I did a video (8 parts; 110 minutes) on Alexander Technique and the Dharma; mixing AT with meditation and mindfulness–It’s kind of a breakdown of an early series of Alexander Lessons and how that might relate to one’s meditation practice or mondfulness practice. The second part is titled Dzogchen--teachings on the Great Perfection--the pinnacle of meditation. I sort of present some teachings on “The three words that strike the vital point” by Garab Dordje, kind of taken from a book “The Golden Letters”. Also some ideas from Tulku Urgyen. Along the style of his books "As It Is" and his Dzogchen Trilogy.
Talking about hinayana and mahayana buddhism is not very controversial, but presenting vajrayana ideas can be. Trungpa Rinpoche pointed out that teaching the vajrayana without teaching the hinayana is criminal. One doesn’t want that on one’s resume, even though there is a powerful movement occurring, particularly in the nyingma arena, of getting the higher teachings out there. I believe Tulku Urgyen leads the charge on this. I am afraid I have somewhat drunk the kool aid that he gave to me on this topic. At the same time, I am terrified of doing the wrong thing. I am not the only one walking on a razor blade on this powerful and polarizing topic. Perhaps my unrelenting focus on mindfulness gives me some hinayana credibility.
As far as books about Dzogchen, for the novice, it's hard to go wrong with "Dzogchen Primer," There might be some daunting terminology in these others but Dzogchen is often quite accessible to the layman.
“The Golden Letters: The Three Statements of Garab Dorje, First Dzogchen Master” by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu (Foreword), John Myrdhin Reynolds (Translator) The teachings of Dzogchen, which directly introduces the practitioner to the Nature of Mind, were first expounded by Garab Dorje in the country of Uddiyana and later went to India and Tibet. The essence of Garab Dorje's message is "The Three Statements that Strike the Essential Points." Patrul Rinpoche wrote a brilliant commentary, together with practices entitled "The Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious King"—here translated with notes, commentaries, and a glossary of terms.
"In many ways, the best guide to the Dzogchen teachings. Includes explanations of texts that were previously thought too secret to publish."—Tricycle
"Contains clear translations and detailed commentaries. Careful study and practice of the knowledge revealed in The Golden Letters is indispensable."—The Mirror
"Many of the meditative practices this book introduces are among the most profound ever to appear in published form."—Shambhala Sun --This text refers to the paperback edition The teachings of Dzogchen, which directly introduces the practitioner to the Nature of Mind, were first expounded by Garab Dorje in the country of Uddiyana and later went to India and Tibet. The essence of Garab Dorje's message is "The Three Statements that Strike the Essential Points." Patrul Rinpoche wrote a brilliant commentary together with practices entitled "The Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious King"--here translated with notes, commentaries, and glossary of terms..
“As It Is Vol. 1" by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (Author), Erik Pema Kunsang (Author, Translator), Marcia Binder Schmidt (Author)
There is a Volume 2; even more profound
The teachings presented in As It Is, Volume I are primarily selected from talks given by the Dzogchen master, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, in 1994 and 1995, during the last two years of his life. The unambiguous Buddhist perception of reality is transmitted in profound, simple language by one of the foremost masters in the Tibetan tradition. Dzogchen is to take the final result, the state of enlightenment itself, as path. This is the style of simply picking the ripened fruit or the fully bloomed flowers. Tulku Urgyen's way of communicating this wisdom was to awaken the individual to their potential and reveal the methods to acknowledge and stabilize that prospective. His distinctive teaching style was widely known for its unique directness in introducing students to the nature of mind in a way that allowed immediate experience. This book offers the direct oral instructions of a master who inspired admiration, delight in practice, and deep trust and confidence in the Buddhist way.
"Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche’s direct oral instructions inspired admiration, delight in practice, and deep trust and confidence in the teachings among those who met him. His words always helped their minds, in the sense that applying even some of his advice reduced disturbing emotions and naturally allowed compassion, love and insight to blossom."- Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, Introductory Teachings
Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (1920-1996) was one of the outstanding Tibetan Buddhist teachers of his generation. Forced into exile by the Communist invasion of Tibet, he came to settle in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. Though spending over 25 years in retreat, he not only taught extensively, but also founded numerous monasteries and retreat centers the world over. He is the author of such popular books as Rainbow Painting and As It Is Vols. I & II.
Spiritual seekers - this is it. Out of my relatively large library of Classical and modern Tibetan Buddhist texts and writings by many highly regarded masters, this book and its companion volume provide the most explicit, clearly understandable and profound teachings on Mahamudra and Dzogchen, our 'original mind' in its natural, luminous state. Seeking out and finding our own buddhanature and discovering an unimaginable connection to all, well, words simply fail me. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche comes as close as allowable to giving the "pointing out" instructions for Mahamudra, without stepping over the line. For that, you simply must have a lineaged personal guru (lama) willing to pass the transmission onto you. To be honest, although I do have a sangha and precious guru, the karmic opportunity to receive pointing out instructions may well not happen in this life. Getting as close to it as possible, has been my goal, rather like searching the world for the rarest seed, to let it fall into the prepared spot I've dug for it. This is the type of book for those who yearn for understanding the very deepest of mysteries within ourselves and our place in the universe as bodhisattvas and Buddhas. So, read a bit, relax, contemplate the words, then meditate on its meaning. Let it sink in so as to develop a thoroughly stable understanding. It's a treasure unlike any other. Sarva mangalam! _()_
“The Dzogchen Primer: An Anthology of Writings by Masters of the Great Perfection” by MARCIA BINDER SCHMIDT (Author)
It's a trilogy which includes "Dzogchen Essentials" and Quintessential Dzogchen"
The Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice known as Dzogchen (pronounced ZOG-chen) is a practical method for accessing the pristine, clear awareness that lies beneath the chatter and confusion of our daily thoughts. The Dzogchen Primer provides the keys for understanding Dzogchen and putting it into practice.
Marcia Schmidt, a long-time Buddhist practitioner, has gathered here the most accessible, down-to-earth writings published on this subject and has organized them into a study guide for the serious beginner on the Buddhist path. The collection includes writings from such well-known and venerable masters as Milarepa, Padmasambhava, Shantideva, Chögyam Trungpa, and Tulku Urgyen.
The concept of Dzogchen is said to lie beyond the confines of our beliefs, our intellectual constructs, our ordinary understanding. A Dzogchen master writes, "We need to dismantle our fixation on the permanence of what we experience. A normal person clings to his experiences as being 'real,' concrete, and permanent. But if we look closely at what happens, experience is simply experience, and it is not made out of anything. It has no form, no sound, no color, no taste, no texture; it is simply empty cognizance."
The Dzogchen Primer includes an informative editor's preface as well as two forewords by prominent Tibetan masters that provide fundamental background information that will be helpful to readers new to this subject. The book also includes short, descriptive guiding notes intended to assist both independent students and teachers leading workshops.
“Blazing Splendor: The Memoirs of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche” by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
Blazing Splendor paints an intimate portrait of the lost culture of Old Tibet and of a remarkable man who inspired thousands. A memoir in the form of tales told by Rinpoche toward the end of his life, the book spans his lifetime — a lifetime rich in adventures of both spirit and body. His reminiscences weave a rich tapestry of family history and also describe the lives of some of the most realized and genuine practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism
"Compassion, wisdom, devotion and the innermost nature of mind—you will read about all of these in this book. These stories and memories imply that spiritual realization is really possible. This is not simply ancient history, a phenomenon that happened in the past in India or in Tibet. Thanks to masters like Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche this living tradition of wisdom and spiritual awakening of the Buddha continues right now in the present and is readily available to people everywhere." -Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
"Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche was among Tibetan Buddhism's greatest teachers of the 20th century. His memoir, Blazing Splendor, invites us to join him as he looks back over a life that put him at the center of an unparalleled spiritual abundance. Through his unblinking eyes we meet remarkable contemplative adepts. And through the lens of his awakened awareness, we see the world from a fresh, eye-opening perspective. It is a sweeping account that shares with readers a world where miracles, mystery and deep insight are the order of the day-a world as reflected through the open, lucid quality of Tulku Urgyen's mind." - Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence