Togal = Five Lights Or Rays

The light that shines

These rays are the five wisdoms that are the natural display or manifestation of pure, empty awareness: “mirror-like wisdom”, “wisdom of all-encompassing space”, “wisdom of equality”, “discriminating wisdom” and “all-accomplishing wisdom”.

Pure light prisms into colours. These represent the five Buddha families in their pure aspect of a Buddha-type but, when ignored, they also represent the five defilements or negative emotions.

There are extensive descriptions easily available on the internet. Here, we are merely clarifying the terminology of Togal, especially with regard to Dzogchen – pure awareness. Of course, there may be deeper meanings to the one presented here, but we need steps in order to demystify. The experience will be unique to the individual.

When talking of visions, this is a cultural experience, and translated as such. If we see shapes and colours when closing our eyes, this is the ‘inner light’ of ‘phosphenes’: atoms constantly emit and absorb tiny particles of light, or photons, described as ‘coloured snow in the dark’. This may be experienced according to our karma: we may see Buddha images or just coloured snow in the dark, but the source is pure awareness. Even the notion of pure awareness may have many names.

Tibetan monasteries are very colourful. They are a reminder of emptiness that is within: the clear light (Trekcho) and the outer colours (Togal). The external vision of the monastery attracts: that is skilful means.

When we start to understand the light that shines, we are talking about our purest aspect that has downgraded into a gross appearance of self deception. We have solidified all appearances and created samsara, a vicious cycle of existence of ignorance, dullness, excitement and therefore, vulnerability and unhappiness.

We do not all have visions, but we can turn mental occurrences into anything that is beneficial. All appearances are projections in the mind. Ultimately, there is only clear light. There is no mystery. Mystery occurs when we doubt knowingness, which is our natural being of pure awareness, pure consciousness. We are Dzogchen, Trekcho and Togal.

The light that shines is skilful means … is love.
Pure and simple.
It’s the same in any language, tradition, universe or dimension.

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  1. marcel says:

    Hello Tony, When we sleep, and get caught up in dreams, is pure consciousness present?

    • tony says:

      Hello Marcel,

      Pure consciousness is always present, and advanced practitioner still practise when the body and mind rests. This is practice for the death process.

      We as ordinary beings become unconscious, unaware and so we continue to dream.

      But, we do get glimpses of being aware that we are dreaming!

  2. marcel says:

    Maybe, I need to refine my question a bit.. Like in meditation, in an awake state, observing thoughts arising and passing and not to cling to.., is it possible to hold this meditative state during sleeping.. It’s difficult to rebel against sleep and not to get involved in dreaming.. I guess a lot of karma work / reconciliation takes place during resting..

    • tony says:

      We can form a prayer just before we go to sleep, to be aware during sleep. It’s a bit like wishing to wake at a certain time…and it works!

      Much depends on how we spend our day. In certain long term retreats practitioners sleep in a box or cot upright! then when they awaken they continue practising.

      We are town dwellers, and so there is more on our minds. Still we can be at peace and think compassionate thoughts.


  3. Marcel says:

    Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Then Jesus returned to the disciples and found them sleeping. “- Were you not able to keep watch with Me for one hour? He asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not enter into temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”…

    Great stuff Tony! Keep it coming 🙂

    • tony says:

      We are all wounded and weighed somehow. That is our path to be cleared, gently.

      There is Togal text with strange exercises and gazes, but it cannot be published. It needs clear instruction and it can confuse and cause problems. I’m still not certain about this as culture comes into play. This could create even more wounds.

      What Tibetans call Tigle = energy drop, science call neurotransmitters.

      Whatever takes place, being fed up, sleepiness, drunk, mysterious words, awareness is always present, that we can rely upon.

      Pure awareness is always present.

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