Today I’m off on a Dzogchen Buddhist retreat. No April Fool’s here! Going within to ‘notice what I notice’. For those who aren’t familiar with this aspect of Tibetan Buddhism, here’s a little primer:
Dzogchen could be defined as a way to relax completely. This can be clearly understood from the terms used to denote the state of contemplation, such as “leave it just as it is” (cog bzhag), “cutting loose one’s tension” (khregs chod), beyond effort” (rtsol bral), and so on. Some scholars have classified Dzogchen as a “direct path,” comparing it to teachings such as Zen, where this expression is often used. In Dzogchen texts, however, the phrases “direct path” and “nongradual path” (cig car) are never used, because the concept of a “direct path” implies necessarily that there must be, on the one hand, a place from which one departs, and on the other, a place where one arrives. But in Dzogchen there is a single principle of the state of knowledge, and if one possesses this state one discovers that right from the beginning one is already there where one wants to arrive. For this reason the state is said to be “self-perfected” (lhun grub).
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, from ‘Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State’