On the last day, January 3, 2017, of the Yangtig retreat at Dzamling Gar, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu asked that his words be webcast publicly. This is the first part of that webcast.
Good day for everybody and everywhere! This is the last day of the retreat of Yangtig. That means that we have already spoken about the principle of the Yangtig teaching. What we should do now and what is important is how we apply and deal with the teaching in daily life.
In our lives we have many specific practices linked to the teaching, but the most important thing is to concentrate on daily life. Daily life doesn’t mean we are like those in retreat on a mountain, or like monks and nuns in monasteries. Teaching is for everybody, and everybody lives in society and has a daily life. In society what we do is make money and work for a living. In this case then how do we deal with practice? It is very important. It is not sufficient that we have very nice idea and fantasise because time is passing. One day a surpise arrives and in that moment we cannot do very much. In Tibetan we have a saying which means that someone arrives at the moment of the death and very quickly chants ‘Om Mani Padme Hung’, but it is too late. What is important is that we are present in our time. It is the same for everybody in our condition, not only a few people who are dedicated to doing practice.
So in daily life most important is that you try to remember the Ati Guruyoga that you learned in the Dzogchen teaching. Even though you may not remember the principal practices like Yangtig – and they are important – they are not really the main point in daily life. It is very easy for everybody to understand how to do Ati Guruyoga and if you do that, everything is included, because doing practice is for having realisation, and the base of realisation is being in the state of contemplation, not chanting mantras or doing rituals etc. When you have time, when you feel to do something specific, of course you can always do those things, but you shouldn’t concentrate on them because there is not much benefit.
So you start your day with Ati Guruyoga and should also remember to do it when you go to bed because night is half of our lives. Try to remember these two moments. Many old practitioners think that they know what night practice means, but they are indifferent. That is very bad. You should be as much as possible in the state of contemplation, and when you are not in that state, try to be present. I’m only asking two things of people who are following my teaching: doing Ati Guruyoga trying to be in the state of contemplation, and being present. I am not asking you to chant some mantras or do some rituals etc. Even though I am not asking, you don’t need to do those things but to remember what I am asking. This is beneficial for you for having realisation and also for living in our confused society in a relaxed way. So this is the aim of the Dzogchen Community which I started to teach Dzogchen teaching to.
Since the beginning I have been continually teaching Dzogchen teaching because I understood that people are interested in having realisation and want to be in the essence of the teaching. I have dedicated myself to that. I inform and I transmit [the teaching] to my students. When I started to teach Dzogchen teaching then we said that now we practitioners should collaborate. The Dzogchen Community means those people who are collaborating. The Dzogchen Community is not a Dharma center where there is only an organisation and where you go to do something. The Dzogchen Community is people who are interested in Dzogchen Teaching, who want to learn how to be beyond mind and also relatively how to be present.
This teaching I taught, the Dra Thalgyur tantra, explains that since the beginning we must be beyond limitations. We cannot easily be beyond limitations because we are living in a limited society, but there is the possibility to learn how to apply that. This is the Dzogchen Teaching that I am trying to teach and have done retreats about since the beginning up to today. This Yangtig retreat is the 606th retreat I have done.
I do not enjoy only teaching and explaining. My aim is to try to make people understand the real sense of the teaching. When people understand and collaborate, doing something in a correct way that corresponds with the Dzogchen teaching, I am very happy. If someone has followed [teachings] for many years and then does things in a contrary way I feel very sorry. Sometimes I think that there is really no way that people can be helped.
This is very important for everybody following Dzogchen Teaching from me to understand. I am not asking everybody to follow what I am teaching. You can follow any kind of teaching and any kind of tradition. We are all free. But if you want to follow my teaching, then I ask you to please do it in a correct way.
For example, in our Dzogchen Community there are many Gars, there are many Lings, there are many gakyils. The symbol of the gakyil organisation is not for creating a hierarchy, because this would be a very heavy limitation. When we live in society, somehow we should collaborate to organise, otherwise we cannot do anything. In this case we created the gakyil [organisation], with three colors, just like a symbol corresponding to body, speech, and mind. It doesn’t mean that the gakyil is giving orders, or being a policeman, or becoming the head. The gakyil means people who seriously want to contribute, to serve, and to help other people. So we are working in that way at the global level.
We have many gakyils among the people who are following my teaching. This kind of organisation [the gakyil] is not at all connected with hierarchy. The gakyil must be the root of learning, of how we can be free and not create problems, and of how we can pay respect to each other because we are present and we know how we should work with circumstances. Then sometimes it does not correspond because human beings are very full of ego.
For example, in this moment we have many problems with the the Dzogchen Community gakyil of Singapore. Yesterday we had a meeting with the Singapore people. Last year I went to Singapore, I did a retreat, and after, when we had a meeting I saw that they were arguing a lot, like fighting for political power in the style of the cultural revolution. What could I do? I couldn’t do very much and I went away feeling very sad. And since that time up to today I have been continually receiving e-mails from them fighting each other and arguing.
The only thing I could do was to ask Enrico Dell’Angelo, when he was alive, and the International Gakyil to try to do something about coordinating the Singapore people. They also did not succeed at all because when the International Gakyil tried to do something then they said they had their own rules in their country. We know very well that there are rules everywhere. There is not a single country without rules. But if we are the Dzogchen Community we have that knowledge and there is always a possibility to collaborate. It is not necessary to refuse. But when I asked Enrico, he said that he had not succeeded in doing anything.
A few days ago Enrico passed away but there are other people in the International Gakyil. Yesterday when we had a meeting together, I was present as the teacher of the International Dzogchen Community. I thought that if I gave a little advice they would reflect on it. But even though I was there they did not pay respect and were fighting in the usual way.
I went to Singapore for so many years and did so many retreats. All the teachings that I gave they received together. In the Dzogchen Teaching what is most important? Samaya. You must keep samaya with the teacher and students. If you do not keep it, if you break it, you cannot have any realisation. Not only this but you have the suffering of hell. In this case it is much better that you do not follow that teaching together. So you see [that it is important] not only for the student to pay respect to the teacher, but student and student. This is called vajra brother and sister. Last time I was there, they also did not pay respect to the relationship between vajra brothers and sisters, yet I still really hoped that somehow they would reflect on this by themselves.
Yesterday then it was concrete. I am the teacher but in front of me instead of paying respect they were fighting. This is not only for the Singapore Community. When you are in the Dzogchen Community, then [this behavior] becomes a poison, just like someone who has the illness of cancer.
We do not need this poison so I want to dissolve the Dzogchen Community of Singapore. I am very sorry but we should do that. From today the Dzogchen Community of Singapore no longer exists. But it doesn’t mean there are no practitioners or Dzogchen teaching. There is not any organisation, there is also no Ling in Singapore. It is cancelled. People who want to follow my teaching, please come and try to do your best.
This is also a good example for all the places in this world where we have the Dzogchen Community. Try to remember this. Otherwise we are only creating problems and then it doesn’t work in the Dzogchen Community. I don’t want to create any problems in this world but benefits. So this is what I wanted to inform you about.
It is very important that each person tries to do their best to be present, concentrating on the real sense of the teaching. For example, when I give transmissions of some of the lungs then everybody brings books [for transmission]. If you are doing practice I give sufficient teachings for having realisation. It is not necessary that you search here and there and collect. If you don’t like what I am teaching, and it is not sufficient for you, try to go somewhere else to find these teachings.
I am convinced that I have communicated knowledge to you of the base and path and fruit of the Dzogchen teachings for having total realisation. For example, in the Dzogchen Community for years I have been trying to create Santi Maha Sangha. We are doing the base level, first level, second level and now we have arrived at the fourth level. People who are participating in that are doing practice, are studying and learning everything. We check these people and then they are qualified for Santi Maha Sangha. In particular we are training teachers of the Santi Maha Sangha.
In Singapore, for example, we have one of the Santi Maha Sangha teachers. However, he has no function because people do not pay respect, or learn, or consider it something positive. I am very sorry that we are in a situation like this. I am happy that we did a very nice retreat and many people came here in person and I hope they understood something. At least they really learned very well how to do Ati Guruyoga, be present and work with circumstances. This is very important in our lives.
So we should think that there are practitioners throughout this globe and when we say Dzogchen Community, we should feel just like people in the same family. If there is a problem in the family, since we are all part of that family and have our responsibility, we should do our best. We should not destroy the family. This is the way you should work. And I hope very much that everybody tries to do things in a better way.
Edited by Liz Granger