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Buddhadharma : Fall 2006
fall 2006| 56 |buddhadharma practice itself is direct. Even if you have a shortcut, there still needs to be a road there to travel on. Otherwise, you can’t use the shortcut. maRcia schmiDT: Dzogchen is a shortcut because you’re taking the fruition as the path. One’s nature can be pointed out and then you can recognize and use that nonconceptual state through all practices, through every stage along the way. Even though it is revealed, we still have to go through the path. Yes, we’re told it’s the effortless great perfection, that there is nothing to do and that it’s your inher- ent nature. That’s true in the absolute sense. But in the relative sense, we’re not necessarily connecting with our absolute nature. We have lots of discur- sive thoughts, we have very little bodhicitta. So we have to be honest and ask ourselves, what’s going to change that? If we do that, we can receive the training and make use of these sublime methods that have a very good track record. Then they will be a shortcut for us. But we can’t avoid the path. buDDhaDhaRma: Is rigpa exclusive to Dzogchen? Is it possible that a practitioner of another tradition may attain the quality of natural mind, rigpa? minGyuR RinPoche: Rigpa is already within us twenty-four hours a day. It doesn’t matter who we are – human being, animal, part of a tradition or not. But recognition is the key. If you want to prac- tice rigpa recognition according to Dzogchen, you need all the causes and conditions from Dzogchen. Otherwise, you cannot recognize rigpa according to Dzogchen. If you miss one component – no lineage or no real pith instruction – then there is no Dzogchen, and no recognition of rigpa according to the Dzogchen tradition. buDDhaDhaRma: Is there any point in comparing formless meditation experiences and terminology across traditions? maRcia schmiDT: I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t understand why other people in other traditions would try to mix in Dzogchen terminology with their path. Their path is perfectly complete within itself. Why do you have to think that it’s the same as another path? There are similarities, but they are not the same. That’s why there’s Zen, that’s why there’s the Vipassana tradition, that’s why there’s Dzogchen. The essential meaning may be similar, but the whole path and training is what defines a tradition. If you’re a good practitioner, you need to have confidence that whatever you’re practicing is suitable for you. Don’t go looking for something because you think it’s superior. It may not be. You might not have the karmic con- nection to it. buDDhaDhaRma: Could you nevertheless derive inspi- ration from studying a Dzogchen text, even if you are not a full-fledged Dzogchen practitioner? maRcia schmiDT: If you consider a book like Wisdom Nectar: Dudjom Rinpoche’s Heart Advice, the songs of realization in there are meant to inspire you. It’s not ordinary language; it is realized wis- dom mind speaking. It is truly the nectar of the wisdom. And of course, that can be beneficial for anyone to read. It can indeed inspire you, open you. By reading the sublime literature, the divine words, you can come closer to meeting with the realization of pure beings. As part of the Dzogchen tradition, however, it is important to make the aspiration, to offer prayers, to connect with the true teacher, the Dorje Drolo (Crazy Wisdom Vajra) Eastern Tibet, 1800−1899 (itemno.697)ColleCtionofShelley&DonalDRubin,www.himalayanaRt.oRg(itemno.298)ColleCtionofShelley&DonalDRubin,www.himalayanaRt.oRg