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Quotations on:

Return to the Quotations Index is quite difficult to have an experience of Dzogchen, but once you do have that experience, it can be extremely beneficial in dealing with your day to day life, your job, and your career. This is because that kind of experience will give you the ability to prevent yourself from being overwhelmed by circumstances, good or bad. You will not fall into extreme states of mind: you will not get over-excited or depressed. Your attitude toward circumstances and events will be as if you were someone observing the mind, without being drawn away by circumstances.
For example, when you see a reflection of a form in a mirror, the reflection appears within the mirror but it is not projected from within. In the same way, when you confront the situations of life, or deal with others, your attitude too will be mirror-like.
Also, when a reflection appears in the mirror, the mirror does not have to go after the object that is reflected: it simply reflects, spontaneously, on the surface. The same with you: since there is no attachment or agitation at having these 'reflections' in your mind, you will feel tremendous ease and relief. You are not preoccupied by what arises in the mind, nor does it cause you any distress. You are free from conceptuality or any form of objectifying. And so it really does help you, in allowing you to be free from being caught up in the play of emotions like hatred, attachment, and the like.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from Dzogchen: The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection

In the Dzogchen teaching, which for millennia has recognized lucid dream experiences as well as such parapsychological phenomena as telepathy and precognition, the student is constantly advised that "one must not be attached to the experience." This counters the
Western trend to value experience for its own sake. Western approaches also encourage a systematic analysis of the content of
dreams, whereas Dzogchen teachings encourage practitioners not to dwell upon dream phenomena.
Although there seem to be clear benefits from the extensive examination of dream material, it is quite possible that these
benefits are only for the beginner. For the advanced practitioner, awareness itself may ultimately be far more valuable than the
experience and content, no matter how creative. Great teachers have reported that dreams cease completely when awareness becomes absolute, to be replaced by luminous clarity of an indescribable nature.
from 'Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light'

Dzogchen could be defined as a way to relax completely. This can be clearly understood from the terms used to denote the state of contemplation, such as "leave it just as it is" (cog bzhag), "cutting loose one's tension" (khregs chod), beyond effort" (rtsol bral), and so on. Some scholars have classified Dzogchen as a "direct path," comparing it to teachings such as Zen, where this expression is often used. In Dzogchen texts, however, the phrases "direct path" and "nongradual path" (cig car) are never used, because the concept of a "direct path" implies necessarily that there must be, on the one hand, a place from which one departs, and on the other, a place where one arrives. But in Dzogchen there is a single principle of the state of knowledge, and if one possesses this state one discovers that right from the beginning one is already there where one wants to arrive. For this reason the state is said to be "self-perfected" (lhun grub).
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, from 'Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State'

It is not enough merely to look into the space of happiness or sadness; it is important to have pure presence constant in that flow. If the power of meditation is not constant, it is impossible to remain long in the place of nondual perception. Thoughts that arise intermittently will break the continuity, and radiating out from this, like ripples on a pond, the poisonous taste of emotion will arise to obstruct the meditation. As gross thoughts increase, ripples become rough waves that intensify the emotion. Until subtle emotions are left behind, we cannot eradicate suffering, so it is crucially important to sustain the state of meditation. When we gain strong familiarity by staying in that space for a long time, then no matter what thoughts arise, whether gross or subtle, they will not be able to dislodge us: upon recognizing the first thought, whatever thought it may be, in that very moment, we realize it to be the play of the spontaneous creativity of dharmakaya. Like a wave falling back into the ocean, the thought vanishes into the dharmakaya. In that space of naked empty pure presence that is the view, always cherishing thoughts of the five poisonous emotions and all the movements of body, speech, and mind, and the acts of eating, sleeping, moving, and sitting, we are known as the yogins and yoginis who stand guard over the shifting dharmakaya display. This is the supreme method of sustaining the essence of meditation. According to Dzogchen teaching, this is unadulterated by any kind of focus; it is called “the great meditation that is nonmeditation.”
The Great Secret of Mind: Special Instructions on the Nonduality of Dzogchen, by Tulku Pema Rigtsal

...many people, critical of Dzogchen, question why we need to practice at all if, as according to Dzogchen, the primordial state is already the enlightened state. If our true nature is already Buddhahood, what is the need to cultivate enlightenment? We cannot side-step these criticisms since, according to Dzogchen, Buddhahood is indeed our natural state; we do not create it, but simply discover it through our meditation. But if we simply agree with our critics, this would mean there is no need to practice. These are important things to think about. We must answer that although the natural state of the mind is primordially pure, there are two ways of being pure. Defilements, or obscurations, are not in the nature of the mind (sems nyid) but in the moving mind (sems), so they can be purified. It is as in the Tibetan story of the old beggar woman who slept on a pillow of gold every night: she was rich, but since she did not appreciate the value of gold, she thought she was poor. In the same way, the primordial purity of our mind is of no use to us if we are not aware of it and do not integrate it with our moving mind. If we realize our innate purity but only integrate with it from time to time, we are not totally realized. Being in total integration all the time is final realization. But many people prefer thinking and speaking about integration to actualizing it.
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, Wonders of the Natural Mind: The Essence of Dzogchen in the Native Bon Tradition of Tibet

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Last updated: December 11, 2016