Rigpa Yoga

Rigpa, Tib. རིག་པ་དོན་གྱི་བླ་མ་, rigpa dön gyi lama – the absolute teacher, which is the true nature of mind, or Vidyā in Sanskrit. 

 Rigpa is a Tibetan word, which in general means ‘intelligence’ or ‘awareness’. In Dzogchen, however, the highest teachings in the Buddhist tradition of Tibet, Rigpa has a deeper connotation, ‘the innermost nature of the mind’. The whole of the teaching of Buddha is directed towards realizing this, our ultimate nature, the state of omniscience or enlightenment – a truth so universal, so primordial that it goes beyond all limits, and beyond even religion itself.” Sogyal Rinpoche

Rigpa Yoga is about recognizing this clear light, the nature of our mind at once.

“The stream of consciousness in an ordinary person is called “the continuous instant of delusion”. That means, every instant of time is wasted on deluded, dualistic involvement with some object. This is a strong habit, and it creates circumstances for the next moment to follow in the same manner….We need to train in the continuous instant of non fabrication, which is Rigpa, the awakened state itself. Through this un fabricated naturalness, without trying to do anything whatsoever, we counter react the ingrained habitual mode of the continuous instant of delusion, the creator of the samsaric state.” Tulku Urgyen

Penetrating Wisdom: The Aspiration of Samantabhadra Book Excerpt by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche (“One of the most brilliant Tibetan Buddhist Teachers of his generation.”—Sogyal Rinpoche)

“In the Aspiration of Samantabhadra, a proclamation in the Buddhist tantras of the Buddha Samantabhadra, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche illuminates the philosophy and meditation practices of Dzogchen, the highest and most profound teaching of all of Tibetan Buddhism. With precision that does not intimidate the uninitiated, Rinpoche explains the basic nature of our very own mind—complete enlightenment—and how we may go about making this nature of mind manifest through making profound aspirations and through relying on the skillful methods of the Vajrayana, Tibetan Buddhism’s “indestructible” path of insight.”

May all recognize awareness. This Awareness is the key of Self Transformation Seminar that we often offer during our retreats.

We have five emotions ( ignorance;  aggression or irritation; pride, passion, desire or attachment; jealousy or envy) within the five wisdoms. This is taught in Vajrayana Buddhism in general and Dzogchen in particular. Whenever we have ignorance, it is in the nature of dharmadhatu wisdom. When we have aggression or irritation, that exists in the nature of mirror-like wisdom. When we have pride, that nature of mind exists in the wisdom of equanimity. When we have passion, desire, or attachment, that mind exists in the nature of discriminating wisdom. When we have jealousy or envy, it exists in the nature of all-accomplishing wisdom. Therefore, these five poisons remain in the five wisdoms of buddha.

It is important to identify the emotion in which we are engaged, even though it is often mixed. Passion, aggression, jealousy, and so on, are all mixed at certain points. Identifying them is the process that naturally takes us to mindfulness, to awareness. There is no other way.

“When we recognize an emotion, such as strong passion accompanied by jealousy, we are actually breaking down the speed of that emotion. The total sense of recognition is quite important in both Sutra and Tantra. In Sutra, it is mindfulness. In Tantra, if we see that nature and look at it nakedly, we will see the nature of that wisdom. You don’t need to logically apply any reasoning. You don’t need to conceptually meditate on anything. Just simply recognize and observe it. Whether it is dharmadhatu wisdom, mirror-like wisdom, or any of the other five wisdoms, you will see the nature of that wisdom. We will have the experience of that wisdom by simply being with it without conception. Therefore, recognition is quite important.

The first step is just simply to observe it. Simply recognize the emotion and then watch it as it grows or as it continues. Just simply watch it. In the beginning, just to have an idea that it’s coming is very important and very effective. In the Vajrayana sense, the way to watch these emotions is without stopping them. If we recognize the emotion and say, “Yes, it is passion,” and then try to stop it, that’s a problem. Rejecting our emotions is a problem in Vajrayana.” -Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

Instead of trying to stop it, let it come. Invite it more. Look at the nature of passion more nakedly. Look at the nature of aggression, look at the nature of ignorance, look at the nature of anything. We are now learning to know how to watch it, to know how to look at it. We don’t have to leave something behind and go to a certain place called liberation. That simple process of looking at it in every moment actually brings liberation on the spot. Within that nature of passion is liberation, within that nature of aggression is liberation.

If we know how to watch in that state, then we find the liberation within that passion. In the shamatha-vipashyana of Mahamudra practice, there are the shamatha methods of calming the emotions and the vipashyana methods of watching our emotions. In the Dzogchen tradition, there are the methods of Trekchö to cut through the emotions, and the methods of Thögal to experience the luminosity of the emotion, of those states of mind. These things are details that we need to have pointed out.

Therefore, we’re making the aspiration for all beings to recognize their awareness because awareness is the primary nature of our minds. Lacking the recognition of awareness, we get into the delusion of ignorance and the whole wheel of samsara. This is the view of Dzogchen. It’s simple, right? Easy? Maybe not so!