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DzogchenViewofNgndro HisHolinessDudjomRinpoche Whateverpracticeweengagein,relativetruthandabsolutetrutharecoexistent; methodandwisdomarecoexistent;experiencesandemptinessarecoexistent.Thisis becausesuchisthenatureofreality.Thefoundationalpracticesofngndroexistasa methodforrealisingthenatureofrealitywhichisabeginninglessenlightenedstate. Thefinalphaseofngndro,guruyoga,isthequintessenceofthismethod.Throughguru thislevelofwisdomisreachedwhenthegurudissolvesandbecomesonewithyou.At thatpoint,youremainintheabsolutenatureofthings,whichistheactualstateof realityasitis. Atthebeginning,weinvokethepresenceoftheguru.Sincetheguruistheonewho exemplifiesboththequalitiesofthepathandthequalitiesofthegoal,weacknowledge theguruatthebeginningandendothispractice. Havingacknowledgedtheguru,weconsiderthedifficultyofgainingthehumanform whichisthemostconducivecircumstanceforspiritualpractice.

ice.Thehumanformisthe basisofthespiritualpathofliberationandisthereforepreciousandworthyofgreat respect.Ifyoudonotvaluethissituationinwhichyounowfindyourself,youwillnot makeuseofit,andagreatopportunitywillbesquandered. Thenweconsiderimpermanenceanddeath.Everythingthatexistsissubjecttochange anddissolution.Eventhoughyoudie,youwillnotfindfreedomsimplybylosingyour physicalform.Youwilljustcontinuecirclinginsamsara,takingoncountlessforms accordingtoyourpatternedperception.Thenatureofsamsaraistheexperienceof sufferingwhicharisesthroughattemptingtomaintaintheillusionofduality.We contemplateuponthat. Thenwereflectuponconditioningandthepatternsofkarmicexperiences.We recognisethemannerinwhichourperceptionandresponsesareallgovernedby dualisticconditioningwhichissodifficulttoundermine. ThesearecalledTheFourThoughtswhichTurntheMind.Theirpurposeistoshiftour attentionawayfromcompulsivepatterningandrepatterning.Itisimportantto contemplatetheseThoughtsatthebeginningofngondroinordertogeneratethe appropriatemotivationforpractice.Practisinginthiswayislikesmoothingouta ploughedfieldtomakeitevenandreadyforsowing.Thenweneedtosowtheseed itself.Tosowtheseedistotakerefuge,generatebodhicitta,offermandalas,andpurify ourselvesthroughVajrasatva.
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Fromtheperspectiveoftherelativeconditioninwhichwefindourselves,itisnot possibletorealisetheabsolutenatureofrealitywithoutrelatingtowhatisrelative. Withoutusingyurrelativesituationasabasis,youcannotrealisethetruenatureof yourmind.Inthesameway,withoutngondro,youcannotdirectlyapprehendthe natureofemptiness.Therelativeandabsolutecoexisttheygohandinhand;itis reallyveryimportanttorealisethis. Letusnowlookatrefuge.AttheexternalleveltherearetheThreeJewels:Buddha, DharmaandSangha.BuddhaisthesourceofDharma.Thosewhosemindsareturned towardsDharmaareSangha.Sinceweexistinduality,weexperiencedelusory dissatisfaction.Itisbecauseofthisthatwetakerefugeinordertobefreedfromthe experiencesofselfgenerateddissatisfaction.Duetomisapprehendingourtruenature, thishumanformbecomesthecontainerofendlessdualisticprojections.Itbecomesa sourceofattachment.Thisattachmentisverystronguntilyouseethetruenatureof existence.Untilyouarecompletelyfreedfromthedelusionthatyourbodyvalidates yourexistence,dissatisfactionwillcontinuallycolouryourexperience.Becauseofthis, theThreeJewelsexistasthefocusofrefuge.So,externallyspeaking,onetakesrefugein Buddha,Dharma,andSanghawithdevotion,butinternally,Buddha,Dharma,and Sanghaaresymbolicaprofoundandskilfulwaywhichleadsusoutofselfcreated illusorysamsara. FromtheDzogchenpointofview,theThreeJewelsarewithinus.Ontheabsolutelevel, thismindofours,whichisemptyofallreferentialcoordinates,isinitselfBuddha, rigpa,radiantselfluminosity.Externally,Dharmamanifestsassoundandmeaning youhearitandyoupractiseit.Butfromaninternalpointofview,Dharmaisempty.In essence,itistheunceasing,unobstructed,selfluminousdisplayofrigpaprimordial mind.Externally,SanghacomprisesthosewhosemindsturntowardsDharma,but internally,Sanghaistheallpervasiveallencompassingaspectofmind.TheThree Jewelsareallfullyaccomplishedwithinus.However,sincewedonotrecognisethis, wetakerefugeintheirexternalaspects.Whenyoupractisengndro,youvisualise Padmasambhavawithferventdevotion;youperformprostrationsinhumilitywith yourbody;andyourecitetherefugeversewithyourspeech.Then,whenyousit silentlyattheendofyourpractice,youdissolvethevisualisationintoyourselfandyou cometorealisethatthesethreesubject,objectandactivityarenoneotherthanrigpa! Themeditatorisoneself;Padmasambhavaisonesownobjectofmediation.Justremain inthenatureofrigpa.Otherthanrigpa,thereisnothingtofind!ShakyamuniBuddha saidintheDodeKalpaZangpo,Imanifestedinadreamlikewaytodreamlikebeingsandgavea dreamlikeDharma,butinrealityInevertaughtandneveractuallycame.Fromthisviewpoint, allismereperception,existingonlyintheapparentsphereofsuchness.Asregardsthe practiceofrefuge,therelativeaspectistheobjectofrefugetowhichyouofferdevotion andprostrationsandsoon.Buttheabsoluteaspectiswithouteffort;itiswhenyou

dissolvethevisualisationandremaininthenaturaleffortlessstateofmindinwhichthe conceptofrefugenolongerexists. Thegenerationofbodhicittaortheenlightenedthoughtmeansthatifwejustactfor ourselvesalone,wearenotfollowingthepathofDharmaandourenlightenmentwill beblocked.Itisoftheutmostimportancethatwegeneratetheenlightenedthoughtof freeingallbeingsfromsamsara.Beingsareaslimitlessasthesky.Theyhaveallbeen ourfathersandmothers.Theyhaveallsufferedinthesamsarathatisartificially fabricatedfromthegroundofbeing.Sothethoughtoffreeingthemfromthissuffering reallyisverypowerful.Withoutit,wehaveonlythedeludedconceptthatweare separatefromallsentientbeings.Theenlightenedthoughtis:Fromnowuntilsamsarais empty,Ishallworkforthebenefitofallbeingswhohavebeenmyfathersandmothers.Sofrom therelativepointofview,therearesentientbeingstobeliberated,thereiscompassion tobegenerated,andthereisanIwhichisthegeneratorofcompassion.Thewayof generatingandshowingcompassionwasexplainedbyShakyamuniBuddhahimself. Suchistherelativethoughtofenlightenment. Intherelativepracticeofthethoughtofenlightenment,youvisualiseallbeingsand thenyouarousetheenlightenedthought.Yourecitetheverseasmanytimesasyour practicerequires.Theinstructionaccordingtotheteachingsonthedevelopmentofthe enlightenedthought,isthatyouexchangeyourownhappinessforthepainofothers. Asyoubreatheout,yougiveallyourhappinessandjoy,andeventheircauses,toall sentientbeings.Asyoubreathein,youtakeonalltheirpainandsufferingsothatthey canbefreeofit.Thisisalsoveryimportant.Withoutthedevelopmentofthe enlightenedthought,wecannotfreeourselvesfromourattachmenttotheformsand displaysofemptiness,andsowecannotattainenlightenment.Itisbecauseofour inabilitytoshowcompassiontoothersandbecauseofbeingattachedtotheconceptof ourselvesthatwearenotyetfreeofdualism.Allthesethingsaretherelativeaspectsof thepracticeoftheenlightenedthought. Asregardstheabsoluteaspectoftheenlightenedthought,ShakyamuniBuddhasaidto hisdiscipleRabjor,Allphenomenaarelikeanillusionandadream.Thereasonwhythe Buddhasaidthisisthatwhatevermanifestsissubjecttochangeanddissolution; nothingisinherentlysolid,permanent,separate,continuous,ordefined.Ifyouseethe worldassolid,youtieyourselfupwitharopeofentanglementandareconstrainedand pulledbycompulsionasadogisbyaleash.Yougetdrawnintoactivitiesthatcannever befinished,whichiswhysamsaraisapparentlyendless. Youmightthinkthatbecausesamsaraislikeadream,perhapsenlightenmentissolid andpermanent.ButShakyamuniBuddhasaidthatnirvanaitselfisalsolikeadream anillusion.Thereisnothingthatcanbenamedwhichisnirvana;thereisnothingcalled nirvanawhichistangible.ShakyamuniBuddhasaidthisdirectly,Formisemptiness.For
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instance,themooncanbereflectedinwater,butthereisnomooninthewaterand thereneverhasbeen.Thereisnomooninthewaterwhichcanbegrasped.Theformis empty.ThenShakyamuniBuddhawentontosay:Emptinessitselfisform.Itisemptiness itselfwhichhasappearedinthemannerofform.Youcannotfindemptinessapartfrom form.Youcannotseparatethetwo.Youcannotgraspthemasseparateentities.The moonisreflectedinwater,butthewaterisnotthemoon.Themoonisnotthewater,yet youcannotseparatethewaterandthemoon.Onceyouhaveunderstoodthisatthe levelofexperience,thereisnomoresamsara.Intherealmofrealisation,thereisno samsaraornirvana.WhenspeakingoftheteachingsofDzogchen,samsaraandnirvana arejustanotherdualisticconcept.Butwhenlookingatthemooninwater,youmaysay: Butitisthere,Icanseeit!Butwhenyoureachforitandtrytotouchit,itisnotthere!Itis thesamewiththethoughtsthatariseinyourmind.Soifyouask,Howhasthiscome about?youneedtoknowthateverythingcomesaboutthroughinterdependent origination.Whatisinterdependentorigination?Itissimplythatthemoonandwater donotexistseparately.Theclearwateristheprimarycause,andthemoonisthe secondaryorcontributorycause.Whenthesetwomeet,interdependentorigination manifests.Itisthecoincidentalappearanceoftheprimarycauseandthecontributory cause. Toputitdirectly,theprimarycauseorbasisofsamsaraisdualitytheartificial separationofemptinessandform.Fromthis,allmanifestationsbecomecontributory causeswithintheframeworkofkarmicvision.Aslongasweattachtotheformdisplay ofemptinessasadefinitionofbeing,theymeettogetherandbringaboutthe manifestationofsamsara,Everythingthatweexperienceassamsaraexistsonlywithin interdependence.Youmustbequitesureofthis!Whenyougofurtherandexaminethe natureofinterdependentorigination,youfindthatitisnoneotherthanemptiness. Therefore,apartfromemptiness,therearenophenomenaordharmas.Theultimateview ofmahayanaisemptiness,butthisviewpointdoesnotexistinthelowerteachings. Ifyoureallylookintoyourexperienceofexistencewiththeeyeofmeditation,you begintoseeeverythingastheplayofemptiness.Phenomenaasreferentialcoordinates becomeexhaustedandyoufinallyarriveattheiressentialnature,whichisemptiness. But,havingsaidthis,youmightbeledtosay,Inthatcase,wedonotneedtodoanything. Butwhetheryouneedtosoanythingornot,itsuptoyou.Itsimplydependsonyour mind!Justdrylytalkingofemptinessisnotenough!Youmustactualiseitandseefor yourself.Ifyourmindisreallyemptyofreferentialmanipulation,thenthereisnohope, nofear,nonegativityyourmindisfreeofthat!Itislikewavingyourhandinthesky! Whateverarisesiscompletelyunobstructed.Thepurposeofmeditationistoremainin thisnaturalstate.Inthatstateallphenomenaaredirectlyrealisedintheiressential emptiness.Thatiswhywepractisemeditation.Meditationpurifieseverythingintoits emptynature.Firstwemustrealisethattheabsolute,naturalstateofthingsisempty. Then,whatevermanifestsistheplayofdharmakaya.Outoftheemptynatureof
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existencearisealltherelativemanifestationsfromwhichwefabricatesamsara.You needtounderstandquiteclearlyhowthingsareinrealityandhowtheyappearinterms ofduality.ItisveryimportanttohavethisView,becausewithoutView,your meditationbecomesdull.Justsimplysittingandsaying,Itsallempty,islikeputtinga littlecupupsidedownthatlittleemptyspaceinthecupremainsaverynarrow, limitedemptiness.Youcannotevendrinkteafromit! Itisessentialtoactuallyknowtheheartofthematterasitis.Intheabsolutesense,there arenosentientbeingswhoexperiencedissatisfaction.Thisdissatisfactionisasemptyas theclearsky,butbecauseofattachmenttotheformdisplaysofemptinessthrough interdependentorigination,therelativesphereofthingsbecomesanillusorytrapin whichtherearesentientbeingswhodoexperiencedissatisfaction.Thisisthemeaning ofsamsara. InexpressingtheessentialqualityoftheGreatMother,emptiness,itissaid,Thoughyou wanttoexpressthenatureoftheHeartSutra,youcannotputitintowords.Itistotally beyondutterance,beyondthought,beyondconcept.Itwasneverborn.Ithasnever died.Ifyouask,whatitislike.Itislikethesky.Youcanneverfindthelimitofthesky. Youcanneverfindthecentreofthesky.Sothisskylikenatureissymbolicof emptiness:itisspacious,limitless,andfree,withinfinitedepthandinfiniteexpanse. Buthavingsaidthis,youmightsay,Somyownrigpa,thenatureofmyownmind,islikethe sky,freefromalllimitations.Butthisisnotiteither!Itisnotjustempty.Ifyoulookintoit thereissomethingtosee.Seeisjustawordwehavetouseinordertocommunicate. Butyoucanseethat.Youcanmeditateonthat.Youcanrestinwhateverarisesinthat spaciouscondition.Ifyouseethetruenatureofemptinessandformasnondualasit reallyisthisisthemotherofallbuddhas.Allthischatterhasbeenanelaborationofthe absolutethoughtofenlightenment,bodhicitta. NextisthepurificationthroughVajrasatva.Intheabsolutesense,thereisnothingto purify,noonewhocanpurifyyou,andnopurification.Butsinceweareapparently unabletoleaveitatthat,mattersbecomealittlebitmorecomplicated.Obscurations anddualisticconfusionsariseastheconsequenceofourclingingtotheformdisplaysof emptiness.Intheillusoryperceptionofthisgraspingattheformdisplaysofemptiness, wesubjectourselvestoendlessdissatisfaction.Becauseofthis,purificationisneededas arelativeskilfulmeans.Inordertopurifyourdelusions,Vajrasatva,Father&Mother, arisesfromyourowntruestateofrigpa,andtheflowofnectarfromthesecretmandala oftheirunion,completelypurifiesyourobscurations.Youenterintothisenvisionment andrecitethehundredsyllablemantra.Thisisthemeansofpurification.Butstill,inthe naturalstateofthings,inthestateofwhatis,everythingispurefromthevery beginninglikethesky.ThisistheabsolutepurificationofVajrasatva.

Nowwecometothemandalaorcosmogrammeoffering.Mandalasareofferedforthe accumulationofauspiciouscauses.Whydoweneedtoaccumulateauspiciouscauses? Itisbecauseofourgraspingtotheformdisplaysofemptinessthatillusorysamsarahas comeabout;soweneedtopractisegivingupalltheseformdisplays.Sincethereisthe illusionthatthereisawayofpurifyingillusion,wecanutilisethispracticeasarelative skilfulmeans.Becauseyoucanpurify,thisisalsoawayofaccumulatingauspicious causes.Whenyouofferyourbody,possessionsandglories,thisistherelative,symbolic mandalaoffering.Fromtheabsolutepointofview,thesethingsareempty,liketheclear emptysky.Sowhenyouremaininthestateofprimordialawareness,thatisthe absolutemandalaofferingandtheabsoluteaccumulationofauspiciouscauses. Thenthereisthepracticeofguruyoga.Duetoourclingingtotheformdisplaysof emptiness,theguruappearsastheonewhoinspirespurityofmind.Heorsheisthe objecttowardswhomonefeelspurely.Becauseclingingobscuresthemindandbecause youfeelpurityofperceptiontowardtheguru,bothyouandtheguruappeartoexistin thesphereofdualism,asifthefundamentalnatureofyourminds,withinthesphereof dharmakaya,weredifferent.Therefore,externally,youvisualisetheguruwithgreat devotion.Thenyoureceivetheempowermentofhisorhernondualcondition. Thesearealltheexternal,relativepracticesofguruyogainwhichyouhaveinvokedthe wisdompresenceofthesymbolicapparentguru.Thenyourecitethevajrawords:The gurudissolvesintolightanduniteswithmyverybeing;seethattheonetasteofrigpaemptiness istheactualfaceoftheguru! Ifyouaskwheretheabsoluteguruis,heorsheisnowhereelsebutthereinthe absolutenatureofyourmind!Theabsolutestateofrigpaiswheretheguruisfully accomplishedasprimordialwisdomandclearspace.Simplycontinuinginthe awarenessofhowitis,istheDzogchenpracticeofguruyoga. Thisishowtheouterngndrorelatestotheinnerngndrointermsoftheteachingofati yoga. TranscribedbyNgakchangRinpochefromoralteachingsgivenbyHisHolinessJigdrlYesh DorjeDdjomRinpoche,firstSupremeHeadoftheNyingmaSchoolinexilefromTibet; augmentedbyrepliestoquestionsaskedbyNgakchangRinpocheinprivateaudiences,relating totheshortDdjomgTrsarngndro,Bodhanath,Kathmandu,Nepal,1979.Slight grammaticaleditsmadeLamaDechenYesheWangmo2009.