What is Dzogchen?
Dzogchen is primary taught in the Nyingma and Bön traditions in Tibet, and was later adopted into the various Kagyu schools and Gelug school as well.
In the Nyingma classification system of nine vehicles of mind, it is known as atiyoga: the highest of the six tantra vehicles.
Dzogchen can be translated from Tibetan as “Great Perfection”. The goal of Dzogchen is to attain rigpa (“awareness “ and “the innermost nature of mind”) and integrate it into everyday life.
Dzogchen gives us the opportunity to become fully enlightened buddhas, and also help to realize that we already are buddhas, in that pristine awareness is the fundamental nature of ourselves and the world simply waiting to be rediscovered.
In order to start practicing Dzogchen, you have to study the outer preliminaries: read and contemplate on the precious human life, impermanence, the sufferings of samsara, karmic cause and effect (ethics), the benefits of liberation (renunciation), and a healthy relation with a qualified spiritual teacher.
The second stage: The inner preliminaries – refuge (safe direction) together with prostration, bodhichitta based on love and compassion, Vajrasattva purification, mandala offering, chod offering of one’s body, and guru-yoga.