Learn Dzogchen meditation methods

Learn Dzogchen meditation methods

Padmasambhava - meditation master and founder of Tibetan Buddhism

Dzogchen is the approach within Buddhism based on recognising our enlightened nature, through meditation. ‘Dzogchen’ in Tibetan means ‘utterly complete’. It is the most complete or inclusive teaching of Buddhism. According to Dzogchen, we are also each already complete. There is nothing we need to obtain or jettison to realise enlightenment. We need only recognise and allow ourselves to be as we actually are. This the path of immediate self-liberation.

Our free Dzogchen meditation course is a series of weekly emails, sent to you automatically by this web site. The course takes a practical, down-to-earth approach to Dzogchen meditation. It teaches the first two phases of the Dzogchen semde ngöndro, shi-nč (shamatha) and lhatong (a version of vipashyana). These techniques are similar, but not identical, to those found in some other forms of Buddhism, particularly Zen and Mahamudra.

The course starts from the beginning, and does not require any background in Dzogchen or other meditation. It eventually goes on to more advanced material, including many different meditation methods. It also explains ways of dealing with problems that may come up, shows how to apply the insights of meditation to life, and recommends other resources and further steps.

If you already know that you want to learn Dzogchen meditation, you can sign up for the course now. The first email will come immediately. We will not share your email address with anyone else. You can unsubscribe at any time if the course turns out not to be for you.

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Dzogchen meditation: background

The base, or starting point, of Dzogchen is rigpa: instantaneous enlightenment. If one has not experienced rigpa, it is not possible to truly practice Dzogchen. Fortunately, the Dzogchen teachings contain a ngöndro—or ‘preparation’—which brings you to the base. This ngöndro is a series of four meditation practices whose result is rigpa. These practices have the style or texture of Dzogchen – although they are not strictly speaking Dzogchen itself. In this way it is possible to approach Dzogchen on its own terms, rather than via other Buddhist yanas.

To learn more about the Aro approach to Dzogchen and self-liberation, start with our Dzogchen overview page, and our essay ‘An Uncommon Perspective’. We offer many Dzogchen resources apart from this email meditation course.

What the meditation course covers

Some of the course’s topics are:

  • Breath meditation – several methods
  • Posture and physical supports: how to be comfortable, relaxed, alert, and still
  • When and how much to meditate
  • How not to meditate
  • Formless meditation in emptiness
  • Presence and awareness; thought and reality
  • Walking meditation
  • Meditating with strong emotions
  • How to take the insights of meditation into everyday life

Obstacles and antidotes

It is important to acknowledge that meditation can be boring, frustrating, uncomfortable, and confusing. This is particularly true in the beginning. These are perhaps the reasons not everyone meditates, despite the extraordinary benefits meditation can provide.

There is a tendency in some quarters to gloss over these difficulties. Some advocates seem to pretend that meditation is an easy and quick path to inner peace, if not eternal bliss. We do not think this is helpful. Meditation takes some determination. If you begin with the expectation that everything will go smoothly, you are likely to give up as soon as you see a difficulty.

Instead, much of this course is devoted to frank discussion of the obstacles all meditators encounter. None of these obstacles needs to stop you. The course provides ‘antidotes’ to each of the problems, including:

  • boredom
  • restlessness
  • sleepiness
  • physical discomfort (aches and pains)
  • self-judgement and self-doubt
  • fear
  • confusion
  • procrastination

Learn more

You might like to read our meditation FAQ (answers to frequently asked questions) and other resources.

Or, you may just want to sign up for the course.

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