Dzogchen Winter Dathun:
"Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism"
Prerequisite: " Touch and Go Weekend"
"To begin with, we have to actually recognize, realize and manifest our ego problems properly, fully, and thoroughly. And we have no way of doing that. We could join primal scream therapy or go to an encounter group or take a heavy dose of LSD, or smoke a gigantic joint, or drink a whole bottle of tequila. But whatever we do in the name of spirituality, nothing really happens because all of those things are sudden measures. They only last for a short time-- the longest trip would last for only twenty-eight or thirty hours. You could not have a longer LSD trip than that. That is a problem.
So if we are going to actually make a journey of some kind, if we are actually going to be able to work with ourselves properly, thoroughy, and fully--then we have to sit. That is the only way. We begin to realize all sorts of problems, of course. It is not going to be very smooth and pleasant and comfy and nicey. And at the same time, it is also going to be very painful to realize that sense of irrgularity--that brings a sense of pain and confusion as well. Well, that is our problem. We have to do something about that. The sitting practice of meditation has to be considered the most important, the best, the highlight of all our activities.
Before I got over here, over at my house, we discussed the corruption taking place around the buddhist world. And we concluded that the most critical one was that even Tibetans do not sit. Even the highest people who are reputed to be good sources of inspiration do not sit. Supposing communist China had not invaded Tibet-- quite possibly we would then have no way of presenting the real buddhadharma in this coutry. Buddhism would be dead, having perished in its own graveyard. So from that point of view, we have a lot of responsibility to practice the real buddhadharma as the Buddha taught it and as the lineage has described it--that without the sitting practice of meditation, nothing can happen. So the sitting practice of meditation is very basic and very simple, I do not want to indulge you people at this point by giving you a whole discourse on how to meditate, how to do the whole thing. I think you know that already. And if you don't, too bad. You should know more. And if you want to know more, sit more.
There is no point in me running the whole thing back again and again, replaying the whole idea, spiel. If we sit, if we actually get into the practice, there is some kind of chance. If we do not, there is no chance, no hope. It is not even hopeless in the sense of the dogma of hopelessness or egolessness. But it is the hopelessness of fundamental failure--that we have heard so much and we have studied so much, but we have just made ourselves into completely super pieces of garbage. We have not actually learned to sit enough, to sit properly. It is like we have produced a baby that can not even cry or piss or shit. He is just this little lump of flesh, which cannot even express his expressions. It is the level of infanthood which is pre-infanthood in fact. We cannot refer to ourselves as infants anymore, just pieces of meat-- a thousand year old egg which has not been eaten but is still sitting in somebody's Chinatown shop. It is a very grim picture.
We have to sit if we want to hatch eggs; we have to sit if we want to cook food; we have to sit if we want to perk up. And sitting is very dull. It does not say very much. There are no encounter groups taking place and no sensory awareness or feeling each other taking place. Nothing of that nature is happening at all. It is very ordinary and very simple. And because of that , it is so hghly precious. Precious. It seems to be the best idea that mankind ever came up with. And the first person who thought up that idea was Buddha himself. We feel very grateful to him that he came up with such an idea. It is a fantastic thought. Not only was he enlightened, but he was more than enlightened. He was an enlightened practical person. He knew how to handle us--even in the 20th century. So his logic never dies. It is an important thing. I have nothing more to say than that at this point."
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, 1975 Vajradhatu Seminary. Dathun is a month-long retreat designed by Trungpa Rinpoche for his students. Without establishing a proper sitting practice "nothing can happen" in our journey as Buddhist practitioners. Dathun consists of 8-10 hours of Shamatha/Vipashyana meditation each along with group and individual meditation instruction. All meals are oryoki style.
Cost: $1200.00 includes room and board