The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Dzogchen

No One has ever Moved

Jackson Peterson

Feb 21, 2018

In a dream at night, when “you” went from this place to another place, was there any actual movement of your dreamed identity across an actual expanse of space or distance? Did your dream character actually travel across a distance within the dreaming brain?

In neuro-science it has been proven that what we experience with the five senses is a neural movie occurring within the brain. It’s the brain’s representation of what it thinks is “out there”.

Eyes can’t see “out there” and ears can’t hear what’s out there. All the five senses are passive receptors of stimulations; but the stimulations are electro-chemical in nature, not experienced colors, shapes and sounds. The brain processes those electro-chemical stimulations and turns them into colors, shapes and sounds as our sensory experiences. The world we experience is always only a brain generated, virtual representation. We never experience what’s actually “out there”.

Just like our dreaming subconscious generates an imaginary self, who stars in our dreams as a dreamt “me”; the self as a “me” that we feel we are in daily life, is also just a virtual “me” that is generated by the brain, just like the virtual, inner movie world it lives in.

It’s this virtual “me” that seems to “move around” in its virtual world that it thinks is the actual world “out there”. There is no actual self other than the imaginary and virtual one generated in the brain.

That being logically and scientifically clear, can one then say they ever really “moved” from one city to another? Their traveling is only within changing images within a brain, by a brain generated self-image doing the traveling.

We can say “our actual physical body” traveled from New York to Paris, but our actual experience is confined 100% to being the brain’s inner virtual movie world and its inner, brain generated virtual tourist, felt as a real “me”.

It can become shockingly clear that although it seems a body traveled from one place to another, the observing “me” as the brain generated spectator, only saw the progressively changing scenery of inner brain generated movies.

And the spectator was also just a part of the inner movie whose thoughts, feelings, perceptions and actions were just part of the conditioned scripting built from memory and electro-chemical stimulations of the five senses.

The “me” has no more autonomy than the virtual trees that appear to view as the brain generates all those “tree” images.

It’s this same brain generated “me” that is programmed to feel that it can make choices, think, become enlightened, and commit actions.

When actions turn out to be troubling in result, the brain programs the self or “me” to feel regret or shame or a need to make amends, according to pre-programmed conditioning such as “morals” and “acceptable” social behaviors, for example.

There is no inner “true self” that can know and do. Just like there is no true self in a dream at night. ALL the activities of the dreamed self while sleeping, are 100% programmed by subconscious conditioning; and this is also true of the daytime self.

The “me” is just the current brain software constructed, self being projected. The characters in an old video, being watched on tv now, have no free-will to alter the script. Likewise our “me” or personal self, has no freedom to act outside of its brain generated script. You see there is no self at all other than the self generated from the neural activity of the brain. How can such an imaginary self ever “move”?

But beyond the imagined, brain generated “me”, impersonal pure awareness can’t be framed or understood by a non-existent ”me”; it’s not in the brain’s programming capacities.

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The essence of meditation practice in Dzogchen

“The essence of meditation practice in Dzogchen is encapsulated by these four points:
▪ When one past thought has ceased and a future thought has not yet risen, in that gap, in between, isn’t there a consciousness of the present moment; fresh, virgin, unaltered by even a hair’s breadth of a concept, a luminous, naked awareness?
Well, that is what Rigpa is!
▪ Yet it doesn’t stay in that state forever, because another thought suddenly arises, doesn’t it?
This is the self-radiance of that Rigpa.
▪ However, if you do not recognize this thought for what it really is, the very instant it arises, then it will turn into just another ordinary thought, as before. This is called the “chain of delusion,” and is the root of samsara.
▪ If you are able to recognize the true nature of the thought as soon as it arises, and leave it alone without any follow-up, then whatever thoughts arise all automatically dissolve back into the vast expanse of Rigpa and are liberated.
Clearly this takes a lifetime of practice to understand and realize the full richness and majesty of these four profound yet simple points, and here I can only give you a taste of the vastness of what is meditation in Dzogchen.

Source: Sogyal Rinpoche Quotes (Author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)


When attention is focused on itself

 

 

“Wherever the mind’s attention is focused, that becomes one’s experience. Focused on thoughts, thoughts increase. Focused on self, self charges up. Focused on suffering, it only gets worse. When attention is focused on itself, something indescribable and wonderful is revealed!”

~Jackson Peterson

Transparent Being * Dzogchen Discussion


The Essential Nature of Mind

 

“Buddhist teachings make a distinction between what is called Big Mind, or Natural Mind, and “small mind,” or ordinary, deluded mind. Small mind, or deluded mind, is the buzzing, unpredictable, frequently out-of-control ordinary mind.

This is our finite mind, our limited conceptual mind; our ordinary, rational, discursive, thinking mind. The deluded mind has so many impulses and needs; it wants so many things. It’s frequently confused; it’s subject to mood swings; it’s restless. It gets angry; it gets depressed; it becomes hyper.

Some ancient traditional texts refer to this small mind as “monkey mind,” where it is pictured as a chaotic little monkey jumping from tree to tree, looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places.

What is meant by Big Mind is the essential nature of mind itself. This is what we call Buddha-nature, or natural mind. This is our true nature – the pure boundless awareness that is at the heart, and part, of us all. The Buddha described it as still, clear, lucid, empty, profound, simple (uncomplicated), and at peace.

It’s not really what we usually think of as our mind at all. It is the luminous, most fundamental clear light nature of our ground of being. This is Rigpa, the heart of enlightenment.

Dzogchen teaches that all we have to do to become enlightened is to recognize and rest in this natural state of mind. In Zen they call this original mind. This is raw, naked awareness, not something we’ve learned or fabricated.

This is the Buddha within – the perfect presence that we can all rely on. Waking up to this natural mind, this Buddha-nature, is what meditation is all about.”

~ Lama Surya Das ~
Awakening the Buddha Within


The essence of meditation practice in Dzogchen

ocean ocean waves

“The essence of meditation practice in Dzogchen is encapsulated by these four points:
▪ When one past thought has ceased and a future thought has not yet risen, in that gap, in between, isn’t there a consciousness of the present moment; fresh, virgin, unaltered by even a hair’s breadth of a concept, a luminous, naked awareness?
Well, that is what Rigpa is!
▪ Yet it doesn’t stay in that state forever, because another thought suddenly arises, doesn’t it?
This is the self-radiance of that Rigpa.
▪ However, if you do not recognize this thought for what it really is, the very instant it arises, then it will turn into just another ordinary thought, as before. This is called the “chain of delusion,” and is the root of samsara.
▪ If you are able to recognize the true nature of the thought as soon as it arises, and leave it alone without any follow-up, then whatever thoughts arise all automatically dissolve back into the vast expanse of Rigpa and are liberated.
Clearly this takes a lifetime of practice to understand and realize the full richness and majesty of these four profound yet simple points, and here I can only give you a taste of the vastness of what is meditation in Dzogchen.

Dzogchen meditation is subtly powerful in dealing with the arisings of the mind, and has a unique perspective on them. All the risings are seen in their true nature, not as separate from Rigpa, and not as antagonistic to it, but actually as none other–and this is very important–than its “self-radiance,” the manifestation of its very energy.
Say you find yourself in a deep state of stillness; often it does not last very long and a thought or a movement always arises, like a wave in the ocean.  Don’t reject the movement or particulary embrace the stillness, but continue the flow of your pure presence. The pervasive, peaceful state of your meditation is the Rigpa itself, and all risings are none other than this Rigpa’s self-radiance. This is the heart and the basis of Dzogchen practice. One way to imagine this is as if you were riding on the sun’s rays back to the sun: ….
Of couse there are rough as well as gentle waves in the ocean; strong emotions come, like anger, desire, jealousy. The real practitioner recognizes them not as a disturbance or obstacle, but as a great opportunity. The fact that you react to arisings such as these with habitual tendencies of attachment and aversion is a sign not only that you are distracted, but also that you do not have the recognition and have lost the ground of Rigpa. To react to emotions in this way empowers them and binds us even tighter in the chains of delusion. The great secret of Dzogchen is to see right through them as soon as they arise, to what they really are: the vivid and electric manifestation of the energy of Rigpa itself. As you gradually learn to do this, even the most turbulent emotions fail to seize hold of you and dissolve, as wild waves rise and rear and sink back into the calm of the ocean.
The practitioner discovers–and this is a revolutionary insight, whose subtlety and power cannot be overestimated–that not only do violent emotions not necessarily sweep you away and drag you back into the whirlpools of your own neuroses, they can actually be used to deepen, embolden, invigorate, and strengthen the Rigpa. The tempestuous energy becomes raw food of the awakened energy of Rigpa. The stronger and more flaming the emotion, the more Rigpa is strengthened.”
Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Source: Sogyal Rinpoche Quotes (Author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)