The Nature of Self Awareness from the Tibetan Bӧn Dzogchen View
Yungdrung Bön is the 18,000 year old indigenous spiritual tradition of Tibet incorporating a rich shamanic heritage as well as Sutric, Tantric and Dzogchen practices. Bön predates Indian Buddhism by several thousand years and claims an unbroken oral lineage back to the Buddha Tonpa Sherab, then becoming blended with Buddhism during the 7th Century.
In the sacred texts of the Bön canon, the Dzogchen view (commonly called great perfection or great completion) expresses this fundamental tenet: reality is already complete and perfect. It requires no transformation or renunciation, but simply for the individual to realize the natural state truly as it is. The Dzogchen view of the nature of self-awareness is that our own Buddha-nature/natural state is already perfected and present in each human being and must only be self-recognized to manifest its own unique perfection. The nature of self-awareness is such that if one allows everything to arise from experience and exist just as it is without elaboration by the conceptual mind–without any grasping or aversion–one will achieve liberation.
Dzogchen masters over the centuries have taught how to communicate and hold compassion for all living beings, showing them how to recognize their own natural state and live within the present moment. The essence of the Bön teachings show us how to find our home within and abide joyfully in our own treasury of contentment despite our outer circumstances. The Bön masters and their achievements will be discussed in relation to their view of the nature of the self and self-awareness. Being a Dzogchen practitioner of 15 years, Geshe-la will also share his own experiences of bringing the nature of self into a concrete and personal context.