Home » Excerpts » A Very Brief Introduction to Dzogchen

Not abiding anywhere in particular,
where does one not abide in particular?

– Stonepeace

In Western society the message of Dzogchen may come as a relief, particularly to those who feel that much of Vajrayana Buddhism is culturally alien, or that the cultishness of ‘Lamaism’ is akin to ‘Animal Farm’’, or that the great gains of the Protestant Reformation and the move toward non-dogmatic humanism seem to have been thrown away in a fascination for oriental ritualism and dogma, or that the distinction between Buddhism and Christianity rests on fashionable conceits.

It is an error, however, to believe that Dzogchen can be taken ready-made from a book. A cogent semantic or poetic statement of Dzogchen – any of Longchenpa’s innumerable verses of precept – has the potency to induce an incipient realisation of natural perfection; but lacking a contextualizing lineal tradition and a mentor and exemplar who can assist in short-circuiting rationalistic mental habits, it is likely to fast fade. It is the personal mentor speaking in the final stanzas of the text:

So stay right here, you lucky people,
let go and be happy in the natural state.
Let your complicated life and everyday confusion alone
and out of quietude, doing nothing, watch the nature of mind.
This piece of advice is from the bottom of my heart:
fully engage in contemplation and understanding is born;
cherish nonattachment and delusion dissolves;
and forming no agenda at all reality dawns.
Whatever occurs, whatever it may be, that itself is the key,
and without stopping it or nourishing it, in an even flow,
freely resting, surrendering to ultimate contemplation,
in naked pristine purity we reach consummation.

Natural Perfection: Longchenpa’s Radical Dzogchen
Translation & Commentary by Keith Dowman
Get it at Awareness Place shops or Amazon

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