Reality is always non-dual totality and can be enjoyed in any moment by simply
suspending the pitiful habit of interfering. Some say that if we learn the details of
why we started interfering, that information can facilitate breaking the habit. That
may be true but doesn’t it sound like a long and emotionally painful process? The
praxis of Dzogchen is to just relax into a profound state of trust. What is being
trusted? Essentially, trust is being trusted. Functionally, such trust is a bold
self-exposure to the raw ambient truth of the present moment. It begins as a
temporary suspension of our typical reaction to things and, with experience,
deconstructs ultimately into the actual knowledge that we are the ambient truth.
What’s so interesting, and actually amazing, is that our very capacity to trust — even
common trust like the trusting of commercial airplanes — is based on and none other than
the vajra-trust that is an essential feature of our real (buddha) nature. Practicing the
Dzogchen method of not interfering with the unfoldment of reality involves great
trust. There are different depths. Like the difference between swimming in the
shallows of a gulf (with the beach in sight) and swimming over the Mariana Trench,
although there definitely is a different level of aesthetic/energetic experience, there
is no difference whatsoever in the actual water and its wetness. Likewise, all
attenuated levels of trust are harmonics (lower octaves) of vajra-trust. In the method
of Vajrayana, the innermost practice of trust is to see the guru as a fully realized
Buddha and to visualize him or her as the nucleus of one’s own chakras. In
Dzogchen, the guru introduces us to our own mind as being none other than
Dharmakaya. He can do this because he himself is already abiding in that state. To
see the guru’s mind as indistinguishable from one’s own is the unsurpassable
Dzogchen method and directly reveals vajra-trust.
It is possible to concretely experience the truth of vajra-trust without having to do
anything at all to facilitate it. The harmony of all octaves of trust, if heard and
appreciated, opens up and disinhibits our dormant visual capacity such that light
values can be directly experienced by all of our cells, not just through our eyes.
Abiding in the deeper states of trust we can experience a kind of light that seems to
be alive. It is pleasantly bright, sparkly and warm. And it seems to have entered us
from our fontanel. If we can remain relaxed and undistracted, we can notice that our
exterior environment is also saturated with this same lovely light. If we try to secure
this experience, it vanishes. If we try to produce this experience, it proves
impossible. It is found to be a function of not interfering with reality. As we become
more accustomed to relaxing in this way, we can discover that the lovely (loving)
light, the intrinsic trust that enables us to relax, and the palpable fundamental
harmony of everything all constitute a singular, universal reality that is both
personal and impersonal at the same time.
In the Dzogchen way of practicing, it is considered fruitless to search or strive for
something that is intrinsic. So, quite literally, Dzogchen practice does not involve
making any efforts whatsoever to become liberated from the ignorance that obscures
our buddha-nature. Instead, we practice non-interference. This includes
non-interference with ignorance. One might think (particularly Buddhists and
other sincere moralists) that if we don’t interfere with ignorance it will just continue
forever. Actually, it’s not that difficult to see that the opposite is really the case.
Ignorance persists precisely due to our obsessive and on-going interference with it.
Ignorance itself (and its harmonics of bewilderment, torpor, dullness, apathy and
unappreciativeness) is actually an active state. Ignorance is the active state of
ignoring; and what is being ignored is the intrinsic fountain-like cascade of
primordial sound, light and rays that constitute reality. Since our own being is not
in any way separate from this dynamic reality, ignoring it certainly seems to be the
cause of many serious problems. But again, ignorance is a program that is active in
that it requires constant updates. Ignorance depends on the continuous (mental)
falsification of the actual facts of existence so as to characterize our self-image as
central. The problem with that is that the reality of our being is infinite, therefore
having neither a center nor a periphery. Our preoccupation with being the center of
attention is therefore also based on ignoring the ironic fact that we are much more
significant than merely being the center of something.
Reality is a non-dual totality that is spontaneously unfolding perfectly, perpetually
ahead of time, as its own heart-warmth. It is completely unavoidable because we are
that reality. It is self-realizing because there is nothing outside its totality to obscure
it. Therefore it is self-optimizing. Therefore we are self-optimizing, as we are none
other than this reality. We can either continue to complicate everything by
fabricating more and more stressful contrivances, or we can just relax and enjoy the
immensely more wondrous fact of how it actually is when we don’t interfere. In the
early stages of working with this practice it may feel like we are losing our power.
This feeling of not having any power can be very disturbing, but it is meaningless in
that it only pertains to the fictional power of our fictional self-image. Once we
concretely feel the unutterable power of our own inseparableness to the unfoldment
of reality, we’re likely to have a good laugh. In the meantime, if we get all mopey,
feeling like we have no power, here are three practices (two easy, one difficult) that can restore one’s confidence.
1. Stand on the curb of a busy one-way street and wave your hand directing the cars
to go in the direction that they are already going. They will follow your direction.
2. Willfully ride a horse in the direction that he is already going. He will obey.
3. Watch thoughts come and go without entertaining them. They will entertain