Why take the Path of Great Perfection ?

Vincent Fijalkowski

Written by Vincent

Vincent works in educational psychology and runs Tibetan language courses, which he is still studying.

Blog | Dzogchen Testimonials | Mind and Dzogchen

In “Why Take the Path of Great Perfection?” Vincent discusses the motivations that led him to embark on the Path of Great Perfection.

 

Why take the path of Great Perfection ?

To embark on the path of Great Perfection is, in a sense, to seek the true nature of all phenomena, to search for the fundamental state.

You’d probably agree that most of us are completely unaware of its existence before we embark on this journey and search for it. What could drive us to seek something we know nothing about, something whose very presence we can’t even perceive?

It’s almost as if there is an intuition, a deep-seated sense of this state, that compels us to explore it—much like Morpheus explains in the movie “The Matrix”:

“Let me tell you why you’re here. You know something. What you know, you can’t explain, but you feel it. You felt it your entire life. There’s something’s wrong with the world. You don’t know what, but it’s there. Like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me.”

” The essence of the mind isn’t the exclusive property of any single tradition, and the teachings of Great Perfection can be understood and practiced in any cultural context. “

It’s as if the beginning of this path does not come from a conscious decision or a deliberate choice, but from a certain mindset, from latent tendencies.

Of course, this “intuition” alone isn’t enough.

In my case, I first followed a Buddhist path before learning about Great Perfection, and one of my primary motivations was simply the desire to follow in the footsteps of monks and scholars who, through their teachings and way of life, seemed to touch something I could only vaguely sense.

dzogchentoday - why start on the path of great perfection @marevabernard

Then it was intellectual curiosity that drove me to explore this tradition more deeply. I wanted to understand where the peace I saw in their eyes came from, where their knowledge of the outer and inner worlds, and even the process of dying, originated. I also wondered why I felt so drawn to them. It was my desire to “find” this fundamental peace that led me to practice.

What later motivated me to study Dzogchen was its universal aspect. The essence of the mind isn’t the exclusive property of any single tradition, and the teachings of Great Perfection can be understood and practiced in any cultural context.

Moreover, I was inspired by the diverse backgrounds of the Great Perfection masters, especially those who lived completely ordinary lives—far from monasteries, universities, or the upper echelons of society. They showed that you could be a farmer, a householder, or lead a simple life and still practice Great Perfection.

dzogchentoday - why start on the path of great perfection @marevabernard

Finally, what solidified my decision to study and practice Dzogchen was my encounter with the master, the teacher, the spiritual friend (you can learn more about this concept in Mila Khyentse Rinpoche’s article “The Friend of Good 1 – Dzogchen Today!“). At first, it was his explanations of the nature of phenomena that inspired me and kept me engaged. Then came the experiences I had in his presence, revealing a reality I’d never consciously experienced before. I knew I had to continue, trying to (re)discover this natural state, to study it, and to contemplate it.

As you may notice, I haven’t yet mentioned the thought of Awakening for the benefit of all beings, which is often considered the ultimate motivation in Buddhist schools. This intention wasn’t particularly strong at the beginning of my journey, and for good reason.

But like all things, motivations can change over time. There’s no guarantee that we won’t develop other motivations along the way, or that, we won’t stray from the path once we’re on it.

MORE ARTICLES

The Reality of the Gesture

In “The Reality of the Gesture”, the latest post in the series on gesture, Mila Khyentse talks about the real nature of gesture, of action.

I do therefore I am

In “I do therefore I am”, Damien observes how the Dzogchen view frees us from the illusion of a self fabricated by action.

The special teaching of the wise and radiant ruler

“The special teaching of the wise and radiant ruler” by Patrul Rinpoche is a new translation from the Dzogchen Today translation committee.

The dynamics of the gesture

Discover Johanne’s article on “the dynamics of the gesture” as an expression of the nature of mind… with a special dedication to Bhutan.

Cats and monkeys

In his biography of the tertön dzogchen master Jamyang Khyèntsé Wangpo, Jamgön Kongtrul compares spiritual practitioners to monkeys and cats.

Join Our Newsletter

Subscribe to receive the Latest News, Updates and Brand New Articles from Dzogchen Today!