The practitioner of Dzogchen, who has really understood its principle of self-liberation, is just like an ordinary person in that thoughts of pleasure and pain, hope and fear, manifest themselves as creative energy. However, the ordinary person will take these thoughts very seriously. Judging them as either beneficial, detrimental or confounding with corresponding grasping, rejection or befuddlement, the ordinary person thus continues to get caught up in situations and is thereby conditioned by attachment, aversion and confusion. By not doing that, a practitioner experiences freedom when such thoughts arise. Primarily by recognizing the thought for what it actually is, like meeting up with an old acquaintance, the thought and the thinker are naturally freed. When this becomes routine then the self-liberation of thinking occurs in and of itself, like a snake shedding its own skin. Then ultimately thinking self-liberates in the knowledge that thoughts are unable to be of any benefit or harm, like thieves breaking into an empty house.
If we sedulously apply the inquiry of, “From where do thoughts originate; where are they at the time of thinking; to where do they retire?”, thoughts can become known for what they actually are. Then the practice of recognizing them as such becomes just a function of genuine interest in liberation. Since self-liberation is in fact the natural tendency of everything, when everything is simply let be, “practicing” that which is naturally already so will reveal the wisdom unfoldment that need not be practiced. Finally, being (and remaining) in the actual knowledge of ro-chig, where everything (including our own subjectivity) is realized to be truly and ironically unique and unprecedented, yet, all having (and always having) the same taste of ineffability, self-liberation manifests fully.