our daily life is what is meant by ''Action''. Dzogchen is one of several approaches to [[nondualism]]. This open awareness of Dzogchen, or [[rigpa]] (also comparable to the [[Buddha nature]]), is said to lie at the heart of all things and indeed of all Dzogchen practice and is nothing less than "... primordial wisdom's recognition of itself as unbounded wholeness .... the incorruptible mindnature." Klein, Wangyal, ''Unbounded Wholeness'', Oxford University Press, 2006, p. v. This reflexive awareness of Enlightenment is said to be inherent within all beings, but not to be attainable by thought Klein and Wangyal, 2006, p. vi. Klein and Wangyal comment: " ... cause and effect, sentient beings and Buddhas, subjects and objects, path and goal are ultimately revealed to be of one taste: movement from one to the other is no movement at all, really, but a dynamic stillness." Klein and Wangyal, 2006, p. 48 There can be found within Dzogchen a sense of Reality as limitless wholeness, a multiplicity which is yet all of one 'taste', which is a borderless wholeness. According to Lopon Tenzin Namdak, it is unconditioned and permanent, changeless, not originated from causes and conditions, blissful, and the base or support of numerous exalted qualities.Klein, Wangyal, 2006, pp. 68-69. 'It is at once base, path, and fruit' Klein and Wangyal, 2006, p. 118. 'That reality, unbounded wholeness, is naturally complete.' Also: '... the essence and base of self-arisen wisdom is the allbase, that primordial open awareness is the base, and that recognition of this base is not separate from the primordial wisdom itself. ... that open awareness is itself authentic and its authenticity is a function of it being aware of, or recognizing itself as, the base. ... The reflexively self-aware primordial wisdom is itself open awareness (''rigpa''),inalienably one with unbounded wholeness.' Klein and Wangyal, 2006, p.109 ===Opposing views=== The views of the Dzogchen school are not endorsed by all Tibetan Buddhists. In fact, [[Bonpo]] [[Lopon Tenzin Namdak]] contrasts his own view that primordial wisdom does not arise from causes with that of [[Tsongkhapa]], who states that without consciousness, there is no understanding.Klein and Wangyal, page 107. Some critics claim that the views of the Dzogchen school of philosophy conflict with those of [[Madhyamaka]] and to the views of other prominent Buddhist thinkers such as the logician [[Dharmakirti]].Klein and Wangyal, page 45, see also page 135. However, [[Longchenpa]] and [[Jamgon Ju Mipham Gyatso|Mipham]] argue that the views of the Dzogchen school are in fact in accord with the view of Madhyamaka.''Mipham's Beacon of Certainty: Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism''{{Clarify me|date=February 2009}} Dzogchen meditative techniques are, however, consistent with Madhyamaka. ===Three aspects of energy=== [[Image:Sam Taeguk.jpg|thumb|right|180px|[[Gankyil|Ananda Chakra]]]] Sentient beings have their energy manifested in 3 aspects: # 'dang' (Wylie: ''[ gDangs]'') # 'rolpa' (Wylie: ''[ Rol-pa]'') # 'tsal' (Wylie: ''[ rTsal]'') Energy of an individual on the dang level is essentially infinite and formless. In the form of rolpa, energy forms appear as though seen with 'the eye of the mind'. Many practices of [[thödgal]] and [[yangthig]] work on the basis of functioning of the rolpa aspect of individual's energy. It is also the original source of the [[sambhogakaya]] deities visualized in Buddhist [[Tantra|tantric]] transformational practices and of manifestations of one hundred peaceful and wrathful deities in [[bardo]]. Tsal is the manifestation of the energy of the individual him or herself, as apparently an 'external' world.Norbu (1999), pp. 99, 100, 101 The mind of a sentient being is also tsal energy when it is 'contaminated' by the karmic 'winds' (Tibetan: ''[[Lung (Tibetan Buddhism)|rlung]]'').{{Fact|date=February 2007}} Certain practices stop the karmic winds of the body and therefore allow the energy of tsal to be experienced by itself. The interplay of these energies explain the '[[thoughtform]]' or '[[tulpa]]' (Tibetan: ''[ sprul pa]'') phenomenon, the logistics of the [[Trikaya]] doctrine, the [[yidam]] [[sadhana]], [[bardo]] visions, [[Ösel (yoga)|Clear Light]] (Tibetan: ''[ 'od gsal]''), [[emergence]] and the logistics of the doctrine of ''[[Pratītyasamutpāda]]'', they also explain the 'play' (Sanskrit: ''[[lila]]''; Tibetan: ''[ kun tu rtse]'') of the [[Five Pure Lights]] (Tibetan: [ 'od lnga]) and the arising of a '[[Creation myth|Creation]]' '''without''' a [[Creator deity]] or a [[Prime Cause]] that is the particular 'view' (Tibetan: ''[ lta ba]'') and hallmark of Buddhism. ===External world versus continuum=== According to Dzogchen teachings, energy of an individual is essentially totally formless and free from any [[duality]]. However, [[Karma in Buddhism|karmic traces]], contained in the [[storehouse consciousness]] of the individual's [[mindstream]] (Sanskrit: ''citta santana''; Tibetan: ''sems rgyud'') give rise to two kinds of forms: * forms that the individual experiences as his or her body, voice and mind and * forms that the individual experiences as an external environment. It is maintained that there is nothing external or separate from the individual. What appears as a world of apparently external phenomena, is the energy of the individual himself/herself. Everything that manifests in the individual's field of experience is a [[Continuum (theory)|continuum]] (Sanskrit: ''santana''; Tibetan: ''rgyud''). This is the [[Great Perfection]] that is discovered in the Dzogchen practice.Norbu (1999), pp. 99, 101 ===Causality and interdependent origination=== In Dzogchen teachings the [[interdependent origination]] and any kind of [[causality]] is considered illusory: '(One says), "all these (configurations of events and meanings) come about and disappear according to dependent origination." But, like a burnt seed, since a nonexistent (result) does not come about from a nonexistent (cause), cause and effect do not exist. Being obsessed with entities, one's experiencing itself [Wylie: ''sems'', Sanskrit: ''citta''], which discriminates each cause and effect, appears as if it were cause and condition.' (from byang chub sems bsgom pa by [[Mañjusrîmitra]]. Primordial experience. An Introduction to rDzogs-chen Meditation, pp. 60, 61) This corresponds to the assertion in the [[Heart Sutra]] (Sanskrit: Prajñāpāramitā Hridaya Sūtra), that there is no karma, no law of cause and effect. The assertion was made by [[bodhisattva]] [[Avalokiteshvara]] in a teaching for the great [[arhat]] [[Sariputra|Shariputra]], given before multitude of beings, on request of Buddha [[Shakyamuni]]. After the teaching Buddha Shakyamuni greatly praised the wisdom of Avalokiteshvara's words and the beings present rejoiced.Norbu (1999), p. 42 ===Guardians=== All teachings have energies that have special relationships with them. These energies are guardians of the teachings. The energies are iconographically depicted as they were perceived by yogis who had contact with them. The [[dharmapala]]s most associated with Dzogchen are [[Ekajati]] in the Nyingma and [[Sidpa Gyalmo]] in the Bön tradition. The iconographic forms were shaped by perceptions and also by the culture of those who saw the original manifestation and by the development of the tradition. However the guardians are not merely symbols. The pictures show actual beings.Norbu (1999), p. 129 ===Well-being and health=== Dzogchen teachings maintain that the quality of lives of people is best when the internal [[classical element|elements]] are balanced.Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche (2002), p. 21 The body is healthy when the elements are balanced.[ THDL Medicine Collections] They see the best way to balance the elements as abiding in the natural state. [[Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche]] (2002), p. 121 ==Practice== In Dzogchen, self-liberation is achieved by discovering or recognizing one's own primordial [[mindstream]] and remaining in that natural state of primordial awareness in which all phenomena are experienced without creating [[karma]] through reaction, attachment, or conceptual labelling. [[Chögyal Namkhai Norbu]] [[Rinpoche]] and other teachers provide different practical sets of instructions (Sanskrit: ''[[sadhana]]'') for the practice of Dzogchen. The central practice of Dzogchen teaching is Dzogchen 'contemplation' (Tib. ''ting nge 'dzin'') which is rendered in English as "The View". "The View" when stabilized or unbroken, is the [[nondual]] perception of the Dzogchenpa, or Dzogchen practitioner. That is, a continuous 'contemplation' through all activity, waking and sleeping as a lived experience. According to some Dzogchenpa (in particular, [[Namkhai Norbu]]), Dzogchen is a 'practice', rather than a 'doctrine' or 'religion', and does not require the practitioner (Sanskrit: ''[[sadhaka]]'') to be anywhere special; in fact, to be normally active while in a state of primordial or natural awareness is the ultimate practice of Dzogchen. Silent and prolonged meditation (Tib. ''sgom pa'') is also used to allow the obscurations (Sanskrit: ''[[kleśa]]'') of the mind to dissipate like clouds dissolving to reveal the empty, luminous sky. Through meditation, it is possible to remove the conditioning of our [[bodymind]] (Sanskrit: ''[[namarupa]]'') and to glimpse and work to stabilize our true nature (Tibetan: ''[[Rigpa]]''; Sanskrit: ''[[vidya]]''). The goal of Dzogchen practice is to remain in the clear, undeluded state of the nature of the bodymind, unconditioned by thoughts—which is not the same thing as not having any thoughts. At the beginning, a Dzogchen teacher introduces one directly (Tib. ''ngo sprod'', introduce, point out) to the real nature of one's bodymind, even if only for a few seconds; being a Dzogchen practitioner thus implies that one must have a qualified Dzogchen teacher, one who has mastered the nature of the mindstream. Historically, Dzogchen teachers have been very selective in choosing initiates, but current lineage holders in the Nyingma and Bön traditions have made Dzogchen teachings available to a wider (Western) audience. ====Sky gazing==== In both the Bön and Buddhist Dzogchen traditions, [[sky gazing (Dzogchen)|sky gazing]] is considered to be an important practice.[[Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche]] (2002), p. 130 Detailed instructions on the practice are provided by the Nyingma teacher [[Tarthang Tulku]].[[Tarthang Tulku]] (1977) ====Tregchöd and thödgal==== Once the state of non-dual contemplation has been arrived at, one has to continue in it. This continuation has two levels of practice: [[Kadag Trekchö|tregchöd]] and [[thödgal]]. These are main practices presented in the [[Menngagde]] series (Oral Instruction Series) of the dzogchen teachings. ====Body of Light==== [[Image:Dzogchen A.png|thumb|Tibetan letter "A", the symbol of [[Rainbow body|body of light]]]] When an advanced practitioner successfully completes practices of [[Longde]] or [[Menngagde]], he or she realizes the [[Body of Light]] also known as [[rainbow body]] ([[Wylie transliteration|Wylie]] 'ja' lus, pronounced Jalü.) When such an individual dies, from the point of view of an external observer, the following happens: the corpse does not start to decompose, but starts to shrink until it disappears. Usually fingernails, toenails and hair are left behindNorbu (1999), pp. 158-161 (see e.g. [[Togden Urgyen Tendzin]], [[Ayu Khandro]], [[Nyala Rinpoche|Changchub Dorje]].) Some exceptional practitioners such as [[Padmasambhava]] and [[Vimalamitra]] are held to have realized the [[Great Transferrence]] ([[Wylie transliteration|Wylie]] 'pho ba chen po, pronounced Phowa Chenpo). This is an advanced ''[[Phowa]]'' practice. The individual does not die at all, but his or her physical body gradually disappears for an external observerNorbu (1999), p. 162, while being able to exist and abide wherever and whenever is pointed by one's will. ====Dzogchenpa samaya: a practiceless practice of abiding or contemplation==== Capriles (2003: p. 180) openly quotes Dzogchenpa [[Namkhai Norbu]] in the subtle but very important distinction of the activity of meditation from the effortless abiding of Dzogchen contemplation:
Chögyäl Namkhai Norbu relates that once someone asked the famous Dzogchen Master, Yungtön Dorje Pel, what his practice consisted of, and he replied with the negative “mepa” or “there isn’t.” Then his startled questioner asked again, “Then you don’t meditate?,” to which the Master replied, “And when am I ever distracted?” This is the essence of ''samaya'' in Dzogchen teaching: not to meditate or to practice something with the mind and yet never to be distracted, for one remains uninterruptedly in the self-perfection of the single state of rigpa or Truth.Capriles, Elías (2003). ''Buddhism and Dzogchen: The Doctrine of the Buddha and the Supreme Vehicle of Tibetan Buddhism. Part One Buddhism: A Dzogchen Outlook''. Source: [] (accessed: Saturday, August 23, 2008) p.180
In this denotation, dzogchen is a verb, and denotes the perfect process in the grammatical sense or alternately an [[infinitive verb]], wherein the great continuum of 'one taste' (Wylie: ''ro gcig'') or as Capriles renders it "single state" is the effortless 'contemplating' or abiding in the view of non-distraction from [[rigpa]]. ====Apperception==== '[[Apperception]]'{{cite book | last = Pettit | first = John Whitney | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Mipham's Beacon of Certainty: Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection | publisher = Wisdom Publications | year = 1999 | location = Boston | url = | doi = | id = | isbn = 0861711572 | pages = 129}} (Sanskrit: svasaṃvedana/svasaṃvitti; Wylie: rang rig)[[Paul Williams (British professor)|Williams, Paul]] (1998, 2000). ''The Reflexive Nature of Awareness: A Tibetan Madhyamaka Defence''. Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. ISBN 978-0700710300, p.xi is understood variously in different [[Yana (Buddhism)|yana]], [[buddhist schools]], [[sadhana]] and practice [[Lineage (Buddhism)|lineages]]. These cosmetic differences are resolved in the practice of '[[meditative]] [[trance]]' (Wylie: 'jog pa){{cite book | last = Pettit | first = John Whitney | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Mipham's Beacon of Certainty: Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection | publisher = Wisdom Publications | year = 1999 | location = Boston | url = | doi = | id = | isbn = 0861711572 | pages = 126}}. For it is in the direct experience and associated literatures of the deep contemplative traditions of Himalayan Buddhism ([[Tibetan Buddhism]], [[Nepal]]ese Buddhism, [[Bhutan]]ese Buddhism, etc) and [[Bonpo|Bon]], particularly Dzogchen and Mahamudra, that apperception is key, eg. '''[[Dark retreat]]''' (Tibetan: ''mun mtshams''Allione, Tsultrim (2000). ''Women of Wisdom''. (Includes transcribed interview with [[Namkhai Norbu]]) Source: [] (accessed: November 15, 2007)). 'Apperception' (Sanskrit: svasaṃvedana/svasaṃvitti; Wylie: rang rig)[[Paul Williams (British professor)|Williams, Paul]] (1998, 2000). ''The Reflexive Nature of Awareness: A Tibetan Madhyamaka Defence''. Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. ISBN 978-0700710300, p.xi In the language of [[Zhangzhung]], 'rang rig' (Wylie) is 'nges de shin'Jacques, Guillaume (2008). ''Zhang-zhung and Qiangic languages''. National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka. Source: [] (accessed: Sunday April 12, 2009), p.6 where 'shin' equates to 'shes pa'. The Zhangzhung lexical item 'shin' is found in many compounds (Martin, 2004: p. 158Martin, Dan 2004. ''Zhang-zhung dictionary''. electronic publication.) where it contributes a [[semantic value]] drawn from this [[semantic field]]: 'to know' and 'knowledge' to both nominal and verbal/process oriented [[lexical item]]s. Pettit (1999: p. 129) holds that 'apperception' (Wylie: rang rig) is key to [[Mipham]]'s (1846–1912) system of epistemology and hermeneutics discussed in the DRGDRG = [[Mipham]]'s 'Don rnam par nges pa'i shes rab ral gri' (Wylie) a text within 'lHag bsam bstan pa'i ryal mtshan, 1984' (Wylie) and in Mipham's ''Commentary'' to the Ninth Chapter of the ''[[Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra]]''. [[Padmasambhava]], [[Karma Lingpa]], [[Gyurme Dorje]], [[Graham Coleman]] and [[Thupten Jinpa]] (2005: p. 480) define 'intrinsic awareness' which is a rendering of the Tibetan Wylie 'rang-rig' and the Sanskrit 'svasaṃvitti' or 'svasaṃvedana' according to the precedent established in Indian Buddhist [[epistemology]] and in the writings of the lauded [[logician]]s ''[[Dignāga]]'' and ''[[Dharmakīrti]]'' that this technical:
...term ''svasaṃvedana'' refers to the apperceptive or reflexive faculty of consciousness, for which reason it is sometimes rendered as 'reflexive awareness' or 'apperceptive awareness'. However, in the view of the Great Perfection (''rdzog-pa chen-po'') and in the context of the present work [[[The Tibetan Book of the Dead]]], the same term refers to the fundamental innate mind in its natural state of spontaneity and purity, beyond the alternating states of motion and rest and the subject-object dichotomy. It is therefore rendered here as 'intrinsic awareness'. As such, intrinsic awareness gives the meditator access to pristine cognition [''ye-shes; [[jñāna]]''] or the buddha-mind [''thugs, [[citta]]''] itself, and it stands in direct contrast to fundamental ignorance (''[ma-rig-pa,] avidyā''), which is the primary cause of rebirth in cyclic existence ([[[Saṃsāra|'khor-ba]],] samsara). The direct introduction to intrinsic awareness is a distinctive teaching within the Nyingma school.... This practice is a central component of the Esoteric Instruction Class ([man-ngag-gi sde,] upadeśa[varga]) of Atiyoga, where it is known as Cutting Through Resistance (Khregs-chod).

Williams, et. al. (2000, 2002: p. 264) conveys an epistemological commonality held by Dharmakirti and Śāntarakṣita which holds that all is sentient consciousness:
There is also an epistemological argument found in thinkers like Dharmakirti and Santaraksita. How does consciousness know ‘external’ physical objects, when consciousness itself is of a completely different order from matter? Consciousness has a reflexive quality of knowing (svasamvedana), while matter has no such reflexivity. Clearly only things of the same basic order of reality can contact each other. Thus either all must be matter, or all must be consciousness. But if all were matter then there would be no experience at all. Since there patently is experience, all must be consciousness.


Dzogchen instructions are found in some Mahayoga texts, as it may simply have been the associated completion stage practice. However, the majority of the Dzogchen corpus comprises the "18" Semde tantra texts, the Longde tantras, and the Mennagde termas.

Reality vs dreams

According to contemporary teacher Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, in Dzogchen the perceived reality is considered to be unreal. All appearances perceived during the whole life of an individual through all senses, including sounds, smells, tastes and tactile sensations in their totality are like a big dream. It is claimed that on careful examination the dream of life and regular nightly dreams are not very different, and that in their essential nature there is no difference between them.

The non-essential difference between our dreaming state and our ordinary waking experience is that the latter is more concrete and linked with our attachment; the dreaming is slightly detached.

Also according to this teaching, there is a correspondence between the states of sleep and dream and our experiences when we die. After experiences of intermediate state of bardo an individual comes out of it, a new karmic illusion is created and another existence begins. This is how transmigration happens.

One aim of dream practice is to realize during a dream that one is dreaming. One can then dream with lucidity and do all sorts of things, such as go to different places, talk to people, fly and so forth. It is also possible to do different yogic practices while dreaming (usually such yogic practices one does in waking state). In this way the yogi can have a very strong experience and with this comes understanding of the dream-like nature of daily life. This is very relevant to diminishing attachments, because they are based on strong beliefs that life's perceptions and objects are real and, as a consequence, important. If one really understands what Buddha Shakyamuni meant when he said that everything is unreal or of the nature of shunyata, then one can diminish attachments and tensions.

The teacher gives advice, that the realization that the life is only a big dream can help us finally liberate ourselves from the chains of emotions, attachments, and ego and then we have the possibility of ultimately becoming enlightened.

Dzogchen monastery & Dzogchen Rinpoche

One of the traditional centers for the practice of Dzogchen is Dzogchen Monasterymarker, headed by Dzogchen Rinpoche.

See also



  • Capriles, Elías. Buddhism and Dzogchen. Part 1 - Buddhism: a Dzogchen Outlook. Published on the web at
  • Dudjom Rinpoche (1991). The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, Vol. 1. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-087-8
  • Karmey, Samten G. (1975). A General Introduction to the History and Doctrines of Bon. Memoirs of the Research Department of the Toyo Bunko, No. 33, pp. 171-218. Tokyo. (Especially Chapter 9 on rDzogs-chen on pp. 213-215.
  • Klein, Dr. Anne Carolyn, Wangyal, Geshe Tenzin Rinpoche, Unbounded Wholeness, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006
  • Norbu, Chögyal Namkhai (1999). The Crystal and The Way of Light: Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen. Snow Lion Publications. ISBN 1-55939-135-9
  • Norbu, Chögyal Namkhai (1992). Dream Yoga and the Practice Of Natural Light editor Michael Katz. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Publications. ISBN 1-55939-007-7
  • Norbu, Chögyal Namkhai (2000). Dzogchen: The Self-perfected State. Snow Lion Publications. ISBN 1-55939-057-3
  • Pettit, John Whitney (1999). Mipham's beacon of certainty: illuminating the view of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection. Somerville, MA, USA: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-157-2 (alk. paper)
  • Reynolds, John Myrdhin (1996). The Golden Letters: The Tibetan Teachings of Garab Dorje, First Dzogchen Master. Snow Lion Publications. ISBN 1-55939-050-6
  • Reynolds, John Myrdhin (2005). The Oral Tradition from Zhang-Zhung: An Introduction to the Bonpo Dzogchen Teachings of the Oral Tradition from Zhang-Zhung Known as the Zhang-zhung snyan-rgyud. Vajra Publications. ISBN 99946-644-4-1
  • Sogyal Rinpoche (1992). The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Random House. ISBN 0-06-250793-1
  • Surya Das (2007). Natural Radiance: Awakening to Your Great Perfection. Sounds True. ISBN 1591796121
  • Tarthang Tulku (1977). Time, Space, and Knowledge: A New Vision of Reality. Berkeley, CA: Dharma Publishing. ISBN 0-913546-08-9
  • Wangyal, Tenzin (2002). Healing with Form, Energy, and Light. Ithaca, New York: Snow Lion Publications. ISBN 1-55939-176-6
  • Wangyal, Tenzin and Klein, Anne C.(2006). Unbounded Wholeness: Dzogchen, Bon and the Logic of the Nonconceptual. Oxford University. ISBN 0-19517-850-5
  • Jigmed Lingpa (2008). Yeshe Lama . Snow Lion

External links

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