In today’s pop spiritual culture, in which Buddhist meditation as a whole is frequently reduced to simple mindfulness in the sense of “bare attention,” “choiceless awareness,” and “open monitoring,” the distinctive qualities of the Dzogchen, or Great Perfection, school of Tibetan Buddhism are easily overlooked. The central point of this contemplative tradition is to experientially fathom the primordial dimension of our own everyday, present awareness, which is none other than our Buddha nature. Exceptionally gifted contemplatives may be able to access and sustain such pristine awareness, called “rigpa” in Tibetan, simply by receiving “pointing out instructions” from a realized master. But for those who need a more robust foundation for this pinnacle of contemplative insight, the practices of shamatha and vipashyana are indispensible. Shamatha is a type of contemplative technology designed to cultivate our attention and introspective skills, and vipashyana is a contemplative science designed to provide insight into the nature of the mind and its role in nature. Drawing on the pith instructions of the 19th-century Dzogchen master Dudjom Lingpa and his 20th-century mind emanation Dudjom Rinpoche, Jikdral Yeshe Dorje, Alan Wallace will offer guidance in these core meditative practices within the theoretical framework of the Great Perfection.
Recorded at Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY from Oct.1-6, 2016. For use in MP3 and CD player.