When it comes to translate Dzogchen, the saying is true : traduttore, traditore ! But it’s not only a petty question of word-for-word, it’s all about conveying the true meaning, so as to get people to have experience on the nature of the mind. When you got the understanding of what-is-what, then you have to find a true living master to ask for know-how. That’s why texts are important : to fathom knowledge on swimming, until you can dive in the sea of Great Perfection. No « swim or sink ! » there : just get accustomed to ripples in the hot tub of texts, and when you’re ready, go surf the waves of the ocean !
“(…) the Seventeen Dzogchen Tantras, the root authoritative scriptures for the Great Perfection : clear treatises on the essence of reality and psychotropic displays of the nature of the mind as well, those texts are an epiphany of intelligence.”
Karen Liljenberg for example has a very nicely done website where to download great translations such as the Cuckoo of Awareness, the earliest Dzogchen scripture (a good start), and Accomplishing the Aim of Meditation, a text that teaches Dzogchen meditation.
In the same way, without loosing yourself in the labyrinth of 6 400 000 tantras of Dzogchen, find on key-texts on Dzogchen worldview and core practices. If you want the shortest Dzogchen text ever, it’s there also, from Garab Dorje : . It explains the basics, the alpha and the omega. More than an appetizer, a pithy takeaway ! If you, still, want more, here you go : with its fondamental advices on contemplation.
Then, if you got to this point, you must learn about the masterpieces. There is one name here to retain in your brain and heart : Longchenpa. This master has written down the Dzogchen bible, the unfathomable Seven Treasuries, which were notably translated in english by Richard Barron. If you want to go directly to the marrow of it, Tulku Thondup made an anthology, , accompanied with a biography of Longchenpa. A must-read ! Keith Dowman translated also books of Longchenpa and did especially a Radical Dzogchen Series on Dzogchen tools, tricks and tenets. Quite useful.
When you’re there, you’ve already deep dived in the middle of the great ocean, but there is still this great spiral whirl : Christopher Wilkinson, but also Janet Gyatso, Jim Valby, Adriano Clemente, Elio Guarisco and others, translated the Seventeen Dzogchen Tantras, the root authoritative scriptures for the Great Perfection : clear treatises on the essence of reality and psychotropic displays of the nature of the mind as well, those texts are an epiphany of intelligence. Reading them make your life meaningful. Why not put them in your bucket list ?
In ” The Friend of Good 3″, Grégoire talks about the place of the master in some traditions of the ancient near east.
In “The Friend of Good 2, Dzogchen and its relation to Western traditions”, Mila Khyentse talks about the figure of the master in the West.
In this article, “The Friend of Good part 1”, Mila Khyentse talks about the Asian cradle of the spiritual figure of the Friend of Good.