Overview of The Great Perfection or the Great Completion.
In some traditions, Dzogchen reigns as the highest and most effective Path to liberation. The practice probably dates to the 9th-11th century, Tibet. Dzogchen aims to discover the ultimate Ground of existence upon which everything else rests. This Ground is pure and luminous, undivided by thought or concept. It manifests spontaneously, effortlessly. Dzogchen acknowledges the fundamental importance of this emptiness.
The term ‘Rigpa’ serves as the central concept of Dzogchen. Rigpa translates into ‘knowledge’ but implies much more. The knowledge referred to surpasses intellectual knowledge, science, intelligence. It transcends all conventional knowing of things. Ground knowledge represents knowledge empty of knowledge, the primordial state before the event of intellectual knowledge, i.e., the division into ‘this and that’.
Dzogchen needs no effort. Perfection implies an absence of struggle, of striving. The ongoing work of daily-life-thinking obscures the potential of perfect, non-conceptual wisdom as it creates a continuous framework of references, relationships, measurements and relative judgements.
Meditation presents a singular possibility to step beyond the world of concepts. Dzogchen embraces this natural state meditation creates and ultimately rests in a raw, changeless space beyond speech, action and effort.
Dzogchen settles in universal essence without defining anything by words or thoughts.
Dzogchen divides into three sections: Mind, Space, and Instruction.
Mind, the basis of all appearances, is empty and luminous. Space itself is devoid of space, utterly empty, and the Instructions could not be more simple: there are none as instructions in themselves represent concepts.
Dzogchen Divides into Three Components
In Dzogchen, ‘Ground’ describes the primordial state before the mind produces concepts and divisions. Unchanging and timeless, the Ground, presents ultimate potential out of which mind, consciousness, ignorance and delusion emerge. The Ground can be seen as Buddha-nature, presenting three essential qualities: undivided emptiness, utter clarity and unobstructed compassion. Here is the static universal potential before the mind unfolds it into this and that. This ‘Ultimate Truth’ presents as utter emptiness. Ultimate Truth contains nothing, not even truth itself. There is no Ultimate Truth because even uttering these words implies existence. The Ground becomes silence: serene, unfabricated suchness, uncompounded, non-arising, non-ceasing, luminous and spontaneous.
The Path divides into view, practice and conduct. Dzogchen thought divides into conventional six sense consciousness and a liberated, pristine view of spaceless infinite knowing. Numerous practices and teachings, including initiations, empowerments and investments, make up specific Dzogchen teachings. It is easy to get lost in these instructions, based on an unfamiliar culture and demanding requirements. Some traditions insist that a guru relationship must introduce and instruct the method. However, Dzogchen practise emphasises naturalness, spontaneity and simplicity. Basic Shamata and Vipassana meditation offer a great introduction without committing to a guru. Understanding the preeminence of emptiness of knowledge forms the essence of the Path. Everything else will follow naturally.
The Result of Dzogchen is a peeling away of concepts, dualities, delusions and obscurations standing in the way of effortless silence in which ordinary appearance dissolves into the potential of self-liberation