' Dzogchen Thogal and the Mind of Clear Light '...
Thogal means "a leap over the crest or skull". This really means a quantum leap where no traverse from one point to another occurs. While remaining in place you suddenly arrive.
Our current state of consciousness as ordinary mind "suddenly" reveals itself to be the Mind of Clear Light. This is like a cube of ice suddenly revealing itself to be transparent water vapor.
Our samsaric mind is a contracted state of Clear Light radiance called tsal; it is a densification of the radiance (tsal) of the Mind of Clear Light.
Thogal focuses on the Clear Light itself as its sole method. It is the highest and most direct approach. We use the Clear Light to en-lighten itself with no other reliance.
It's best to first deactivate the karmic mind by having it realize the emptiness of all subjective and objective projections that reify a personal psychological self and an illusory "objective" world. We do this through the emptiness teachings primarily.*
If we miss this step, thogal can cause problems as the projections of light can mistakenly be grasped as though "real", as well as the imagined observer becoming afraid of their own projections.
Our true nature is always the Mind of Clear Light. It's a matrix of radiant wisdom light that continuously expresses its potentials in an infinite number of holographic displays (radiant tsal) as your inner and outer worlds.
Closest to the pure Mind of Clear Light, is a secondary, derivative consciousness as mind. It is this consciousness that is re-absorbed back into the Mind of Clear Light. We call these wisdom moments of re-absorption, moments of "Rigpa". The "rigpa" moment is the wisdom aspect of the Mind of Clear Light manifesting in lieu of and in absence of ordinary consciousness or karmic mind.
What we call "seeing" is the clear light. At an ordinary level a moment of "seeing" is actually a moment of colors. But more precisely, a moment of "seeing" is a moment of Clear Light. We never see with our eyes, eyes can't see. The world we see is a hologram of Clear Light radiance as projected and experienced within the Mind of Clear Light.
The holograms are 3D expressions (radiant tsal) of wisdom (information) rendered geometrically. This is true also of our daydreams and night dreams.
Thogal, especially the exposure of the eyes to light, causes the holograms of mind, brain and body to convert back into their highest frequency of Clear Light. There is only the Clear Light appearing in various wavelengths and densities (tsal).
The greater the "karma" the more solid the density. Karma is reified thoughts and mental constructions (tsal); hence first having the mind see the emptiness of all its subjective and objective reifications. A reification is merely a densification of the Clear Light radiance due to a contracting fictional belief collapsed around the conceit of an "I" or self construction.
The fundamental contraction of the Clear Light radiance is the fictional belief in a personal "me" or self. The karmic mind then projects holograms (tsal) of this imaginary self as who you seem to be in daydreams, night dreams and within consciousness as your self image and body identity.
In Dzogchen we call this reversal or conversion back into the Mind of Clear Light; "rulog".
One perfectly fine and workable method is called trekchod, or "cutting through all rigidities" through insight and total relaxation expressed as the "four chozhag" or "let be's". This is like letting the ice cube of Clear Light relax into its own wisdom transparency (zangthal).
For those more energetic we have thogal, which is light years faster and immediate. Immediate meaning "without leaving, your suddenly there".
There is no point in following either approach before twofold emptiness has dawned within the mind*. However thogal will also greatly deepen the emptiness insights as I described in my thogal "quick start" instruction pinned up on my Dzogchen Thogal group.
*Mipham Rinpoche composed a brief text called The Beacon of Certainty, in which he states:
"In order to have perfect certainty in Dzogchen kadag, one must have perfect understanding of the view of the Madhyamaka Prasangika. Kadag, or original, primordial purity, is the view of Dzogchen, and in order to perfect that view, one must perfect one’s understanding of the Middle Way Prasangika view. What this implies is that the view of Dzogchen kadag and the view of the Prasangika school are the same."
Posted by thomas meehan