Sacred Mountain Retreat

The Great Perfection

by Virochana July, 2002

Crystal3_175The Great Perfection is in essence a view and not a technique, being the state of enlightenment. Through deepening, transmission, and surrender, we taste the Great Perfection and then diligently blossom this awareness into fruition. It is similar to sitting on the beach at sunset gazing at the ocean, so vast, fluid, and eternal.

Your heart literally sings a song of indescribable beauty manifesting itself. Within you is a pinpoint of eternal depth that at any and every moment is everything. You, me, the room you are in, and the book you are reading is all the same space and everything within this is simply as it is. The mind is space, love is space, space is nectar and through the nectars of space in the bliss of the one, we have creation, we are here – ignorant or not, in hell or heaven and perfection underlies appearances of stench and perfume alike.

The great perfection is non-dual awareness remaining in the underlying reality of spirit throughout the continuum of manifestation. Entering into the great perfection is a fruit of eternal yoga.

Any non-dual awareness when used as the underlying empowerment of a practice, such as the tantras has several themes:

  • We get there by being there.
  • We know how to get out of our own way.
  • There is an underlying effortlessness of awareness.
  • You effortlessly know how to use space as a support of consciousness.
  • You are aware of all of this within the heart.

The Great Perfection is both the beginning and the end. Eternal Yoga helps us to enter from the level of higher-mind into awareness of the Great Perfection. How we then choose to encompass every aspect of life into our realization decides whether we broaden the continuum of our awareness and embrace the skillful means of the Tantric path or continue solely within the buddhic light of the Great Perfection.

In the United States, this was presented through a profound, yet seldom-understood and greatly miss-represented approach called the “I Am.” The I Am teachings of Saint Germain are a very simple, direct, and at the same time extremely advanced approach. Unfortunately, most use the teachings as an extension of the ego – I Am, rather than a true awakening within the body of the one. It requires a lot of deepening to properly receive and apply these transmissions.

Some ignorant teachers present the idea that you first progress through the tantras to get to the place where you are ready for great perfection (dzog chen) teachings. This has created a lot of confusion as to what the tantric path is, isolating it as transformative techniques, essentially treating the tantras like a kriya.[1]

When teachings of tantra and means to cultivate the broadening of the great perfection view enter into a religious structure or mass teaching, this sort of distortion is inevitable (by trying to fit the tantric path within a social framework, where in truth it cannot be so tightly contained). The work of the great masters, while perhaps being of some service to many, has always been to bring in one person at a time. As far as the inner teachings are concerned, there is no such thing as a mass teaching.

In truth, it is impossibly to really enter the tantras until you are first initiated on the taste of the great perfection. Without a non-dual view in which to apply the tantras, you will only be working with a set of techniques. This is why we emphasize the eternal yoga teachings before the tantric path becomes a reality. To be ready for the eternal yoga teachings, we need some clarity and non-verbal awareness. Thus the yogic foundations are first given.

Mahiran and VirochanaBoth Tantra and the Great-Perfection paths if followed to completion have the same essence because they have the same empowering truth – both are a cultivation of non-dual awareness. Journeying the tantric path develops skillful means and thus gives us an ability to benefit more people. Tantra uses skillful means and transformation to recognize the body of the one and thus broaden our view of the Great Perfection. This broadening eventually results in the penetration of a body of light all the way into the physical.

The Great Perfection approach, by itself, uses pure awareness and its inherent energy as the path itself, wakening within and as the light of the soul. There is nothing to embrace, no vows to keep, nothing to transform, just pure awareness itself revealing itself. Mantra is the sound of the mantra itself. There is a popular dzog-chen saying, “The sickness of effort has been overcome.” As applied by the masters, there is never a one or the other approach. Emphases might be on the purity of the Great Perfection or the skillful embrace of the Tantras, depending on the disposition and perfection of the moment – inwardly they are not separate.

In a sense, the great perfection path is also tantric in nature, in that upon advancing upon it we become intimate with the underlying elemental light-play of form and formlessness. Because the practitioner has learned unwavering to remain aware, this transmission of the light-play remains ever-present – lifting, connecting, deepening and absorbing our everyday awareness into the power and presence inherent within it. There is a difference however in this elemental awareness, as pertaining to the great perfection, and a somewhat similar awareness, say of opening the third eye, or an all-is-one feeling of a plant hallucinogenic. In the great perfection path, the absoluteness of awareness is more solid than concrete because it is the underlying nature. This is not just an analogy, but an actual awareness of what consciousness is in its most primal levels of being all that is. You feel very transparent, no boundaries, and the light within you is all the feelings of solidity that makes up your body and experience.

MahiranSword1_175To progress upon the path of Great Perfection requires an infinite ability of fluidity, of a grounding beyond the nature of outer realities, and its one absolute dependence is in bringing forth a relationship with a master or masters whereby the transmissions may occur in consciousness. In fact, it is impossible not to have a connection with a master, for its domain is the body of the one, which is composed of masters, i.e., those who are awake. Without this, there is no heart; without the heart, there is no depth, and without depth, we are simply in a dualistic mind-set.

This is an excerpt from the book: Eternal Yoga, Awakening within Buddhic Consciousness.


[1] In the presentation of the Tibetan tantras to the west there is often lacking the small family like atmosphere by which the master teaches. Often ignored is the requirement of years of discipline. Thus trying to keep things sacred, yet not receiving the heart application, we end up putting ourselves into a spell, or else loose the sacredness required. Through the foundations and atmosphere of intimacy with enlightened beings, we relax into the non-dual awareness necessary to begin the practices, and inwardly receive the true ongoing teachings.

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