- Jackson Peterson That's exactly as it's seen here... Excellent post! When mind-consciousness recognizes its own emptiness, rigpa self recognizes because it is the empty nature of mind pervaded by "knowing". When the mind-consciousness doesn't recognize its empty nature it manifests as bewildered confusion: the root of ignorance.
- Kyle Dixon Still it is inappropriate that Jax refers to primordial wisdom [ye shes] as consciousness [rnam shes]. Consciousness is a symptom of confusion and is dualistic in nature, the consciousnesses are absent in wisdom.
"In the very heart of naturally occurring dharmakāya,
the eight avenues of consciousness are absent, so there is freedom from mind."
- Tantra Summarizing the Definitive Meaning
- Din Robinson Jackson wrote:
"When mind-consciousness recognizes its own emptiness, rigpa self recognizes because it is the empty nature of mind pervaded by "knowing""
it seems to me that's it's actually the light of awareness that recognizes mind-consciousness as a conditioned perception and at the same time recognizes itself as being empty
just saying the same thing with different words
- Kyle Dixon Though rigpa [vidyā] isn't awareness, better to leave it in Tibetan or Sanskrit. In English, 'knowledge' or 'discernment' are more appropriate. To paraphrase Malcolm; you can have awareness without knowledge, but you can't have rigpa without knowledge.
- Din Robinson Kyle wrote:
"Though rigpa [vidyā] isn't awareness, better to leave it in Tibetan or Sanskrit. In English, 'knowledge' or 'discernment' are more appropriate. To paraphrase Malcolm; you can have awareness without knowledge, but you can't have rigpa without knowledge."
thank you for that Kyle, it's becoming clearer in my mind what these terms are referring to
"you can have awareness without knowledge"
wouldn't it be more accurate to say you can "be" or are awareness, without knowledge
- Jackson Peterson Din Robinson, this is a big error on Kyles part. "Discernment" and "knowledge" are both on the side of intellect, like "information". What is not understood is that "awareness" IS gnosis, when awareness sees Itself. The awareness can be seeing "outwardly" which is like a registering perceivingness. Kyle calls that "awareness". But when that same exact awareness observes or knows Itself, in that self-reflexive moment, rigpa arises as that insight as gnosis. This is why Kyle and others chase information and texts, clinging to words, because they haven't recognized the wisdom within "ordinary" awareness when looked at by its own attention. That's why I differentiate "awareness" from "Knowing Awareness".
- Jackson Peterson In that "instant illumination of Clarity" a condition of total transparency arises... that reveals this Transparency as vast Knowingness, a unique "consciousness", a transparent awareness that has no inside or outside... a total Wisdom of its self-nature...
- Justin Struble Rigpa always by definition has the connotation of "recognition" .. ie; when there is Rigpa, there is recognition of one's nature, that recognition is "knowledge" , "discernment" , vidya .. all of which refer to direct experiential realization, and not the intellect.
- Kyle Dixon John, there's the mere clarity of mind, which is also given the name rigpa, and then there is the actual rigpa of the path which arises from recognizing the nature of mind. The former is merely the mind and is provisional, the latter is the definitive rigpa of Dzogchen.
Jax clings to the provisional and parades it as the definitive.
- Kyle Dixon For instance Tsoknyi Rinpoche states:
"This early stage of knowing or noticing whether there is stillness [of mind] or thought occurrence is also called rigpa. However, it is not the same meaning of rigpa as the Dzogchen sense of self-existing awareness [rang byung rig pa].
Great masters traditionally give something called pointing-out instruction, which literally means bringing one face to face with one's true nature. What is this nature that is being introduced? A practitioner of shamatha who has cultivated a sense of stillness to the extent that there is no longer any dividing point between thought occurrence and simply resting experiences a certain quality of knowing or presence of mind. This knowing is what the practitioner is brought face to face with - or rather, the very identity of this knowing as being rootless and groundless, insubstantial. By recognizing this, one is introduced to self-existing awareness, rangjung rigpa."
He too uses 'awareness' as a translation of rig pa, but only because it is a prevailing trend in translation. One that many are beginning to reconsider.
- Jackson Peterson I would avoid "knowledge" but prefer its root "gnosis" which is more intuitive. Discernment clearly is not accurate as that can be just an aspect of clarity. Rigpa doesn't see "subjects" or "objects" that need a clear discernment. Of all the Tibetan translators currently and previously translating Dzogchen as well as perfect English speaking Tibetan Lamas, none translate rigpa as knowledge or discernment. They mostly use "awareness", "knowing ", "primordial awareness" (rangjyung yeshe) "instant presence", "gnosis". All of these words imply a sentient consciousness (shes pa) that has this "knowing Awareness" as a core attribute of the Buddha Mind. It's the Buddha Mind in recognition of itself that is rigpa, not a knowledge or discerning intelligence. The Gelugpa would more likely call rigpa "knowledge" and especially "discernment". But even the Dalai Lama calls rigpa the experience of the Mind of Clear Light. Its a self-recognizing consciousness, (shes pa) : rang-rig rigpa. Vidya's root is "vid", as in video which implies a "seeing". Knowledge would be the translation for academic use of vidya in Sanskrit, not yogic practice.
- Jackson Peterson Here's the thing with rigpa: it's not a new informed understanding. Its a different perspective: experience is experienced differently. You were looking from the view at the bottom of the mountain, suddenly you are actually "seeing" from the mountain peak. The panorama is completely different as seen from this perspective. Your consciousness is completely transformed.
- Kyle Dixon Right Neony, I wasn't directing that comment towards you, just the discussion in general.
At this point it sounds like Jax is just kicking up dust to do so. It should be perfectly apparent why knowledge and/or discernment are proper treatments of rig pa [vidyā]. Ma rig pa [avidyā] means ignorance, so in translating rig pa you are obviously looking to the opposite of ignorance, which would be knowledge, or a species of discernment. In this case 'knowledge' should not be interpreted as an intellectual knowledge but rather knowledge of something which comes through recognition or an epiphany. Whereas before you lacked knowledge of something, you now have knowledge of it, you directly know it first hand.
- Kyle Dixon Nosta wrote:
After all what exactly is rigpa? Whats the difference between rigpa and nirvana?
Rigpa is just your knowledge of your primordial state.
kalden yungdrung wrote:
Rigpa could also be awareness about the / "our" Natural State?
There can be awareness without knowledge but there cannot be rigpa without knowledge. So no, rig pa is knowledge of our state, whatever adjective you wish to use to describe it.
kalden yungdrung wrote:
- First how is knowledge seen of a State which is without recognizing or is more experienced in the sense of " self-iluminating "?
- So i guess that "knowledge" has the meaning of be aware of that State by study or by realisation of the Natural State which is without "knowledge" of that State.
So Rigpa can/ has also here above mentioned, the meaning of the knowledge which one must have to be able to regognize a certain degree in the Dzogchen Yogas / "meditations".
Further is English sometimes not good enough to make some uusefull Dzogchen translations.
Knowledge comes from recognition. Without recognition, no knowledge.
English is actually a very good language for Dzogchen translations -- it is very precise.
Awareness with an added word. Like Selfsprung Awareness, Pristine Awareness, 'inner Pure Awareness and Knowledge', and other to express completedness.
I know what Sogyal says, and translating rig pa as "awareness" is passe.
Further, just as a simple point of Tibetan grammar, rang gi rig pa means "one's own rigpa", not self-awareness.
rang byung rigpa means "knowledge that comes from oneself i.e. it is based on one's own direct experience.
Ye shes is normally translated as wisdom or primordial wisdom, but some people these days, following John Pettite and Richad Baron are liking primordial awareness for this.
I back translate rigpa in Sanskrit generally, as vidyā unless it is being used as a verb "to know". Adriano Clemente has stopped translating it altogether, which I approve of. However, since we use terms like dharmakāya, etc., for Buddhist Dzogchen texts at any rate, vidyā is another word that is preferable.
On the other hand, we are still very much in the experimental stage and every translator and and so on has their own ideas based on what they understand about the teachings.
kalden yungdrung wrote:
Yes the term Rigpa, is a very difficult word to translate, sure when it is related to awareness.
Also is it clear that Rigpa could also be inteligence, that was also one of my earlier suggestion.
In my opinion, translating rigpa as "awareness" is simply wrong. Intelligence is also not good, again IMO.
In this case, knowledge is best. Why? Because rigpa is opposite to ma rig pa. Knowledge is the opposite of ignorance.
Yes, the word what can help the most clear to express its' meaning, is what one can apply. No idea make wholes in "naked awareness", a word of Lama Surya Das.
IMO opinion the word "vidyā" does not mean "awareness", as I have explained. The term "shes pa" can mean awareness depending on context. It can also mean "to recognize" depending on whether it is being used as a noun or a verb.
Having translated and read thousands of pages of Dzogchen texts, I am very dissatisfied with the use of awareness for rigpa. It should be deprecated, like HTML 1.0.
...but I never saw you say anything about Namkhai Norbu's translation of rigpa as "presence" which is really a lackluster tranlation, many will agree.
He does not translate rigpa as presence, as I have explained before. The word he is translating for presence is dran pa, mindfulness.
The word he uses for rig pa is knowledge.
Why do I know this? Because I frequently follow him with the Tibetan text he is teaching in hand.
But I am not saying that knowledge is the best translation for rig pa in general because he is using it. It is because I have been reading Dzogchen texts for 20 years and finally concluded on my own that "knowledge" was best.
While many of his other students who post around here think that he does translate rigpa as presence. Again awareness can be of relative objects (i.e. being aware of some object).. knowledge can also be of relative objects, having knowledge of such and such field of knowledge.
In this case, he is using the term rig pa to describe one's knowledge of the basis i.e. essence, nature and energy/compassion. When you have that knowledge (vidyā/rig pa) you no longer wander in samsara. When you do not have that knowledge (avidyā,ma rig pa) then you wander in samsara endlessly.
As far as what other people may say who do not know Tibetan, and do not follow his teachings with text in hand, all I can say is that they are mistaken.
Sometimes Rinpoche will translate "shes pa skad gcig ma" as "instant presence", because this uncontrived momentary awareness is the basis of tregchö etc. Then in this case one uses mindfulness as a support for uncontrived momentary awareness do that you do not wander in distraction. In this respect, there is basically difference between mahāmudra meditation, dzogchen and the Sakya "khordey yerme" i.e. the view of inseparability of samsara and nirvana -- they all are talking about the same thing in this respect tha mal gyi shes pa so called "ordinary mind" or "basis awareness".
But rigpa is something else. Rigpa is the knowledge of your state. When you have recognized uncontrived momentary awareness, the knowledge that ensues from recognition is rigpa. When you have recognized the meaning of sound, lights and rays, the knowledge that ensues from recognition is rigpa. Why, because you are no longer in a state of ignorance. The opposite of ignorance is knowledge. The opposite of ma rig pa is rig pa, the opposite of avidyā is vidyā.
Also rig pa can mean knowledge. As a verb, it means "to know" when it is used as a verb in Tibetan, never "to be aware". Then there is the rig gnas lnga i.e. the five sciences, the pañcavidyāsthana.
The use of the term vidyā as the opposite of avidyā is very deliberate in Dzogchen texts and relates to the beginning of the cycle of dependent origination. When Samantabhadra knew his own state, the chain of dependent origination, which begins with ignorance, never started for him.
- Kyle Dixon kalden yungdrung wrote:
Rigpa in the sense of intelligence, could be equal to knowledge and this is the oposite to no intelligence,
The opposite of intelligence is absence of intelligence or in this sense, the insentient, the inert.
kalden yungdrung wrote:
But i cannot help it that many Geshelas, Khenpos, Lopons, Rinpoches etc. maintain the meaning of Awareness when in the Natural State as a word to express Rigpa
Sure, they do. They are not native English speakers. Not their fault. They do the best they can. The reason every one in the bon po world uses awareness is mainly due to John Reynolds.
But now more and more people are moving away from that translation, in the Buddhist world at any rate.
The bon world is much smaller, and therefore, it will more resistant to change. Also fewer western translators.
Rigpa on it; knowledge for schoolstudents. There are many Rigpa's and combinations.
In 'naked awareness' I see clear as emptiness and awareness. Pure awareness as Rigpa here.
Maybe self-"arising" (already is) gnosis= empty awareness.
Ma Rigpa = state sentient being. (not knowing)
I think the linguistic meaning is less important. Also nature is not in text revealing.
One of the problems you will face if you insist on translating rigpa as a awareness, is that you will be able to differentiate Dzogchen, etc. from the hindus who are always waffling on about "pure awareness". In reality, "awareness" is a word in english which requires an object.
"Awareness is the state or ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects or sensory patterns. In this level of consciousness, sense data can be confirmed by an observer without necessarily implying understanding. More broadly, it is the state or quality of being aware of something. In biological psychology, awareness is defined as a human's or an animal's perception and cognitive reaction to a condition or event."
I know you are not a native English speaker, and so you may not be tuned into usage of English terms. Awareness is always an awareness of something. The basis is not a something. If you are aware of the basis as a something, then you immediately fall into samsara. This is the problem with using the term awareness for rig pa.
Knowledge in the other hand is more ambiguous word in English which actually involves real philosophical issues hence the discipline of epistemology i.e. the study of knowledge qua knowledge.
Rig pa in every sense of the word as it is used in opposition to ma rig pa has to do with knowing as opposed to ignorance. Some have described as the intersection between belief and truth, or "a justified true belief."
In this case, rig pa is justified, because it is based on a personal experience, true, because that experience can be verified by anyone, and a belief because in this case personal experience has lead us to a state personal verification of something that before hand be merely believed.
Anyway, people are free to believe what they wish, justified or not. It is my belief, one I think justified and true, that the English word awareness is not an adequate translation of rig pa almost every case.
The problem is that you and mudra do not fully understand what term "awareness" really means in English. So therefore, you are stuck on an obsolete translation.
So, there is no point in further discussion.
As long as you understand what rig pa means for yourself, you can call rig pa "george".
- Kyle Dixon From Jean-Luc Achard:
Q: So which translation for rigpa do you like?
Jean-Luc: Well, so far in English I haven't found anything I’m really crazy about. In the English translations i do i use Awareness because it's practically impossible to change the usage now. But, as we've discussed elsewhere, etymologically (the high‐German gewhar from which Awareness is derived) does not really fit with the context. In French I use another word. I use "Discernment" because it fits with the simplest definition of Rigpa found in the ZZNG where it is said that Rigpa discerns (rig) or distinguishes (phyed)
the pure (dag = Mind, the nature of mind) from the impure (ma‐dag = mind, the conditioned mind). In this discerning aspect (rig‐cha), there is no duality, simply the ever‐pure, lucid, vivid and fresh knowledge of the natural state. In such a state, the arising of thoughts is not a problem at all, on the contrary they may be more than welcome, especially for investigating the meaning of the teachings, spreading them, etc.
- Kyle Dixon Din, I just posted this on the other thread, but this should expand on what was said above
If there is a knowing and grasping reference point which is abiding prior to appearances, like a background, then this is the dualistic mind i.e. mind [tib. sems, skt. citta]. From the standpoint of mind there is no discernment because mind cannot discern itself from wisdom. So while the knowing aspect of mind i.e. cognizance or clarity, is given the name 'rigpa', it is not the definitive rigpa [rang byung rig pa] which can discern mind from wisdom because it is wrapped up in confusion and is mistaken as the deluded reference point of mind.
When the nature of mind [tib. sems nyid, skt. cittatā] is recognized, then the grasping reference point is rendered null and void. Appearances are no longer being mediated by a false reference point and so they self-liberate [rang grol].
Resting in that self-liberation is called the 'path' in Dzogchen. The problem, is that some mistake the act of resting in the indifference of mind and allowing appearances to arise and pass before them, to be self-liberation when it is not. If the reference point of mind is in tact then merely resting in the substratum and allowing appearances to arise and pass before you is coarse non-grasping. Coarse, because the mind is still present mediating experience. Coarse non-grasping is not rang byung rig pa.
When the mind is recognized to be empty, then there is no longer a reference point mediating experience. This is the true subtle non-grasping of Dzogchen.
- Kyle Dixon Resting in the reference point of mind (as in śamatha) practice, is a necessary prerequisite for the majority of individuals. It is merely a stepping stone though, if this isn't eventually transcended via recognition of the nature of mind, then one is simply remaining in confusion.
This is why I don't understand Jackson's deprecation of gradual methods for recognizing mind essence [sems nyid]. It makes no sense. Only a rare few recognize the nature of mind [tib. sems nyid, skt. cittatā] in the initial instance of introduction. Most will recognize clarity (provisional rigpa) and then must partake in other practices to refine that initial insight so that they can eventually recognize their nature.
Why Jackson doesn't acknowledge this is very suspect to me. If you have seen the nature of mind then you know it is quite a different flavor than our normal experience, and must be integrated with and cultivated skillfully.
- Kyle Dixon As elucidated here:
= Self-liberation =
Perfect dharmatā is nonarising,
alternately, self-liberated without grasping.
Why? The cause of self-liberation
is unceasing nonattachment.
It is free from a mind of grasping attachment.
Recognize this again and again.
If one familiarizes oneself repeatedly,
one is person who has seen the truth.
— The Tantra of Self-Arisen Vidyā [Per Malcolm]
- John Tan Thks Jackson and Kyle for the clarifications. Very clear explanations Kyle, Thank you. When u say Wisdom here, r u referring to mind's primordial state (primordial not as beginning but as "always been the case"), that is, empty clarity and basis here means?
- Kyle Dixon John, yes, and that is actually the definition of wisdom [tib. ye shes, skt. jñāna] in Dzogchen:
"If one knows [shes] the buddhahood that has always been [ye] naturally formed by nature, there will be buddhahood of clear realization. That is the definition of wisdom [ye shes]."
— The Tantra of Self-Arisen Vidyā [Per Malcolm]
- John Tan Hi Kyle, even when the mind is recognized to b empty and the mind as the reference point dissolved, it is still possible to grasp after appearances...that is, appearances may not b realized as empty and non-arisen. It that case, is it considered the definitive Rigpa of Dzogchen?