Dzogchen and Tantra: Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

- through Sophie Solere

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" The teachings Dzogchen are the essence of all Tibetan teachings, so direct that they were always kept somewhat hidden”. Passed down from master to disciple since Garab Dorje, a realized being who lived in northwest India in the second century B.C., the Dzogchen teachings "remain as relevant to the situation of man today than they were yesterday”. So says Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, Dzogchen master who died in 2018, at almost 80 years old. Born in Tibet, where he was recognized as the reincarnation of several great Buddhist masters and where he studied thousands of texts and received countless initiations, he preferred the simple life of a teacher of Tibetan languages ​​and literatures to University of Naples. It was there that his students, understanding that they were dealing with a Dzogchen master, asked him to give them teachings. Chögyal Namkhai Norbu granted their request at the end of the 70s, first in Italy and soon all over the world.

Dzogchen and Tantra was compiled from transcriptions of his oral teachings between 1978 and 1984 (1). Filled with anecdotes and unpublished descriptions, it shows the depth and richness of a spiritual path which, even if it was transmitted in the culture of Tibet, does not belong to any given country. Dzogchen, a Tibetan term which means “great perfection”, refers to our primordial state, fundamentally pure from the beginning, in which nothing is to be rejected or accepted. This state has no nationality. “To understand and enter into the primordial state, there is no need for any intellectual, historical or cultural knowledge. It is beyond the intellect by its very nature,” recalls Namkhai Norbu. The author does not hesitate to relate how his own mental constructions collapsed when, around the age of 17, he received the direct introduction of his master Tchangchoup Dorje. This old Tibetan doctor who could neither read, nor write, nor perform elaborate rituals, had developed the clarity of a great Dzogchen practitioner.

“Dzogchen does not require anyone to believe in anything. Rather, he suggests that the individual observe himself and find out what his true condition is. »

Author of numerous books, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu has kept the art of storytelling. In a direct and precise tone, he alternates comments on the structure of Buddhist teachings and the place of Dzogchen, the so-called path of “self-liberation”, and colorful accounts of his encounters with unusual masters. One had lived in the dark for more than fifty years, another resided in an inaccessible cave, wondering how he managed to feed himself. It also reminds how Dzogchen teachings can be integrated into everyday life. “Dzogchen does not require anyone to believe in anything. Rather, he suggests that the individual observe himself and find out what his true condition is. »

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Sophie Solere

Sophie Solère is an economic and social journalist who has been interested for years in the environment and interdependence. She works for Buddhist News, a media platform dedicated to Buddhist spirituality and wisdom. By practicing yoga and meditative dance, Sophie discovered the power of spiritual journeys, which offer so many paths to (re)find yourself. She is dedicated to sharing inspiring stories and valuable advice on spiritual practice and the environment with Buddhist News readers.

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