The Essence of Dzogchen
Dzogchen is a Tibetan word for ‘the great perfection’, and the ‘great perfection’ is simply pure consciousness/empty awareness. In Sanskrit’ it is called Maha Ati. If any more is said about this, it will just sound complicated – but to satisfy the mind, a little more will be said! 😀
Pure consciousness has three aspects: emptiness, awareness and compassionate activity. If emptiness and awareness are not seen as a unity, we fall into one of the two extremes of nihilism (everything is seems pointless) or eternalism (everything is real and lasts forever). When emptiness and awareness are seen as a unity, then true compassion can arise.
If the essence of Dzogchen is pure, compassionate awareness, then we are Dzogchen.
In Dzogchen, there is no meditation. We only meditate when we forget our true nature of pure, compassionate awareness. Once we remember, we drop the meditation. Dzogchen is not doing; it is being.
This approach, of course, will not suit everyone, and that is why there are different traditions and methods, as we may need more inspiration and understanding in order to be convinced.
We do not need to learn Tibetan or Sanskrit or Pali because our true nature is natural and the realisation is beyond language.
Dzogchen is not at all complicated. If we doubt the great perfection of our authentic being, we will feel the need to keep returning to the monastery time and time again to be told the same thing.
What is needed is personal time to reflect and acknowledge this truth. Spending years and money on retreats and teachings does not make us more realised. The levels of realisation come from deeper reflection and acknowledgement. All we need is a cushion … if that!