What is Togal?
It’s a secret!
Or is it?
In Dzogchen, there are two aspects: Trekcho and Togal. We can read up on the meaning of these words, and still be confused. At some point, we have to come to our own conclusion – and that IS the point! Whatever is said about these strange words, they are natural to us, so they aren’t really a secret, are they? They have just gone unnoticed: when seen, they can be translated into our own language.
I started writing about this subject yesterday, and it got to four pages in length … and then just stopped. That’s the Dharma for you – fully comprehensive and confusing!
The Dharma is complete, as it can take a person from the recognition of suffering to enlightenment. It can accommodate all sorts who are willing to look. But it can also appear to be pedantic – excessively concerned with minor details or rules – and over-scrupulous. I love it, but terminology obscures the direct view!
Trekcho and Togal is the light that shines: it is the light and its shining. The mechanics and the vision. Craft and art. If we become obsessed by the light/the mechanics/the craft, we may forget to have fun! If we become obsessed by the shining/the vision/the art, we may forget the clarity of emptiness, our origin.
There is, however, a good reason for so-called secrecy, or limited explanation. Togal has to be a natural-outcome-realisation, an effulgence, literally shining brightly; the radiance of a person or their expression, emanating joy or goodness.
If we try to shine without a steady flame, our light may flicker and even fizzle out. We need to realise and have confidence in the light of emptiness first, in order to have a steady flame! The shining is dynamic presence = spontaneous presence.
We all have this shining light: we are this shining light, but it gets obscured by our thoughts and emotions. Once we become confident and stable in the clear light of empty essence, thoughts and emotions become expression – a display, an ornament – of creative compassion.
Togal shines naturally and cannot be disturbed – or put out 😀