Newsletter of the Dogzen Group

Number 8 - April, 2004

Guru Yoga and Dedication

Reflecting on the source of great teachings is called "Guru Yoga." 

As I work with the old Bön and Nyingma material, I sometimes reflect on the individuals who discovered or wrote down these great teachings. People like Shenrab Miwoche, Padmasambava, Garab Dorje, Manjushrimitra, Longchen Rabjam, and many others. They realized something and somehow communicated it so I could realize it. Some of them are reaching out to me across a more than 1000-year gap from the other side of the planet.  

For example, I read the Golden Letters: "Three Statements that Strike the Essential Points" by Garab Dorje. It took more than 2000 years (by some estimates) to work its way to me. (Thank you, Mr. Dorje, for sending it.) The power of his teaching is affecting me deeply. I also feel some gratitude to the excellent translator, John Myrdhin Reynolds (Vajranatha), as well as the book publisher, the innumerable contributors to the technological and social matrix that made it possible for the book to reach my hands, as well as teachers who taught me how to read, and to their teachers, and, I guess to everyone and everything that contributed to my understanding. It is all connected, so I just feel a broad sense of gratitude.

In our DZ sessions, I take a moment at the beginning to privately do Guru Yoga and at the end to do a private Dedication.

Guru Yoga: At the beginning of any practice session, take a moment to reflect on the source of the teaching and be open to those individuals. When the teachings really work for you, you can't help but feel some gratitude.

Dedication: At the end of a practice session, if you feel like it has done some good, you can also realize that others will appreciate that you are not quite so messed up as you were. They are benefiting too. Do it for them as much as you do it for yourself. May we ALL swiftly achieve true enlightenment.

Non-Dual Awareness of Awareness 

Awareness of awareness refines to just simple, pure awareness. Awareness isn't actually aware of itself as something separate. It is more like a candle flame being luminous. It is just the shining forth of pure awareness.

Three Meditations on the Base

Most of the time we are not aware of the base because of the obscuring effect of activity, sound, and conceptual thought. However, the base is here all the time. When everything is quiet, there is just the base. It never changes. Activity (motion), sounds, and conceptual thought emerge from the base (or over the base), hang around for a while, and then disappear. The base is the underlying thing that persists.

The following are three simple meditations that allow us to develop direct awareness of the base. You don't need to practice them a long time. five minutes each is plenty. Of course you can do them longer if you wish. They are very restful.

Do the meditations in a location that works for you.

Nekashum - Preliminary Practice to Get Ready for the Three Meditations

Nekashum is a simple practice to prepare you for meditation. Nekashum is turning awareness inward by withdrawing energy from the five senses. It is a breathing exercise:

Breathe in through your nose. Breathe out through your nose and mouth. 

Do seven slow breaths of Nekashum to prepare you for the Three Meditations. 

Stillness Meditation

After doing this 5-minute meditation, open your eyes and rest with "dead men's eyes" until it loses its freshness.

Silence Meditation

After doing this 5-minute meditation, open your eyes and rest with "dead men's eyes" until it loses its freshness.

Non-Conceptual Mind Meditation

After doing this 5-minute meditation, open your eyes and rest with "dead men's eyes" until it loses its freshness.

Check it out. And go with confidence.

About the Dogzen Group

On May 1, we will hold a Dogzen Great Liberation One-Day Practice. You are invited. 

It is a pot-luck, so call ahead to arrange what food to bring to share with the others. The Practice starts at 9:00 AM (sharp) and goes until about 2:00 PM. 

Then there is a party. There will be music (bring your instrument) as well as happy chatter. 

Hope you can attend,


Contact info: email Edrid at  
or phone 650 328-4941.