Beginner’s guide to Dzogchen

You might have read one of the books by Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche or other teachers, or found out about Dzogchen being non-religious, non-sectarian, direct teachings that might do for you. So where do you start?

You can start with some basic practices that give you a taste of calm and authentic relaxation. They train presence. You can take a course on Vajra Dance, Yantra Yoga, Khaita dances or meditation to understand the principles of Dzogchen teachings. You can apply them in movement and in daily activities. Without having to adopt any religion or philosophical orientation, you can have a concrete benefit if you actually use these practices with some constancy.

You can of course read more books but it is important to know that Dzogchen is not about intellectual knowledge. Instead, it is about discovering your mind through activities that are specifically designed for this purpose. Namely, to understand and master your mind, with the consequence of living a light, joyful and harmonious life. Subscribe to our newsletter to be updated on the courses you can attend to!

I want to know more

You may discover in our program that some of the more in-depth courses organized by us require transmission. You might be interested in exploring your state of contemplation, in learning practices related to Tibetan Buddhism or in studying the Pranayama. These practices require that a qualified teacher introduce you to them = transmission.

You are not advised to seek to receive transmission if you are only curious. In that case, you can read books. Genuine interest in participation and learning paves the way to application, once you encounter a teacher. Note that you are the one who evaluates your heart: we cannot judge is your interest is genuine or not. It is your own responsibility to stand in front of yourself and your teacher with a genuine commitment to “do your best”!

Practices and teachings in Tibet have lineages and a teacher must have accomplished that practice in order to be able to teach it. We strongly advise you to read and document yourself on the teachers you are following and not to base your decisions only for advertising or charisma. You don’t want people with big egos playing with your mind and emotions, right? Otherwise, you would be losing your precious time. If you want to know more about how to choose a teacher, please check out this book.

The International Dzogchen Community was formed around Tibetan scholar and master Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. His main descendant is Yeshi Namkhai. You can receive transmission from Yeshi Namkhai by participating online of offline in his retreat. The next one will be in June 2024.

What is transmission?

Here we will offer the words of Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche to better clear out the meaning:

“If we want to turn on a lamp, what must we do? We must connect it to the electric current and there is a plug to connect the lamp to the electrical current. When the lamp is finally connected to the current it can be turned on. In the same way transmission is like an electrical wire that is connected with the origin uninterruptedly up to the present day. It is for this reason we consider transmission to be so important.” […]

“One can never reach total realization without knowing how to arrive beyond one’s limits, beyond one’s dualistic condition. Transmission is something for realization in this way. All teachings that are related to a precise transmission have their origin. This origin comes from one who has given this teaching and who became totally realized through it, after which this method is handed down and transmitted. Thus if we seriously follow a method such as this, we know that a teaching has its principle, its lineage and its transmission without interruption. This is what real teaching means. It is something really serious. When we speak of a teaching that we follow sincerely and seriously, it is this type of teaching, not just any path or type of philosophy that someone has invented.” (Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, in “The Mirror”, July-August, 1993)

I want to be part of a community

The main thing connecting our community of almost 4000 people is practice. Being part of a community, or Sangha, means being supported, inspired and connected to other people, all aiming to realisation. It is not about being controlled, following rules or dressing all in white. We are open to difference and inclusive, because we believe that “we are all in the same boat”, no matter how we are!

There is an organisational part of it: we have a worldwide network of independent associations where people can join, learn, volunteer. Most of the places are in beautiful locations, just like Merigar East.

To join these associations, if you are serious about your practice, you can become a member. Your membership contribution is supporting the places and giving you access and discounted prices to our facilities and courses. After three years of membership, you can get involved in decision-making processes or work for the association. Decision-making processes are democratic and organisational roles taken by rotation and by transparent voting of the members. You too can help the community thrive and flower!