Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Dzogchen Path.....Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche


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“The practice of Dzogchen or Atiyoga, is to realise the tathagatagarbha, or buddha nature, which has been present in our nature since the very beginning. Here it is not sufficient to concentrate on contrived practices that involve intellectual efforts and concepts; to recognise this Nature, the practice should be utterly beyond fabrication. The practice is simply to realise the radiance, the natural expression of wisdom, which is beyond all intellectual concepts. It is the true realisation of the Absolute Nature just as it is, the ultimate fruition.

At the present moment our awareness is entangled within our mind, completely enveloped and obscured by mental activity. Through the practice of Trekchö, or ‘cutting through all attachment’, and the ‘direct realization’ of Tögal, one can unmask this awareness and let its radiance arise.

To accomplish this it is necessary to do the practice of ‘the four ways of leaving things in their natural simplicity’ (Tib.chokshyak shyi) and through these, to acquire perfect stability in the Trekchö practice. Then will come the ‘four visions of tögal’ which are the natural arising of visions of discs and rays of light, deities and buddha fields. These visions are naturally ready to arise from within the central channel that joins the heart to the eyes. Such an arising from this channel will appear in a gradual process. In the same way that the waxing moon will increase from the first to the fifteenth of the month, these visions will gradually increase—from the simple perception of dots of light to the full array of the vast expanse of thesambhogakaya buddha fields. The manifestation of space and awareness will thus reach its culminating point.

These experiences are not linked with consciousness or intellect as the former experiences were; they are a true manifestation or radiance of awareness. After this, in the same way that the moon decreases and disappears from the fifteenth to the thirtieth of the month, all of these experiences and visions, all phenomena, will gradually come to exhaustion and reabsorb themselves in the Absolute. At this time the deluded mind which conceives subject and object will disappear, and the primal wisdom, which is beyond intellect, will gradually expand. Eventually one will attain the perfect enlightenment of the Primordial Buddha, Samantabhadra, endowed with the six extraordinary features.

This is the path intended for people of superior faculties who can achieve enlightenment in this very lifetime. For those of medium faculties, there is instruction on how to achieve liberation within the 'Bardo' or ‘intermediate state’. When we say ‘Bardo’, in fact we recognise four bardos: the Bardo from conception to death; the Bardo of the moment of death; the Bardo of the Absolute Nature; and the Bardo of coming into the next existence.

The Bardo between conception and death is our present state. In order to destroy all deluded perceptions or deluded thoughts in this Bardo, the ultimate practice is Dzogchen Atiyoga. In this there are the two main paths of Trekchö and Tögal, as described above. As the ultimate fruition of this practice, the ordinary body made of gross aggregates will dissolve into the ‘Rainbow Body of Great Transference’ or ‘Vajra-body’, or dissolve without leaving any remnants.

But if one cannot achieve such ultimate attainment within a lifetime, then there is still the possibility of achieving enlightenment at the time of death. If our teacher or a close Dharma brother is near to us at the very moment of our death, he will remind us of the instructions—the introduction to the nature of mind. If we can recall our experience of practice and remain in this nature, then we achieve realization. It is then possible to depart to a buddha field straightaway with no intermediate state. If this is not accomplished, then the Bardo of the Absolute Nature, or Dharmata, will arise. At this time the Ground Luminosity of the Dharmakaya will appear. If one can unite the Ground Luminosity (Mother Luminosity) with the Luminosity which one has recognized whilst practising during one’s lifetime (Child Luminosity), then one will be liberated into the Dharmakaya.

If one is not liberated at this time, then countless manifestations will appear: sounds, lights and rays. Great fear will arise because of these emanations and visions, but if one is a good practitioner one will realize that there is no point in being afraid. One will know that whatever deities appear, wrathful or peaceful, they are one’s own projections. The recognition of this assures liberation in a sambhogakaya buddha field. But if this is not accomplished, then the Bardo of coming into a new existence will occur. If one practises in the right way at this time one can be liberated into a nirmanakaya buddha field.

In essence, the primordial nature of the Buddha Samantabhadra is like the ground or mother-nature of realization. The nature which has been introduced to us by the teacher is like the child-nature. When these two meet, one will attain full realization and seize the fortress of Enlightenment.

For ordinary beings unable to achieve liberation either in this life or in the intermediate state, liberation can be attained in the nirmanakaya buddha fields.

In brief, through the practice of the path of Trekchö and Tögal, one will reach the ultimate realization of the Dharmakaya, the enlightened state of the Primordial Buddha Samantabhadra, within this very lifetime. This is the best case. If not, then one can be freed in the other three Bardos: the Bardos of the moment of death, Dharmata and Becoming. Even if this does not happen, one can still be relieved of suffering and be liberated by the virtues or blessings of the Dzogchen teachings. Whoever has a connection with these teachings is: liberated by sight, on seeing the teaching or the teacher; liberated through hearing, on hearing the teacher or teaching; liberated through contact, on wearing the precious mantras and scriptures of Dzogchen; or liberated through taste, and so forth. As a result, one will be liberated into one of the five nirmanakaya buddha fields.”

......From a teaching on the Longchen Nyingtik Guru Yoga, given by Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche in Dordogne, France in August 1984, at the request of Sogyal Rinpoche and the Rigpa Sangha

September 2012
John Hopkins....Northern New Mexico


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dzogs Chen: the importance of Sem-dé


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The methods of men-ngag-dé are extremely simple and direct. They could easily be misunderstood. The four chög-zhag are a skeletal frame clothed by many sem’dzin – the methods of men-ngag-dé. These methods are secret, not because they are dangerous – but because the power of transmission would be jeopardised if they were given to people who could not comprehend them.

Of the nine vehicles of the Nyingma tradition, the most important is Dzogchen – ati-yoga yana or shintu-naljor thegpa. This vehicle has three series of teachings, Dzogchen sem-dé, Dzogchen long-dé and Dzogchen men-ngag-dé. The sem-dé and long-dé series came into Tibet from India in the 10th century, but have neither been taught widely nor survived as living traditions in the major Nyingma lineages. Both the lineal streams of sem-dé and long-dé declined as religious traditions after the 11th century, and only seem to have survived in small family lineages, if at all. Men-ngag-dé developed later, from the 12th century, and has continued to grow and flourish up to the present day. Men-ngag-dé is now the pervasive extant teaching and practice of Dzogchen taught in the major Nyingma lineages.

The sem-dé series is of great interest because of its rarity, and because it contains a ngöndro – a way of approaching the Dzogchen teachings through the gradual development of meditative experience. Long-dé and men-ngag-dé do not contain ngöndro, and thus have to be approached via the Tantric ngöndro, kyé-rim, and dzog-rim. Sem-dé should be of interest to Western practitioners of Vajrayana in particular, not only because of its rarity, but because it provides a means of access to Dzogchen practice which bypasses or skips the stages of Tantric ngöndro, kyé-rim and dzog-rim. The sem-dé teachings from the pure vision gTérma cycles contain the ngöndro practice of ‘the four naljors’ – the four foundation practices of Dzogchen. This article concentrates on sem-dé, the series of the nature of Mind.

First we will describe the major historical practitioners of Dzogchen sem-dé.

Vairochana was one of the twenty-five disciples of Padmasambhava, and is considered to have brought the sem-dé and long-dé teachings to Tibet. During the reign of King Trisong Détsen in the 8th century he was ordained by Shantarakshita as one of the first seven monks in Tibet at the newly-founded Sam-ye monastery. He was a prolific translator and siddha. Trisong Détsen sent him to India, accompanied by another monk, to receive teachings from Sri Simha on sem-dé and long-dé, but it is not clear whether he was still a monk when he returned to Tibet. These teachings were given to them at night with the utmost secrecy. This is said to have happened in the following way: Sri Simha wrote down the ‘eighteen esoteric instructions’ of the series of the nature of Mind on white silk using milk from a white goat. The words became clear when held over smoke. This teaching is comprised of the eighteen texts known as Sems sDe bCo brGyad.

There were many critics of Dzogchen at this time because these teachings went beyond conventional moral codes – including the principle of karma. The idea that karma was not a mechanistic system of cause and effect but in reality an illusory manifestation of perception and response was very threatening to the religious hierarchy – and still is. The sense in which karma was the ‘form aspect’ of pattern that played in relation to the ‘emptiness aspect’ of chaos was not judged to be conducive to maintaining social order. These teachings were therefore given in secret, as they were seen to be too dangerous for the general population. Ngak’chang Rinpoche says of this issue that … it would seem to be a perennial policy amongst all socially repressive cultures to keep people ignorant and bound in materialistic superstitions of punishment and retribution.

Sri Simha gave Vairochana all the empowerments and instructions of the sixty-Tantra pitaka along with that of long-dé (the series of space). Before returning to Tibet Vairochana also met Garab Dorje, the first human teacher of Dzogchen, from whom he received further teachings. On his return, he taught everything that he had received, also in secrecy, and translated the first sem-dé texts into Tibetan. After this time he was forced into exile because of malicious rumours spread by the Indian factions who wanted to prevent access to the Dzogchen teachings. Having discovered that Vairochana had received these teachings against their wishes, they spared no effort in their attempts to have him discredited in his own country. The Indian factions feared that Dzogchen could be ‘lost to Tibet’ and, to prevent this, they spread the rumour that Vairochana had only brought back to Tibet a series of magic spells which had nothing to do with Dzogchen. The King’s ministers felt that Vairochana should be executed but the King disagreed and contrived to have a beggar who physically resembled Vairochana thrown into the river while Vairochana himself hid in a hollow pillar in the palace. One night the Queen discovered him there, whereupon she informed the King’s ministers and the King found himself forced to agree to Vairochana’s expulsion.

In exile in Tshawarong, Vairochana accepted Yudra Nyingpo as a disciple. Yudra Nyingpo was eventually responsible for helping Vimalamitra to translate the later texts of sem-dé into Tibetan, whilst also working towards helping his teacher return to Tibet from exile. At this time Vairochana gave Pag Mipham Gönpo oral instruction on the Dzogchen long-dé series. Pag Mipham Gönpo (the Invincible Geriatric) was a physically frail man of eighty-five when he started to practise, so the meditation belt and a stick which were part of the transmission proved very useful. A lot of people imagine that Vairochana gave him the meditation belt and a stick to prop up his chin and hold him in position because of his age, but this is not accurate. The belt and stick are an essential aspect of long-dé practice, and are used by practitioners of all ages. According to Düd’jom Rinpoche’s text, The History and Fundamentals of the Nyingma School, it is said that his family laughed at the idea of him starting to practise at such a late stage of life, but he achieved liberation. It is also said that at this time he became immensely joyful, and embraced Vairochana around the neck not letting go for a whole day.

He lived for a further hundred years, transmitting the teachings to his own disciples, and each one of them achieved rainbow body. Vairochana also transmitted the sem-dé teachings to Nyak Jnana Kumara, who was born in Yarlung in the late 8th century. He was ordained as a monk, and became a brilliant translator. In his late twenties he, like Vairochana, had to spend time in exile after King Trisong Détsen died. His life was not easy. His brother took a violent dislike to him and declared that he was ‘an adept of extremist mantras’. He regained the confidence of the people by manifesting precious gems where he lived, but his bad luck persisted and he was pursued by antagonists. Fortunately he met Vimalamitra in the course of his travels, and received teachings from him.

Nubchen Sang-gyé Yeshé became a student of one of Nyak Jnana Kumara’s disciples, and he also had teachings from Padmasambhava, Yeshé Tsogyel and many other masters. Later, when Langdarma, the King of that time, persecuted the monastic institutions, it was by Nubchen Sang-gyé Yeshé’s kindness that the mantra adepts who wore the white skirt and long braided hair were unharmed by Langdarma’s persecution[11] though his own two sons were killed during the King’s reign. Nubchen Sang-gyé Yeshé terrified the King by pointing a finger at the sky and bringing forth a black iron scorpion the size of a yak. He also demonstrated how he could manifest a thunderbolt and use it to smash rocks to pieces. He was also a great writer on sem-dé.

Aro Yeshé Jungné was a teacher and writer on sem-dé of the 10th century. His system of teaching was known as Kham-lug as he hailed from the Kham region of Tibet. He formulated a system of sem-dé known as the Seven Sessions of Aro. His teachings and writings had a profound influence on Dzogchen sem-dé but his life remains obscure.

Rongdzom Chökyi Zangpo was a great master of Dzogchen in the 11th century. At the age of eleven he was able to remember teachings after hearing them only once. For this reason he was known as an emanation of Manjushri. He also possessed great siddhis and during the one hundred nineteen years that he lived he had many students, wrote prolifically and developed the system of teaching known as Rong-lug. Many more lines branched out after this but after the 11th century it declined. By the 17th century sem-dé had become extinct as a separate living tradition. Rig’dzin gTér-dag Lingpa, one of the great Nyingma gTértöns, stated that practically nothing survived of sem-dé in his day (17th century) apart from the transmission of the rLung (permission to practise).

When sem-dé was brought to Tibet it was a time of proliferation of Buddhist teachings. Ordained practitioners were comprised of monks / nuns (ordination based within the Sutric vehicle) and ngakpas / ngakmas (ordination based within the Tantric vehicle). In addition, of course, there were the lay yogis and yoginis, a group of non-ordained practitioners. From the point of view of Dzogchen, ordination was not a consideration, as it is not a vehicle of ritual practice. The historical records of this time are not explicit in their descriptions of which type of practitioner the great lineage holders were.

Both Vairochana and Nyak Jnana Kumara are said to have been ordained as monks; however, line drawings in The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism by Düd’jom Rinpoche depict all but Vairochana with long hair and yogic dress. It would seem to be the case that most of these practitioners belonged either to the ngak’phang sangha or to the lay yogic Dzogchen style of practice.

Sem-dé is the series of the nature of Mind. As one might expect from its title, it is comprised of detailed teachings on the nature of Mind and how that is differentiated from dualistic mind. It describes in detail how dualistic mind is affected by practice, with regard to the sem-nyams – the experiences of emptiness and form through which one discovers the instant-presence of rigpa.

The teachings on sem-dé are divided into two parts. The first of these is an actual practice of ngöndro or preliminary practices which are the four naljors. The second part is the definitive practice of sem-dé – the four ting-ngé-dzin (absorptions or samadhis). The purpose of any ngöndro practice in any vehicle is to bring the condition of the practitioner to the base of that vehicle. The Tantric ngöndro, which is the one most widely known in the West, brings its practitioners to the base of Tantra, which is the experience of emptiness. It bridges the experiences of the previous vehicle; and, because it is the Tantric ngöndro, it is Tantric in its nature. For example, the practice of Lama’i naljor is pure Tantra. Likewise the four naljors contain detailed teachings on the nature of Mind, which bridge the experiences gained in both Sutra and Tantra. This allows the practitioner to arrive at the base of Dzogchen, which is the non-dual experience, and then to begin the actual sem-dé practice of the four ting-ngé-dzin (népa, gYo-wa, nyam-nyid and lhundrüp). In the same way as the Tantric ngöndro resembles the practice of Tantra, the Dzogchen ngöndro resembles the practice of Dzogchen. The fourth naljor is lhundrüp, which is the integration of the non-dual experience into everyday life. This of course is none other than the practice of Dzogchen itself.

Dzogchen teachings available today are mostly those of men-ngag-dé, because this was the tradition which survived and flourished. There are very few teachings from sem-dé ngöndro and the ting-ngé-dzin available, and also few from long-dé. Men-ngag-dé is the series of implicit instruction. The word ‘implicit’ is used because the meaning of the instruction is only accessible to the practitioner who is in a condition to be able to perceive it. In other words, it is not hidden but neither is it explicit – it is implicit. The transmission of understanding the practice is contained in the instruction of the practice itself. This is given to the disciple by the teacher in a very cryptic manner according to the four chog-zhag.

The chog-zhag of the body is: whatever the position of the body is the correct one for integration with rigpa. The chog-zhag of the eyes is: wherever the eyes are looking is where they are looking. The chog-zhag of the focus of the eyes is: wherever the eyes focus is where their focus is found. The chog-zhag of the Mind is: whatever arises in the Mind is already integrated with rigpa.

This is an example of the teaching of the four chög-zhag. The implicit instruction is that there is nothing either to change or to alter. There is nothing to do, nowhere to go, no practice to follow. If this is not immediately understood, questions are useless – there are no answers beyond direct communication of the four chög-zhag. There is nothing to ask because there is nothing to do beyond recognising that you have never been anywhere other than the state of rigpa. If the practitioner is in the non-dual state, then of course there is nothing to do, and nowhere else to go.

Men-ngag-dé contains no detailed teachings on mind and the nature of Mind; thus it is much harder to access the meaning of the teaching, or to explore and practise in relation to an evolving understanding. In fact, it is impossible to practise men-ngag-dé if one has no experience of the non-dual state. Unless one first practises either the sem-dé ngöndro or the vehicles of Sutra and Tantra one is unlikely to find the non-dual state; and the non-dual state is the spring-board necessary to understand and practise the men-ngag-dé teachings. This goes some way towards explaining why most of the teaching available on Dzogchen at this time is cryptic and introduced within the context of Tantric training. It also explains why many Nyingma Lamas are so reluctant to teach Dzogchen. The methods of men-ngag-dé are very, very simple and direct, and could easily be misunderstood. The four chög-zhag are a skeletal frame clothed by many sem’dzin – methods of men-ngag-dé. These methods are secret – not because they are dangerous, but because the power of transmission would be jeopardised if they were given to people who could not comprehend them.

The Aro gTér lineage has teachings from each of the three series in fairly equal quantities. This is unusual, as sem-dé has all but died out in most of the other lineages of the Nyingma tradition. This explains why in the Aro gTér lineage practitioners are not required to complete Tantric ngöndro. They gather the required experiences by practising the sem-dé ngöndro, i.e. the four naljors. In the Aro gTér lineage, the Dzogchen sem-dé teachings are comprised of the four naljors, the four ting-ngé-dzin, and trül-khor naljor (yantra yoga). The Dzogchen long-dé teachings are comprised of the four da (instructions relating to sensation through physical posture and pressure points), and sKu-mNyé. The Dzogchen men-ngag-dé teachings are comprised of the four chög-zhag, and the a-tri exercises. 1. Ngöndro means preparation or foundation practice. Literally, ngöndro means ‘before going’ and is usually understood to apply to the precursor of Tantric practice, i.e. 100,000 prostrations, 100,000 mandala offerings, 100,000 Dor-sem recitations, and 100,000 repetitions of Lama’i naljor.

2. Kyé-rim is the development stage of Tantra, and dzog-rim is the completion stage. Both phases are usually necessary before the practitioner can approach the Dzogchen teachings. Kyé-rim is mainly the practice of the awareness-beings, and dzog-rim is mainly the practice of the spatial nerves, winds, and elemental essences.

3. According to Ngak’chang Rinpoche, this does not imply that Vairochana remained a monk for the rest of his life. Ngak’chang Rinpoche states quite definitely that it was a customary option for practitioners at that time to take on monasticism for a limited period, before moving into their Tantric phase. Becoming a monk, or a nun in the case of Yeshé Tsogyel, represented the Sutric phase of their training (see Sky Dancer by Keith Dowman).

4. It is also said that these texts were written down on goat skin.

5. There have been many critics of Dzogchen in Tibet throughout its Buddhist history, and this pattern continues to the present day. The criticisms are often based either on its supposed similarity to Ch’an, or the idea that it is a Shaivite heresy. Due to the fervour of critics over a millennium, Nyingma scholars have argued the position of Dzogchen as an authentic Buddhist vehicle using the language and constructs of both Sutra and Tantra. As a result, Dzogchen became gradually more ritualised from the time of Jig’mèd Lingpa onwards. This is another reason for the emphasis placed on the Tantric ngöndro as a precursor before receiving Dzogchen teaching or engaging in Dzogchen practice.

6. The highly questionable nature of this behaviour does not seem to be addressed in the texts.

7. The meditation belt is called a gom-tag, and the stick is called a gom-ten (support) or gom-shing (stick). There are gom-tags of at least four different lengths and also different kinds of gom-ten. These are used in various combinations to facilitate a series of highly specific meditation postures which co-ordinate body posture with the functioning of the rTsa-rLung system (spatial nerves and spatial winds).

8. According to other oral sources, he was supposed to have been a monk, but this is doubtful. This is probably another of the many cases in which yogis and yoginis are portrayed as having been monks and nuns in order to ‘monasticise’ the history of the various traditions.

9. H. H. Düd’jom Rinpoche, Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism; Volume one. Wisdom Publications (1991), page 601.

10. Things do not seem to change very much with the passing of history. We do not have to look very far to see the same thing playing itself out today.

11. H. H. Düd’jom Rinpoche, op. cit., page 612.

12. From what we know of the Aro gTér tradition so far, there is no obvious link between either Aro Lingma or Aro Yeshé and Aro Yeshé Jung-né. At this point the names would appear to be coincidental.

13. Naljor is the Tibetan equivalent to the Sanskrit word yoga, but in the Dzogchen tradition it does not have the meaning of union or unification. In Dzogchen the word has a meaning closer to its Tibetan etymology: ‘nal’ derives from ‘nalwa’ which means ‘the natural state’, and ‘jor’ derives from ‘jorpa’ which means ‘to remain’ or ‘remaining’. Hence naljor means ‘remaining in the natural state’.

14. mDo – Sutra.

15. Chög-zhag means ‘leaving it as it is’.

16. Namkha’i Norbu Rinpoche teaches from sem-dé and is intimately familiar with both the four naljors and the four ting-ngé-dzin, but at the point of publication we cannot give a reference as to the origin of these teachings in terms of his lineage. We know that these teachings are also given in the Bön tradition, from what we have heard of Bön teachings given in the USA. There may well be extant lineages of sem-dé within the lesser-known Nyingma family lineages. Historical research into the Tibetan traditions is in its infancy and new information comes to light all the time in research papers and books. If further information is forthcoming it will be included in a revised version of this article.

© 2012


September 2012


The Practice of Trekcho....Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen (1859 - 1933)


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....Preliminary For The Practice of Trekcho....Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen (1859 - 1933)....An important Bonpo teacher in the Rime Tradition...realized the rainbow body when he died in 1933.....
External Practice
Go to a quiet place without any people and stay there.First make offerings to the mountain gods or whoever is powerful and spiritual in the area so that they are not disturbed. Tell them where you are practicing so that you do not disturb them.Then, thinking that you must stop desire for samsara, ask what is the purpose of so much attachment? You need to ask why you have this desire.
Imagine that you are naked and born in hell, screaming and suffering as if you are actually there. Then imagine that you are born in the realm of the hungry ghosts (pretas) with endless hunger and want. Imagine you are born in the animal realm, doing as animals do. Then think that you are born as a human with servants—imagine that life; then as a titan (asura) fighting with another—what is the purpose of that? Finally imagine that you are born as a god (deva) and spending life in leisure without thinking of the next life—what is the purpose of this?Imagine that you are circulating from one realm to the next.
Do whatever comes to your mind—in vision or imagination.
Then imagine what it is like to be a yidam (tutelary deity); or that you are in Shambhala and are teaching the bodhisattvas; or in the tantric realms with the siddhas as disciples; or in Sukhavati or Olmo Lungring teaching Dzogpachenpo.Pretend that you are actually doing this.
Finally dissolve all visions into the natural state. What is left? Then dissolve even your thought itself into the natural state so there is nothing left. Then you will realise that everything is made by your thought—everything comes from there. You have to realise how things are created.
You must practice this seriously for at best three months, or at least one month."


September 2012


Final Verse. From "Natural Perfection, Longchenpa's Radical Dzogchen"


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"So stay right there you lucky people, let go and be happy in the natural state. Leave your complicated life and everyday confusion alone and out of quietude, doing nothing, watch the nature of mind. This piece of advice is from the bottom of my heart; fully engage in contemplation and understanding is born. Cherish nonattachment and delusion dissolves. Forming no agenda at all, reality dawns. Whatever occurs, whatever it may be, that itself is the key, and without stopping it or nourishing it, in an even flow, freely resting, surrendering to ultimate contemplation in naked pristine purity, we reach consummation."

Final Verse. From "Natural Perfection, Longchenpa's Radical Dzogchen" ...Translation and Commentary by Keith Dowman...Published in 2010 (Wisdom Publications Boston)


September 2012


Maha Ati.....Jigme Lingpa.... (1730-1798)


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A teaching on the awakened state, by the great Dzogchen teacher Jigme Lingpa (1730-1798)

Translated by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

From Mudra, by Chogyam Trungpa

THIS IS THE LION'S ROAR which subdues the rampant confusions and misunderstandings of those meditators who have abandoned materialistic attachments to meditate on the Innermost Essence.

The maha ati [Tib.: dzogchen], which is beyond conceptions and transcends both grasping and letting go, is the essence of transcendental insight. This is the unchanging state of non meditation in which there is awareness but no clinging. Understanding this, I pay ceaseless homage to the maha ati with great simplicity.

Here is the essence of the maha ati tantra,
The innermost heart of Padmakara's teachings,
The life-force of the dakinis.
This is the ultimate teaching of all the nine vehicles.
It can be transmitted only by a guru of the thought lineage
And not by words alone.
Nevertheless I have written this
For the benefit of great meditators
Who are dedicated to the highest teaching.
This teaching was taken from the treasury of dharmadhatu
And is not created out of attachment
To theories and philosophical abstractions.

First the pupil must find an accomplished guru with whom he has a good karmic link. The teacher must be a holder of the thought lineage transmission. The pupil must have single minded devotion and faith, which makes possible the transmission of the teacher's understanding.

The maha ati is of the greatest simplicity. It is what is. It cannot be shown by analogy; nothing can obstruct it. It is without limitation and transcends all extremes. It is clear-cut nowness, which can never change its shape or colour. When you become one with this state, the desire to meditate itself dissolves; you are freed from the chain of meditation and philosophy, and conviction is born within you. The thinker has deserted. There is no longer any benefit to be gained from "good" thoughts and no harm is to be suffered from "bad" thoughts. Neutral thoughts can no longer deceive. You become one with transcendental insight and boundless space. Then you will find signs of progress on the path. There is no longer any question of rampant confusions and misunderstandings.

Although this teaching is the king of the yanas [vehicles], meditators are divided into those who are highly receptive to it, those who are less receptive and those who are quite unreceptive. The most highly receptive pupils are hard to find, and it sometimes happens that teacher and pupil are unable to find a true meeting point. In such a case nothing is gained and misconceptions may arise concerning the nature of maha ati.

Those who are less receptive begin by studying the theory and gradually develop the feeling and true understanding. Nowadays many people regard the theory as being the meditation. Their meditation may be clear and devoid of thoughts and it may be relaxing and enjoyable, but this is merely the temporary experiencing of bliss. They think this is meditation and that no one knows any better than them. They think, "I have attained this understanding:' and they are proud of themselves. Then, if there is no competent teacher, their experience is only theoretical. As it is said in the scriptures of maha ati: "Theory is like a patch on a coat day it will come apart."

People often try to discriminate between "good" thoughts and "bad" thoughts, like trying to separate milk from water. It is easy enough to accept the negative experiences in life but much harder to see the positive experiences as part of the path. Even those who claim to have reached the highest stage of realization are completely involved with worldly concerns and fame. They are attracted by Devaputra [personification of the force which causes attraction to sense objects]. This means they have not realized the self-liberation of the six senses. Such people regard fame as extraordinary and miraculous. This is like claiming that a raven is white. But those who are completely dedicated to the practice of dharma without being concerned about worldly fame and glory should not become too self-satisfied on account of their higher developments of meditation. They must practice the Guru Yoga throughout the four periods of the day in order to receive the blessings of the guru and to merge their minds with his and open the eye of insight.

Once this experience is attained it should not be disregarded. The yogi should thenceforth dedicate himself to this practice with unremitting perseverance. Subsequently his experience of the void will become more peaceful, or he will experience greater clarity and insight. Or again, he may begin to realize the shortcomings of discursive thoughts and thereby develop discriminating wisdom. Some individuals will be able to use both thoughts and the absence of thoughts as meditation, but it should be borne in mind that that which notes what is happening is the tight grip of ego.

Look out for the subtle hindrance of trying to analyze experiences. This is a great danger. It is too early to label all thoughts as dharmakaya [the body of ultimate truth]. The remedy is the wisdom of nowness, changeless and unfailing. Once freed from the bondage of philosophical speculation, the meditator develops penetrating awareness in his practice. If he analyzes his meditation and post-meditation experiences, he will be led astray and make many mistakes. If he fails to understand his shortcomings, he will never gain the free-flowing insight of nowness, beyond all concepts. He will have only a conceptual and nihilistic view of the void, which is characteristic of the lesser yanas.

It is also a mistake to regard the void as a mirage, as though it was merely a combination of vivid perceptions and nothingness. This is the experience of the lower mantras, which might be induced by practice of the Svabhava mantra. It is likewise a mistake, when discursive thoughts are pacified, to overlook the clarity and regard the mind as merely blank. The experience of true insight is the simultaneous awareness of both stillness and active thoughts. According to the maha ati teaching, meditation consists of seeing whatever arises in the mind and simply remaining in the state of nowness. Continuing in this state after meditation is known as "the post-meditation experience."

It is a mistake to try to concentrate on emptiness and, after meditation, intellectually to regard everything as a mirage. Primordial insight is the state which is not influenced by the undergrowth of thoughts. It is a mistake to be on guard against the wandering mind or to try and imprison the mind in the ascetic practice of suppressing thoughts.

Some people may misunderstand the term "nowness" and take it to refer to whatever thoughts happen to be in their mind at the moment. Nowness should be understood as being the primeval insight already described.

The state of non meditation is born in the heart when one no longer discriminates between meditation and non-meditation and one is no longer tempted to change or prolong the state of meditation. There is all-pervading joy, free from all doubts. This is different from the enjoyment of sensual pleasures or from mere happiness.

When we speak of "clarity" we are referring to that state which is free from sloth and dullness. This clarity, inseparable from pure energy, shines forth unobstructed. It is a mistake to equate clarity with awareness of thoughts and the colors and shapes of external phenomena.

When thoughts are absent the meditator is completely immersed in the space of non-thought. The "absence of thoughts" does not mean unconsciousness or sleep or withdrawal from the senses, but simply being unmoved by conflict. The three signs of meditation clarity, joy and absence of thoughts may occur naturally when a person meditates, but if an effort is made to create them the meditator still remains in the circle of samsara.

There are four mistaken views of the void. It is a mistake to imagine that the void is merely empty without seeing the wild space of nowness. It is a mistake to seek the buddha nature in external sources, without realizing that nowness knows no path or goal. It is a mistake to try to introduce some remedy for thoughts without realizing that thoughts are by nature void and that one can free oneself like a snake unwinding. It is also a mistake to hold a nihilistic view that there is nothing but the void, no cause and effect of karma and no meditator nor meditation, failing to experience the void which is beyond conceptions.

Those who have had glimpses of realization must know these dangers and study them thoroughly. It is easy to theorize and talk eloquently about the void, but the meditator may still be unable to deal with certain situations. In a maha ati text it is said:

"Temporary realization is like a mist which will surely disappear' Meditators who have not studied these dangers will never derive any benefit from being in strict retreat or forcibly restraining the mind, nor from visualizing, reciting mantras or practicing Hathayoga. As is said in the Phagpa Dudpa Sutra,

"A Bodhisattva who does not know the real meaning of solitude,
Even if he meditates for many years in a remote valley full of
poisonous snakes
Five hundred miles from the nearest habitation,
Would develop overwhelming pride."

If the meditator is able to use whatever occurs in his life as the path, his body becomes a retreat hut. He does not need to add up the number of years he has been meditating and does not panic when "shocking" thoughts arise. His awareness remains unbroken like that of an old man watching a child at play. As is said in a maha ati text: "Complete realization is like unchanging space."

The yogi of maha ati may look like an ordinary person but his awareness is completely absorbed in nowness. He has no need of books because he sees apparent phenomena and the whole of existence as the mandala of the guru. For him there is no speculation about the stages on the path. His actions are spontaneous and therefore benefit all sentient beings. When he leaves the physical body his consciousness becomes one with the dharmakaya, just as the air in a vase merges with the surrounding space when the vase is broken.


September 2012


Ashe (Primordial Stroke). In the Shambhala Teachings


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Shambhala Training is presented in a series of weekend programs, the first five of which are called "The Heart of Warriorship" and the latter seven, "The Sacred Path". The Warrior Assembly is the fruition of the Shambhala Training Sacred Path program. During Warrior Assembly, students study the Shambhala terma text, The Golden Sun of the Great East, and receive the ashé practices of stroke and lungta. Certain Shambhala practices derive from specific terma texts of Trungpa Rinpoche's such as Letter of the Black Ashe, Letter of the Golden Key that Fulfills Desire, Golden Sun of the Great East, and the Scorpion Seal of the Golden Sun, in long and short versions. Trungpa Rinpoche is believed by his students to have received these teachings directly from Gesar of Ling, an emanation of Padmasambhava, and the Rigden kings. The Shambhala dharma practices derived entirely or in part from these texts include those of werma, drala, Wind Horse (Tib. lungta), and meditations on four "dignities of Shambhala": tiger (tib. tak), lion (Tib. seng), garuda (Tib. kyung) and dragon (Tib. druk). Jamgon Ju Mipham Gyatso, a great 19th century Nyingma lama and the predecessor of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, wrote about many of these practices and concepts as well. Some, such as the "stroke of Ashé", have no known precedents.

"Ashe (Tibetan: primordial or first stroke. Pronounced ah-shay). In the Shambhala teachings, A-, primordial or first, is the open space of mind before the first thought, or first gesture; that first thought or gesture is -she. Ashe is the power to express basic goodness and is also know as "the essence of life." Ashe symbolizes primordial confidence and compassion. The execution of the stroke of Ashe is the practice that expressed and nourishes those qualities."
Jeremy Hayward, 'Warrior - King of shambhala - Remembering Chogyam Trungpa. - Wisdom Publications, 2008

"The 1976 Seminary was a landmark event in many ways. During Seminary, the Vidyadhara discovered the root terma text of The Golden Sun of the Great East and received the transmission of the stroke of ashe, giving birth to the Shambhala teachings in tangible form. We arrived at the Seminary just after the first part of the terma had been translated by Rinpoche, working with David Rome, his secretary. As we emerged from my car in the parking lot of the King's Gate Hotel, a tapping was heard at a window upstairs. There was Rinpoche beckoning us up to his suite. Excited, we hurried to find the room, at which point we were treated to a reading of the poem "Tung Shi" and its commentary, written perhaps a few days earlier, as well as the first section of the root text. Rinpoche demonstrated the stroke of Ashe, and we all looked at each other as if we had just landed in a new world, exciting yet very mysterious."
Remembering Robin by Larry Mermelstein

The Golden Sun of the Great East is a beautiful hardbound edition of a Shambhala root text by Dorje Dradül of Mukpo. It features cloth binding with gold-lettered spine, a gold scorpion seal on the front cover, and saffron endpapers. This second edition of the text has been re-edited, using gender-inclusive language wherever possible. Other amendments have been made based on a re-examination of the original Tibetan manuscript, which appears alongside the English translation. Translated from Tibetan by the Vajravairochana Translation Committee under the direction of Dorje Dradül of Mukpo. Vajradhatu Publications
Hardcover, 6" x 9".....40 pp.
Available to students at Warrior Assembly and beyond.

The Letter of the Black Ashe is a beautiful hardbound edition of a Shambhala root text by Dorje Dradül of Mukpo. It features cloth binding with gold-lettered spine, a gold scorpion seal on the front cover, and blue endpapers. This second edition of the text has been re-edited, using gender-inclusive language wherever possible. In addition, other amendments have been made based on a re-examination of the original Tibetan manuscript and the initial translation by Dorje Dradül of Mukpo. Here the Tibetan appears alongside the English. Translated from the Tibetan by the Vajravairochana Translation Committee under the direction of Dorje Dradül of Mukpo.
Vajradhatu Publications ....Hardcover, 6" x 9" .....22 pp.
Available only to those authorized to receive it.

Pema Chodron Teaching on Shambhala Terma
"On Monday, the Gampo Acharya Pema Chodron gave her second formal teaching during this visit to the monastics and residents of Gampo Abbey. Following the themes established in her first teaching presented earlier in May, Ani Pema continued to speak about the Shambhala terma teachings of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, as presented in his text The Letter of the Black Ashe. These teachings are particularly timely in today's climate of economic crisis, warfare, sickness, social injustice, and looming environmental calamity. The Shambhala teachings, says Ani Pema, were given by Trungpa Rinpoche to benefit beings during the most difficult times, when people would withdraw into themselves and hide from fear, and lash out at externally perceived enemies. These teachings remind us of the basic sanity and dignity that we are capable of as human beings."

"Genuine art—dharma art—is simply the activity of nonaggression," said Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Trungpa Rinpoche was one of the most important Buddhist teachers of the twentieth-century, and founder of this magazine. He was also a multi-talented artist. Trained as a child in Tibet in the traditional arts of calligraphy, painting, monastic dance, and poetry, on his arrival in the West he immersed himself in the pursuit of new artistic disciplines, including Japanese flower-arranging, photography, design, and filmmaking. In addition he brought fresh approaches to the traditional arts he had been taught, as seen in his calligraphy. Titled "Great Eastern Sun," it combines Tibetan script, three of his seals, and, the mark he used in the Shambhala teachings to symbolize primordial wisdom, which he called the Ashe stroke."

What is the warrior’s cry and what does it mean?
"Tonight, I would like to introduce the Shambhala warrior’s cry. Chanting this cry is a way to rouse your head and shoulders, a way to rouse a sense of uplifted dignity. It is also a way to invoke the power of windhorse and the energy of basic goodness. We might call it a battle cry, as long as you understand that this particular battle is fighting against aggression, conquering aggression, rather than promoting hatred or warfare. We could say that the warrior’s cry celebrates victory over war, victory over aggression. It is also a celebration of overcoming obstacles. The warrior’s cry goes like this: Ki Ki So So. Ki is primordial energy, similar to the idea of ch’i in the Chinese martial arts. So is furthering or extending that energy of ki and extending the power of Ki Ki So So altogether. Let us close our meeting by shouting “Ki Ki So So” three times. Sitting in good warrior posture, with your hands on your hips, hold your head and shoulders and shout:
Ki Ki So So
Ki Ki So So
Ki Ki So So"
by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche from our Teaching Library
The chant to raise wind-horse, which represents a connection between earth and sky, and its manifestation in a person...


September 2012


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dzogchen and The Nine Ways of Bon


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"The first four levels of Bon are referred to as the Causal Vehicles. They are the shamanic levels.

There are three biographies of Tonpa Shenrab. The earliest and shortest one is known as Dodu (mDo-'dus: 'Epitome of Aphorisms'); the second is in two volumes and is called Zermig (gZer-mig: 'Piercing Eye'). These two accounts were rediscovered as terma (see below) in the 10th and 11th centuries respectively.

The third and largest is the twelve volume work entitled Zhiji (gZi-brjid: 'The Glorious'). This last book belongs to the category of scriptures known as Nyan gyud (bsNyan-rgyud: oral transmission), and was dictated to Londen Nyingpo (bLo-ldan snying-po) who lived in the 14th century. (1)


(1). The gZer-mig and gZi-brjid are both published by the Bonpo Foundation, Dolanji, 1965 and 1967-69, respectively. Extracts from the gZi-brjid have been edited and translated by D.L. Snellgrove, The Nine Ways of Bon, London Oriental Series, vol. 18, London 1967. The first seven chapters of gZer-mig and part of the eighth have been translated into English by A.H. Franke, 'A Book of the Tibetan Bonpos', Asia Major, Leipzig 1924, 1926, 1927, 1930; Asia Major (New Series) 1, London 1949. A summary of the contents of gZer-mig has been made by H. Hoffmann in The Religions of Tibet, London 1961, 85-96.


According to the system of the lho-gter (Southern Treasure) the Nine Ways are:

Causal Ways (rGyui-theg-pa) comprises the first four,


1.Way of Prediction (Phyva-gshen Theg-pa) codifies ritual, prognostication, sortilege and astrology;

Chashen thegpa (Phywa-gshen theg-pa), the Way of the Shen of Prediction, describes four different ways of prediction, by divination (mo), astrology (rtsis), ritual (gto) and examination of causes (dphyad).....

Chashen (The way of the Shen of Prediction),
Chashen, the first way, comprises medical diagnosis and healing, as well as various ancient divination and astrological rites performed by the shaman to determine whether the person who needs to be healed has an energetic imbalance, or is being provoked by a demonic spirit, or negative energy (as mentioned above). Nowadays these rites are still widely practised in Tibetan communitites.


2.Way of the Visual World (sNang-shen theg-pa) details the psychophysical Universe;

Nangshen thegpa (sNang-gshen theg-pa), the Way of the Shen of Visible Manifestation, expounds the origin and nature of gods and demons living in this world and various methods of exorcism and ransom.

Nangshen (The Way of the Shen of the Visible World), ......The second way, Nangshen, comprises various rituals for purification to summon energy and enhance prosperity, to suppress and liberate negative forces, and to invoke and make offerings to powerful deities and pay ransoms to demonic spirits.

These practices are very widespread in Tibet. Families perform small ones, while large scale ones are usually performed collectively in towns, villages and monasteries. In ransom rites, an effigy is prepared which represents the beneficiary of the rite, or the shamanic practitioner who is performing it. I remember when my mother had been ill for a long time we tried to heal her by means of different medical treatments, but nothing helped. We then performed several minor rites, but these did not work either. So finally we invited some shaman monks, who performed a big ransom rite, in which they prepared a large effigy of her (in fact, people often make life-size effigies) and we dressed it in her clothes, so that it was very lifelike and resembled her closely. Then we performed the ritual, offering the effigy in her place to repay her karmic debt to spirits. She was given a new name, Yehe Lhamo, in place of her old name, Drolma, as a kind of new birth into the world, and she recovered from her illness.


3. Way of Illusion ('Phrul-gshen theg-pa) explains the rites for the dispersal of adverse thoughtforms, entities and energies;

Trulshen thegpa ('Phrul-gshen theg-pa), the Way of the Shen of Magical Power, explains rites for disposing of adverse powers

Trulshen (The Way of the Shen of 'Magical' Illusion).......Shamans of the third way, Trulshen, go where there is strong, wild energy, where they perform practices to conquer the spirits and demons that inhabit those places, subjugating them into their service. One achieves this through practising mantra (words of magic power), mudra (meaningful hand gestures to communicate with gods and spirits), and samadhi (meditation), while performing sadhanas (devotional practices) to engage various wrathful goddesses such as Walmo and Chenmo. The aim of these wrathful practices, which are directed against enemies of the teaching, are to protect the practitioners and the teaching against danger and threats.
It is very important to perform these actions with an attitude of love and compassion towards other beings, and should not be performed solely for the shaman's benefit..


4.Way of Existence (Srid-gshen theg-pa) details funeral and death rituals;

Sishen thegpa (Srid-gshen theg-pa), the Way of the Shen of Existence, deals with the after-death state (bar-do) and with methods for guiding sentient beings towards liberation or at least towards a better rebirth....

Working with the soul of the living and the dead, is the most important feature of the fourth way, Sichen, which contains a detailed explanation of the principle of the la (soul), yid (mind), and sem (thinking mind). "The la is the karmic trace, which is stored in the kunzhi namshe, (or base consciousness). The sem follows the karmic trace and produces blissful, painful and neutral experiences which are experienced by the yid."
When a living person's soul is lost, shattered, or disordered, there are practices to recall and reinforce its energy, such as soul retrieval. In relation to the dead, there are explanations of 81 different types of death, such as accidental death, suicide, murder, and sinister death.
Following these kinds of death, it is very important to perform appropriate rites, especially if the death occurs in a place which is energetically disturbed (for instance, a place where untoward events such as accidents regularly occur).

A particular specific method found in this way, is that of the 'four doors', to vanquish negative spirits, using 360 different methods. There are also funeral rites to guide the soul immediately after death, communicating with the ghost of the deceased and feeding it until its next rebirth.
One of the most important practices performed by Tibetan shamans of the sichen path is soul retrieval - Lalu (literally redeeming, or buying back the soul), and Chilu, (redeeming the life-energy).


Resultant Ways ('Brns-bu'i-theg-pa) covers the second suite of four; and in closure;


5.Way of a Lay Follower (dGe-bsnyen theg-pa) contains the ten principles for wholesome activity;

Genyen thegpa (dGe-snyen theg-pa), the Way of Virtuous Lay Practitioners, guides those who apply the ten virtues and ten perfections.


6. Way of a Monk, (Drnag-srnng theg-pa) codifies monastic rules and regulations;

Drangsong thegpa (Drang-srong theg-pa), the Way of the Sages, contains the rules of monastic discipline.

7.Way of Primordial Sound (Adkar theg-pa) charts the integration of an exalted practitioner into the mandala of highest enlightenment;

Akar thegpa (A-dkar theg-pa), the Way of the White A, explains the practices and rituals of the higher Tantras.....

WHITE 'A'..."O great White Light of (the letter) A of the womb of space"(Nalanda Translation Committee: 403)....The seventh level in the Nine Ways of Bon is the Way of the White Letter A (A-dkar theg-pa). (Snellgrove:1967)....."A' represents the unconditioned primordial state, the natural state of mind; it is white to represent the innate purity of mind." (Wangyal: 41)..."The Seventh Vehicle is 'The White A'. The sacred A is the symbol of the 'Pure Sound'...the origin of all earthly sounds and of all effects in the phenomenal world." (Hoffman: 110)...


8. Way of Primordial Shen, (Ye-gshen theg-pa) renders the guidelines for seeking a true tantric master and the samaya that binds a disciple to his tantric master; and in summation

Yeshen thegpa (Ye-gshen theg-pa), the Way of the Primordial Shen, stresses the need for a suitable teacher, place and occasion for Tantric practices, explains the mandala in greater detail as well as instructions for deity meditation.


Unsurpassable Way or the Way of Dzogchen (Khyad-par chen-po'i-theg-pa or rDzogs-chen) is the ninth.

9. Way of Supreme Doctrine or The Way of Dzogchen (Bla-med theg-pa) enshrines Dzogchen.


Lame thegpa (bLa-med theg-pa), the Unsurpassed Way, is concerned with the highest attainment through the path of Great Perfection (i.e., rDzogs-chen).


September 2012




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"On the relative level of appearances we do seem to exist.....On that same relative level the Dralas can also be felt and communicated with."

(Jamgon Mipham Namgyal Gyatso).(1846-1912)..The Tibetan text: "The Lamp that Illuminates the Practice of the Miraculous Juthig of Existence" : interesting and clear descriptions of the DRALA and WERMA can be found in two passages from the monumental work on the Juthig divination. The first passage describes the 'Unicorn' Drala Seu Ruchig, one of the most important manifestations among Drala and Werma......Also information on Lha, Nyen, and Lu."


"There are many gods....They are always present everywhere.....the dieties of the indigenous traditions of Western Europe and The Americas especially were dismantled, suppressed, undermined, abused, forgotten...followers were not even allowed to mention them.....but they still have not been able to destroy them, even with the desecration of the entire planet...the drala principle exists everywhere, always."..(CTR)



Drala is actually a transliteration for different Tibetan terms. Therefore it stands for two slightly different kinds of deity. One is spelled sgra bla, and the other is spelled in Tibetan, dgra lha. The first one with the element, sgra refers to a kind of energy; it is a vibrational entity. The second (dgra-) word ends in the syllable lha, and it is a kind of god.....Jamgon Kongtrul the Great made it interesting when he used a third spelling .....

Drala spelt sGra bla begins with the syllable sgra which means sound, and continues with la that here means "a type of individual energy that is endowed with protective functions" (Norbu 1995.) For example, seng- ge'i sgra means the lion's roar. It is also possible to write and hence, refer to sgra'i lha since sGra means a sound or cry, but using lha here instead of la conveys the meaning of a sound deity.

Dgra-lha....the warrior god who protects against enemies.....

DRALA....There are two different Tibetan terms: Drala (sGra bla) and Dralha (dgra lha)... Whereas "la" is translated variously as "life force, spirit, soul, vital essence" and lha as "god".

.."Drala could almost be called an entity. It is not quite on the level of a gods or gods, but it is an individual strength that does exist. Therefore, we not only speak of drala principle, but we speak of meeting the dralas. The dralas are the elements of reality...anything that reminds you of the depth of perception." ( 105)... drala (god of war and patron of warlords and warriors) Trungpa:1978.


sGra ....sgra: sound, voice, cry....sgra'i lha: sound deity...bso sgra: war cries....seng ge'i sgra: the lion's roar..... ku bswo cha sgra: war cry...sgra od zer: sounds, lights, rays...See Bibliography: A. Clemente: "The sGra bla, Gods of the Ancestors of gShen rab mi bo according to the sGra bla go bsang from gZi brjid" in "Tibetan Studies, Proceedings of the 6th Seminar of Tibetan Studies", Fagerness: 1992...."Drala spelt sgra bla, which means la of sound, where la (soul or vitality) stands for a type of individual energy that is endowed with protective functions" [Norbu:1995]....

sGra-la...."the spelling sgra-la (la of sound) is based on a very deep principle. Although not visible, sound is perceived through the sense of hearing and is linked to the Cha (the individual's positive force, the base of prosperity), and wangthang (ascendancy-capacity, both aspects related with the protective deities and entities since birth. Sound is considered the foremost connection between the individual and his la. This is the meaning of the word sgra-la." (Norbu: 62)...

dGra ...dgra: enemy, foe, adversary, opponent...."He is the drala (dgra bla) who extended the power of Shang Shung"..(Mipham text in Norbu: 1995, pg 58)...dgra lha: "foe-god" (Hoffman: 97)... dgra lha: protective warrior god..(Lopez: 4)...dgra-lha (enemy god): "the enemy who prevents man from being potent" [Paul:1982].... dgra-lha (warrior gods) [Stein:1972].... dgra-lha (enemy god): King Gesar is called "the King Gesar, the dgra lha of Zhang Zhung." [ 318]....dgra lha (war gods) [Kornman:1997]....drala (dgra bla) literally "above the enemy" Beyond aggression. Divine principle that protect against attack or enemies. [Nalanda Translation Committee:1997]...dgra dul: to vanquish the opponents, enemies...dgra lha: war god, deity of war....dgra bla: warrior spirit...norbu dgra'dul: Gesar......Zhang Zhung Gi Dgra Lha: war goddess of Shangshung. "Great Glacier Lady of Invincible Turquois Mist"...

"Jamgong Kongtrul the Great made things more curious by writing in his work: 'dgra-bla'."..(Karmay: 218)...

Other spellings and meanings found: drabla (enemy god) [Samuel:1993].... drapla, (sgra bla: enemy god) Kvaerne in Lopez:1997....


"The Tibetans have very complicated linkages and overlappings among the protector gods of the person, the protectors gods of lineages (male, female, maternal uncle) and the different masters of the place or territory." (Blondeau: ix)...

"Let us believe that such things do exist."...(Trungpa: Poem in First Thought, Best 125)...


FRAVASHIS...."In the Persian tradition, fravashis were powerful supernatural beings able to protect their descendants if duly worshipped. Yast 13." (Boyce: 10)

"The belief in a double of the living and dead, animate or inanimate things, which influences the persons involved....The fravashis are a class of higher intelligences playing a prominent part in the world of humanity. (fravashi or fravarti:the Persian King Phraortes in 647 BC). The last ten days of the year are especially set aside for their cult. The 19th day is consecrated to their memory and the first month of the Iranian calendar receives its name after them. The Fravashis resemble the Vedic Pitrs, the Roman Manes, of the Platonic Ideas. The Fravashis constitute the internal essence of things, as opposed to the contingent and accidental. They are not mere abstractions of thought but have objective existence and work as spiritual entities. They are immanent in the particular bodies that come into this world after their divine images.Every object which has a name is endowed with a Fravashi. Some Fravashi are wise, beautiful, courageous, efficacious, etc. From the greatest god down to the tiniest shrub, every object has this divine element implanted in it. During the lifetime of every individual, his Fravashi accompanies him to earth...they render great help to those who invoke them...They rush down in the thick of battle to crush the foes...They are eager to communicate with the living...loving when propitiated, dreadful when offended...(Dhalla: 234)...

FRAVASHIS...."A class of higher spirits and prototypes of mankind in its purest creation. The Persian name of the Median King Phraortes (647 BC), and also the Median rebel mentioned in the Behistan inscription to Darius is derived from the word fravashi or fravarti. One of the longest of the Yashts is dedicated to the fravashi. The nineteenth day of every month is consecrated to them. They resemble the Vedic Pitrs, the Roman Manes, or the Platonic Ideas, though they are wholly the same. The multifarious objects of this world are so many terrestial duplicates of these celestial originals. They are the manifestations of energy...They are eager to communicate with the living and seek their invocation...They bless those who make offerings and become dreadful to those who offend them....they come down to the rituals on the days consecrated to them...They are not all of equal rank..." (Dhalla: 233+)

......"A class of higher intelligence that are ancient Persian guardian warrior spirits. The 19th day of every month is consecrated to them. King Phraortes' (647 BC) Persian name is derived from the term."( 235)..... "Hence Finite Time and Finite Space control man's destiny from the cradle to the grave. Yet the whole of the macrocosm is kept in being by the Fravashis (Dralas ??), the spiritual powers that are indissolubly linked with each human being and with humanity as a whole. Finite time-space, then, is not a kenoma, an empty nothingness, but a pleroma, a 'full' and vital organism...."...( 150)...


" Jehovah is a local deity who abides on Mount Sanai.............we would like to make a pilgrimage.........what we will do with Jehovah is what Padmasambhava did.... He is going to be one of our friends.........Jehovah is a "very gentle person".....He will be subjugated as the local deity of Mt Sanai. We have to look for the site.......We have to perform the appropriate ceremonies for him to come along......Subjugating Jehovah is conquering both the Christian and Islamic traditions at the same time."

"Subjugation is bringing the gods around so that they begin to realize some basic understanding. They can't be purely "I am what I am" which they have to give up ......they have to be willing to relate and be willing to work with the other world altogether...they have to work for the sake of others rather than creating their own kingdoms......"


The drala brotherhoods (Groups of 3, 5, 7, 9, 13, 21) (Nebesky: 319)..."13 dgra bla" (Norbu: 60)

"The origin and importance of the nine dgra lha." (Nebesky: 336)


"The Gods and spirits of the Tibetan landscape are not necessarily favorably inclined towards human beings.....It is necessary to keep on good terms with the local gods to secure good fortune in this world of everyday life"...(Geoffrey Samuel..Civilized Shamans)

DEITIES...."eight classes of non-human beings: dud, tsen, lu, lha, nyen, mamo, shinje, gyelpo, and then shaza, nodjin, sinpo"..(Nebesky: 254)..."divine and semi-divine beings such as lha, lu, nyen, sadag, dud, mamo, shinje, tenma, kyongma, etc."..(Norbu: 125)...

DEGYE..."there are nine cosmos creating deities. These may be regarded as principles since they have many local manifestations. The main iconographical feature is the PER, a kimono like tibetan garment. The main degye is called SE, who wears a white PER with crystal armor and helmet. He rides a white horse." (Trungpa:1978)....."Nine gods of light...nine brothers and nine sisters." (Stein: 242)..."The eight degyes are thought to descend from heaven on the smoke of the lhasang. (Trungpa: 1978)..."the primordial beings are described as a King and a Grandmother; while on the other hand, they are spoken of as nine brothers and nine sisters." (Paul: 55)..."the lineage descends from the 'gods of light' and especially from nine or ten Mu deities." (Stein: 242)..."The first 3 of the nine brothers are more important than the others. They are called phyva-srid-skos-gsum"...( 192)..."Most of the Tibetan gods whose origin is not Indian can be traced back to the parents and the eighteen brothers and sisters."..(Karmay: 1975)



1. A-kar O kyi Migchig

2. Tongchen Log gi Pumar

3. Tragpa Tung gi Thortsug

4. Chagnag Khyung gi Yangshul

5. Phuljung Ser gyi Tangmen (Fem)

6. Gung gi Thingring Ngampa

7. Marpo Me yi Shogchig

8. Ngampa Yu Lung Trug Bu

9. Ku Lha Ye Khyen


September 2012


2000 Tibetan Dzogchen Terms


Click Here to View the Main Index


From an historiographic view (relative truth), early Nyingma Dzogchen was
formatively influenced primarily by the Indian Buddhist tantras, but also by Taoist
Ch’an, indigenous Tibetan Bon, Tibetan Nestorian Christianity and Kashmiri Shivaism
(Namkhai Norbu 1984 and in Reynolds 1989; Dowman 1996)


ka-ti - a crystalline translucent nerve or channel connecting the heart with the eyes

ka-dag - primordial purity, primordially pure

ka-dag chen-po - the Great Primordial Purity, a state of total primordial purity

ka-dag gi lam - the path of primordial purity

ka-dag rig-pa shes-rab rang-byung gi sgron-ma - the lamp of self-originated discriminating wisdom which is primordially pure awareness

ka nas dag-pa - primordial purity, pure from the very beginning 

kun-khyab all-pervading

kun-mkhyen - omniscient, all-knowing

kun tu snang-ba'i ting-nge-' dzin - the samadhi or state of contemplation which illuminates everything

Kun tu bzang-po - Samantabhadra (name of the Primordial Buddha) 

Kuntu bzang-mo Samantabhadri (name of the Primordial Wisdom) 

kun brtag ma rig-pa - the ignorance which conceptualizes everything

Kun-byed rgyal-po - the king who creates everything

kun-rdzob - relative

kun-rdzob bden-pa - Relative Truth

kun-gzhi - the basis of everything, alaya

kun-gzhi rnam-shes - the store consciousness, alaya-vijñana

kun-bzang dgongs-pa - the Primordial State of Samantabhadra

klong - vast expanse, vast expanse of space

klong-chen - the great vast expanse

klong-sde Longde - the Space Series (a series of texts and teachings of Dzogchen)

dkar 'jam rtsa'i sgron-ma - the lamp of the smooth white nerve 

dkar-po chig-thub - 1. panacea, the white panacea; 2. the Mahamudra teaching

bka' - precept, word, command, vacana

bka'-ma - tradition, continuous tradition (an oral tradition whose transmis¬sion has not been interrupted and is continuous)

rkyen - secondary cause, secondary condition, pratyaya

sku - Body, kaya

sku gsum - Trikaya, the 3 Bodies of the Buddha

sku gsung thugs - Body, Speech, and Mind

skye 'gags med-pa - uncreated and unceasing

skye med - uncreated, not produced, unborn

bskyed rdzogs - the generation process and the perfection process

bskyed rdzogs zung-'jug - unification of the generation process and the perfection process

bskyed-rim - generation process, steps of production, development stage, visualization process, utpattikrama

'khor-ba - Samsara, cyclical existence

'khor-Io - 1. wheel, circle, cycle; 2. chakra, psychic center (a center of psychic energy in the body)

'khor-lo bsgyur-pa'i rgyal-P - Universal Monarch, Chakravartin, a wheel¬ turning universal emperor, cakravarti-riija

'khrul rtog - delusory thoughts, deluded thoughts

'khrul rtog gi rba-dabs 'tshub-pa - turbulent waves of deluded thoughts 

'khrul snang - delusory appearances

'khrul-pa - delusion, deluded, delusory, bhriinti

'khrul-pa'i las rgyun mi chod-pa - not interrupt the current of the delusory activities of the mind

'khrul 'byams - ordinary profusion of deluded thoughts

'khru l'byams tha-mal du shor-ba - fall into the ordinary profusion of de¬luded thoughts

'khrul med - without delusion

'khruI gzhi - the basis of delusion 'khrullam the path of delusion


khyad-chos - special teaching

khrid - explanation, guiding explanation

khrid-yig - explanatory text (a manual which gives an explanation of the meditation practice)

khregs-chod / Thekchod - releasing tensions, cutting through rigidity (a special teaching of the Dzogchen Upadesha Series)

mkha' - sky, space

mkha'-'gro-ma / Dakini (a manifestation of energy in female form) 

mkhas-pa - wise, learned

mkhyen-pa - wisdom, knowledge; to know

'khor ' das - Samsara and Nirvana

'khor'das m-shan phye-ba - distinguishing between Samsara and Nirvana

grol gzhi - the basis of liberation

grol gzhi'i ye-shes ngos ' dzin - recognizing the knowledge (or gnosis) which is the basis of liberation

grol lam - the path of liberation

grol lugs - modes of liberation

grol lugs bzhi - the 4 modes of liberation

grol sa - the state of liberation

grol sa gcig-pu - unique state of liberation

grol sa gcig~po yin-par" ngo-sh~s - recognize to be the unique state of liberation

glo-bur - adventitious, accidental

glo-bur ma dag-pa - adventitious impurities

dgag sgrub med-pa - neither stopping nor creating (thoughts)

dgongs brgyud - direct transmission, Mind Lineage

dgong sgter - Mind Treasure

dgongs-pa - 1. Primordial State, Mind; 2. intention

dgra-bcOIfi-pa - Arhat, perfect saint

‘gags-med - unobstructed, without obstruction

‘ gyu-ba - movement of thought; to move

‘grel-pa - commentary

'gro sa med - (thoughts) do not go anywhere

rgod-pa - agitation, agitated

rgyang zhags chu'i sgron-ma - the lamp of the water (globelike) eye which lassos everything at a distance

rgyan - ornament (Le., thoughts and appearances are the ornaments of the mind)

rgyal-po - king

rgyal-ba - Jina, the Victorious One (syn. Buddha)

rgyal-ba dgongs brgyud - the direct mind-to-mind transmission of the Jinas rgyal-ba rigs lnga 

rgyal-sras / Jinaputra, son of the Victorious One (syn. Bodhisattva)

rgyal-sras kyi spyod-pa - Bodhisattva conduct, conduct or behavior of a Jinaputra

rgyu - cause, primary cause, hetu

rgyu'i ting-nge-'dzin - causal samadhi, causal contemplation, hetu-samadhi

rgyu'i theg-pa / Hetuyana - the Causal Vehicle

rgyud - 1.Tantra; 2. mind-stream

rgyud-sde - the Tantra Section 

rgyud smin - ripen the stream of consciousness

sgom-pa,bsgom-pa - meditation; to meditate, bhiivanii,

sgom-pa nyams su len-pa tshul - method of practicing meditation 

sgom-pa'i shes-rab - discriminating wisdom arising in meditation

sgom byung gi shes-rab - wisdom which comes forth in meditation 

sgom lam - path of meditation development, bhiivanii-miirga

sgyu-ma - illusion, miiyii

sgyu-lus, sgyu-ma'i lus - illusion body, maya-deha

sgyur-ba - transformation; to transform

sgyur lam - the path of transformation

sgra 'od zer - sounds, lights, and rays

sgrib-pa - obscuration

sgrib-pa gnyis - the 2 obscurations (emotional and intellectual)

sgrub brgyud - Lineage of the Siddhas

sgrub-thabs / sadhana - process of realization

sgrub-sde - the Sadhana Section (of Mahayoga)

sgrub-pa-po - sadhaka, practitioner of sadhana

sgro-' dogs - doubts

sgron-ma drug - the 6 lamps (aspects of light in Thodgal)

sgrol ba - 1. to liberate, to deliver; 2. rites of deliverance, magical rituals employed to slay other beings

brgyud-pa - transmission, lineage, paramparii

brgyud-pa'i bla-ma - Lineage Gurus, masters of the lineage of transmission 

bsgom-pa chen-po - the great meditation, state of total meditation 

bsgom-med - nonmeditation, without meditating


ngang - state, condition

ngang bskyangs - continuing in the state 

ngang chen-po - the great state, total state 

ngang dwangs - lucid state, luminous state

ngang bzhag chu-bo'i rgyun gyi sgom-pa - remain in a state where meditation is like the continuous flow of a river

ngang la bzhag-pa - remain in the state 

ngan sngags - evil mantras

ngan-song - evil destinies of rebirth, durgati

nges-don - real meaning, ultimate meaning, definitive meaning, 

ngo-sprad-pa - directly introduced

ngo-sprod-pa - introduction, direct introduction; to introduce

ngo-'phrad-pa - to be introduced to

ngo-bo - essence, svabhiiva

ngo-bo gcig - unique essence

ngo-shes-pa - recognition; to recognize

ngos ' dzin-pa - to recognize

ngos bzung - recognize

dngos-grub / siddhi - attainments

dngos-po - entity, a concrete thing

dngos-gzhi - principal practice, principal section

mngon-' gyur - become manifest

mngon-shes - clairvoyance, clairvoyant power, abhijftii

mngon-shes drug - the 6 clairvoyant powers

mngon-sum - 1. manifest, evident to the senses 2. perception, pratyaya

mngon-sum rjen-pa'i ye-shes - naked manifest primal awareness 

snga-'gyur - Early Translation

snga dar - the earlier spreading of the Dharma in Tibet

sngags - mantra, incantation, magic spell

sngags mying-ma - the Old Tantras

sngags nang-pa - the Inner Tantras, the Higher Tantras

sngags-pa - Tantrika, Ngagpa, a practitioner of the Mantras 

snags-lugs - theTantra system, mantranaya

sngar ' dris kyi ye-shes - a knowledge met with previously

sngon-'gro - preliminaries, preliminary practice, preliminary section


cig-ear, cig-char - instantaneous, immediate

cig-car 'jug-pa - entering instantaneously

cig-car-ba – non-gradualist

cir snang rang yin - one's own state of existence manifesting everywhere 

cog-bzhag bzhi - the 4 modes of just being there

gcig - one, single, unique, single state, singularity, eka

gcig grol - liberated into a single state

gcig thag-bcad-pa - discover one single state

gcig-pu, gcig-po - single, unique

gcig shes kun grol - knowing one thing, everything is liberated

gcer grol - liberation through bare attention

gcer mthong - seeing nakedly

bca'-ba - to continue

bcos med - unfabricated, unmodified, uncorrected

bcos slad med-pa - not modified or adulterated


chad lta-ba - the view of nihilism, ucchedaviida

chen-po - great, total

chös kyi bdag-med - the insubstantiality of phenomena

chös-sku – Dharmakaya in Vajrayana

Bön-sku – Dharmakaya in Bön

chös-sku rgyal-po'i rtsal - the creative potentiality of the king who is the Dharmakaya (syn. rig-pa'i rtsal)

Bön-sku gcig-po'i yo-langs bskyang - continuing in the unique state of the Dharma-kaya

Bön-sku'i klong du dag-pa - purified into the vast expanse of the Dharmakaya

Bön-sku'i lta-ba - the view of the Dharmakaya

Bön-sku'i yo-Iangs the state (or nature) of the Dharmakaya

chös-nyid - Dharmata, Reality 

chös-nyid kyi rang ngo skyong-ba - continuing in the inherent state of Reality

chös-nyid mngon-sum kyi snang-ba - the vision of the direct perception of Reality

chös-nyid bar-do - the Bardo of Reality

chös-nyid zad-pa'i snang-ba - the vision of the consummation of Reality 

chös rnams dharmas - phenomena

chös-dbyings / Dharmadhatu - the dimension of all existence

chös lugs - an organized system of phenomena, religion

chös log - wrong teaching, perverted teaching

mchan - note

mchöd-brjod - verse of offering

'char tshul - manner of arising, how it arises

'char lugs - mode of arising

'chi-kha'i bar-do - the Bardo of Dying


ji snyed-pa mkhyen-pa'i ye-shes - the Knowledge of Quantity, the knowledge which knows the quantity of all phenomena

ji lta-ba bzhin - the state of being just as it is

ji lta-ba gzigs-pa'i ye-shes - the Knowledge of Quality, the knowledge which sees the state just as it is

ji bzhin nyid - the state of being just as it is

ji bzhin-pa - the state of being just as it is

ji bzhin-par bzhugs-pa - remaining in the state of being just as it is

'ja'-Ius - the Rainbow Body

'ja'-lus 'pho-ba chen-po - the Rainbow Body of the Great Transfer

'jur dran - coarse memories

rjes - concluding section

rjes thob - subsequent realization, postmeditation experience, pristhalabdha

rjes med - without leaving a trace behind

rjes med rang dag - self-purified without leaving a trace

rjes su rnal-'byor - Anuyoga

rjes su rnal-'byor gyi theg-pa - Anuyogayana, the Vehicle of the Anuyoga Tantra

brjod-med - inexpressible (in words)

brjod med kyi rig-pa zang-thal - an indescribable directly penetrating awareness


nyams - experience, meditation experience, mystical experience

nyams gong 'phel kyi snang-ba - the vision of the development of experiences (in vision)

nyams-myong - experience; to experience

nyams zhen - attachment to experiences

nyams-len - practice; to practice

nyams su len-pa - to practice

nyams gsum - the 3 meditation experiences (of bliss, clarity, and no thought)

nyon-mongs-pa - passion, negative emotion, klesha

nyon-mongs-pa'i sgrib-pa - obscuration due to the passions 

nyon-mongs-pa'i dung klda-viiyu - passion winds, winds (or psychic energies) defiled by the passions

gnyis-med – non-dual, without duality, advaya

gnyis-'dzin - grasping at duality

gnyis-'dzin kyi 'ching-ba las 'grol-ba - liberated from bondage to dualistic thinking 

gnyen-po - antidote, pratipaksa

gnyug-ma - natural, innate, ntija

gnyug-ma'i rnal-'byor - natural yoga, natural practice

mnyam rjes - contemplation and subsequent realization

mnyam rjes kyi nyams-len - the practice of contemplation and subsequent realization

mnyam-nyid, mnyam-pa nyid - the state of identity, sameness, samatii

mnyam-bzhag - the state of even contemplation, samiihita

rnying-ma-pa Nyingmapa - the Old Tantra school

snyan brgyud - oral transmission, oral lineage, oral tradition

snying gi bu - heart-son, chief disciple

snying-gtam - heartfelt advice

snying-thig Nyingthig - the Essence of the Mind (syn. the Dzogchen Upadesha teachings)

snying-thig rdo-rje snying-po'i lam - the path of the adamantine heart of the Essence of the Mind (syn. the Dzogchen Upadesha teachings) 

snying-thig-pa - a practitioner of the Nyingthig teachings 

snying-po - 1. heart, hrdaya; 2. embryo, garbha; 3. essence, sara; 4. mind, citta


ting-nge-'dzin - contemplation, the state of contemplation, samadhi 

ting-nge-'dzin chen-po - a state of total contemplation, the great contemplation, maha-samadhi

gtad-pa - fixation; to fixate the mind on 

gtad-so - concept, conception

gtad-so dang bral-ba - free of conceptions

gtad-tshigs - conclusion, criteria, reasoning

gtan la 'bebs-pa - to systematize, to set down systematically

gter-ston Terton - Treasure Master, a discoverer of hidden treasure texts 


gter-ma - Terma, hidden treasure text

kha byang - entrance certificate (Aris), general (prophetic) guide (Thondup), preliminary treasure guide (Doctor)

khrom gter - crowd treasure (Aris), publicly discovered terma (Thondup)

mkha’ ‘gro brda yig - dakini script

dgongs gter - mind terma

nying byang - innermost prophetic guide (Thondup)

gter grogs - terma companion, consort

gter sgrub - preparatory practices (Thondup)

gter sgrom - treasure casket

gter ston - treasure revealer

gter tshab - substitute for terma

gter rdzas - terma objects

gter lung - prophetic terma text (Thondup)

gter srung - terma protectors

them byang - (also thems byang, them yig, or thems yig) registry, inventory list

dag snang - pure vision

byang bu - preceding prophetic inventory (Doctor)

yang gter - rediscovered terma

yang byang - inner prophetic guide (Thondup)

shog ser - yellow scrolls

sa gter - earth terma

gsang gter - secretly discovered terma (Thondup)


btag-grol - liberation through wearing

rtag lta-ba - the view of eternalism, Shashvatavada

rtags - sign, indication

rtog-pa - thought, discursive thought; to think

rtogs-pa - understanding; to understand

Ita sgom du ro-gcig - a single taste as to view and meditation

Ita sgom spyod - view, meditation, and conduct

Ita sgom spyod 'bras-bu - view, meditation, conduct, and fruit

lta-ba - view, way of seeing, dristi; to see

stong-cha - on the side of emptiness

stong-nyid kyi gshis - the innate disposition which is emptiness

stong-nyid snying-rje zung-'jug - the unification of emptiness and compassion

stong-pa - empty, shunya

stong-pa nyid - emptiness, shunyata

brtag-pa - examination, vitarka; to examine, to investigate

brtan-pa thob - attain stability

bstan-bcos - philosophical treatise, treatise, sastra 

bstan-pa - teaching, doctrine, shasana; taught, reveal[/size][/color][/size]


tha-dad med-pa - no difference, no distinction

thag-bcad-pa - to decide definitively, to determine decisively, to decide 

thabs- Means, Skillful Means, method, upaya

thig-le - sphere, tiny sphere, essence, bindu

thig-le chen-po - the Great Sphere, fotal sphere, mahabindu

thig-le nyag-gcig - the Unique Sphere, unique essence

thig-le stong-pa'i sgron-ma - the lamp of the empty spheres

thugs - Mind, Heart, citta

thugs-rje - 1. Energy; 2. compassion, karuna

thugs sras - heart-son, principal disciple

thun - session, meditation session

thun dang thun-mtshams - sessions and between sessions

the-tshom med - without doubts, not remaining in doubt

theg-pa - vehicle, way, yana

theg-pa dgu - the 9 vehicles

theg-pa chen-po - Mahayana, the Great Vehicle

theg-pa thams-cad kyi rtse rgyal - the victorious mountain peak of all the vehicles (to enlightenmenth(i.e., Dzogchen)

theg-pa dman-pa / Hinayana - the Lesser Vehicle

theg-pa rim dgu - the 9 successive vehicles to enlightenment

theg-pa rim dgu'irtse-bo - the pinnacle of the 9 successive vehicles 

theg-pa'i yang rtse - highest peak of all vehicles

thog-ma'i sangs-rgyas - the Primordial Buddha

thod-rgal / Thodgal - passing over the summit (the development of vision practice in the Dzogchen Upadesha)

thol byung blo rdeg - suddenly strike a thought

thos-pa'i shes-rab - discriminating wisdom arising from hearing (the teachings)

mtha' - limit, limitation, extreme, end, anta

mtha' grol - liberated from all limitations

mtha' med - unlimited, without limitation 

mtha' las 'das-pa - transcending limitations 

mthar snang - final visions

mthong lam - the path of vision, darsana-marga


dag snang - pure vision

dang-po-pa - beginner

dad-pa - faith

dwangs - luster, brightness; clear, pure

dam-bca' - author's promise, the author's statement of purpose to his readers

dam-tshig sems-dpa' - symbolic being, samayasattva

dur-khrod - cremation ground

de kho na nyid - Tathata, Reality, the state of being just as it is, suchness 

de kho na nyid ting-nge-'dzin - the contemplation of Reality

de bzhin nyid - Tathata, Reality, the state of being just as it is

de bzhin gshegs-pa'i snying-po - Tathagatagarbha, inherent Buddha-nature

don - meaning, real meaning, benefit, purpose, artha

don gyi lta-ba - real view

don gyi ye-shes - real knowledge

don gcig las ma 'das-pa - not go beyond the single meaning

drag sngags - fierce mantras

drang don - conventional meaning, neyiirtha

dri-med - immaculate

gdangs - translucency, translucent

gdams-ngag - instruction

gdeng, gdengs - confidence

gdod nas dag-pa - primordially pure

gdod-ma - primordial

gdod-ma'i mgon-po - Adinatha (syn. the Primordial Buddha) 

gdod-ma'i mal-'byor - the Primordial Yoga (syn. Dzogchen)

gdod-ma'i gzhi - the Primordial Base

bdag-nyid chen-po - the Great State, the great self (syn. Dzogchen, the Primordial State)

bdag-med - without a self, insubstantial, Anatman

bdag-'dzin - grasping at a self, grasping at the reality of, atarma-graha

bde-ba - pleasurable sensation, happiness, bliss, sukha

bde-ba chen-po / Mahasukha - the Great Bliss

bde-ba'i nyams - experience of pleasurable sensation

bde-bar gshegs-pa / Sugata - (syn. Tathagata, Buddha)

bden-pa gnyis - the 2 Truths (absolute and relative)

bden-pa mthong-ba - seeing the truth

bdud - Mara, demon

mdangs - luster, brightness, bright complexion

mdo - Sutra, a discourse of the Buddha

mdo-sde spyod-pa'i dbu-ma - Sautrantika-Madhyamika 

mdo-lugs - Sutra system

'das -rjes - posthumous teachings

'du-byed samskaras - impulses, karmic formations

'du-byed kyi las - activities of the samskaras

'dul-ba Vinaya - monastic discipline, monastic ordinances

'dren-pa'ibla-ma - Guru who gives guidance

rdo-rje vajra - diamond; adamantine, diamondlike

rdo-rje theg-pa - Vajrayana

rdo-rje zam-pa - the Vajra Bridge teachings (of Dzogchen Longde)

rdo-rje gdan Vajrasana - (modern Bodh Gaya), the diamond throne of enlightenment

brda - sign, symbol

brda brgyud - symbolic transmission, the Lineage of the Mystic Signs (of the Vidya-dharas)

brda bzhi - the 4 Signs (in Dzogchen Longde practice)

bdag-nyid chen-po - the Great State, the great self (syn. Dzogchen, the Primordial State)

bdag-med - without a self, insubstantial, Anatman

bdag-'dzin - grasping at a self, grasping at the reality of, iitmagraha 

bde-ba - pleasurable sensation, happiness, bliss, sukha

bde-ba chen-po - Mahasukha, the Great Bliss

bde-ba'i nyams - experience of pleasurable sensation

bde-bar gshegs-pa - Sugata (syn. Tathagata, Buddha)

bden-pa gnyis - the 2 Truths (absolute and relative)

bden-pa mthong-ba - seeing the truth

bdud - Mara, demon

mdangs - luster, brightness, bright complexion

mdo - Sutra, a discourse of the Buddha

mdo-sde spyod-pa'i dbu-ma - Sautrantika-Madhyamika 

mdo-Iugs - Sutra system

'das -rjes - posthumous teachings

'du-byed - samskaras, impulses, karmic formations

'du-byed kyi las - activities of the samskaras

'dul-ba - Vinaya, monastic discipline, monastic ordinances

'dren-pa'ibla-ma - Guru who gives guidance

rdo-tje vajra - diamond; adamantine, diamondlike

rdo-rje theg-pa - Vajrayana

rdo-rje zam-pa - the Vajra Bridge teachings (of Dzogchen Longde)

rdo-rje slob-dpon - Vajracharya

rdo-rje gdan Vajrasana - (modern Bodh Gaya), the diamond throne of enlightenment

brda - sign, symbol

brda brgyud - symbolic transmission, the Lineage of the Mystic Signs (of the Vidya-dharas)

brda bzhi - the 4 Signs (in Dzogchen Longde practice)


Nang – internal, inner, inner aspect

nang gi bla-ma - the internal Guru

nang rgyud - Inner Tantras

nang rtog - internal thoughts

nang dbyings - inner space, internal space, the internal dimension

nang 'od - inner light, internal light

nang gsal - inner luminosity, internal luminosity

nam-mkha' - sky, space, the space element, akasha

gnad - essential point

gnad gcig-po - single essential point

gnad du brdeg-pa - strike the essential point

gnad don - the real meaning of the essential point

gnad ma nor-ba - unmistaken essential point

gnad gsum ldan-pa'i lta-ba - the view which possesses the 3 essential points

gnas-pa - calm state; to abide, to be established

gnas 'phro - still or diffusing

gnas-tshul - mode of being

gnas-lugs - Natural State, natural condition

gnas-lugs ji lta-ba gzigs-pa'i ye-shes - the Knowledge of Quality, the knowledge which sees the Natural State just as it is

gnas sa med - (thoughts) do not remain anywhere

ma brgyud - oral transmission

mam-rtog - thought, discursive thought, vikalpa

mam 'rtog grol - liberate discursive thoughts

rnam-rtog ngo shes-pa - recognize discursive thoughts

mam-rtog med-pa - without discursive thoughts

mam-par rtog-pa - discursive thought, vikalpa

mam-par mi rtog-pa -without discursive thoughts, nirvikalpa 

mam-par shes-pa - consciousness, vijñana

mam-shes - consciousness, vijñana

rnal-'byor - yoga, union

mal-'byor gyi rgyud - Yoga Tantra

rnal-'byor gyi rgyud gyi theg-pa – Yoga-tantra-yana

mal-'byor chen-po -Mahayoga

mal-'byor chen-po'i rgyud kyi theg-pa – Maha-yoga-tantra-yana

rnal-'byor-pa Yogin - practitioner

rnal-'byor spyod-pa - Yogachara, Yogacharin

rnal-'byor spyod-pa'i dbu-ma - Yogachara-Madhyamika

rnal-'byor-ma - Yogini

rnal-'byor bzhi - the 4 Yogas (stages in Dzogchen Semde practice) 

rnal-'byor lam - the Path of the Yogins, the Path of the Yogins

rnal-bzhag chen-po - totally settled into the natural state, the great self-settled natural state

sna-tshogs - diversity, different kinds

sna-tshogs rdo-rje - a double vajra, vishva-yajra

snang 'char tshul - the way in which appearances arise

snang stong dbyer-med - the inseparability of appearance and emptiness

snang-ba - appearance, manifestation, vision; to appear, to manifest, to be visible 

snang-ba bzhi - the 4 Visions (in Thodgal practice)

snang-srid - all phenomenal existence, all that appears and that exists


dpal - glorious, abundant, shri

dpe - example, metaphor

dpe’i ye-shes - knowledge indicated by example 

dpyad-pa - analyzed, reason

dpyod-pa - analysis; to analyze, to investigate, vicara

spang blang med-pa - without attachment or aversion

spong lam - the path of renunciation

spyan lnga - the 5 eyes

spyi 'byams - irregular habits

spyi'byams gshis shor - falling away from one's innate disposition due to irregular habits

spyi mes chen-po - the great universal Ancestor

spyi gzhi - the universal Base

sPyod-pa - conduct, behaviour, action, carya

sPyod-pa'i rgyud - Charya Tantra

sPyod-pa'i rgyud kyi theg-pa – Charya-tantra-yana

sPyod-yul - sphere of action, the range of the activities of the senses

sprul-sku - Nirmanakaya

sprul-pa - Nirmita, emanation

sprospa - elaboration, multifarious activity, prapañca 

spros-med - without (conceptual) elaborations, aprapañca 

spros bral free of conceptual elaborations


pha-rol tu phyin-pa - perfection, paramita

pha-rol tu phyin-pa drug - the 6 perfections, the 6 paramitas

phun-sum tshogs-pa - supreme, abundant

phyag-rgya - mudra, symbol, symbolic form, gesture, consort 

phyag-rgya chen-po - Mahamudra, the Great symbol 

phyag-chen - Mahamudra, the Great Symbol

phyam gnas - even-minded

phyam gnas lhod-de – evenly minded and relaxed

phyam lhod - equanimity and relaxation

phyal-ba - omnipresent, common.

phyi - external, outer, outer aspect

phyi rgyud - Outer Tantras

phyi dar - the later spreading of the Dharma

phyi snang - external appearances

phyi dbyings - external space, the external dimension 

phyi'i bla-ma - the external Guru

'phags yul - Aryadesha, India

'pho-ba - the transference of consciousness; to transfer

'pho-ba chen-po - the Great Transfer

'phrul-ba - to emanate

'phro-ba - to emanate, to project, to diffuse, to proliferate


bag-chags - karmic traces, karmic residues, unconscious propensities, viisanii 

བར་དོ bar-do - Bardo, the intermediate state between death and rebirth, antariibhava 

The 4 Bardos (bar do bzhi)

1) rang bzhin skye ba'i bar do - The natural bardo of this life

2) 'chi kha gnad gcod kyi bar do - The painful bardo of dying

3) chos nyid 'od gsal gyi bar do - The luminous bardo of dharmata

4) srid pa las kyi bar do - The karmic bardo of becoming

The 6 Bardos - Bar do drug

The 4 Bardos above with the addition of:

5) bsam gtan gyi bar do - The bardo of meditation

6) rmi lam gyi bar do - The bardo of dreaming.

dkar cha - white essence

dkar lam - whiteness experience

skye gnas - birthplace

mngal sgo - door of the womb

nyer thob - near attainment

thim rim - stages of dissolution

nag lam - blackness experience

nang rtags - inner sign

snang mched thob gsum - appearance, increase and attainment

phyi rtags - outer sign

'pho ba - transference of consciousness

bar do - intermediate state, transition, 'between'

dmar cha - red essence

dmar lam - redness experience

srog 'dzin rlung - life-supporting wind


bu'i 'od gsaI - the Son Clear Light

bya-ba'irgyud - Kriya Tantra

bya-ba'I’rgyud kyi theg-pa – Kriya-tantra-yana

bya bral - free of any deliberate action

byang-chub - enlightenment, Bodhi

བྱང་ཆུབ་ཀྱ་སེམས byang-chub kyi sems - Bodhichitta, enlightened mind, the Thought of Enlightenment

It exists in Dzogchen too. 

In Semde (Sems sde) texts, Bodhicitta is a term that is synonym with Dzogchen itself or with Rigpa. In this respect, it has to be taken literally. The
tibetan expression for bodhicitta is Byang chub sems, in which byang means pure, chub means perfect and sems means mind. In this perspective, this
"Pure and Perfect Mind" is a little different from the relative and effective bodhicittas. In the early Semde texts, this Mind is considered as the
“Quintessence of the Primordial Base” (ye gzhi snying po), i.e. the primordial state of the individual. In other words, what is designated as Great
Perfection is nothing other than this state, than this Pure and Perfect Mind. There are seven « qualities » or specificities associated with this state
which is:

1. free of subjectivity,

2. spontaneously accomplished,

3. Self-Arisen Wisdom,

4. without action or effort,

5. Great Bliss,

6. non-dual, and

7. free from elaborations.

This is a standard approach that you can find in Semde texts in the Nyingma and Bon traditions.....

In one of the Commentaries to the Gabpa Gukor (which is the root Dzogchen text of the whole Bönpo tradition), this state is designated as « the King of
Awareness, of our own consciousness, in other words : as the Universal Base, the Pure and Perfect Mind which is Great Bliss, transcends all example
liable to illustrate it, stands beyond any kind of suffering and appears in a manifest way instantaneously. » 

Pure (byang) and Perfect (chub) Mind (sems)......

It is “pure” (byang) because it does not depend on binding or freedom ; “perfect” (chub) because it does not know any death or changes ; and “mind”
(sems) because it knows the real principle of non-duality. Furthermore, it is pure because it is without birth (or production) ; perfect, because it is
without death or cessation ; and mind, because it is the very principle that stands beyond production and cessation. 

In the Great Tantra of the View (lTa ba rgyud chen, one Bönpo Semde text), this Mind has nine « aspects:

1. it is primordially pure, free from any stain, similar to a clear sky (mkha'),

2. it is a luminous Expanse (klong) in which everything is spontaneously perfect,

3. it is a Space (dbyings) free from the two extremes,

4. it embraces everything without partialities,

5. it transcend all discourses,

6. it cannot be grasped discursively,

7. it is immutable and independant of any cause or circumstance,

8. it is free from artifices and corruptions,

9. it is free from acceptations and rejections since the beginning.

To paraphrase this text, the state designated as bodhicitta or Pure and Perfect Mind is primordially pure and spontaneously accomplished. It is
unconditioned and abides as an essence without birth or cessation and free from dualism. It is directly experienced in the recognition of the
undifferentiation of Emptiness and Clarity.

To conclude, in another Bön tantra of Semde (the gSas mkhar g.yung drung ye khyebs lta ba’i rgyud), it is said :

« — Indestructible Mind whose nature is originally pure,

It is without birth, cessation, and cannot be mentally conceived

Supreme and primordial Bodhi which is free from grasping

At the erroneous path of egotic clinging,

It abides in the freedom from all elaborated limits (because)

It is, in its very essence, Manifest Buddhahood itself.


byang-chub sems-dpa' - Bohisattva

byang-chub sems-dpa'i theg-pa – Bodhisattva-yana

byan'tshud-pa - concrete personal experience

bying-ba - drowsiness

byin-dabs - blessing, adhisthana

byung sa med - (thoughts) do not arise from anywhere

byed-pa-po - creator, actor, agent, kartri

bla-sgrub - Guru Sadhana

bla-na-med-pa - unsurpassed, highest, anuttara

bla-na med-pa'i rgyud - Anuttara Tantra

bla-ma - Guru, master

bla-ma'i rnal-‘byor - Guru Yoga, Unification with the Guru

blang dor med-pa - without accepting or rejecting

blang dor med-par bskyang-ba - continue without accepting or rejecting anything 

blo - mind, thought, attitude

blo-gros - intellect, mati

blo 'd'as brjod ‘braI transcending conception by the intellect and beyond expression in words"

blo Idog rnam bzhi - the 4 meditations which change one's attitude (toward life)

blo byas'ibcos-ma'i Ita sgom - view and meditation fabricated by the mind

blo byas 'jur dran - tangled,memories made by mind

dbang - initiation, empowerment; abhisheka

dbang-bskur - to confer initiation

dbang-po - sense faculty, intellectual capacity, indriya

dbang-po gzhan la rag ma lus-pa - not depend on any other power 

dbang-po rab 'bring tha-ma - superior, intermediate, and inferior capacities 

dbang-phyug - Lord, God, ishvara

dbang-phyug-pa - Shaiva, Shaivite, a follower of the god Shiva

dbang bzhi - the 4 initiations (in Anuttara Tantra) 

dbang lung khrid - initiation, authorization, and explanation 

dbu-ma - 1. middle, center; 2. Madhyamaka

dbu-ma-pa - Madhyamika

dbu-ma'i rtsa - Avadhuti, the central channel

dbyings - space, dimension, dhatu

dbyer-med - inseparability; inseparable

sbyin-pa - generosity

'bras-bu - Fruit, result, consequence, goal, phaIa

'bras-bu'i theg-pa - Phalayana, the Fruitional Vehicle 

'bras-bu'i rdo-rje theg-pa - the fruitional Vajrayana 

sbyong lam - the path of purification

sbyor sgrol - sexual rituals and slaying rituals

sbyor lam - the path of application, prayoga-marga


ma skye - uncreated, unproduced, not born

ma 'gags-pa - unobstructed, unceasing, anirodha

ma bcos-pa - unfabricated, unmodified, uncontrived, uncorrected

ma bcos lhan-cig skyes-pa - unfabricated and spontaneous

ma dag las snang - impure karmic vision

ma bu 'phrad-pa - encounter of the Mother and the Son (Clear Light) 

ma bu sbyor-ba - uniting of the Mother and the Son (Clear Light)

ma'i 'od gsal - the Mother Clear Light

ma yin-pa'i chos lugs - the organized system of phenomena which does not exist in reality

ma gyeng-ba - undistracted, without distraction

ma rig-pa - ignorance, lack of awareness, avidya

man-ngag - upadesha, secret oral instruction

man-ngag gi sde - Upadesha Series (a group of texts and series of Dzogchen teachings)

mi gnyis - not two

mi myed - unfindability, not find, not obtain

mi rtog-pa - no thought, nondiscursive, without thoughts

mi rtog-pa'i nyams - experience of no thought


'tsit ta - the physical heart

tsit ta sha'i sgron-ma - the lamp of the fleshly heart

btson-sgrus - vigor, diligence

rtsa - a psychic channel, nerve, nadi

rtsa-ba - root, source, root text, muIa

rtsa-ba'i bla-ma - Root Guru

rtsa dung - the yoga of channels and energies, nadi-vayu yoga

rtsa dung thig-le'i rnal-'byor - the yoga of Nadis, Vayus, and Bindus 

rtsal - energy, creative energy, potentiality

rtsal sbyong - forceful purification

rtse-gcig - one-pointed, one-pointedness of mind

rtsol sgrub - searching for realization

rtsol-med - the effortless state; effortless, without effort 

rtsol-med kyi bstan-pa - the doctrine of the effortless state 

brtsis-med - without calculating

brtse-ba - love; to love


tshad-med - immeasurable, unlimited, aprameya

tshad-med bzhi - the 4 unIimited states 

tshi ehad-pa - fall into despair

tshig dbang - word initiation

tshul - method, manner, mode

tshul-khrims - morality, moral precepts, sila

tshogs gnyis - the 2 accumulations (of merit and wisdom)

tshogs drug - the 6 aggregates of consciousness

tshogs lam - the path of accumulation, sambhara-marga

mtshan - name, title

mtshan-bcas - fixation with an object

mtshan-nyid - definitive characteristic, definition, laksana

mtshan-nyid theg-pa - Lakshanayana (syn. the Sutra system) 

mtshan-ma - mark, distinguishing mark, nimitta

mtshan-med - 1. without a distinguishing mark; 2. fixation without an object


'dzin-pa' - subject, that which apprehends, grahaka

rdzu-'phrul - magical power, magical display, telekinesis, psychokinesis, riddhi

rdzogs-chen - Dzogchen, the Great Perfection

rdzogs-chen sde gsum - the 3 series of Dzogchen teachings 

rdzogs-chen-pa - a practitioner of Dzogchen

rdzogs-pa - perfect, complete

rdzogs-pa chen-po - Dzogchen, the Great Perfection, mahasandhi 

rdzogs-rim - the perfection process, Sampannakrama


zhar-byung - addendum

zhal-'chems - last testament

zhal-sgom - oral teaching and meditation practice

zhal-gdams - oral teaching, advice

zhal-lung - oral teaching

zhi-khro - Peaceful and Wrathful Deities

zhi-ba - 1. peace, peaceful, pacification, santi; 2. Ultimate Peace, Nirvana 

zhi-gnas - Shamatha, calming the mind, the state of peaceful calm, attaining peaceful calm

zhi lhag dbyer-med - the inseparability of Shamatha and Vipashyana 

zhe-sdang - anger, hatred

zhen-pa - attachment; to become attached

gzhan ngo snang tshul - how they present themselves as external appearances

gzhan du mi myed-pa'i ye-shes - a knowledge not found elsewhere outside of oneself

gzhanrig - awareness of the other (i.e., external objects)

gzhi - Base, Foundation, ground, basis

gzhi ji bzbin-pa - the Base just as it is

gzhi hyid la grol-ba - liberated into the state of the Base

gzhi dang ngo 'phrad-pa - introduced to the Base

gzhi gnas ma'i 'od gsal - the Mother Clear Light that abides as the Base 

gzlii-ma - the Base

gzhi med rtsa bral - without any base and without any source

gzhi’i 'od gsal - the Clear Light of the Base

gzhi yi ngo bo - the essence which is the Base

gzhi lam gyi 'od gsal gnyis bdyer-med - the inseparability of the Clear Lights of the Base and of the Path

gzhi lam 'bras-bu - the Base, the Path, and the Fruit

gzhir gnas - remain as the Base, abide as the Base

gzhir gnas kyi rig-pa - Awareness which abides as the Base

gzhir gnas kyi 'od gsal - the Clear Light which abides as the Base 

gzung-lugs-pa - a follower of the scriptural system

gzhon-nu bum sku - the youthful vase like Body


zag-pa med-pa'i dbyings - unpolluted dimension, the pollution less dimension (of mind)

zang-thal - direct penetration, directly penetrating

zang-thal rjen-pa'i rig-pa - a directly penetrating naked Awareness 

zang-thal-le - directly penetrating

zang ma thal'byung - impeded

zin-pa - completed, finished, accomplished, done

zung-'jug - unification, unified, united, yuganaddha

gza' gtad - concepts, conceptions

gza ’gtad dang bral-ba - free of all conceptions

gzugs-sku – rupa-kaya, Form Body

gzung-ba - object, that which is apprehended, grahya 

gzung 'dzin - subject and object

bzod-pa - patience


'og 'gyu - undercurrent

‘og 'gyu 'khrul 'byams - undercurrent of proliferating delusions

'og 'gyu'i mam-rtog - undercurrent of discursive thoughts

'og-min - Akanishtha, the highest plane of existence

'od lus - the Body of Light

‘od gsal - the Clear Light

'od gsal rgyun-chad med-pa'i klong du - in the vast expanse of unceasing Clear Light

'od gsal rdo-rje snying-po'i bstan-pa - the doctrine of the adamantine es¬sence of the Clear Light (syn. Dzogchen)

'od gsal-ba'i ye-shes - the knowledge of the Clear Light, a primal awareness of Clear Light


yang rtse - the pinnacle, the highest peak

yang rab - an individual of exceedingly superior capacity 

yangs-pa - vast expanse

yi-dam - Yidam, a meditation deity, devata

yid - manas,mind,functional mind

yid kyi mam-rtog - manovijñana, mind-consciousness 

yid-ches-pa - belief

yid-dpyad - mental analysis

yid la byed – pay attention, mind-work, mental activity, manasikara

yid la mi byed-pa - inattention, without mental activity 

yin-lugs - natural state of existence

yul - object

yul-can - subject

ye grol - primordial liberation

ye ji bzhin-pa - the primordial state of being just as it is

ye nas - primordial, from the very beginning

ye nas dag-pa - pure from the very beginning

ye nas shes-pa - knowledge, gnosis, cognition, primal awareness, Primordial Awareness, jñana

ye nas sangs-rgyas-pa - enlightened from the very beginning, attained Bud¬dhahood from the very beginning

ye nas lhun-grub - spontaneously perfected from the very beginning

ye phyi-mo - the Primordial Grandmother

ye med - nonexistent from the very beginning

ye rdzogs - primordially perfected

ye yod - existing from the very beginning

ye gzhi - the Primordial Base

ye gzhi snying-po byang-chub kyi sems - the Bodhichitta which is the essence of the Primordial Base

ye-shes - knowledge, gnosis, c6gnition, wisdom, primal awareness, Primor¬dial awareness jñana

ye-shes kyi sku – Jñana-kaya

ye-shes kyi tshogs - accumulation of wisdom, jñana-sambhara

ye-shes kyi rang rtsal du bskyong-ba - continue in the inherent potentiality of primal awareness

ye-shes kyi rlung - wisdom winds, wisdom airs, jñana-vayu

ye-shes brjod bral - an inexpressible primal awareness

ye-shes spyi - a general or universal primal awareness

ye-shes zang-thal - directly penetrating primal awareness

yo-langs - the unobstructed and continuous state (of the Bön sku / Dharmakaya) 

yongs su grub-pa - fully realized, fully accomplished, parinispanna

yongs su rdzogs-pa - fully perfected, completed, paripurna

yod med - existence and non-existence

gyeng-ba - distraction, distracted; to be distracted


rag-pa'i mam-rtog - coarse thoughts

rang - self, itself, one's own, inherent

rang gi ngo-bo - one's own essence

rang gi rig-pa - one's own immediate awareness

rang gis rang grol - self-liberated by itself

rang gis rang rig-pa - self-aware by itself

rang grol - self-liberation, self-liberated

rang rgyud - one's own mind-stream

rang rgyud gnyis 'dzin gyi 'ching-ba las grol-ba - one's own mind-stream liberated from all bondage to dualistic thinking

rang ngo - one's own real nature, one's own face

rang ngo rang du phrad-pa - one's own face encountering itself, meeting oneself face to face

rang ngo-shes-pa - self-recognition; recognizing one's own nature (face) 

rang gcig-pa - singular unique state

rang gcig-pu - singular unique state

rang dang 'brel-ba - found within oneself, connected with oneself

rang gdangs - inherent translucent radiance

rang gnas - self-sustaining, self-abiding, self-existent

rang gnas kyi ye-shes rjen-pa - a naked self-sustaining primal awareness 

rang-snang - self-manifestation, self-manifesting

rang babs - self-occurring

rang babs gnyug-ma'i dran-pa - a natural self-occurring mindfulness 

rang-byung - self-originated

rang-byung ye-shes - self-originated knowledge, self-originated primal awareness

rang zhal mjal-ba - meeting one's own face (nature)

rang gzhan gnyis su byung - originate as oneself and as another 

rang-bzhag - self-settled, remain as itself

rang-bzhin - nature, nature, inherent nature, svabhava

rang-bzhin mam-dag - naturally pure

rang-bzhin med-pa - without any inherent nature

rang-bzhin rdzogs-pa chen-po - the natural Great Perfection

rang-rtsal - inherent energy, inherent potentiality

rang yin-pa - one's own state of existence

rang yin-par ngo-shes-pa - recognizing it as one's own state of being

rang rig - self-awareness; aware of oneself

rang rig-pa - one's own intrinsic Awareness

rang la byan tshud-pa - concrete personal experiences with regard to one self

rang-shar - self-arising

rang shes rig-pa'i rgyal-po - the King who is self-knowing Awareness 

rang sar grol - liberated into its own condition

rang sar zin - remaining in its own (original) condition

rang sems - one's own mind

rang sor zin - remaining in its own (original) condition

rang gsal - inherent clarity, inherent luminosity

rab-'byams-pa - infinite

rab 'bring tha-ma - superior, intermediate, and inferior capacities rig-cha on the side of awareness

rig stong rjen-pa - naked empty Awareness

rig stong dbyer-med - the inseparability of awareness and emptiness rig-pa 1. Awareness, immediate Awareness, intrinsic Awareness, the state of
contemplation, vidya; 2. intelligence

rig-pa ngo-sprod - direct introduction to intrinsic Awareness

rig-pa gcer-bu - naked Awareness

rig-pa gcer mthong - seeing with naked Awareness

rig-pa rjen-pa - naked Awareness

rig-pa dbyings kyi sgron-ma - the lamp of the dimension of Awareness 

rig-pa tshad pheb kyi snang-ba - the vision of the increasing to the full measure of Awareness

rig-pa 'dzin-pa - vidyadhara, knowledge-holder

rig-pa'i khu-byug - the cockoo of Awareness

rig-pa'i rtsal - the potentiality of Awareness, the creative energy of Awareness

rig-pa'i rtsallhung-ba - fall into the potentiality of Awareness

rig-pa'i ye-shes - the knowledge which is immediate Awareness

rig-pa'i zang-thal - directly penetrating Awareness

rig-pa zang-thal gyi ngang - the state of directly penetrating Awareness 

rig-pa rang gnas - self-sustaining immediate Awareness

rig-ma - a consort, a female partner for tantric practice

rig-'dzin – Vidya-dhara

rig-'dzin brda brgyud - the symbolic transmission of the Vidya-dharas

rig shes - a knowing awareness

rig gsal - clear awareness, awareness and clarity

rig gsal dbyer-med - the inseparability of awareness and clarity 

ring-lugs - our own system, our own tradition

rim-gyis 'jug-pa - entering gradually

rim-gyis-pa - a gradualist

ris-med – non-sectarian

ris-med-pa - one who is non-sectarian, a follower of the Rimed or non-sectarian movement

ru-Iog - reversal, the process of reversing solid matter into radiant energy 

ru-shan - distinction, the Rushan exercises (in Dzogchen)

ro-gcig - single taste, single flavor, the state of being a single taste, ekarasa

ro-snyoms - same taste, the process of making everything into the same taste, samarasa

ro-langs - a vampire, vetalal

rol-pa - manifestation; to manifest

rung - psychic energy, wind, air, vayu


la bzla-ba - to transcend, to go beyond conceptions lam the Path, path, way, road, marga lam-khyer - carry on along the path, daily practice

lam gyi 'od gsal - the Clear Light of the Path

las snang - karmic vision

lung - 1. Agama; 2. scriptural authorization, authorization 

lung-ma-bstan - a dull blank state of mind, neutral state

lung rig - scriptural citations and reasoning

lus ngag yid - body, speech, and mind

longs-sku – Sambhoga-kaya

longs-spyod rdzogs-pa'i sku – Sambhoga-kaya


shar grol - liberation as soon as it arises

shar-ba - to arise

shin tu mal-'byor - Atiyoga (syn. Dzogchen)

shin tu mal-'byor gyi theg-pa – Atiyoga-yana

shes rgyud - stream of consciousness, vijñana-santana

shes-pa - awareness; to know, to be aware

shes-bya ji snyed-pa mkhyen-pa'i ye-shes - the Knowledge of Quantity, the knowledge which knows the full quantity of what is known (i.e., conventional
knowledge of phenomena)

shes-bya'i sgrib-pa - obscurations due to (erroneous) intellectual knowledge

shes-rab - wisdom, discriminating wisdom, prajña

shes-rab rang-byung gi sgron-ma - the lamp of self-originated wisdom

shes rig - an awareness which knows

shog ser - golden paper

gshis - innate disposition

gshis shor gyi gol-sa - deviation where one falls away from one's innate disposition


sa - stage, state, bhumi

sa gcig-pa - single stage

sa bcu - the 10 stages, the 10 bhumis

sa-gter - earth-treasure

sangs-rgyas - Buddha, an enlightened being

sangs-rgyas-pa - Buddhahood, attaining Buddhahood

sems - mind, thoughts, thought process, citta

sems kyi ngo-bo - the essence of mind

sems kyi snang-ba - manifestation of mind

sems kyi yal-ba - the dissolving of mental activities

sems bskyed - 1. bodhichitta, producing the bodhichitta, bodhicittotpada;2. producing a thought

sems grol - liberate the mind

sems rgyud - mind-stream

sems-can - sentient being, sattva

sems-nyid - the Nature of Mind, cittata

sems-nyid kyi rang zhal bsgribs - obscuring the true face of the Nature of Mind

sems-sde - Mind Series (a group of texts and series of Dzogchen teachings) 

sems-phyogs - teachings pertaining to the Dzogchen Semde

sems 'byung - contents of mind, what arises in the mind, caitta 

sems-tsam - Chittamatra, the doctrine of Mind-Only

sems-tsam-pa - Chittamatrin, a follower of the Mind-Only doctrine (syn.Yogacharin)

sems-'dzin - fixation of mind, Semdzin (a series of meditation exercises in Dzogchen)

sems rang bzhag gnyug-ma'i ngang bskyangs - the mind continues in a natural self-settled state

sems las ' das-pa - transcending the mind

sems las ' das-pa'i ye-shes - a primal awareness which transcends the mind 

so-sa'i gling - Sosaling (name of a cremation ground in India)

srid-pa - existence (syn. salpsiira)

srid-pa'i bar-do - the Bardo of Existence

gsang sngags - the Secret Mantras (syn. Vajrayana)

gsang sngags rdo-rje theg-pa - the Secret Mantra Vajrayana

gsang spyod - secret conduct (the sexual practices of yoga)

gsang-ba - secret, secret aspect

gsang-ba'i bla-ma - the secret Guru

gsang mtshan - secret name (obtained during initiation)

gsar-ma-pa - Sarmapa, the New Tantra schools, the Newer Schools 

gsal-cha - on the side of luminous clarity

gsal stong dbyer-med - the inseparability of clarity and emptiness 

gsal-ba - clarity, luminosity, luminous clarity, clear

gsal-ba'i nyams - experience of clarity

bsam-gtan - concentration, meditation, level of concentration, dhyana 

bsam-gtan gyi mkhan-po - a teacher of Chan, a Chan master

bsam-gtan gyi rgyu tshogs - accumulate the causes of concentration 

bsam-pa'i shes-rab - discriminating wisdom arising from reflection 

bsil-ba'i tshal - Shitavana, the cool forest (cremation ground near Bodh Gaya)

bsod-nams - merit, meritorious karma, punya

bsod-nam kyi tshogs - accumulation of merit, punya-sambhara


he-de-ba - a blank state of mind, a startled mind.

lhad-de-ba - startled awareness, a state of shock

lha - god, deity, Deva

lhag-mthong - vipasyana, higher insight (Pali: vipassana)

lhag-pa'i mal-'byor - Atiyoga(syn. Dzogchen)

lhan-skyes - spontaneously born

lhan-cig skyes-pa - spontaneously born, sahaja

Ihan-cig skyes-pa'i ma rig-pa - spontaneously born ignorance

lhan-cig skyes-pa'i ye-shes - spontaneously born knowledge, spontaneously born primal awareness

lha'i nga-rgyal - divine pride

lhug-pa - alert relaxation, alertly relaxed 

lhun gyis - spontaneously, effortlessly, naturally

lhun gyis grub-pa - spontaneously self-perfected, effortlessly realized, anabhoga

lhun gyis 'jug-pa - entering spontaneously

lhun gyis gnas-pa - abiding spontaneously, remaining effortlessly

lhun gyis rdzogs-pa - perfected spontaneously

lhun-grub - spontaneously self-perfected

lhun-rdzogs - spontaneously perfected

lhod-de - relaxed

lhod-pa - relaxation, relaxed; to relax

lhod-pa chen-po - the Great Relaxation, totally relaxed, a state of total relax¬ation (syn. Dzogchen)


a-ti - Atiyoga (syn. Dzogchen) a-ti-yo-ga Atiyoga (syn. Dzogchen) 

a-la-la - how delightful!

e-ma-ho - how wonderful!

o-rgyan - Uddiyana

In Bön: Kalden Yungdrung


September 2012