hankering after thoughts and projections. None of these is the

true state of meditation, and the practitioner has to watch out

skillfully to avoid being deluded in these ways.

The essence of meditation practice in Dzogchen is encapsulated

by these four points:

• When one past thought has ceased and a future thought

has not yet risen, in that gap, in between, isn't there a consciousness

of the present moment; fresh, virgin, unaltered

by even a hair's breadth of concept, a luminous, naked


Well, that is what Rigpa is!

• Yet it doesn't stay in that state forever, because another

thought suddenly arises, doesn't it?

This is the self-radiance of that Rigpa.

• However, if you do not recognize this thought for what it

really is, the very instant it arises, then it will turn into just

another ordinary thought, as before. This is called the

"chain of delusion," and is the root of samsara.

• If you are able to recognize the true nature of the thought

as soon as it arises, and leave it alone without any followup,

then whatever thoughts arise all automatically dissolve

back into the vast expanse of Rigpa and are liberated.

Clearly it takes a lifetime of practice to understand and realize

the full richness and majesty of these four profound yet

simple points, and here I can only give you a taste of the vastness

of what is meditation in Dzogchen.

Perhaps the most important point is that Dzogchen meditation

comes to be a continual flow of Rigpa, like a river constantly

moving day and night without any interruption. This,

of course, is an ideal state, for this undistracted resting in the

View, once it has been introduced and recognized, is the

reward of years of sustained practice.

Dzogchen meditation is subtly powerful in dealing with the

arisings of the mind, and has a unique perspective on them.

All the risings are seen in their true nature, not as separate

from Rigpa, and not as antagonistic to it, but actually as none

other—and this is very important—than its "self-radiance," the

manifestation of its very energy.

Say you find yourself in a deep state of stillness; often it

does not last very long and a thought or a movement always

arises, like a wave in the ocean. Don't reject the movement or

particularly embrace the stillness, but continue the flow of

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