In the true spirit of Dzogchen the emphasis here at the Buddha Brats Head Quarters is always on the core essence of the teachings and we endeavor to present you with only the finest there is. This section of Mind Tech is dedicated to the range of radically efficient Practices that we have collected, stripped of superfluous cultural content and distilled into the potent nectar of pure technique. Here is where we give the core of practices to you straight, with as little mental elaboration as possible.
The point is that one must experience real knowledge.
Without that, one may receive hundreds of initiations and explanations, but they don't account for very much in the Dzogchen view.
- Namkhai Norbu (Dream Yoga, p144)
One of the prime characteristics of Dzogchen is that it is an experiential Teaching and emphasis is always placed on applying the techniques in real-time. For this reason we try to focus predominantly on the cultivation of personal experience without which all of the information on this site would ultimately be useless. In this case the saying “the only way through is through” could not be more true.
Liberation = Freedom from the habitual response patterns of the conditioned mind.
I recommend that you read that sentence again. Wind it tightly around the scabbard of your sword because when the chips start falling, that is the glowing gem that will see you through the storms of your own awakening.
The only reason for mastering technique is to make sure that the soul is not prevented from expressing itself.
- Adaptation of a quote by La Meri
Whatever your conditioning is, whether it corresponds to your idea of a rational world view or has much in common with other people is beside the point. If it proscribes your behavior in any way it prevents you from facing the moments of your life with the liquid, agile and fresh perspective needed to dance yourself free from your limitations. The ability to no longer be imprisoned by ones own emotions or held hostage by what appears to be an external fate, is the prize that is up for grabs.
Think of Dzogchen as the art of a dancing mind. In dance, flexibility is the key to a vast range of movement and strength is the foundation that ensures faultless execution. In this metaphor therefore, the process of consciously breaking down conceptual structures through specific practices is the act of stretching the mind to allow for unfettered expression. The strength aspect in conjunction to this, is symbolic of ones commitment to the process. Without commitment the practices are essentially useless and in that sense ones commitment IS the first practice and the foundation for everything that comes after. But first, a little more about flexibility …
Free from apprehension and conceit, liberated from hope and fear, it is unborn, unending great happiness, expansive as the sky.
This great yoga is [like playfully flying] in the sky of the impartial Great Perfection.
- Adaptation of a quote by Mipham Rimpoche
from “The Buddha No Farther Than One’s Palm” (Dream Yoga, p158)
For those who sense the glimmer of limitlessness on the horizon it is imperative to understand that this process involves the total dissolution of ALL conceptual structures, without exception. Why? Because when you want something and you don’t get it, you suffer and when you don’t want something and you get it, you suffer. Around and around we go on the Wheel of Conditioned Existence. Constantly reinforcing our own suffering we succumb to a whirlwind of emotions that set into play events that could have been avoided by the skillful application of conceptual flexibility. The basic but essential goal of all enlightenment techniques are quite simply to find oneself in a state of such pristine awareness that whatever decisions one makes in the moment are done with perfect clarity, unsullied by past habits or future attachments.
Despite its simplicity, it often comes as a shock to most people as they start realizing precisely to what extent they have become slaves to their own conditioning. This simple truth has far reaching consequences when one finally starts applying it, from little things like revisiting your aversion to cauliflower all the way to deeply engrained religious, philosophical, racial or sexual prejudices.
When you engage the process of your own self-liberation the universe reveals itself with such intoxicating beauty that it becomes virtually impossible to continue to tolerate any limitation in oneself. Hungry for further revelation one enters the matrix, that immaculate realm of all possibilities. Cleansed of all those judgments that were largely based on doubt, guilt, fear or worse, simply a lack of imagination, one finally steps into the unknown and it steps into you.
The practices that we make available to you on this site are all focused, in one way or another on ways to rid oneself of habitual behavior. Try one of them, try all of them it makes no difference. Only you can determine how fast you progress and that depends entirely on your commitment.
You stand to gain everything you’ve ever wanted and more, but it comes at the price of total annihilation of all of ones pretty little ideals. Destroying the Holy Cows of things one holds dearest hurts like hell, there is no other way to describe it. When the towers of misconception finally come crashing down nothing can spare you from the ravages of despair, except for the commitment not to waver at those pivotal moments by calmly returning to the precision of your well-practiced techniques.
Meditating upon the cause of his terror became a self-liberating experience of fearless pleasure.
- SYALIPA - The Jackal Yogin (Masters of Enchantment, P 87)
Your conditioned ego WILL come at you with everything it’s got, more than once and often for prolonged periods of time. Sometimes it will orchestrate situations that test you by pitting your personal freedom against your loved ones, your most treasured beliefs, your greatest longing. It will attempt to drag you into ‘either-or’ situations where you might stand to lose everything. If at that point in time you are WILLING TO, you just might not have to. The best you can do is haul out that gramophone, connect your fifty foot speakers and dance like your life depends on it because in many ways, it does.
If this is too bitter a pill to even consider swallowing, then you have no business being here because quite frankly that is what it takes and without the willingness to dive into the deep and the commitment to see it through there’s no point in even starting on the path. Besides, if the current status quo of your life still seem more tolerable than the sacrifices entailed in earning your freedom then you probably haven’t suffered enough and this path is not meant for you. By all means, return to the safe confines of your life, perhaps you have some other destiny awaiting you. All good. No Error.
For those who think they’ve got what it takes, consider yourself duly warned.
It does get easier in some ways. And you don’t have to give up everything, merely be willing to but even that is no guarantee that you won’t lose it. So know what you’re in for before you sign on the dotted line. There isn’t a “Union For Failed Enlightenment Warriors” and certainly no disability pensions for injuries incurred during battle. There are no special lawyers that can plead your case in the High Courts of Universal Justice. I am pointing out the small print to you right here right now because it saves everyone the trouble of unnecessary finger pointing later. This is the game where no one but yourself is ever to blame so accept that if you want to play. This is your second warning. Do NOT proceed if you’re not of the “Freedom or Death” persuasion and willing to accept total responsibility for your reality.
Ideas are powerful things and if you are still reading this then know that whatever choice you make from this point onward will directly affect the outcome of the rest of your life, even if you choose to walk away. Knowledge cannot be made undone. I am Eve and you have just bitten the apple.
All birth ends in death.
All creation ends in dissolution.
All accumulation ends in dispersion.
All that appears is transitory.
Ignore these omens. Come,
drink the elixir of fearlessness!
- The story of NAGARJUNA - Philosopher and Alchemist (Masters of Enchantment, p76)
There will always be the nagging idea in your head that maybe it is true that there is no one else to blame for the circumstances of your life, no matter how hard you try to ignore it. This is why here at the BBHQ we reckon you might as well just go for it and jump in. The bigger the party the better, so if you are willing to lay the self down at the door come right on in, we would love to share the staggering beauty of personal dissolution with you.
Traditionally in Buddhism when people start on the path they do what is known as Ngondro, preparatory practices. This is mainly to ascertain the student’s level of commitment and devotion and if found lacking in any areas, stimulate the development of these attributes. It involves such things as contemplating how fortunate one is to have access to the Teachings, and the desire of the practitioner to free themselves from suffering.
Another big part of the Ngondro is the aspiration for developing compassion toward all sentient beings and we view this as a given necessity without which this entire exercise is completely pointless. School’s out however so if you’re not already compassionate then this particular Buddha Brats path is definitely not for you. Compassion can only be taught by suffering and disciplining practitioners holds very little appeal to be perfectly honest. It’s time consuming and only very rarely effective and better left to dedicated lamas from the lesser paths. All Good. No Error.
All things considered the Ngondro seems a perfectly logical process that surely precedes commencement on any spiritual path, not just Buddhism. When people are about to light the fire it helps if they’re aware of the power of the flame. If not, they might overestimate their skill and get burned or worse. The Buddha Brats view on this is to skip the niceties and just give it to you straight. You ARE going to get burned either way, so we focus on the most extreme but ultimately effective techniques for those who don’t mind risking the heat.
This means that when intensity arises, we resist the temptation to reject it; instead, we open to it and allow it to scorch us, waking us up further and further ...
- Dakini’s Warm Breath, p135
From our perspective this article alone serves as a type of Ngondro:
* It ensures that you are absolutely clear about the risks involved so that you can ascertain your own level of commitment and capacity.
* It serves to clarify your motives for wanting to do this in the first place. This commitment will be the only thing protecting you when you finally face the inevitable - your personal abyss.
* It further reminds you to never lose sight of the real and only enemy - you own conditioned mind. This, if not prevents, at least minimizes any unnecessary pain caused to yourself or others.
Keep this in mind and with that burning heart of fire you should get through just fine. That’s how we did it and we’re still here, dancing through the ashes and the diamond rain.
From the Universe, with Love