Rinpoche’s Opening Talk at the IDC Annual General Assembly
Dzamling Gar, Tenerife, Spain, April 16, 2017
I came here to greet everyone at this meeting because the International Gakyil’s role in the Dzogchen Community is very important. We are learning the Dzogchen Teaching and the principle of the Dzogchen Teaching is to be beyond limitations, which corresponds to our real nature. This is the essence of the teaching, and it is also what we need in our society. But if there are no organizations we cannot live, because we live with dualistic vision and everything is limited.
When we deal with the teaching and try to get in our real nature, this corresponds with the Dzogchen Teaching. In an ordinary way I always say evolution and that is the real nature in the Dzogchen Teaching related to the relative condition and brings us to our real condition. But relatively we need something for organizing.
For example, when we started the Dzogchen Teaching, at the beginning we tried to do something together. If we had not organized, we couldn’t have done anything. But when we started to organize, everyone was falling too much into dualistic vision. When I was at the University of Naples, we made a program. We rented a house, and we organized for meeting and doing some activities there. But when we made that program, our organization became very limited; it did not correspond because in our system there is always hierarchy. That is our way. So even though we had paid some money for this rented house, the night before the day we were supposed to sign for the house I could not sleep. I was judging and thinking about starting something for the Dzogchen Teaching.
We don’t have this kind of organization in Tibet. All the monasteries are run in a traditional way. But this does not correspond to the teachings. I didn’t want things this way, because we had no monasteries or tradition to maintain or preserve here. I wanted to teach and apply the Dzogchen Teachings in the best way. In this case I did not want to start or create something that did not correspond to the Dzogchen Teaching. For that reason, the next day in Naples, I said we would not rent the house and we didn’t go to sign. We lost a little money, but we didn’t do it.
But we continued to think what we could do for meeting and doing something together. In the end, when I went to the United States, I was flying from New York to California, and on the airplane I thought, “In our human condition, we have three existences – body, speech and mind. That is the way of being and of living. There must be something that corresponds to those three existences.” Then I was thinking and thinking and I thought, maybe we need a Gakyil. Until then the Gakyil had only existed as a symbol, the significance of the Gakyil did not exist. There are the three colors, which represent body, speech and mind. We could work in society that way and it would not be a hierarchical system. Collaborating. I had a rough idea and when I returned to Italy we started that Gakyil. This is the origin of the Gakyil.
We cannot live or do anything if we do not organize because we live in society. But the organization must be done in collaboration, respecting each other, and working with circumstances. This is the teaching of Dzogchen. The Dzogchen Teaching does not say that you should always be in contemplation. You can also be in dualistic vision, but you should be present and collaborate. So when we have a Gakyil – for example, now we have many Gakyils for the Gars and Lings that have developed – you should remember the origin from the beginning and not fall too much into an egoistic system. We need to collaborate.
For that reason, after my teaching, one of the most important aspects of the Dzogchen Community is the International Gakyil. They are providing services, they are trying to work on how we can live and collaborate in the same family and respect one another. Of course we know very well that in each country there are different rules and different systems. If you go to different regions inside one country, there are even different ways of doing things. This is normal in our society. But there is always a way to collaborate and pay respect.
Some people say, “Oh, we couldn’t do things that way because in our country we have different rules.” When Enrico was alive he told me that many times he could not get people to collaborate in an easy way. It was very difficult and people were not collaborating because they did not want to and because they had their own systems and ways of doing things. You can have different ways of doing things, your systems, etc, but in the Dzogchen Community we always have the principle of collaboration. If you don’t want to collaborate then it means you don’t want my teaching. You don’t want the principle of the Dzogchen Teaching.
We are trying to collaborate and do our best for dealing with teaching so it is very important that we have the International Gakyil. The International Gakyil is trying to work for all the Gars and Lings, and when they really collaborate with each other and pay respect, we can feel that the aim of the Dzogchen Community for the future is guaranteed and that somehow we can continue in this limited society.
The International Gakyil is working with all the different systems that we have in different countries. We know very well that when we travel just a little that we need a passport. If we have no passport we cannot go, we are not permitted to go. This is our condition. But with the principle of the Dzogchen Teaching we do not need a passport. We should go beyond that. So collaborating and paying respect to each other, just like the same family, is very important.
For example, people say they are doing Santi Maha Sangha to learn Dzogchen and go deeper and deeper into it. If people are going deeper and deeper, they should understand what the Dzogchen Community means. The Dzogchen Community is very important for the future and that means collaborating and taking responsibility in a limited society. I am the teacher, I am teaching, I am trying to help you understand what you should do. Then you should apply it. What the International Gakyil is doing is very important for applying it.
But they cannot do very much if you are not collaborating. What can they do? Some people say they do not want to collaborate with the International Gakyil. Then you should go your way. That means you do not want my teaching. You don’t want the Dzogchen Community. If you want the Dzogchen Community to survive in this society, on this globe, you should work with the International Gakyil. If you do not work with the International Gakyil, then you should forget me. That is much better.
So please do your best. This is what I want to say to everybody. To those who are collaborating and paying respect to each other, I want to say thank you very much. That is what we need. But if you have knowledge of Dzogchen and you are not respecting your Vajra brothers and sisters at the Gars – if there are groups like my group and your group, and you are not collaborating – that means you are not going ahead in the knowledge of the Dzogchen Teaching. The Dzogchen Teaching goes beyond that and is about collaborating. There should not be any kind of conflicts at a Gar. You may not like this or that person, but if you are following my teachings and that person is also following the teachings, that person is a brother or sister of the Dzogchen Teachings. Why are you not paying respect or collaborating with that person?
So it is very important that everyone recognizes that. This is what I want to say. I do not want to say anything else about organization. The International Gakyil will inform you about the organization. You should try to learn and apply. This is what we all need. Thank you very much.
Listen to Rinpoche’s talk here: