With a focus on the Tibetan, Nepalese, and Mongolian forms of Mahayana Buddhism
I am no expert in Zen, Dzogchen, Mahamudra nor the Ashe of Shambhala. In the Tibetan schools there are differing methods and there is debate among the schools about the best method. Yet to my inexpert experience they each unveil a clarity of mind that has always been there, only cluttered by the hinderance of our attachments. I too experience a sharpness to Zen where Dzogchen is gentle spaciousness, but then I was listening to an elder Zen Student who cultivates gardens and she described the spaciousness of Dzogchen. If I may be conceptual I do not believe it is a difference in the schools so much as a difference in our individual security blankets, our frame of reference or ground of being which we cling to. These "methods" echo off of that frame of reference differently, yet with the same result, namely the eventual relinquishment of whatever attachment I may be clinging to at that time. I have cultivated a personal arsenal of practices. Chod helps me when I am in conflict with myself and perhaps the world, Tonglan helps me to see my suffering as ordinary and opens my heart to compassion, it also removes the thin veil of us vs them. Zen thus far is like the prajna blade cutting immediately all preconceived notions. Yet simultaneously, I find a respect for my conditioned nature through all of this, so that I am not attempting to perfect some notion. Ashe is the practice of being at the front door when first thought arises. First thought is being awake, second thought is falling into the stream of sleep.
Please understand I am not trying to impose my frame of reference but only describing those practices which have allowed me to see what is occurring in a non interfering way. So that my thoughts may rise and fall but I do not rise and fall with them.
I am just a student. Or as the Martian Michael Smith said "I am but an egg".
There is no fear in being a novice, an expert on the other hand has something to lose.
Say no more! ;-)
"The abundance of Nature is not a matter of its 'providing' ". -- William James, c. 1901.
Read my lips: No new Ronalds or Donalds.
Life continues to be short. --Joe
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