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  • 1.ANYEN RINPOCHEJOURNEY TOCERTAINTY THE QUINTESSENCE OFTHE DZOGCHEN VIEW An Exploration of Mipham's Beacon of Certainty Translated and Edited by Allison Choying Zangmo

2. Journey to Certainty The Quintessence of the Dzogchen View An Exploration of Mipham's Beacon of CertaintyAnyen Rinpoche Translated and edited by Allison Choying ZangmoWISDOM PUBLICATIONS BOSTON 3. Wisdom Publications 199 Elm Street Somerville MA 0214-4- USA 2012 Anyen Rinpoche All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photography, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system or technologies now known or later developed, without permission in writing from the publisher.Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Anyen Rinpoche. Journey to certainty : the quintessence of the Dzogchen view : an exploration of Mipham's Beacon of certainty / Anyen Rinpoche ; translated and edited by Allison ChoyingZangmo. pages em Includes translation from Tibetan. Includes index. ISBN I6I429-009-I (pbk. : alk. paper) I. Mi-pham-rgya-mtsho, 'Jam-mgon 'Ju, 1846-1912. Nes ses sgron me. 2. Riiin-ma-pa (Sect)-Doctrines. 3 Rdzogs-chen. I. Graboski, Allison, I974- translator, editor. II. Tide. BQ7662.4.M533A68 2012 '294-3' 420423-dC23ISBN 9781614-290094 eBook ISBN 9781614290179 16 I5 I413 12 5 4 3 2 I Cover design by Phil Pascuzzo. Interior design by Gopa&Ted2. Set in ITC Galliard Pro 10.3/144 Wisdom Publications' books are printed on acid-free paper and meet the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the Council on library Resources. Printed in the United States of America.A >I.,J FSCft' This book was produced with environmental mindfulness. WeMoxFSt-'C011935 -:'fl f' have elected to print this tirle on 30% PCW recycled paper. As aresult, we have saved the following resources: 12 trees, 5 million BTUs of energy, 1,187lbs. of greenhouse gases, 5,355 gallons of water, and 339lbs. of solid waste. For more information, please visit our website, This paper is also FSC" certified. For more information, please visit 4. I offer this book to all of the genuine Lineage Masters, and especially to the one whose kindness is unequalled, the mighty Dharma sovereign Kyabje Tsara Dharmakirti Rinpoche. 5. Publisher's AcknowledgmentTgratefully acknowledges the generous help of the Hershey Family Foundation in sponsoring the publication of this book. HE PUBLISHER 6. Table of ContentsIntroducing Certainty CHAPTER I:Introducing Mipham Rinpoche's Beacon of CertaintyICHAPTER 2:The Introductory SectionsIS3: Introducing the Seven Questions27CHAPTERExploring Certainty through the Seven Questions 4: The First QuestionDo you explain the view according to an affirming negative or a nonaffirming negative?35CHAPTER 5: The Second QuestionDo shravaka and pratyeka arhats realize both the selflessness ofphenomena and the selflessness of the individual?636: The Third QuestionWhen abiding in the unborn, ultimate nature, is conceptual grasping present or not?ssCHAPTERCHAPTER 7. VIII7JOURNEY TO CERTAINTYCHAPTER7:The Fourth QuestionWhich is best: analytical meditation or actual abiding?I098: The Fifth QuestionOf the two truths, which is most important?I29CHAPTER 9: The Sixth QuestionIs the perception ofsentient beings based upon common objects?I 53CHAPTERCHAPTER IO:The Seventh QuestionIn our own tradition of Madhyamaka, is any position taken?I75CHAPTER II :Concluding the Text Index About the Author2I7 225 235 8. INTRODUCING CERTAINTY 9. CHAPTER ONE:Introducing Mipham Rinpoche's Beacon of CertaintyWhat Is Certainty?THE QUALITY CALLED "CERTAINTY" is an essential aspect of the Secret Mantrayana path, the pinnacle of which is the teachings of Dzogchen, or "the Great Perfection." In fact, I would go so far as to call certainty the quintessence ofDzogchen. The difference between an authentic yogi who abides in the perfectly pure view of the uncontrived dharmakaya and the yogi who merely appears to abide in that view is whether his or her practice has been preceded by and developed upon the bedrock of certainty. As with much ofthe language used in the Vajrayana teachings, certainty is a word that is not easily defined, because the meaning of certainty changes depending on the individual practitioner. Our understanding of the word certainty, like our actual experience of certainty, will evolve and deepen as we progress along the spiritual path. Accordingly, this book is organized and presented to lead a Vajrayana practitioner into the ever-deepening and evolving experience of certainty. In the beginning, certainty is merely an intellectual idea that is further developed through listening, contemplation, and often debate. If a practitioner is then trained by an authentic master of the Secret Mantrayana, certainty will naturally transition from an intellectual notion to an ever-deepening experience. Once we gain some experieil.ce of certainty, we develop a feeling of conviction that helps us to cut through doubts about the meaning of the profound instructions and view presented in Madhyamaka (Skt.; Middle Way) philosophy, the Prajnaparamita texts, and the tantras. This is irreversible certainty. 10. 2tJOURNEY TO CERTAINTYFinally, for the supreme yogi, certainty is imbued with the perfectly pure view itself. Thus we rest in certainty, and it becomes the experience of realization itself. To perfect the ground, path, and result ofDzogchen, we must work on multiple levels-intellectual, experiential, and through resting in the view of meditation-to develop personal insight into certainty. Training in meditation cannot help us if we do not gain certainty in the experience of the perfectly pure view, including conviction as to what the view is and what it is not. We will remain mired in wildness or dullness, and overpowered by our habitual tendencies. The great master Longchenpa said, "Until the state of duality sets into the vast expanse free of grasping, we must rely upon various methods of listening, contemplation, and meditation." This means that we should never stop refining our practice until we reach this ultimate state.The Bridge Between Sutra and Tantra Many Buddhists in the West are only interested in the most profound Tibetan Buddhist teachings of Mahamudra and Dzogchen. These practitioners mistakenly believe that the sutra teachings of the Causal Vehicle-the Buddha's teachings as presented in the first and second turnings of the Wheel of Dharma-are useless. They liken the study of the sutras to mere intellectualism that will not further their meditative experience. This is a mistaken way of thinking. Many Westerners also undervalue the practice of tong/en, or sending and receiving; "Oh, I know that practice-that's just a breathing technique. It's a beginner's practice." This is also mistaken. These practitioners are not grounded in the teachings, nor is their energy grounded in practice. They seem to float from here to there, from one teaching to the next, and do not make much progress. Buddhism in the West wears a very different face than the Buddhism of traditional Tibet. In Tibet, we understand the holistic, interrelated nature of the entire path, and that which comes earlier provides the foundation for what comes later. Outside ofTibet, though, much of this understanding has not penetrated deeply. As a result, we find that Western practitioners are confused about the importance of the sutras, and 11. INTRODUCING THE BEACON OF CERTAINTY+3especially of Madhyamaka philosophy. As I see it, developing certainty is the great antidote to this problem. Traditionally, Mipliam Rinpoche's Beacon of Certainty provides the bridge between sutra and tantra. In other words, by developing certainty from the coarsest level to the most profound conviction, we learn to brfng the wisdom of the sutras to the teachings of Atiyoga Dzogchen, apply them, and to th~n abide in a more profound, perfect, and complete experience. This is the real meaning ofDzogchen: it is the all-inclusive, Great Perfection. I cannot say there is no reason to study or practice at all if you do not know how to connect the wisdom of the sutras to the teachings of Atiyoga Dzogchen-but I will share with you a story that occurred when the great Indian yogi Atisha came to Tibet. At that time, all Tibetan people were practicing Dzogchen (or maybe they were just pretending to practice!), and when Atisha arrived, he discovered that the Tibetan yogis were actually practicing based on nothing more than a page or two of oral upadesha (Tib. man ngag; pith) instructions, with no other study or training as a foundation for these teachings. Atisha advised the yogis that they should study volumes of the sutras and the more elaborate texts on Madhyamaka "as thick as the neck of a zo" (Tib.; hybrid cattle). We would all be wise to take Atisha's advice. We are all lucky to have the chance to develop our meditation through access to teachings by .authentic lamas and studying profound texts like The Beacon of Certainty. Let's not waste this chance!A Short Biography ofMipham Rinpoche Reading the biography of a great teacher gives us a sense of trust or belief in what we are about to study. It helps us to realize that his or her teaching may hold a profound meaning for us. Mipham's biography also provides a context for his teaching style. Mipham Rinpoche often uses a debating style as he writes. In other words, he refutes the assertions of some philosophical schools while affirming others in order to make his point clear for the reader. Mipham Rinpoche's biography reveals his great respect for all four lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, his deep knowledge and understanding of their teachings, and also why he teaches from a particular point of view. 12. 4 ? JOURNEY TO CERTAINTYIt is quite difficult to give the biography of a great bodhisattva lik


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