Watch: Summary of the Entire Shedra on the Atiyoga Dzogchen Yana
by Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche
Dzogchen Shedra Retreat on The Jewel Staircase
by Shechen Gyaltsab Pema Namgyal Rinpoche
Padma Sayme Ling
August 31, 2017
Day 6 – Final Session
1. The Nature of Dzogchen (Atiyoga)
2. Word Meaning of Dzgochen
3. View of Dzogchen
4. Divisions of Dzogchen
Mind Section (Semde w/ 7 subdivisions)
Space Section (Longde w/ 3/4 subdivisions)
Pith Instructions Section (Mennagde w/ 3 subdivisions)
5. How to Enter Dzogchen Practice
Finish General Ngondro Foundational Practices
Finish Dzogchen Ngondro Foundational Practices
Receive Dzogchen Empowerment (Rigpai Tsal Wang)
6. How to Preserve the View
General Samayas of “Hinayana” and Sutra Mahayana
Specific Samayas of Inner Tantras
Very Specific Samayas of Dzogchen
27 Guarded Samayas
4 Unguarded Samayas
Pith Instruction Instructions
Recognize the View
3 Abidings that Measure Your Stabilities
8. Conduct (w’/ Mindfulness, Alertness, and Thoughtfulness)
9. Result (Final Achievement)
What a wonderful way to conclude an extraordinary summer season overflowing with incredible Dharma retreats and activities!
Developing Natural Vitality with Calm Abiding Yoga Retreat
September 1-5, 2017
Daily cycles of calm abiding meditation and Heart Sutra recitation, yoga, and nature walks. Each day of the retreat will offer an energizing morning yoga practice and a gentle late afternoon practice. Diane Avice Du Buisson will guide daily yoga sessions.The yoga sessions will focus on balancing the body’s elements and clearing the channels with fluid movements, postures, and breath awareness. All levels welcome.
Diane has studied and practiced yoga for 39 years and was the founder of Yoga Source in Nashville, Tennessee. She has been a student of Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche since 1987.
From Tashi Choling:
We are sad to have to inform you all that this year’s teachings with Venerable Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche at Tashi Choling have had to be cancelled due to the ongoing smokey conditions and poor air quality in this area.
This year, there are many wildfires surrounding Tashi Choling. None of them are anywhere near threatening the center at this point, but the smoke pollution has been very bad for the past 4 weeks–and the National Weather Service has issued air quality alerts daily and projects “patchy smoke” in the forecast for an indefinite period of time until the fires are all contained. Many of these days, the air quality has been considered “hazardous.” People have been wearing masks outside and spending as much time inside as possible, and children and the elderly are supposed to stay indoors. Everyone can physically feel the stress of this of these smokey conditions in the air.
So, we after much soul-searching and fretting, we finally decided that it might be better if Venerable Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche and Lama Lorraine were offered the option of going ahead with the planned visit or instead splitting their time between Portland and ODD. After much consideration of Khenpo’s health, they decided it would probably be best to put off their visit to Tashi Choling for a future date and split their time this year between Portland and ODD.
In the meantime, please pray for all the many, many beings who have suffered in these horrible fires in the Pacific Northwest this year. Although Tashi Choling has not been directly threatened by these wildfires, we have nevertheless felt their presence. Moreover, many beings, including countless animals and insects, have lost their lives or suffered greatly as a result of these fires. Please pray for them: OM MANI PADME HUNG.
September 21-24, 2017
Tashi Choling is excited to announce that Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche, a renowned holder of the Dudjom lineage and a close student of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, will be visiting Tashi Choling and offering teachings on the practice of Chimed Sok Tig as well as a special teaching on His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche!
Keep reading for complete schedule and other details!
Support Your Practice with Meditation Pith Instructions on the New PBC Website
“Taming the mind does not mean eliminating outer objects or suppressing inner thoughts. It means revealing and maintaining the natural state of the mind. Taming the mind has nothing to do with cultivating certain thoughts; it is simply keeping the mind in its fundamental state, where its clarity and wisdom are revealed. The true nature of the mind is calm and clear and full of compassion, love, and wisdom.”
Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches
The Buddhist Path (pgs 2-3)
Photo of Venerable Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche and the PSL Sangha during the 2017 Dzogchen Shedra on The Jewel Staircase on August 31, 2017.
“We honor and glorify the great lineage masters when we realize how much they have contributed to our own enlightenment.”
Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche
Jewel Staircase Dzogchen Shedra Retreat
Padma Sayme Ling
August 28, 2017
Photos from the 3rd Anniversary of the mahaparinirvana of HE Dudjom Sangyum Rigdzin Wangmo at Orgyen Cho Dzong on August 27, 2018 with HH Shenphen Dawa Norbu Rinpoche, Namgay Dawa Rinpoche, Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche, and the gathered Sangha.
The Noble Stainless Beams of Light Sutra states:
Noble sons and daughters! Whoever circumambulates or make offerings to a stupa will be blessed by Tathagatas, move to the supreme enlightened state through a non-returning path, and purify all of their karmic obscurations. Even if the shadow of a stupa touches birds, animals, deer, or whomever, they will not be reborn in the lower realms.
Thus, in the sutras and tantras the Buddha taught extensively about the benefits of building stupas, as well as the benefits to those who support and make contact with stupas.
If you would like to support this glorious, meritorious project in honor of our lineage masters, or a loved one, please go to the PBC website ( www.padmasambhava.org/psl-temple-stupa-garden/ ) or mail a check payable to “PBC” to Padma Samye Ling monastery, and note in the memo who the donation is being made on behalf of.
Watch this video to learn how you can participate.
Thanks so very much!
The great master Shigpo teaches that bodhichitta is the foundation of Dzogchen practice. This is not only Shigpo Dudtsi’s teaching—all the Dzogchen masters teach this same thing. Therefore, when you begin any practice session, visualize the objects of refuge in the sky in front of you, and generate love and compassion for all sentient beings. Then take refuge. Bodhichitta and refuge can be a complete practice. If you’re practicing this way, after taking refuge, receive the blessings. Visualize that the objects of refuge dissolve into light, which then dissolves into you. Now meditate on the Dzogchen state. Relax your mind without blocking, grasping, or analyzing thoughts. Be open and awake; let everything come and go without your interfering in any way. Then dedicate the merit.
After his teachings on bodhichitta and refuge, Shigpo Dudtsi gives instructions on Vajrasattva, the mandala offering, and Guru Yoga. Vajrasattva purifies all the obscurations of body, speech, and mind so that you behold the radiant perfection of the universe. By offering the mandala you cultivate boundless, selfless generosity and in so doing accumulate tremendous positive energy, also known as “merit.” Guru Yoga is the profound method of merging with the guru, who is the perfect embodiment of the Three Jewels, the Three Roots, and the three kayas. Each one of these practices begins with bodhichitta and refuge, and each practice is completed by receiving the blessings, dissolving the visualization into light and then into yourself, meditating on the Dzogchen state, and dedicating the merit.
Shigpo Dudtsi studied and practiced all these teachings with great devotion and perseverance; that is how he attained enlightenment. The text we’re studying is the fruit of his experience and realization; it is his legacy to us. It is a complete Dzogchen teaching, which means it is the complete teaching of the Buddha.
The Buddha’s teaching begins with the Hinayana, or Basic Buddhism, which is the foundation. Throughout the Hinayana, andparticularly in the Sutras, the Buddha gave extensive teachings on Shamatha and Vipashyana. Shamatha means focusing the mind on a single object, without wavering, in order to attain a stable, peaceful mind. In the context of the Hinayana, Vipashyana means realizing the emptiness of the ego, or “I.” What is this ego? When we try to answer this question, we find no answers. We find no answers because there is no substantially-existing ego to find. When we become convinced, when we know for sure that there is no ego, we have achieved the result of Hinayana Vipashyana practice. Until the Buddha, no one had paused to consider whether or not the ego actually existed—everyone simply assumed that it did. The Buddha had the courage to explore the matter, and not to stop until he found the truth. The truth he discovered is known as the “emptiness of ego.”
The Buddha fearlessly continued his exploration and he also realized the “emptiness of phenomena.” Not only is the ego empty, but all the objects in the phenomenal world are empty as well. No one and no thing substantially exists; everything is a great magical display. This too was an unprecedented discovery in human history. The Buddha added the truth of the “emptiness of phenomena” to the truth of the “emptiness of ego.” Together these two discoveries are known as Mahayana Vipashyana.
Then in the Outer Tantra teachings of the Vajrayana, the Buddha added the following: “Not only are all phenomena and the ego empty, but everyone is a deity, a buddha.” This means that the true nature of every phenomenon, the true nature of the entire universe is enlightened. In order to experience this, we must purify our vision. The word ‘purify’ implies that there is a core of purity, but something is obscuring it. The Buddha said that the obscurations are no other than temporary habitual patterns of thought, speech, and action. In the Outer Tantras he taught us what is pure and how to cultivate it, as well as what is impure and how to avoid it. We must maintain courage and commitment, and keep a practice schedule to break away from habitual patterns and restore our natural qualities. Through wholesome physical activity, good speech, and disciplined meditation, our obscurations are removed, and our “having received the blessings.” The practices that lead us to this state are also classified as Shamatha and Vipashyana. When we focus on maintaining our purity understanding without being disturbed by thoughts, it is Shamatha. Rediscovering the enlightened nature of all phenomena is Vipashyana.
The Buddha’s complete teaching is contained in the Inner Tantras of the Vajrayana. The Inner Tantras are based on and contain the entire Hinayana, Mahayana, and Outer Tantra teachings, and at the same time go beyond them. In his Inner Tantra teachings, the Buddha said the nature of the ego and of all phenomena is empty—this remains the same. In addition the Buddha highlighted the blissful nature of emptiness. The entire universe is the mandala of bliss-emptiness, and every sentient being is also the mandala of bliss-emptiness. Bliss- emptiness is the true and ever-present nature of reality, but we don’t experience it because we cling to and are obscured by our duality conceptions. The Buddha gave many different teachings to free us from duality; these can be summarized as the Visualization Stage and Completion Stage practices. The Visualization Stage practices, which involve concentrating on and actualizing enlightened body, speech, and mind, are Shamatha. The Completion Stage practices are Vipashyana.
Although the Visualization and Completion Stages have different names, they’re not separate or distinct from one another. Through Visualization Stage practice we realize bliss, and through Completion Stage practice we realize emptiness. Bliss is emptiness, emptiness is bliss, and realizing their unity as the true nature of everything is enlightenment. It takes a very long time to accomplish this realization through the Hinayana and Mahayana teachings. Yet the Vajrayana teachings of the Buddha, particularly the Inner Tantras, connect us to this enlightened state directly and powerfully, and in very little time we can accomplish this realization. That’s why it’s called Vajrayana, which means “Diamond Path.”
Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches
The Beauty of Awakened Mind (pgs 49-51)
Question: What is the relationship between Dzogchen and bodhichitta?
Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches: The Dzogchen teachings are the highest teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni. From the Dzogchen point of view, everything is totally equal in one profound state, without duality and distinctions. Dzogchen is the ultimate view of the true nature of mind, which includes love and compassion. When we practice Dzogchen we develop compassion and loving-kindness; Dzogchen practice cannot be separated from bodhichitta practice. We cannot ignore relative bodhichitta and accept absolute bodhichitta; both are part of our true nature and both are part of Dzogchen.
For this reason, before we meditate, we take refuge and develop the thought of bodhichitta. After we meditate we dedicate the merit to all sentient beings. Whenever we practice or do any kind of beneficial activity, we should not cling to it. At the absolute level, everything is totally pure and perfect in great emptiness. From that point of view, we are completely free from all dualistic concepts and clinging.
Until we come to realize the emptiness nature, we continue to follow our thoughts, judging things to be good or bad, better or worse, dirty or clean. Even while we are following our thoughts, the ultimate reality does not change. It is similar to the weather. When you see a cloudy, gray sky, you cannot see the sun, but that does not mean that the sun and the blue sky are not there. They are still there; the moving clouds do not affect them.
Your thoughts are like the clouds that hide the sun of wisdom. When you reveal your inner wisdom and understand your primordial nature, all of your relative experiences become dreamlike. The objects you experience do not actually exist as the solid entities they seem to be. These dreamlike illusions are obscurations that come from your mind, and you must work with your mind in order to remove them. The obscurations cannot be burned away with fire or washed away with water, but they can be cleared away by bodhichitta and meditation. Bodhichitta and medit tion are the best cleansers. When you practice with bodhichitta you will be able to reveal profound treasures never previously available to you.
Every person has the enlightened nature, but to actualize that nature it is necessary to practice bodhichitta, the love and compassion for all beings. Bodhichitta is universally precious; everybody appreciates it and everybody has the potential to develop it. Enlightenment is completely dependent upon developing compassion for all beings. The wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of others is the essence of both the Mahayana and Vajrayana paths. When we develop inner wisdom, we can take care of all sentient beings, and radiate compassion and kindness throughout the universe. We can discover the true nature of the mind and of the entire world. In order to be able to do this, meditation practice is very important.
Bodhichitta is the root or the seed from which enlightenment develops. Bodhichitta is not found externally, but it is within your own mind. Although all of us have experienced love and compassion, these qualities need to be developed further. One way to increase them is to do the Dzogchen meditation of resting the mind in its own nature. This is because bodhichitta and emptiness have the same nature, the true nature of the mind. Practicing bodhichitta openly and freely will increase your understanding of emptiness because compassion and emptiness are inseparable aspects of the primordial state of being.”
Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches
The Buddhist Path
Photo of Ven. Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche at PBC Yeshe Tsogyal House in Nashville, Tennessee in 2009, by Libba Gillum Miller.
The Purpose of Madhyamaka
Svatantrika and Prasangika Madhyamaka both use similar reasonings to bring about the realization of emptiness. In particular, the five great reasonings of Madhyamaka usher forth the realization of the true nature. Emptiness is our meditation. But it is not as if we are trying to make something up or cover up reality with something extra. The true nature of reality is emptiness, and it is this natural state we are connecting with through our meditation. Actually, reconnecting with the true nature is known as “meditation.” Meditation is nothing more than simply relaxing and abiding in the nature as it is, without swinging between extreme views.
The roots of this extremism are grasping and clinging, the true hindrances to our realization of emptiness. So the great Madhyamaka masters used the five great reasonings to break down our grasping tendencies and usher us into the absolute nature of emptiness. Grasping and clinging are obstacles to our realization of the true nature because they do not accord with the way things are, with the natural state. They are hindrances because they take us away from the nature. The five Madhyamaka reasonings will smash down and remove our grasping and conceptual fabrications, illuminating the true nature of both subject and object. In his famous “Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life,” Shantideva said, “I do not refute what you see, hear, or think. I refute grasping, which is the cause of suffering.”
Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches
Opening the Wisdom Door of the Madhyamaka School (pgs 119-120)
Photo of Ven. Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche at Padma Samye Ling in 2008.