Dzogchen Series

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Samantabhadra and consort

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The following texts are available as part of our Dzogchen (rdzogs chen) or Great Perfection series:


Answers to a series of questions on the distinction between ordinary mind (sem) and pure awareness (rigpa), the dissolution of dualistic perception, mindfulness in Dzogchen, the phases of dissolution at death, and how to practise Dzogchen meditation.

This short text from Jigme Tenpe Nyima's Dzogchen corpus explains the distinction between the ordinary mind (sem) and pure awareness (rigpa), as well as the ways in which the Great Perfection is superior to other approaches.

The author makes a distinction between “instructions that apply more generally” and “teachings that are intended for specific individuals” in order to argue for a gradualist approach that culminates in Mahāmudrā or Dzogchen for all but those of the very sharpest faculties (who are able to proceed to the highest teachings directly).

Verses of crucial advice covering the whole path but especially the practice of Dzogchen, composed at the request of someone named Asé Chatralwa.

Pithy and practical, this advice — composed at the request of Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche, Jamyang Döndrup (1928–2019) — summarizes the key points of the path of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection.

Simple advice on investigating the origination, presence and departure (byung gnas 'gro gsum) of thoughts and resting without fabrication or contrivance in order to see the essence of mind.

These few lines of verse, taken from the advice section of Jamyang Khyentse's collected writings, are effectively an aspiration for mastering the Dzogchen practice of Tögal.

In this short text, written in verse, Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö explains (with characteristic humility) the prerequisites and view, meditation and action of Dzogchen, or the Great Perfection.

Simple instructions on the practices of Trekchö and Tögal composed at the request of the daughter of Katok Gyalse Kunzang Rinpoche.

This practical instruction in just a few lines covers the path of Dzogchen by highlighting only its most crucial elements.

Written at the request of Lhasé Sogyal, the king of Yönru in Lithang, this short text covers the key points of Trekchö, from the foundational prerequisites to the unique Dzogchen preliminary of 'demolishing the house of the ordinary mind' and the main meditation practice of Dzogchen itself.

This revelation, part of the Longchen Nyingtik, describes the pure awareness, or rigpa, that is the "natural state" (gnas lugs) of the mind, and how all the qualities of the path and fruition are complete within it. The text is considered a definitive statement on the topic, eliminating all doubts and need for further clarification.

This brief advice on the practice of the Great Perfection and the importance of devotion was written for the king of Lowo in Ngari in 1750.

While Khenpo Ngawang Palzang was accumulating the maṇḍala offering as part of the Longchen Nyingtik preliminary practices, he received this pointing-out instruction from Longchenpa in a pure vision.

A simple Dzogchen instruction written in verse.

This short song on the view and meditation of the Great Perfection was composed by Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol (1781–1851) but has recently been misattributed to Khenpo Gangshar Wangpo.

A concise instruction pointing out the nature of mind, which Khenpo Gangshar offered to the students of Thrangu Shedrup Dargye Ling in 1957.

Perhaps Khenpo Gangshar's most famous work, this pithy guide to Dzogchen practice includes instructions on the uncommon preliminaries, the analytical meditations of a paṇḍita, and the main practice, which is the resting meditation of a kusulu, as well as how to integrate the practice.

Gangshar Wangpo tells us that he based these verses—which explain how to eliminate obstacles to practice and sustain realization of mind's essential nature—on scripture, the oral instructions of his guru, and his own experience.

The famous yogi Khenpo Gangshar Wangpo likens his composition of this short text of advice on renunciation and the practice of maintaining awareness to an old dog suddenly vomiting gold.

In this short instruction in verse, Khenpo Pema Vajra explains the key points of the path in general and of the Great Perfection in particular. His practical advice includes what to do in the intermediate state, or bardo.

Essential advice on every stage of the path from beginning to end. As Longchenpa puts it in the text itself: "Even if we were to meet in person, I would have no greater instruction to give you than this. So take it to heart, all the time, and in any situation."

From the famed Trilogy of Finding Comfort and Ease (ngal gso skor gsum), this brief guide to Finding Comfort and Ease in Illusion or Being at Ease with Illusion (sgyu ma ngal gso) explains how to meditate on the illusory or dream-like nature of all phenomena.

This pithy Dzogchen text belongs to the Zabmo Yangtik, and, according to Longchenpa himself in the collection catalogue called Sun, Moon, Planets and Stars, it reveals "how enlightened intent is" (dgongs pa'i yin tshul).

The first chapter of Longchenpa's Finding Comfort and Ease in Meditation (samten ngalso), describing ideal environments and dwelling places for cultivating meditative concentration and insight throughout the year.

The second chapter of Finding Comfort and Ease in Meditation (samten ngalso), describing the qualities and character of an ideal practitioner of meditation in the Great Perfection, or Dzogpachenpo.

A topical outline of The Fully Fledged Garuḍa, the Zabmo Yangtik's poetic summary of Trekchö (khregs chod).

According to the catalogue, this short text reveals “the ultimate enlightened intent” (don gyi dgongs pa). Herbert Guenther believed that it contains "probably the profoundest phenomenological descriptions of experience-as-lived ever written".

Also known as the "instruction that points directly to the very essence of mind in the tradition of ‘the old realized ones’ (rtogs ldan rgan po)", this is a pithy guide to Dzogchen meditation written for 'village yogis' and other practitioners without a background in study. It includes three separate instructions, for: 1) cracking open the egg-shell of ignorance, 2) cutting the web of saṃsāric existence, and 3) remaining in space-like equalness.

Mipham Rinpoche boils the practice of Trekchö down to the three crucial points of knowing the essence of mind, sustaining that recognition in meditation and allowing thoughts to subside beyond benefit and harm.

In this short text, Mipham Rinpoche attempts—by his own admission—to express the inexpressible. Aware of the challenge and the apparent contradiction, he nevertheless offers various descriptions of mind's ineffable essence "for the sake of those fortunate individuals who seek to penetrate the profound meaning of dharmatā."

In this, one of his most popular Dzogchen instructions, Mipham Rinpoche explains how to go beyond the initial stage of the recognition (ngo shes) of the face of rigpa, or pure awareness, to the subsequent stages of perfecting the strength (rtsal rdzogs) and gaining stability (brtan pa thob).

Written in 1893/4, this brief versified instruction outlines the key points of Trekchö (khregs chod) practice through an explanation of the four ways of leaving things as they are (cog bzhag bzhi).

This short instruction in verse was written in 1876. It explains the nature of mind, which is 'seen', or realised, in an experience that transcends the duality of seeing and seen.

This short verse-text sets out to clarify the term "self-awareness" (rang rig; svasaṃvedana), especially as it is used in Dzogchen, and challenges those who reject the notion. Mipham points out that self-awareness is something to be experienced firsthand, not debated or speculated about.

Taken from his collected songs (mgur 'bum) this spontaneous poem offers advice on the practice and its fruition, with Nyala Pema Dündul explaining that his view corresponds to Dzogchen, the Great Perfection, his meditation to Mahāmudrā, and his action to the Vinaya.

One of the better known instructions from the collection known as Responses to Questions, Advice from the Guru's Direct Instructions (bla ma dmar khrid kyi zhal gdams zhus lan skor), which is included in the Precious Treasury of Revelations (rin chen gter mdzod). The text contains simple advice from Guru Padmasambhava for his elderly disciple, Ngok Sherab Gyalpo.

Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche recalls the advice of Khenpo Ngawang Palzang, who managed to encapsulated the Dzogchen practice of Trekchö (khregs chod) in a single pithy instruction.

In this short essay, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche explains the theory behind the Dzogchen preliminary practice known as Khordé Rushen ('khor 'das ru shan), or separating the domains of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa.

Definitions of the five wisdoms (ye shes lnga), i.e., the wisdom of dharmadhātu, mirror-like wisdom, wisdom of equality, wisdom of discernment and all-accomplishing wisdom, according to the oral tradition of Khenpo Ngawang Palzang, aka Khenpo Ngakchung.

This short work in verse offers advice on the natural self-liberation (rang grol) of thoughts and emotions, which Patrul Rinpoche repeatedly identifies as the key to the view, meditation and conduct of the Great Perfection.

Sometimes known by its first four syllables as Eko Eko (translated as "Have you heard? Have you heard?") and sometimes as Self-Liberated Wisdom-Mind, this is a comprehensive and popular instruction on Dzogchen meditation. Although the emphasis is on remaining natural and unaltered (machöpa), the text also offers advice on how to integrate and adapt to the various experiences and circumstances a practitioner might face. The style is direct, eloquent and moving.

Pith instructions on liberating thoughts, translated from a rare manuscript in the library of Dudjom Rinpoche Jigdral Yeshe Dorje.

In this brief instruction, the celebrated Dzogchen master Tulku Tsullo explains how the nature of mind is the nature of everything and reveals the method for settling into an experience of that nature.

Simple, pithy explanations of the four uncommon Dzogchen samayas: non-existence (or absence), evenness, spontaneous presence, and oneness.

Yangthang Rinpoche composed these powerful verses on the view, meditation and action of the Great Perfection at the request of his close friend, Lama Tsewang.

Yukhok Chatralwa records the pithy advice of the Nyarong Lama, i.e., Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa, on the subject of how to remain in solitary retreat.


Lineage Prayers

Jigme Tenpe Nyima composed this prayer to the gurus of the Dzogchen lineage at the behest of Khenpo Damchö Özer (d. 1927?), one of the so-called 'four great khenpos of Dodrupchen Monastery'.

A prayer to invoke the blessings of five key figures in the Heart Essence (snying thig) tradition of the Great Perfection: Vimalamitra, Melong Dorje, Kumārarāja (Kumaradza), Longchen Rabjam and Jigme Lingpa.

Additional verses of praise to three later masters of the lineage of Lama Yangtik: Shechen Gyaltsab (1871–1926), Shechen Kongtrul (1901–c.1960) and Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö (1893–1959) himself.

Verses of praise to the masters of the lineage of Lama Yangtik, from Samantabhadra to one's own root guru.

This prayer to the lineage of the pith-instruction section, or Mengak Dé (man ngag sde), of Dzogchen teachings appears in the Vima Nyingtik and has been supplemented over the centuries by masters including Minling Terchen Gyurme Dorje, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö.

Supplementary verses for the Lama Yangtik homage, covering the lineage from Khyabdal Lhundrup (1304?–1400?) through to Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye (1813–1899).


A discussion of the term for main practice in Tibetan—dngos gzhi which translates literally as 'actual basis'. In response to a question, Jigme Tenpe Nyima clarifies the explanations of the four permutations of 'actual' and 'basis' from Longchenpa's Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle (theg mchog mdzod) and Jigme Lingpa's Yeshe Lama.

Brief explanations of some of the most important terms used in the Great Perfection, including primordial purity (ka dag), spontaneous presence (lhun grub), rigpa, Thorough Cut (khregs chod) and Crossover (thod rgal).

This brief explanation of the important Dzogchen notions of clarification (shan 'byed) and transcendental resolution (la blza ba) was composed by Tertön Sogyal and recorded in the collected writings of Yukhok Chatralwa Chöying Rangdrol.

In these brief notes, Chöying Rangdrol explains what is meant by the 'youthful vase body', and outlines how liberation occurs in the intermediate state (bardo), and how delusion develops should we fail to recognise the nature of bardo appearances.

These notes discuss the ālaya, or 'ground of all', as well as the ālaya-consciousness (ālaya-vijñāna) and other forms of consciousness from a practical, experiential perspective, rather than a scholastic or theoretical point of view. They drew upon the sayings and explanations of such masters as Adzom Drukpa, Tertön Sogyal and Dudjom Lingpa.


Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche composed this four-line prayer of aspiration spontaneously on the occasion of his first teaching of “Hitting the Essence in Three Words” in the West, to an assembly of thirteen students in Paris, 1976.

This well-known devotional prayer invokes the inspiration and blessing of the three-kāya guru in order to perfect the view, meditation and action of Dzogpachenpo.

This short prayer invokes the figures of the Dzogchen lineage from Buddha Samantabhadra onwards, including the peaceful and wrathful deities, calling upon them all to grant their inspiration and blessing, so that the practitioner might perfect the four visions and attain the rainbow body.

This famous aspiration to realize the ground, path and fruition of the Great Perfection (rdzogs pa chen po) is part of the Longchen Nyingtik revelation of Jigme Lingpa.

This invocation, drawn from the Khandro Yangtik collection, includes additional verses for some of the masters who followed Longchenpa in the lineage: Chökyi Drakpa, Nyima Özer, Kunga Gyaltsen, and Chöying Drakpa.

This prayer invokes the blessings of all the three-kāya gurus, yidam deities, ḍākinīs and dharmapālas to inspire recognition of the ultimate nature of the Great Perfection (Dzogpachenpo), which Longchenpa describes in evocative detail.

Written using the language of the Great Perfection, this prayer, which Mipham wrote in 1886, is an aspiration to realize the nature of mind — indestructible awareness and emptiness — and the true meaning of Mañjuśrī.

Nyala Pema Dündul composed this prayer to himself at the request of his disciples. It is a plea to receive his inspiration and blessings in order to follow in his footsteps and perfect the practice of Dzogpachenpo.

This word-by-word commentary on Dudjom Rinpoche's famous song of calling the guru from afar (bla ma rgyang 'bod), Spontaneous Song of the Genuine Nature, includes a discussion of the ultimate three-kāya guru and an explanation of how to practice the path of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection.

This famous prayer of aspiration of Buddha Samantabhadra (kun bzang smon lam), which is taken from the All-Penetrating Wisdom Mind (dgongs pa zang thal) revelation, is among the most popular texts of the Dzogchen tradition. Its recitation is especially recommended during solar and lunar eclipses, at the solstices and new year, as well as during earthquakes and other environmental anomalies.



This famous vajra song (rdo rje’i glu), named after its initial syllables "ema kiri", appears in the Tantra of the Union of the Sun and Moon (nyi zla kha sbyor). It consists of a series of arranged syllables which a practitioner should intone melodiously. The individual syllables and their arrangement as a mantra are considered particularly sacred since they are said to have been revealed by the primordial buddha Samantabhadra.

A brief song of aspiration to perfect the practice of the Great Perfection and realize the three kāyas that are naturally present within the mind.

This song of experience, composed spontaneously on a ḍākinī day, includes an invocation of Padmasambhava on the ultimate level, as the very nature of one's own rigpa.

A short, three-verse song invoking the nature of the three kāyas as a means to perfect Dzogchen realization.

A spontaneous song or dohā expressing confidence in Dzogchen realization, which Jamyang Khyentse tells us he offered to the guru of his own awareness.

Verses on the ultimate view, meditation and conduct of the Great Perfection.

Spontaneously composed verses on the uniqueness and profundity of the Dzogchen approach, which centres on the recognition of mind's intrinsic awareness.

Jamyang Khyentse spontaneously composed this joyful song, which marvels at Dzogchen's effortless approach to attaining realization, during a visit to the Lönchen Gurkar Cave at Samye Chimphu in 1956.

A song of realization expressing the futility of ordinary, contrived practice from the perspective of naturally perfect, pure awareness.

A poem expressing Dzogchen insights that arose to the author spontaneously when inebriated one evening in 1968.

Mipham composed this dohā of five four-line verses expressing realization of the supreme yoga towards the end of his life, in 1909.

This short song of experiential instructions on the Dzogchen view and meditation is rich in imagery and direct in tone. It has recently been misattributed to Khenpo Gangshar Wangpo (1925–1958/9).


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