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Essays listed in chronological order starting with most recent. For archives, please see previous volumes below.
  • Writer's pictureRudy Bauer

The Essence of Dzogchen is Guru Yoga

The Essence of Dzogchen is Guru Yoga

By Rudolph Bauer, Phd Mon, Nov 29, 2010

Rudolph Bauer,Ph.D. Author, Mary Kay Parkinson Editor

1. The essence of Dzogchen is guru yoga.

2. As Swami Muktananda would so often say, “The guru is not a person. The guru is the grace bestowing power of divinity.”

3. The essence of the guru is the great process of becoming aware of your own awareness, your own rigpa as the guru. The guru is the self revealing light of awareness, the self manifestation of luminous awareness within yourself as yourself. Within yourself, translucidity manifests, shows itself to its own self.

The guru is the logos.

4. As in the yogic text, "The Secret Realization of the Guru as One's Own Rigpa,"


My own rigpa is the lotus king.

My own self recognition is refuge.

For living beings who wander in bewilderment, the awareness of great self liberation is generated.

For the primordial guru, always completely pure, the vast host of obstructive, fictional discriminations does not even have a name.

Within the great dharmata, within the very essence of events, all events, infinite self-manifested gnosis gives individual protection.

JNANA RAKSHA HUM (direct perception is liberation)

Events appearing through the six senses unobstructed, free of grasping compulsivity, is the art of rigpa.

When the widespread purity and evenness of existence and its appearances arise, the great blessings of singular gnosis descend.



The always already self produced truth of Padmasambhava, transcending fixation on face and limbs, is the vastness of the youthful vase body, the body of light, rigpa’s art, all pervading from the beingness being, is the

experience of the three kayas, free of the confusion made by the discursive minds differentiation of meditator and meditated.

In the always existent truth of my own rigpa as the guru, abiding stably in the vastness of the all pervasive essence of events, my own Buddha nature is experienced as purity and evenness.

And so whatever arises through the six senses is offered as the divinity of self liberation.

My body, my speech, and my mind, are experienced as the very nature of the three vajras. As the essence of all events are free of failure and free of success.

As innate luminous awareness, which is the guru, is free of acceptance and rejection. Everything that appears is the play of the essence of awareness, the divine guru, the manifestation of the guru.


May we experience the existence of the youthful vase body and claim (for yourself) the rainbow body, the embodiment of light, which is the exalted form of the great transmigration guru.

5. Taking refuge in Dzogchen is taking refuge within your own innermost awareness as the primordial guru. The very act of taking refuge is the manifestation of this self same guru, this self same awareness.

6. We take refuge through extension, or the spreading of the self arising awareness within our bodies and beyond our bodies. Extension of our own awareness is extending the light to the light, through extension. We are entering into oneness with the guru from within, to the guru within all others. That is why we extend to others. That is why we extend to the enlightened masters, the siddhas. That is why we extend to the archetypal manifestations; the sambhogakaya manifestations of the guru as deities, dakinis and devas, as the luminous energy forms. That is why we extend to the generational field as the guru within families and friends. In guru yoga, you are in the state of awareness of awareness; you are in the state of potential, luminous spaciousness, luminous gnosis, knowingness, direct perception. Of course, if you are

only in your mind, trapped in the tiny cage of thinking, the corner of affects, the cabinet of memories, the porch of fantasy, you are approaching guru yoga, but not quite through the doorway. As Dr.Yan Xin would say, "You are at the doorway of qi gong, but have not entered through …leap through".

7. As you become aware of awareness, rigpa, as you become aware of the primordial guru in you, it is not always a fun moment…..since the guru is sunyata (vast voidness vast openness). Often, at first glimpse, the unboundedness of experiences can be felt as sheer nothingness, sheer emptiness, vast unbound spaciousness, pure openness. And so as one falls into sunyata, the experience is of falling, falling, falling, dissolving and disappearing, an endless deathlessness…not easy to be comprehended. And sometimes, even in the background of your ordinary experience, you will experience a sense of death and deathlessness, a complete contingency, with nothing to stand on, or stand within, and a dread arises, angst arises, the dread of dissolving, the dread of non being, the dread of the vastness of awareness , the abyss of awareness...which is the primordial guru,primordial self.

8. To become aware of awareness, at least at first glance, or even with an indirect glance, or a "just meeting" glance, you may surprisingly and stunningly meet emptiness or nothingness, dark luminosity. Sometimes this is described as the first Samadhi or the Samadhi of Suchness, the deathless state. Unborn and undying, beyond coming and going, beyond appearing and disappearing, you become, briefly, the dharmakaya. The dharmakaya is the primordial guru. And such an experience is stunning in its complete saturation, in its complete excess.

9. The second Samadhi manifests from within the first and is the Samadhi of self arising presence: The arising of the great compassion, and the spreading of this luminous compassion presence throughout the body and beyond the body, the spreading of energy and light…into others, emanations.

10. From within the second Samadhi, the third Samadhi manifests, which is the Samadhi of the seed syllables: Syllables of light and sound that arise and manifest within the body and beyond our body. The symbolic realm arises and becomes visible…in the symbolic realm, one experiences and understands the symbols and the meaning of the symbols directly and immediately. The very presence of the symbolic in us, and us within the symbolic, is the presence of meaning, non conceptual understanding.

11. So truly speaking, meditation teaches meditation. The teacher, the true teacher, is awareness itself…and no one else.

12. And so, in practicing guru yoga, one unifies all of one's teachers as the primordial guru, one unifies all of one's experiences as the primordial guru. Padmasambhava, the great guru of Dzogchen, emphasized the importance of unification of teachers. In this way, there is no one path, no one view. In this way, every experience is teacher, every experience is method, and every experience is opening of the iconic and pervasive guru.

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