In Buddhist scripture, after Siddhartha Gautama sat under the bodhi tree and attained enlightenment, he radiated such beauty or charisma that it was clear he was a different sort of being. A brahman priest saw him and was so astounded he asked (loose translation):
Are you a god?
No, I am not a god.
Are you an angel?
No, I am not an angel.
Are you another sort of spirit?
No, I am not another sort of spirit.
Well, are you just a regular person?
No, I am not a regular person.
What are you then?
I am awakened.
And that’s how Siddhartha became the Buddha, which means “awakened one.” And the term Buddha has come to refer not only to Siddhartha but to all those who have awakened before and after him. I spent last week at a retreat led by Lama Surya Das in the Dzogchen tradition of Buddhism, and I feel as though this long-time contrarian (me) awakened there. I have never before put all of my devotion and respect into one teacher and one tradition.
Melting Pot Dharma will continue to be a melting pot, with an eclectic mix of posts written for progressive religious seekers from any background. But you’ll certainly learn more here about the Dzogchen, which means “great perfection.” Put simply: We’re all perfect already. We need to realize it and keep realizing it.
Dzogchen is a nonsectarian school of Buddhism. It doesn’t claim to be the only way to enlightenment and Buddha-hood, and it includes teachings from other traditions. While many of the other traditions also talk about the Buddha within all of us, Dzogchen emphasizes it. We each have a perfect innate purity that’s not hard to reach as long as we let go of the struggle. “Let go and let be” is a term Lama Surya often uses. He says it’s like a basketball game with a hoop larger than the court, but we just don’t see it.
I took the Refuges and the Bodhisattva Vow with Lama Surya, who gave me a new dharma name. I previously had a Vietnamese one that translates to “Nectar of Compassion.” My new, Tibetan dharma name is Urgyen Jigme. Urgyen is my lineage name, like a surname. My given name, Jigme, means Fearless Lotus. I like it and feel honored by it, so expect to see it more.
Now that I’m home from my retreat and have my business sold, I’ll get back to daily blogging (with occasional time off for good behavior) and work on additional projects. Stay tuned.
— Mel Pine (Fearless Lotus)
Copyright 2016 © Mel Harkrader Pine