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  THE  MIRROR Newspaper  of the International  Dzogchen Community January/February 1998  ã  Issue  No.  43  Namgyalgar Under  the  Coral  Tree  Namgyalgar   Retreat Christmas 1997 by  Tony  Mugg T he afternoon of New Year's Day  was also a celebration of a beautiful  retreat  as participants relaxed  in the  shade  of the  Coral tree.  The  Coral  tree  is a lone and ancient warrior adorned  with prayer flags  that  grows on the sad dle  below Rinpoche's house at Namgyalgar.  A  wind  blew up and tall  clouds were  building  on themselves over the surrounding mountains while  retreatants enjoyed a wonderful  feast,  prepared by  Grit Fair,  under the beloved  tree. A  Gakyil  meeting prior to the retreat  had  finalized  plans, but the discussion  was dominated by our concern  with  bush fires. Some weeks of dry weather had made everything  brittle and the air was now  heavy  with  volatile eucalyptus oil from the  trees  of the forest. We  had studied the history of fires in  the district and considered how best  to protect the lives of everyone at the  retreat;  how to evacuate one hundred and seventy people and where. Water storage, fire pumps and hoses, notices, warning sirens, fire  buckets, the formation of fire fighting  teams  to stay on the land during  a fire so  that  Rinpoche's house and the Gonpa  could  be saved after a fire front passed through, were subjects all thor oughly  covered. Throughout the day, the  smell  of dryness justified our fear and care. The thought of local  rain showers before the retreat  was no comfort as a dry northwest  wind  can rise so quick ly  and  mockingly  erase that  gentle gesture. As  Christmas approached the weather moderated. It was  still dry.  but not so hot. Workers arrived  to help.  Alan  Gilbert with the preparations.  Brian  Snowden from  Melbourne. Sean from New Zealand  and from the USA, the Connecticut  Cowboy.  Jim  Smith. Also  our gekod Federica and assistant gekod Bob returned from their travels  with  Rinpoche in India.  Their work went  well  in the milder  conditions and  Namgyal gar looked safe and  welcoming. Rinpoche  arrived from Sydney happily  showing his tiger spirit; robust,  lively  and very much at ease.  He looked so  well.  His journey through Tibet and India and his  time in Singapore obviously enlivened  him. With  hot weather forecast, the Gakyil  submitted the concerns we had about the safety of everyone in  the event of a fire and gave  Rin poche an outline of our precau tions.  Rinpoche was not too worried, but said our preparations were important and it was necessary to consider everyone's safety. Rinpoche  then observed  that  as so many people were camping at Namgyalgar,  rain  would  be inconvenient for them, so maybe it would  be  better  if the rain came at the end of the  retreat.  Through the week of the  retreat,  the days were warm  and the air  still.  One day was even hot enough for  Rin poche to  swim  in the ocean. On  New Year's Day the remains of lunch were being packed  away and the towering clouds  continued to  form. Light ning  and thunder surrounded us at a  respectable distance; then rain. Big,  soft, warm drops of rain. We all  stood beneath the canopy of the  Coral  tree  and watched as it became steadier and heavier. Two  nights later, the air  still moist  with  rain and as thunder rolled  over the  hills,  the  Gakyil  sat on  the verandah of Rinpoche and Rosa's house. In a relaxed and  jovial  spirit Rinpoche talked about the development of   Nam gyalgar and gave us guidelines for the progress  that  would  take place over the next two years. Rinpoche was also  explicit  about the  Gakyil arranging a series of strong prac tice  retreats  to be held at  Nam gyalgar throughout this time. He looked  forward  with  hope to the next teaching  retreat  at  Namgyal gar at the end of 1999. The  Retreat  with Tsok   Nyi  Rinpoche  at  Merigar by  Sergio Quaranta T his  year I came to the Christmas retreat  at  Merigar with  the  finn intention  to  follow  the entire  retreat. There was no precise reason for my decision,  since I only knew Tsok Nyi  Rinpoche from his photo on the brochure announcing the  retreat.  To meet  him in person was a very pleasant and precious surprise. From  the very beginning,  Rin poche directed his teaching to a very concrete  level  describing how we, in general, continuously focus our attention externally, becoming slaves to objects, distancing ourselves more and more from our  nat ural  condition and ending up becoming  strangers  to ourselves. Losing  contact  with  that  which  we really  are is the source of   sadness, anger and depression, in other words,  suffering. Why  do we  fall  into this trap? The  cause  lies in perceiving  vision in  the wrong way. We attribute con crete  substance to  that  which  has no absolute existence; we strongly believe  that  objects are  solid  and real  and as a consequence we believe  in the reality  of   our   I . Here  the Master explained  that our  mind,   the knower . has two ways of   working:  one way is grasp ing,  the other is being free from any action  which  can produce karma. Respectively,  these  ways are noth ing  other than the expression of the superficial  aspect  (which we  could call  relative) of the  mind,  and the profound  or essential  aspect  of the mind  itself,  which  are not in opposi tion  but naturally inseparable. Since  we  fall  into this confu sion,  is  there  a way to come out of it?  Of course  there  is. Rinpoche explained  the essential method of Dzogchen  of applying 'non-meditation non-distraction'. This apparent  contradiction makes us understand how distraction  itself is  the source of all our problems. On  the other hand, maintaining presence during any type of action,  whether sitting for formal practice or any type of activity in daily  life,  is the key  which  unlocks the door of liberation. Rinpoche put into perspective the concept we often have, and  which  is only a concept, of seeing the 'practice' as something very elevated as opposed to mundane  daily life which  is something to reject. In Dzogchen  it is not  like  that,  on the contrary we cannot really  call  ourselves 'dzogpachenpos' as long as this separation exists. The  Master spoke at length on the  base,  the path, the fruit and the way  of seeing, meditation and behavior, as  well  as what is  meant by  awareness  with  and without effort. He then gave a complete explanation  on the  three  ways to liberate  that  which  arises and which  manifests as reflections within  our minds. Tsok   Nyi  Rinpoche asked us to be simple people, even if we are complicated  externally, in the  sense of   doing everything  which  we have to do in normal  life,  but capable of maintaining  a  mind which  is simple and pure. The Master compared this simplicity  to a wise old man who lives  happily  with  the  little  that  he has, without complaining when it rains or when it is sunny, but enjoy ing  all  types  of   conditions. During  the teachings Tsok Nyi Rinpoche  often stopped to ask us all questions to be  sure  that  we had understood the  crucial  points.  Dis satisfied  with  vague and  philosophi cal-type answers, he always showed us how to precisely recognize any possible  problem or obstacle and then punctually gave the solution, the way to overcome it. The numerous examples the Master gave to illustrate various situations were very  amusing, such as the story about the young man who learns to drive.  At the beginning he is  timid and insecure,  with  all  his  senses  alen with  the tension. But then he gradu ally  starts  to feel more secure and is able to drive in the traffic even while he is listening to music and hugging the  girl  seated  next to him.  Telling these  stories  with  his humorous and effective  gestures  the Master  indi cated how we  could  deal  with  the practice and gradually gain  confi dence in it. The  days started at nine in the morning  for many people who met in  the Gonpa for an hour before the teaching for a session of contempla tion. After  the afternoon teachings. Rinpoche's  assistant.  Lama Tashi. led  a collective practice  with moments of contemplation alternat ed  with  the practice of Vajrasattva. During  these  periods Rinpoche received  those  who wished to see him  in private to ask personal questions or  simply  to communicate their appreciation. More  than once Tsok Nyi  Rin poche personally led the afternoon collective  practice and on one occa sion  asked us to get up and walk around the Gonpa to experience and test  our capacity to maintain our presence and remain in the  state  of rigpa integrated  w  ith movement. Everything  went very  well.  The Master.  Lama  Tashi and the transla-  continued   on  page  5 SPECIAL  NEW YEAR PILGRIMAGE   ISSUE CONTENTS 2  IMPORTANCE  OK THE  DZOGCHEN COMMINITI Chögyal   Namkhai  Sorbii 2  1998  SCHEDILE  OF CHÖGYAL  NAMKHAI  N'ORBI 3  ORIGIN  OF TIBETAN  LANGUAGE  .AND CULTORE  A  talk  by  Chögyal   Namkhai Norbii 4  THE  NATURE AND MEANING  OF S.ANTl  MAHA  SANGHA  Adriano  Clemente 5  INTERVIEW  WITH TSOK  NYI  RINPOCHE 7  MASTER  BIOGRAPH - : :  YESHEDO  Jim  Yalby 7  BOOK  REVIEWS 9  TASHI  DELEC. Woody  Papara::o 10  A  PILGRIMAGE TO  THE  MIDDLE LAND  Li: Gratiner 12  PILGRIMS  IN  TIBET  Michael   Kai: 13  COMMUNITY  NEWS  ITO  PG  16) 19  REFLECTIONS:  HOW 1  MET THE TEACHINGS 20  PASS  THE PARCEL  John  Shane  Chögyal  Namkhai  Norbu The  Importance of   the Dzogchen Community T here  are many  newer  and older  students  in  the  Dzogchen Community who do not  have  a clear idea or  understanding about  what  the  Dzogchen Community is,and why  it is so important. Since  I  have  created  the Dzogchen Community,  it is my duty to  clarify  why it is so important. On  a  variety  of   occasions,  I  have  tried  to  explain how important our Dzogchen Community  is  for Dzogchen practitioners. It  seems  many people  don't  care  very much;  they  think that  Namkhai Norbu is giving importance to the organization of   the Dzogchen Community  because  it is  his own Dharma Center. Some people say, I  like  to come to  follow  your  teach ing  and  retreats,  but I  don't  like  the  organization  of the Dzogchen Community. With  these  kinds  of   misunderstandings, recently  some Dzogchen Ati followers  of   my teaching  - not  only  students who  have  been  following  my  teachings  occasionally,  but those  who  have  been  following  all  my  teachings  for many years  such  as  Dzogchen Semde, Longde and Upadesha,  as well  as  following  my  SMS  Trainings - are in a lot  of   confusion about  the way  they  view the Dzogchen Community. They are going  more  and  more  in  opposition  to the  principle  of the Dzogchen Community and creating their own Dharma Cen ters  to  have  personal positions.  These  people justify  it  saying that  they need more  freedom for  themselves  from the organization of the Dzogchen Community. I  understand  very  well  what  it  means  to  have  more  freedom for oneself. Some people  don't  feel  free  in  themselves  in  the Dzogchen Community  because  they  feel  there  is a  strong bureaucratic  or control system. If this is so, we should  note  that the Dzogchen Community  is not  functioning  in the  correct way, and  remember  well  what  the  purpose  is  of   having  Gakyils in  the Dzogchen Community. We should correct the  errors  of the people who are taking on the responsibilities of the Gaky ils.  This  is our  responsibility. Of course,  the  people  of the Gaky  il  should do their  best  to organize the Dzogchen Community, but it is not only the duty of the people of the  Gakyils.  It is also your duty.  Instead  of   criticizing  the  organization  of the Dzogchen Community, you should also try  to  correct things when you feel  there  is  something  that  really  does  not correspond to the principle  of   the  Gakyil. It is very possible  that  a person who has  been  following  the teaching of Dzogchen for many  years  may be involved in  vari ous kinds of activities. Through  that  principle, one could  need such freedom and  therefore  develop their own Dharma  center. All  this is very natural.  I  am not saying  at  all  that  people who follow  my  teachings cannot  open Dharma Centers. Of course, they  can open new Dharma Centers and  have  their freedom. What I am saying is  that  they  should not do it while  falling  into the wrong or opposing direction. What  does  it  mean,  the  wrong  or  opposing direction?  If someone  is  following  my  teaching  and  transmission,  they must  recognize  that  the  Dzogchen Community  is the  Main Boat. Even if you are creating  some  of your own  boats,  you must  always  be  in  the  Main  Boat. That  means  never  falling into  an  opposing position  to the Dzogchen Community and  criticiz ing  it, but  feeling truly  that  the Dzogchen Community is your own boat  and  taking  care  of it in  that way. One should not feel afraid  to create  a  Gakyil  in your own  center because  it  would infringe  on  your personal position and power. In this case,  even if your Dharma Center is not really the Dzogchen Community,  it  should somehow  relate  to it,  just  like  other  boats  can  -travel together  cooperating with the  Main Boat.  We can  call  it: A  Dharma Center  Affiliated  with  the Dzogchen Community. When you act as my  student,  as  a member  of the Dzogchen Community,  and do  Santi Maha Sangha Trainings regularly,  then  you  must understand  that  the Dzogchen  Com munity  is  like  being  in a  Big Boat that  carries all my  students  to whom I  have  transmitted all my transmis- G.  DALLORTO sions of Dzogchen  Ati  Yoga,  and  takes  them to the  final  goal of its realization  sooner  or  later.  That  means  that  the Dzogchen Community is  a  guarantee  to all my  students that  they  will  get to  the  final  goal  sooner  or  later with  my  transmissions  of Dzogchen  Ati  Yoga. When  we are  in  the  same  Big Boat  of   the Dzogchen Ati Yoga  Transmission, which is called the Dzogchen Community,  there  does  not exist very much of a  need  to open a personal Dharma Center or to  abandon  our Big Boat. Naturally, some times  there  can exist special  cases  or  reasons  why  there needs to  be  other  forms  of   Dharma Centers affiliated with  the Dzogchen Community;  like  having small  boats  due to circum stances  or  other  boats  cooperating and traveling  together  to the same  goal. In developing  these  kinds of Dharma Centers, we must  understand  that these  centers  must  hot develop in opposition to the Dzogchen Community while using both my  teach ing  transmissions and the Dzogchen Community for their own interests,  like  increasing personal position and power. I  can  understand  very  well  that  someone  can  have  problems with  the  organization  of   the Dzogchen Community,  because we are  living  in time and circumstances. There can always  be problems;  we do not  worry  about  having problems  because having problems  is the  natural manifestation of our samsaric condition. The real problem  is  neither  having nor not having problems, but having  awareness  while inside the problems. When we  have  problems with the Dzogchen Community, those  troubles  are usually related with people who are taking responsibility  as  members  of the  Gakyil  of the  Dzogchen Community. The fault is with the individuals in the  Gakyil,  not of   the  Dzogchen Community. When you  find  these  kind  of faults, you also  have  a  duty  to  correct them. This  means  that you are also being responsible for the Dzogchen Community; not only  in a  general way,  but  also  for the  Gakyil  of the Dzogchen Community. It is not  difficult  to communicate to the Gakyil;  you can personally  contact  the  people  of   the  Gakyil directly or by  mail.  Today we  have  all kinds of possibilities of communication:  letter,  telephone,  fax and  E-mail. The Dzogchen Community is for all Dzogchen  Ati  practitioners. It  doesn't  belong only to the people of the  Gakyil.  That N'AMKHAI NORBU RINPOCHE'S SCHEDULE  1998 SINGAPORE POLAND MERIGAR,  ITALY  (continued) Feb. 27-1 Mar.  Teaching  in  Singapore  May  22-24  Polish Retreat August  14-24  Chögyal TAIWAN  26-29  Visit Paldanling land Namkhai Norbu March  6-8  Teaching  in  Taiwan  ** GERMANY  General  Retreat JAPAN  (seeps  13)  June  5-7  German  Retreat  *  August  28-30  SMS III  Level Exam March  14-15 '  Tokyo Teaching  AUSTRIA  September  314  SMS IV  Level Training March  20-22  Island Retreat (Japan) June  10  Lucid  Dream  FRANCE ITALY  Conference* November  20-22  Paris Teaching* April  9-14  Merigar  Retreat June  12-14  Austrian  Retreat Novmber  27-29  Karmaling Teaching RUSSIA  MERIGAR,  ITALY  PORTUGAL April  20-22  Santi MahaSangha  June  25 His  Holiness December  4-6  Portugal  Retreat  * Base  Level  Exam,  Sakya  Trizin BRAZIL Moscow  Zhenpa  Zhidral  December  12  Public  Talk,  San  Paolo April  23-27  SMS 1st  Level training Teachin g December  18-20  SITIO  Retreat* May  1-5  Moscow retreat June  26-28  His  Holiness  ARGENTINA May  8-10  SMS 1st  Level Exam Sakya  Trizin Dec.  28-4  Jan.  1999  Tashigar  Retreat May  11-15  SMS  n  Level Training  Vajra  Kilaya  Teaching July  24-28  Chögyal Namkhai Norbu General  Retreat Venues  to be  announced.  Use  International Contacts  List  for  details  (see  The Mirror  issue #42). **  To be  confirmed means  that  all Dzogchen practitioners are in the  same  boat  and they  should  take  care  of   the Dzogchen Community  just  like their own home. That is how our Dzogchen Community mem bers  must  be in our Dzogchen Community. Even  so,  why  are  some  of   my older  students  opening their own Dharma Centers? Nowadays  in  India, Nepal and many places of the Western world, many new Dharma cen ters  or  monasteries  are manifesting suddenly and easily  like mushrooms flourishing  in the  rainy  days  of   summer.  It seems  like  something wonderful for the diffusion  of   Dharma.  It  could  be so  relatively,  but the  real condition  is  very different from  that.  So,  it is  better  we  understand  a  little more  clearly  about  the real condition. For  example, when  a  Lama who  is  mainly  interested  in receiving money and power, etc., arrives in the Western world or in  a  Southeast  Asian  country, he can say he should  create  a Dharma Center for the diffusion of the Buddha's teaching. The Lama can  say  that  he  needs  to  build  a  Dharma Center  or a monastery  for  a  group of monks to  live  in. Of course, for  that purpose,  he  can  get  some generous  donors,  or  can receive directly  sums  of money. This all  sounds  very nice,  doesn't  it? But in the real  sense,  most  of   these  kinds of activities are  just worldly  Dharma  businesses.  They  have  nothing to do with the Buddha Dharma. I  am not saying  that  all Lamas traveling in the West and Southeast  Asian  countries are doing this  -  we know very  well there  are  many good and serious Lamas  - but at the  same time,  there  are  also  some  Lamas who  are  mostly concerned with.doing a  kind  of Dharma business. I am referring to  those kinds of Lamas. If   we  take  as an example the  kind  of Lama who  wants  to be an important worldly Lama, the first thing  that  he  does  is use some  technique  that  encourages  many people to pay  respect  to him.  How  does  he do it? He  tries  to  build  a small  monastery  or a  center  under  his own  name  and  then  he  tries  to get  some donors  for  that  project.  Of   course,  he  can't  say  that  he is preparing for his position or worldly power. What he  needs  to say is  that  he is working for the benefit of the diffusion of the Dharma or for the service of a small community of monks  or nuns.  Yes,  of course, relatively  there  are always  some  benefits, such  as  diffusing  the  teaching  or  having benefit for  a  small Sangha, etc. But its  negative  side for the  life  of real Dharma is incomparable. When he  succeeds  to  build  his own  seat,  then  he  becomes a  venerable  Lama. He  has  more  possibilities  of   developing still  more  of   these  kinds of activities for supporting his own position. This Lama's  seat  carries  more  and  more  of a wealthy position and he has  more  and  more  power over  those dependent  people. Thus he  becomes  a  more  and  more  impor tant  Lama or  a  famous  teacher  and has the title of Rinpoche and so on. This is the real  reason  for creating so many  monas teries  or  Dharma  centers  in  one's  own  name.  Of course, this technique  can be used not only by Tibetan Lamas, but also by Westerners  as  well. You  may ask: Didn't you  create  your Dzogchen Community in  that  way? When  I  was 3  years  old, and  then  again  at 5 years  old,  I  had already received recognition  as a  very impor tant  high Lama  or  Teacher reincarnation,  therefore  I  did  not need  to  construct  it. Even though  I  had  been  recognized  as such, since the beginning I  haven't  had any  desire  to  become  a Buddhist  teacher  in general, or a Dzogchen Teacher in particular. So how could  I  have  the  idea of preparing  to  become  an important Lama or a famous  teacher? You  may know this already, but  after  many  years  of   living in  the West, in Italy, many Italians asked me to  teach  the Dharma. The  Gyalwa  Karmapa particularly had asked me  repeated ly  to  teach  Dharma to Italian Dharma followers. But I had hesi tated  for  some years  reflecting on it, because  I knew  that  to give teaching meant  working with  the  transmission and since  I  was also  still  on the path,  I  did not  want  to play with the very important transmissions  I  had received from my  teachers. Finally,  when  I  decided  to pay respect  to the  order  of   Gyalwa Karmapa,  and  make  those  people happy  who  were interested  to receive Dharma teachings,  I  started to  teach  principally  the  Dzogchen Teachings,  and at the  same  time  I took   a  promise of 27 commitments for  my  teachings  that  they  not become  something related  to  per sonal  interests,  etc.  Since  then  I have  always transmitted  all my Dharma  teachings  in  general,  and the Dzogchen  Ati  Teachings in  par ticular, while maintaining  these  27 commitments. I  created  the  Dzogchen Com-  continued   on  page 4 2  The  Origin  of   Tibetan  Language and Culture  A  talk  given  at   the  Tibetan  Institute  of Pei  forming  Arts  in  Dharamsala by Namkhai'Norbu  Rinpoche November  1.1997 T oday I am very happy to be  here  at the Tibetan Insti tute  of Performing  Arts  and  wish  to express my appreciation  for the study and preservation of an impor tant  and ancient aspect of Tibetan culture done  here  at the Institute. I consider this work very important. As  you know, the activity you do is related to our culture.  In Tibet we have a different ways of   classifying fields  of knowledge. For example, we speak about the ten minor fields and the  five principal  fields of   knowl edge. Art  falls  into one of the  five principal  fields of knowledge  under the name  of   sowa rig pa,  which  means arts  or handicrafts. The  work of art is related to our  three  existences of body,  speech and  mind  and when we practice the Dhar- ma,  the foundation of the practice are the  three  doors of body,  speech and  mind.  When we are complete in  that, we are considered to be sentient beings. Therefore when  we practice the teaching we have to rely on the three  doors. They are  called  the  three  doors because when  we practice the Dharma we obtain liberation in relation  to  these three  doors, so  these  are the doors  that lead  us to  liberation. In  art, for example, we use our body to express  vari ous moods in a physical way.  Even with  regard to pro ducing  works of art such as paintings or  statues,  this work   is done through the door  of   the body. But  that  is not the  only  way of expressing art  with the body. We can express ourselves when we are under the influence of strong emotions such as attachment or hatred and so on. These emotions manifest in our body, in  the expression of our face, the movement of our hands, etc., and become the object of theatrical representation. When you  look   at Indian dances, especially the ancient ones, you can see  that  they are very  skillful in  expressing different mental  states  by means of the movement of the hands, the eyes, and the body. There fore,  this manifestation of expression through  visible physical  aspects  is very important. Then  in art we use the door of speech when we are chanting  or singing. As for the way of using the door of   the  mind,  that  is the door  that  underlies those of speech and physical activity. These verbal and  physical  doors through  which  our inner  states  manifest are very  important, especially in the first of the  five  sci ences  oTSOwa rigpa. In  Tibet when we explain or teach about the  five  sci ences, scholars usually say  that  they srcinated in India. For  example, when you speak about  dra rigpa,  literally meaning grammar , immediately you think about the Sanskrit  grammar — the grammar of   Kalapa.  the  Chan- drapa grammar, the  Panini  grammar and  SQ  on. Scholars usually  explain il in this way and it  seems that  besides this Sanskrit grammar,  there  is no other science  of   gram mar or language  which  is peculiar to Tibet. But this is not the case.  Mere,  when we talk about  dra rigpa  in ã  Tibetan, we are referring to the  ability  to use speech.  Dra  rigpa  refers to the science of using the language: knowledge  of the words, the grammar, the syntax and all  these aspects  of the language. For  Tibetans this mainly refers to their use of Tibetan language, not only  to Sanskrit grammar. For example,  in our Tibetan language there  are many words  that  have no root in Sanskrit, so when we want to identify  this science of   dra rigpa, we have to say  that  it refers mainly to the language and letters of the written  Tibetan language. The basis for  the spoken Tibetan language is the letters. There is some misunderstanding about Tibetan language  which  I found  out about through my own experience. When I first went to Italy  on the invitation of Professor TuccL  I worked  with  him for two years.  After  this I went to teach on my  own at the  University. While  I .  was teaching there, I noticed  that the course of study for Tibetan  lan guage was two years,  while  for the other languages it was four years. At  the beginning I was new and inexperienced,  but later I ques tioned  why  there  were  only  two years for the study of   Tibetan  language required, when it  was four for the study of other languages. The answer was not clear, so I made an investigation. At first  I  thought it was because I  myself   didn't have any kind  of Western diploma,  only  an Indian one. Then I discovered  another reason. Generally  Tibetan scholars teach  that  the Tibetan language srcinated at the time of Songtsen Gampo. around the 8th century.  Prior  to  that  no  Tibetan  language existed.  Scholars used to say  that  the Tibetan language was created by  Thonmi  Sambhota, the minister of the King  who was  sent  to India in order to  create  a written language for  Tibet.  Prior  to  that  Tibet did not have any written  language and was presented as a land of ignorance or a land of   obscurity .  In  that  country of dark ness  due to the kindness of the Dharma  king  of Tibet who  was a manifestation of the Buddhas and Bod-hisattvas, the sun and the moon  finally  shone over  Tibet and dispelled the darkness. Then the various fields of knowledge  appeared and developed at  that  time. Western  scholars who were studying under the Tibetans were obviously exposed to  that  view  and accepted it as being true; the language, the various  dif ferent sciences such as astrology, medicine and so on were thought to have been introduced  exclusively from neighboring  countries such as India and  China.  Therefore when one holds such a  view,  naturally, Tibetan  cul ture  and language become a branch of the other two major languages and do nof have an  srcinal  status  of their own. And Tibet remained  like  a man without his own limbs.  So at  that  time I understood  that  the two year course of study was due to this fact. Then  I thought  that  this cannot be the case,  there must be an  srcin  for Tibetan language and culture in the country  itself   and I started to inquire.  Usually  we haven't done this  kind  of   inquiry  in Tibet in the  past.  I had many kinds of texts and scriptures at my disposi tion  so I started to  look   at them to see if   there  was some proof to say  that  Tibetan culture srcinated in Tibet  itself. I  looked at the Bonpo texts because they indicated that  prior to Songtsen Gampo  there  was a language used and it was the language of Shang Shung  which was used in Shang Shung.  in  Tibet.  But  that  was a prob lem  because if the language prior to Songtsen Gampo was the language of Shang Shung. then it was not the language of Tibet, but of a different race of people to Tibetans.  If   that  was the case, the problem of the  srcin of   Tibetan language and culture was  still  there. So I started to study the history of the ancient kingdom of Shang  Shung. ã Now  we must remember  that there  were six clans which  were  antecedent  to the formation of the  king doms of Shang Shung and Tibet. These six families are usually  known as the six  srcinal  Tibetan clans. One of them was known as  Dra  or  Khyung  and it was  from  this clan  that  the  Kingdom  oí   Shang Shung descended. Therefore because we speak of the  srcinal  six clans of Tibet,  from  one of   which  came about the kingdom of VIKRAMAS1LA  FOUNDATION His  Holiness Sakya  Trizin will  give teachings  on the  Zhenpa  Zhidral (Beyond  the  Four Attachments) and  the Initiation of Vajra  Kilaya June  25-28,1998  at Merigar H.  H. Sakya  Trizin  was born in Tsedong,  Southern Tibet in 1945. He  is descended  from  the  Khon  roy al  family,  one of the most ancient Tibetan  spiritual  families,  and is'the forty-first  in an unbroken lineage of lamas  that stretches  back to 1073 AD.  He is the head of the Sakya tra dition,  and the title 'Sakya  Trizin' means 'Holder of the Throne of Sakya'.  He became the head of the Sakya  at the age of seven upon the death of his father, and has received an intensive training in the study and practices of   the Sakya tradition. Whilst  still  a  child,  he completed  a seven-month  retreat. Amongst  his main teachers  were: Jamyang Khyentse  Chokyi Lodro,  Ngawang  Lodro Shenpen  Nyingpo. Chogye  Trichen  Rin poche, and Khenpo Appey  Rinpoche. In  1959, at the age of   fourteen, he left Tibet during  the Chinese  mili tary takeover and went to India. He then studied  with  H. E. Chogye Trichen  Rinpoche, who instructed him  on the  Rime  collections, the 'Gyude  Kundu' (Collection  of Tantras), and the  'Lamdre'.  As well as  holding  the  three  main Sakya  lin eages  of Sakya, Tsar and  Ngor.  H. H.  Sakya  Trizin  holds the complete teachings of both the Iron  Bridge and Great Perfection lineages of Nyingma,  given by Drupchen  Rin poche and Jamyang Khyentse  Rin poche respectively. He is also  hold er of the Lamdre teachings,  which cover  the Hinayana.  Mahay  ana and Mantrayana  paths. He has founded numerous monasteries throughout India  and East  Asia,  and  estab lished  his  seat  in  exile  at Rajpur. U.  P. India, near to  which  he founded  Sakya  College,  the school  of higher philosophical studies where training is given in logic,  philosophy and psychology. He  is fluent in  English,  and since 1974 he has made several  world tours teaching in Europe, the  USA and Southeast  Asia.  RETREATS vu /  1  h NAMKHAI  NORBU  RINPOCHE  At  Merigar EASTER RETREAT AT MERIGAR,  ITALY April  9th- 14th, 1998 Rinpoche  will  give  Dzogchen  Teachings in distinct sessions for the new and older practitioners. The  retreat  begins at  Thursday,  April  9th 1998 at 5 pm. The  costs are 250.000  lire  (or 50.000  lire  per day)  with  the usual reductions for members. FIRST  SUMMER RETREAT AT MERIGAR,  ITALY July  24th-28th, 1998 The  retreat  begins  Friday July  24th, 1998 at 5 pm. The  costs are 200.000  lire  (or 50.000  lire  per day)  with  the usual reductions for members. SECOND  SUMMER RETREAT AT MERIGAR,  ITALY August  14th-21st, 1998 The  retreat  begins  Friday,  August  14th, 1998 at 5 pm. The  costs are 350.000  lire  (or 50.000  lire  per day)  with  the usual reductions for members. Shang  Shung, we can basically say  that  the language of Shang Shung is a Tibetan  language. So  the written language of Shang Shung existed  from  the very beginning of   the  diffusion  of the  Bönpo  teaching. The  Bönpo  say  that  the written  lan guage of Shang Shung was created by Shenrab  Miwoche.  the founder of Bönpo.  So at  that  time I really started to  look   into many scriptures of the Bönpo. After  I read many  Bönpo  texts, the history of Shang Shung started to unfold  before me.  Prior  to the advent of the Tibetan kings and kingdom, there  were many generations, at least  18.  of the kings of Shang  Shung.  When I  made a rough  calculation  of the years  covering  the history of Shang Shung. 1  found out  that  it started about 4000 years ago. When I made this  calculation it  became clear to me  that  the history of Shang Shung is almost as old as the history  of   China  and India. Later,  when we held meetings or conferences at the  Uni\   ersity to discuss various  aspects  of Tibetan culture — since at  that  time  1  was teaching sub jects such as astrology, medicine, etc.  —  1  would  assert  with  a certain arrogance this  view  that  Tibetan medicine, culture and other  aspects  ol the  cul ture that  went back much before Songtsen Gampo, and we can  find  the proof of   this in the  Bönpo  texts. At  that  time various  aspects  of the culture were transmitted  with  the use of the written language of   Shang  Shung.  continued   on  page  6 THE MIRROR J ANUARYI   FEBRUARY   199 S 3   Dzogchen Community  continued    from   page  2 niunity  for the purpose of the con tinuation  and maintenance of my Dzogchen  Ati transmission. This Community  is only for  those  peo ple  who are interested in my Dzogchen  transmission and who are interested maintaining the Dzogchen  transmission  which  I have sincerely and purely transmitted to them. I  am not  limiting  other Dzogchen  teachers  and their teachings by not integrating them into the Dzogchen  Community. Of course, if   there  are some serious Dzogchen teachers  and teachings. I always integrate  that  into the Dzogchen Community  and always  will.  You can  understand  that  by the paintings of   Dzogchen  teachers that  are paint ed  in the Gonpa of   Merigar.  That is how  I work. Today  the name Dzogchen Teaching  has become very marketable. It is for  that  reason  that  Ì am very,  very doubtful to consider all who  carry the name of Dzogchen Teaching  as something to be integrated into our Dzogchen Commu nity.  For  that  reason it is very  diffi cult  to believe  that these  kind  of Dzogchen  teachings are correct or are really the Dzogchen Knowledge Transmission. I  have tried to transmit the essence  of all  three  series of Dzogchen  Ati,  which  are the very essential knowledge of Dzogchen Ati  transmissions  that  I received from  my precious  teachers  such as Rigdzin  Jangchub Dorje, Ayu Khandro  Dorje Paldron, Togden Ogyen  Tendzin and so on, more than 15 Dzogchen Masters, to my students  who are seriously interested.  Most  of you know  that  I have transmitted mainly Dzogchen  Ati Teaching and its transmissions for some 15 years or more,  which  means that  for  all  this time I have been dedicated and worked  seriously  with  the Dzogchen  Ati  transmissions. Of   course, then you can understand  that  I also have a  great  respon sibility  for my Dzogchen  Ati  trans missions.  For  that  reason, I formed the Dzogchen Community  with  all my  students  who are in this  same transmission boat. You can understand why I created the Dzogchen Community,  and  that  the Dzogchen Community  does  not exist for my personal interest or for creating an important position of power for me. Everybody  in the Dzogchen Community  remembers, they know very  well,  that  I never made any kind  of missionary  life.  I worked in the University for nearly 30 years. It doesn't mean  that  I  liked  being a University  professor all  those years. What I learned in the Dzogchen  teaching is  that  a practitioner of Dzogchen should accept how  the circumstances of   one's  life are manifesting. Of   course, one can understand that  if   there  is some terrible situa tion,  one can try to  find  what the cause  is and try to modify this situa tion.  That is also clearly explained by  Buddha Shakyamuni in the teaching of Sutra;  that  the way of overcoming  the samsaric suffering is  not struggling  with  it, but discov ering  what is the  cause  of suffering. Of   course, when one discovers the cause,  there  is always the  possibility of   modifying.  Otherwise one can accept just how it is: I have  that  cir cumstance and I accept it as it is. For  that  reason I worked  that  way instead of being in a position of a Dzogchen  Master. I  am not saying  that  the position of   a Dzogchen Master is negative-but  if   there  is some personal interest for  being  that  way, then it  could  be negative definitely. Therefore you can  understand very  well  the real purpose of the creation of the Dzogchen  Community from the beginning.  In short, the Dzogchen Community  is: How we collaborate with  each other and between all our Dzogchen  practitioners; How  each practitioner  goes deeper  or progresses in the real knowledge of   Dzogchen; How  each practitioner integrates the knowledge of   Dzogchen  in their real  condition; How  all practitioners are travel ing  together  to the total realization; How  we can maintain a real and pure transmission of Dzogchen Teaching  for the future generations; How  we can have a  guarantee  of the correct continuation of the Dzogchen  Ati  Teaching. So,  the Dzogchen Community was established as the safeguard for  the continuation of the Dzogchen  Ati teaching and its transmissions-. How I started it is the  same  way I take care of it con tinuously.  It doesn't depend on how  long I  live,  but  until  the total realization  of   all  who are interested on  this path and are seriously relat ed  with  my transmission.. For  that  purpose, the Dzogchen Community  has a characteristic way  of being. Its structure is  dif ferent from all other kinds of Dharma  Centers and  that  is called the  Gakyil.  And  that  is why the Gakyil  exists in the Dzogchen Community.  If one has the real knowledge of Dzogchen  Ati,  then he or she must have the knowledge of   the value of Dzogchen Ati transmission.  Having  this  knowl edge, then one can have total understanding of the value of the Dzogchen  Community. Then it is not so  difficult  to understand the value of the Santi  Maha  Sangha Trainings  and how they are related with  Dzogchen Community. When  we are starting different levels  of Santi  Maha  Sangha examinations, we ask, Are you a Dzogchen  Community member? Of   course it doesn't mean, Do you  have a Dzogchen Community Card,  or did you pay some money to have the Dzogchen Community Membership  Card? If   that  was so,  there  would  be no  sense  in having  a Dzogchen Community Membership. It  means that  one must understand how important the Dzogchen Community  is and how one must be responsible for  it.  That is the real sense  of Dzogchen Community Membership.  If you are a Dzogchen  Community member, then  there  is no reason to  create another Dharma Center in your name; you already have the Dzogchen  Community.  You  should take care of it in the way I have done  until  now and am continuing. You  may know already I have had some problems of feminism in the Dzogchen Community of   Aus tralia.  I am not  sure  still  if it has been overcome or not.  Anyway,  it is a  very heavy and dangerous concept for me. In my teaching,  srci nally  taught  by Garab Dorje, what we should learn is: RGYA  CHAD  PHYOGS LHUNG BRAL  BA  that means more or less: Not  falling  into any concept of limitations and  Guru Padma Sambhava said: WÍ 'hen we speak of Dzogchen,  we can understand its meaning on  two different levels. The first refers to the state  of every  individual, the  nature  of self-perfec tion  where nothing is lacking  (this is the  literal meaning of the word 'Dzogchen')  which  is introduced by the  teacher  to the  student.  Through recognition  of this  state  we can become  familiar with  it by using different methods and mainly by keeping  our presence and aware ness. The second meaning refers to the Dzogchen teaching and also, in this case, it indicates  that  the Dzogchen  teaching  represents  the essence  of all different kinds of paths  and methods of   spiritual  prac tice,  including non-Buddhist traditions. If we examine the huge  mass of   methods and explanations found in  Dzogchen literature, we  will  be surprised to see how from the basic notion  of knowing one  state, everything self-liberates it can expand into  thousands  of different methods of practice and insights, though never forgetting the center from which  they  all  sprung. If   we really understand the Dzogchen  teaching, we  will  discover  that  for our  spiritual  growth  there is  no need to rely on other traditions and techniques such as Western psychology,  shamanic  trances  and new age fantasies. In the natural condition  there  is no need to invoke the power of a deity to descend and bless our  state.  We are already Samantabhadra- a  state  beyond the masculine and feminine  aspects  but which  at the  same  time is the source of   both- this is what Dzogchen communicates, and even if it is very difficult  to realize it concretely in our existence, if we have met the Dzogchen  teaching it  means  we have a very precise karmic connec tion  and should therefore, if we are The Nature and Meaning  of Santi  Maha  Sangha by  Adriano  Clemente really  convinced,  follow  its path by relying  only upon a qualified master, without  mixing  the teaching with  other views. Mixing  and integrating are two different things.  We  can integrate  all knowledge into our  state.  If   I  meet  a Hindu  teacher  who communicates the knowledge of non-duality I can integrate  that  knowledge into my state  as  part  of Dzogchen understanding. But if   that teacher  introduces me to some deity or some power on  which  I must rely for any spiritual  or material benefit, I am 'mixing'my  Dzogchen understand ing  with  something  which  is contrary to the  view,  that  is, the need to rely  on something outside my natur al  state. The Dzogchen Community, as far  as I know, was the first spiritual community  to have the name 'Dzogchen'.  When  Chögyal Namkhai  Norbu  Rinpoche started talking  about Dzogchen in the  mid dle  of the seventies  there  was  virtu ally  no Western translation of Dzogchen  texts, and Tibetan lamas considered  that  it should be kept secret  and not communicated open ly  to people interested in the teach ing.  But as  with  many other pro jects, Rinpoche had a clear  vision  of the future and it is no surprise to remember  that  when the Dzogchen Community  was only an idea for most of us, in the mid-seventies, it was already something  living  and growing  for  him. After  Rinpoche had  taught Dzogchen  around the  world  for a few  years, other  teachers  started to teach  Dzogchen.  By now this teach ing  has become very popular and fashionable among Buddhist stu dents,  with  all the conse quent  positive and nega tive  aspects. In fact quite a  few spiritual associations and  teachers  use the name 'Dzogchen' when they advertise their workshops and  retreats. In  the middle of the eighties, after ten years of spreading the Dzogchen  teachings and  clarifying the  three  series of Semde, Longde and Mennagde.the idea of the Santi Maha  Sangha training started to develop in Rinpoche's mind. Espe cially  after the pilgrimage to the holy  mountain  Kailash  in 1988, he understood the necessity of leaving the Dzogchen teaching in its purest and most complete form and at the same  time of having the  guarantee of   a Dzogchen 'sangha'  which could  grow spiritually and in har mony  with  the basic samayas. What  is the meaning of 'Santi Maha  Sangha'? 'Santi  Maha' means  Dzogchen, and 'sangha' is the community. As we can see  Rin poche did not, for example, use the name 'Santi  Maha  Pudgala' Cpudgala'  is a Sanskrit word  that means  'individual  person'), but 'sangha' and this is of the utmost importance. Because the Sangha is the real  'Body'  of the  Master,  just as the Dharma is his  Voice  and the Buddha  is his  Mind.  It is wrong to think  of the Master as a  kind  of deity  to  venerate  and the spiritual brothers and sisters of the Sangha as ordinary  people to  criticize,  despise and quarrel  with.  But it  seems that sometimes we use Rinpoche's authority, for example, by saying Rinpoche  said this or  that  just in order to  defeat  another person's idea  or point of   view.  If we only wait  for Rinpoche to  tell  us do  that and don't do  that  we  will  never grow  enough to become a real  spiri-  continued   on  page  5 SNANG BA YAB LA  STONG PA YUM,  GNYIS  MED A TI RDZOGS  PA  CHE  which  means more or less: The  vision  is yab and its emptiness is yum, the non dual state  is the  Ati  Dzogchen . I  have always understood the concept of sex or the male and female principle in just  that  way. In  the  state  of Dzogchen, of course, we must be totally beyond the concept of sex. Then you can have the idea, Why then do all these  Sambhogakaya forms  like male or female exist? The above  statement  of   Guru Padma Sambhava makes it clear. Of course,  relatively,  we have our dual- istic  vision, like  subject and object, male and female, samsara and nirvana and so on.  Even  if we have these  kinds of relative, dualistic visions,  and in the pure  vision,  the visions  are manifesting  like  the Sambhogakaya forms of divinities and their  nature  is emptiness mani festing  its energy, then relatively they are manifesting different aspects. But in the real  sense,  they are beyond dualism since the begin ning  and their real condition is inseparable. Relatively,  of course, we have our sex of male and female, but we know  it is only in the relative sense.  Even  in the relative  sense,  I am  not saying either male or female is more important and another is less important. An  indi vidual  does  not exist who is only either male or female, but an  indi vidual  has both  aspects  of male and female. For example, the two sides of   a human body have solar and lunar conditions. So  there  is no sense  in accepting and rejecting or not paying respect to each other. A very  simple example: when we are walking  we need both legs; we cannot  negate  one of them and if we do, everyone  could  understand that there  is not any  sense  in  that. We  are only pretending to be a Dzogchen  practitioner if we  still hold  on to  these  concepts. It means that  we are being really very,  very far from a real understanding of Dzogchen  Ati  Knowl edge. And our practice is not Dzogchen,  but is only progressing with  samsaric concepts. We  can understand what  femi nism  means  in a  political  sense.  I am  not saying  that  people cannot be  involved  in  politics.  Of course, whoever has a  political  conviction and is mainly interested in doing political  activities, they can do as they  like.  But someone who is a follower  of a teaching  like Dzogchen  Ati, for  those  kinds of people, the teaching has nothing to do  with political  principles. The teaching dealing  with political activities  is the most dangerous for damaging the teaching and its transmission Since  we have the  responsibili ty  of saving the pure Dzogchen Teaching  and its transmission, then we must notice  that  dealing with  the concept of feminism is a dangerous thing related to saving the pure Dzogchen Teaching. Therefore I don't want anybody who  is  still  keeping this  kind  of feminist  ideology in mind, and at the  same  time is a Dzogchen  Com munity  member, to come to me to present  the Santi  Maha  Sangha Level  III examination. If someone is  coming in  that  way, I  will  ask them not to come to the Santi Maha  Sangha  Level  III Examina tion.  Everyone is free to come to me and  follow  my Dzogchen teachings and if they are coming seriously,  then I say they are always welcome. I don't care at all if   I have many followers or not. That is not my principle. Of   course, if   there  are many serious followers of the Dzogchen  teachings I am happy, because  they' can have real knowledge of Dzogchen Ati and they can contribute this precious knowledge to many sentient beings. If   there  are crowds and great  numbers of people  that  is fine.  But seriously interested peo ple  are rare, and in this case, I prefer to be alone and quiet. In short, if someone wants to deal with  me or  with  my Dzogchen teaching, then  that  person really should  be honest in the real  sense of   the Dzogchen Teaching. That is  something  that  I really need. ManyTashi  Delegstoyouall.  ã 4

TARC 2nd Report

Jul 23, 2017
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