Monday, June 05, 2006

Preliminary Dzogchen Practice

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This is from a Q&A given by Khandro Dechen and Ngakpa Chogyam Rinpoche that is included in Roaring Silence: Discovering the Mind of Dzogchen.
Khandro Dechen: The first time one sits is bound to be something of a disappointment. But if your first sit is a big disappointment and you are prepared to continue, then you can begin to think of yourself as a potential practitioner. Anyone interested enough to be investigating this subject has the right qualifications to begin practicing shi-ne. Anyone interested enough to be reading this has the possibility of discovering what all enlightened beings have discovered.

Ngakpa Chogyam Rinpoche: To begin with, there is boredom. Then, after the boredom, there's yet more boredom [laughs].

KD: So, unless one is prepared to work with boredom, there is no purpose in considering the practice of shi-ne. If one is not prepared to sit through boredom as a continuing project, there is no way one can even begin practice. But, strangely enough, shi-ne is the only key to actually understanding boredom and discovering what life is like without it. Shi-ne is the means by which we comprehend boredom. Through practice, boredom reveals itself as energy -- an energy that is part of the texture of our enlightened potential.

The authors define shi-ne, for those like me to whom the term is new, as "The method of finding oneself in the space of Mind without content while maintaining presence of awareness." The authors equate Mind (big M) with emptiness, and mind (little m) with common dual, clinging mind.

Their description has me so excited to begin their form of practice. Okay, maybe not, but actually, a little bit.

I'm pretty much past the boredom stage. So what about the arthritic knee stage? It's not my mind that bothers me about sitting, it's the pain in my body. My back gets sore, my knees hurt, my neck gets tight.

Seriously, I am excitied about starting a new path and learning new practices.

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