What Does Bön Teach?

Yungdrung Bön is an ancient system of spiritual teachings that come from the land of Shang Shung, now a part of Tibet. The Bön teachings guide us to reflect on our lives; recognize the role of aversion, attachment and ignorance in our suffering; awaken our inner, innate wisdom; and manifest that wisdom energy through love, compassion, joy and equanimity. Bön teaches a truth that is primordial, unchanging, and indestructible.

MORE ABOUT THE TEACHINGS

Bön offers many different paths and practices to help us discover and cultivate our own self-perfected nature. It includes practical methods for cutting through ego, selfishness, and ignorance — softening the boundaries between self and other, inner and outer environments. Such methods include meditation, breathing exercises, physical movement, and connecting to the healing power of the elements of earth, water, fire, air and space. Bön also includes shamanic and ritualistic activities, such as making offerings to enlightened beings, calling back our life-force and life-span through soul retrieval, and practices to assist the transition from life to death to life.

According to Bön, the five passions – ignorance, attachment, anger, jealousy, and pride – are the principal cause of all of life’s problems. These emotional states are known as the five poisons, and they can be overcome through practice. Bön offers three approaches to dealing with the poisons: sutra, tantra, and dzogchen. According to the sutric view, it takes many lifetimes to purify our selves of the passions and achieve enlightenment. The tantric and dzogchen views hold that enlightenment can be found, more quickly, even in this very lifetime. These different methods are, respectively, the path of renunciation, the path of transformation, and the path of self-liberation. Within Ligmincha we emphasize the transformative practices of Tantra and the non-dual path of Dzogchen, resting in the empty self-nature of the mind.

Tantra

Tantra is the path of transformation. Working with the outer world and all of our afflictive emotions, we transform all that appears or manifests in our lives as challenge, suffering or conflict, into the positive qualities of enlightenment. Examples of teachings from this path include the healing practices of the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and space); the practice of the loving wisdom mother, Sherab Chamma, dream yoga; and more.

Dzogchen

Dzogchen means “great perfection.” Other teachings and practices use the conceptual mind to study, analyze and apprehend the nature of reality. However, from the perspective of Dzogchen, everything is perfect as it is and there is nothing to do, create, change, or complete. What is missing is recognition of this nature. Dzogchen is a direct and immediate introduction to the inseparability of primordial purity (emptiness) and spontaneous, perfect accomplishment (wisdom or clarity).

Outwardly, dzogchen consists of practices that lead us to recognize the nature of mind, just as it is and without any mental fabrication. These include zhiné, sky gazing and dark retreat, and others. Ultimately, dzogchen is that nature of mind that we discover for ourselves. It is expansive, self-illuminated and mirror-like: unstained by thought, appearance, feeling or experience. When we rest in the nature of mind we are our true and our best selves. In this natural state we full integrate with all the aspects of our lives and with the world as it appears in all its diversity.The teachings of Dzogchen are perhaps best summarized in the “Fivefold Teaching of Dawa Gyaltsen”:

 

  • Vision is Mind,
  • Mind is Empty,
  • Emptiness is Clear Light,
  • Clear Light is Union,
  • Union is Great Bliss.

Yungdrung Bön is an ancient system of spiritual teachings that come from the land of Shang Shung, now a part of Tibet. The Bön teachings guide us to reflect on our lives; recognize the role of aversion, attachment and ignorance in our suffering; awaken our inner, innate wisdom; and manifest that wisdom energy through love, compassion, joy and equanimity. Bön teaches a truth that is primordial, unchanging, and indestructible.

MORE ABOUT THE TEACHINGS

Bön offers many different paths and practices to help us discover and cultivate our own self-perfected nature. It includes practical methods for cutting through ego, selfishness, and ignorance — softening the boundaries between self and other, inner and outer environments. Such methods include meditation, breathing exercises, physical movement, and connecting to the healing power of the elements of earth, water, fire, air and space. Bön also includes shamanic and ritualistic activities, such as making offerings to enlightened beings, calling back our life-force and life-span through soul retrieval, and practices to assist the transition from life to death to life.

According to Bön, the five passions – ignorance, attachment, anger, jealousy, and pride – are the principal cause of all of life’s problems. These emotional states are known as the five poisons, and they can be overcome through practice. Bön offers three approaches to dealing with the poisons: sutra, tantra, and dzogchen. According to the sutric view, it takes many lifetimes to purify our selves of the passions and achieve enlightenment. The tantric and dzogchen views hold that enlightenment can be found, more quickly, even in this very lifetime. These different methods are, respectively, the path of renunciation, the path of transformation, and the path of self-liberation. Within Ligmincha we emphasize the transformative practices of Tantra and the non-dual path of Dzogchen, resting in the empty self-nature of the mind.

Tantra

Tantra is the path of transformation. Working with the outer world and all of our afflictive emotions, we transform all that appears or manifests in our lives as challenge, suffering or conflict, into the positive qualities of enlightenment. Examples of teachings from this path include the healing practices of the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and space); the practice of the loving wisdom mother, Sherab Chamma, dream yoga; and more.

Dzogchen

Dzogchen means “great perfection.” Other teachings and practices use the conceptual mind to study, analyze and apprehend the nature of reality. However, from the perspective of Dzogchen, everything is perfect as it is and there is nothing to do, create, change, or complete. What is missing is recognition of this nature. Dzogchen is a direct and immediate introduction to the inseparability of primordial purity (emptiness) and spontaneous, perfect accomplishment (wisdom or clarity).

Outwardly, dzogchen consists of practices that lead us to recognize the nature of mind, just as it is and without any mental fabrication. These include zhiné, sky gazing and dark retreat, and others. Ultimately, dzogchen is that nature of mind that we discover for ourselves. It is expansive, self-illuminated and mirror-like: unstained by thought, appearance, feeling or experience. When we rest in the nature of mind we are our true and our best selves. In this natural state we full integrate with all the aspects of our lives and with the world as it appears in all its diversity.The teachings of Dzogchen are perhaps best summarized in the “Fivefold Teaching of Dawa Gyaltsen”:

 

  • Vision is Mind,
  • Mind is Empty,
  • Emptiness is Clear Light,
  • Clear Light is Union,
  • Union is Great Bliss.
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