The everyday practice of dzogchen
is simply to develop a complete carefree acceptance, an openness to all
situations without limit. We should realize
openness as the playground of our emotions and relate to people without artificiality, manipulation or strategy. We should experience everything totally, never
withdrawing into ourselves as a marmot hides in its hole. This practice releases tremendous energy which is usually constricted by the process of
maintaining fixed reference points. Referentiality is the process by which we retreat from the direct experience of everyday life.
in the moment may initially trigger fear. But by welcoming the sensation
of fear with complete openness, we cut through the barriers
created by habitual emotional patterns.
When we engage
in the practice of discovering space, we should develop the feeling of
opening ourselves out completely to the entire universe. We
should open ourselves with absolute simplicity and nakedness of mind. This is the powerful and ordinary practice of dropping the mask of self-protection.
make a division in our meditation between perception and field of perception.
We shouldn’t become like a cat watching a mouse. We
should realize that the purpose of meditation is not to go “deeply into ourselves” or withdraw from the world. Practice should be free and non-conceptual,
unconstrained by introspection and concentration.
self-luminous wisdom space is the ground of being - the beginning and the
end of confusion. The presence of awareness in the
primordial state has no bias toward enlightenment or non-enlightenment. This ground of being which is known as pure original mind is the source from which
all phenomena arise. It is known as the great mother, as the womb of potentiality in which all things arise and dissolve in natural self-perfectedness and
All aspects of
phenomena are completely clear and lucid. The whole universe is open
and unobstructed - everything is mutually interpenetrating.
Seeing all things
as naked, clear and free from obscurations, there is nothing to attain
or realize. The nature of phenomena appears naturally and is
naturally present in time-transcending awareness. Everything is naturally perfect just as it is. All phenomena appear in their uniqueness as part of the
continually changing pattern. These patterns are vibrant with meaning and significance at every moment; yet there is not
significance to attach to such meanings beyond the moment in which they
This is the dance
of the five elements in which matter is a symbol of energy and energy a
symbol of emptiness. We are a symbol of our own
enlightenment. With no effort or practice whatsoever, liberation or enlightenment is already here.
practice of dzogchen is just everyday life itself. Since the undeveloped
state does not exist, there is no need to behave in any special
way or attempt to attain anything above and beyond what you actually are. There should be no feeling of striving to reach some “amazing goal” or “advanced
state”. To strive for such a state is a neurosis which only conditions us and serves to obstruct the free flow of Mind. We should also avoid thinking of
ourselves as worthless persons – we are naturally free and unconditioned. We are intrinsically enlightened and lack nothing.
When engaging in meditation practice, we should feel it to be as natural as eating, breathing and
defecating. It should not become a specialized or formal
event, bloated with seriousness and solemnity. We should realize
that meditation transcends
effort, practice, aims, goals and the duality of liberation and non-liberation. Meditation is always ideal; there is no need to correct anything. Since everything
that arises is simply the play of mind as such, there is no unsatisfactory meditation and no need to judge thoughts as good or bad.
should simply sit. Simply stay in your own place, in your own condition
just as it is. Forgetting self conscious feelings, we do not have
to think “I am meditating”. Our practice should be without effort, without strain, without attempts to control or force and without trying to become “peaceful”. If
we find that we are disturbing ourselves in any of these ways, we stop meditating and simply rest or relax for a while. Then we resume our meditation. If we
have “interesting experiences” either during or after meditation, we should avoid making anything special of them. To spend time thinking about experiences
is simply a distraction and an attempt to become unnatural. These experiences are simply signs of practice and should be regarded as transient events. We
should not attempt to re-experience them because to do so only serves to distort the natural spontaneity of mind.
All phenomena are completely
new and fresh, absolutely unique and entirely free from all concepts of
past, present future. They are experienced in
timelessness. The continual stream of new discovery, revelation and inspiration which arises at every moment is the manifestation of our clarity. We should
learn to see everyday as mandala – the luminous fringes of experience which radiate spontaneously from the empty nature of our being. The aspects of our
mandala are the day-to-day objects of our life experience moving in the dance or play of the universe. By this symbolism the inner teacher reveals the
profound and ultimate significance of being. Therefore we should be natural and spontaneous, accepting and learning from everything. This enables us to see
the ironic and amusing side of events that usually irritate us.
we can see through the illusion of past, present and future – our experience
becomes the continuity of now-ness. The past is only an
unreliable memory held in the present. The future is only a projection of our present conceptions. The present itself vanishes as we try to grasp it. So why
bother with attempting to establish an illusion of solid ground?
We should free
ourselves from our past memories and preconceptions of meditation.
Each moment of meditation is completely unique and full of
potentiality. In such moments, we will be incapable of judging our meditation in terms of past experience, dry theory or hollow rhetoric.
Simply plunging directly into meditation in the moment now, with our whole being, free from hesitation, boredom or excitement, is enlightenment.
Dilgo Khyentse Fellowship Shechen
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