Three Statements of Garab Dorje: Direct introduction. Don’t be in doubt. Remain in non-dual state

Dzogchen Teaching

Dzogchen means Total Perfection and refers to the condition of primordial potentiality of each individual. The method through which we enter into the knowledge of Dzogchen and discover our real condition is called Dzogchen Teaching.

Dzogchen, or “The Great Perfection” is considered the fastest way to the spiritual growth. It can be defined rather as a system of inner knowledge than a religious doctrine. It pays more attention to the development of personal awareness.

This spiritual path, open to everybody, implies working on self-perception. It’s essential aspect is personal freedom. That is why there are no obligatory monastic vows or following rigorous rules in it.

The basic practice consists of reaching deep knowledge of one’s own self and one’s essential being through different experiences of ordinary life. That is why Dzogchen Teaching is extremely good for the needs of modern society.

The knowledge of Dzogchen goes back to very ancient times, but in our era it was transmitted for the first time by Garab Dorje, a few centuries after Buddha Shakyamuni. Dzogchen has been transmitted without any break in continuity for centuries and centuries, in an uninterrupted lineage from master to disciple down to the present day.

Direct Transmission

The transmission of knowledge from master to disciple can be oral, symbolic or direct. The uniqueness of the Dzogchen teaching is the direct transmission or "direct introduction" in which the master and the student find themselves in the primordial state at the same moment through one of the experiences related to body, voice or mind. Due to the power of the transmission, the students are able to discover their own real condition in this way.

Guruyoga

Guru means "master", yoga means having knowledge or understanding of one's own authentic state, the essential condition in which there is nothing to change or to modify. This is the state of the guru. Guruyoga is, therefore, the main element in Dzogchen practice.

The Three Series of the Dzogchen Teaching: Semde, Longde and Mennagde

Manjushrimitra received the transmission of all Dzogchen teachings from Garab Dorje and subdivided them into three series: Semde, Longde and Mennagde. The three series are three ways of presenting the teaching, each with its corresponding methods of practice; the aim of all three, however, is to lead to the final realization.

In the Semde, the "mind series", the practitioner is introduced to the nature of mind, in order to have a concrete experience of it.

Longde means the "series of space" and in this instance space refers to the primordial dimension of emptiness which serves as a base for manifesting the clarity of the practitioner.

The Mennagde, the essential series of "secret instructions" or Upadesha, comprises special teachings and methods based on the experiences of masters, with the aim of helping the practitioner progress up to complete realization.

Longsal

The Longsal cycle of teachings was received by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu through dreams of clarity. Eight volumes of these teachings, comprising the essence of the three series of Dzogchen in their fundamental aspects related to the view, meditation and behaviour, have been published so far.
The complete title of this cycle is Longchen Osal Khandroi Nyingthig or The Luminous Clarity of the Universe, Heart Essence of the Dakinis (female manifestations of primordial energy).

Santi Maha Sangha

The Santi Maha Sangha is a course of study and practice in nine levels that was started by Chцgyal Namkhai Norbu in 1994. The aim of Santi Maha Sangha, which in the ancient language of Oddiyana means "Dzogchen Commmunity", is to guarantee the continuation of the Dzogchen teaching as it was originally transmitted by Garab Dorje, and as the Master has been transmitting it for more than thirty years within the Dzogchen Community. After the "Base" level, whose contents are presented in The Precious Vase, there are three levels dedicated to the Semde, three to the Longde and the final three to the Mennagde or Upadesha.

Yantra Yoga

Yantra Yoga or the Yoga of Movement is an ancient system of Tibetan yoga based on the text The Union of the Sun and the Moon, written in the 8th century by the master Vairochana. It was introduced and taught in the West by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu in the early seventies.

Yantra Yoga makes use of various types of movements and positions linked to different aspects of breathing in order to control and coordinate the vital energy or prana. Since our physical and mental wellbeing depends mainly on the condition of our energy, by practicing Yantra Yoga we can keep ourselves in good health and reach a calm, present and relaxed mental state which is the base for understanding our own real condition.

Vajra Dance

The Dance of Vajra, taught for the first time by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu at the beginning of the nineties, is a meditation in movement based on the Song of the Vajra and other mantras found in the original tantras of Dzogchen. It is practiced on a mandala representing the correspondence between the inner dimension of the individual and the outer dimension of the world.

The Dance of the Vajra uses sound and movement to harmonize the energy of the individual and to integrate his or her three existences of body, voice and mind in knowledge of his or her own authentic condition, in the state of contemplation.

Historic Note

In Tibet Dzogchen Teaching was and is till now in Buddhist tradition and aboriginal pre-buddhist Bon tradition. In Buddhist tradition historians ascribe the roots of Dzogchen Teaching to the twelve initial Teachers, who lived in the ancient times, when the Dzogchen, as we know it nowadays was stated more than 2 000 years ago for the first time by Garab Dorje. He was born in Uddiyana, an ancient state, wich is sometimes identified with the Swat Valley in Pakistan. In VIIIth century AC hte Dzogchen Teaching, given by Garab Dorje was brought to Tibet by great Teachers, like Vairochana, Vimalamitra and Padmasambhava. At those times, when Buddhism was first spread in Tibet and many Buddhist scriptures were translated from Sanskrit into Tibetan, Dzogchen texts were also translated from the Uddiyana language. In Bon tradition introduction of the Dzogchen Teaching is ascribed to the great Master Shenrab Mivoche. He transmitted this knowledge as a part of tradition wide-spread in ancient Shang-Shung kingdom, located on the territory of modern Western Tibet. Now Dzogchen Teaching exists mainly in Tibetan Buddhism school of Nyingmapa and Bon tradition. It’s also known and practiced in other schools and thanks to Tibetan Teachers, who left their Motherland and tiredlessly give Teachings in Europe, Americas and Australia, started spreading in the West.

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