In some sense, the practice of dzogchen is like the practice of medicine in that practice follows knowledge and proficiency. Proficiency in the context of dzogchen practice means having a clear understanding of how to enter into a state called guruyoga. Knowledge here refers to the knowing of our own true condition.  This knowledge is usually and most reliably established through direct and deliberate transmission from a master.  So, once we have received dzogchen transmission and understand how to be in the state of guruyoga, we can do dzogchen practice.  In the dzogchen tradition there are many practices one can do.  The key practices in dzogchen are for developing a natural tendency to notice when our mind becomes distracted and for returning to the state of intrinsic awareness.  Unlike many spiritual traditions that emphasize (or require) long, complex and arduous sessions and the accumulation of hundreds of thousands of mantra, etc., the dzogchen way of practice is characterized by relatively short meditation sessions, repeated often, and the endeavor to observe ourselves carefully at all times.

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