In The Circle of the Sun, Rinpoche asks: What is the starting point on the spiritual journey? It is possible that it is seeing oneself as inadequate. It is heartening that the Dzogchen and Mahamudra approach says that what one wants to attain is already present. There is no gap between what one is and what one wants to attain.
In Dzogchen, the starting point, which is also the end point of the spiritual journey is having an understanding of the nature of mind. Tsele Natsok Rangdrol's exposition of the Dzogchen path elucidates that the path rests on the practices of trekcho, which means "cutting through," and thogal, which means "leaping over." Trekcho practice entails settling the mind in its own natural state with-out effort and without the rejection of thoughts and emotions. Thogal practice makes use of images and visions to realize the innate wakefulness.
Rinpoche explains there are many perspectives designed to help us uncover our authentic state, the ground-of-being, as it is often referred to in the Dzogchen tradition. A single perspective can never provide an all-encompassing view of the ground-of-being, because it is something that cannot be understood from any one perspective, in completeness.
Descriptions of aspects of the ground-of-being are divisible on the conceptual level. But in reality the many characteristics do not exist independently. Presenting the different aspects or perspectives of the ground-of-being points us to a place of authenticity that cannot be experienced or fully explained intellectually.
The ground-of-being is seen as primordially pure, free from any kinds of corruptions and embellishments. Rinpoche explains the samsaric process by which we disenfranchise from our authentic state, and describes uncovering this authenticity through accommodating all our complexities - aversions, bewilderments, attractions and so forth, equally. In our meditation practice, with a sense of sacred spaciousness, instead of elaborating upon our inner experiences, following or fueling our habitual responsiveness and predetermined prejudices, we accommodate what arises in the mind allowing disturbances, embellishments and elaborations in the mind to self liberate.
Circle of the Sun: Heart Essence of Dzogchen, Traleg Rinpoche, Shogam Publications, Paperback, 159 Pages, $26.95