Duality of the fans: a dzogchen perspective
“The world of perception teeters precariously between existence and nonexistence. From the perspective of conventionally filtered vision, the phenomena of perception are seductive, provocative, and highly misleading. Substantiality and insubstantiality dance together. One could be looking at a fan dancer: the ostrich plumes of emptiness and phenomena which somehow are the voluptuousness of being. Somehow, though, there is something else—but we can see what is really there only if we occasionally dispense with the duality of the fans. The naked lady of nonduality is occluded only fleetingly by the flickering feathers of the ostrich-plume fans. Unless this is understood, it is impossible to see what is happening. Unless one realizes that both the lady and her fans are equally naked and equally delightful, one sees nothing but form.
In order to feel solid, permanent, separate, continuous, and defined, one has to attach to facets of the constantly shifting illusion that temporarily display those qualities. One needs to feel solid, permanent, separate, continuous, and defined only because the experience of divorced individuation requires illusion in order to survive. There is a need for struggle in maintaining illusion only because our beginninglesss enlightenment sparkles through the fabric of duality, continually undermining our manic manipulations.
We are constantly poised on the brink of effortlessness, but we continually distract ourselves in order to sustain our sense of divorced individuality. These delirious, distressing, and dreary deviations from effortlessness are mechanisms we employ in order to maintain the illusion of duality. These mechanisms are constantly under threat of disillusionment. Disillusionment is the continuous nondual intimidation offered by the nature of reality itself, and from the experience of this intimidation there arises a specific kind of dualistic self-protective commitment to fleeting apparitions of stability. This is the character of duality.
Nonduality, on the other hand, is completely relaxed in the flow of whatever is. It could be said that if all phenomena had a duration of minutes, and everything changed simultaneously everywhere, a state of distraction might not be able to maintain itself. Nothing that comes into existence has the qualities of solidity, permanence, separateness, continuity, or definition. These qualities can never be found as fixed features of anything, yet everything shares these qualities temporarily. Therefore, it becomes possible to generate illusory versions of reality. But these versions of reality are simply further fan dances, where the ostrich plumes are either substantiality and insubstantiality, permanence and impermanence, separateness and indivisibility, continuity and discontinuity, or definition and indefinability. These fan dances are neither samsara nor nirvana. They are ornaments of the sheer naked presence of being.” …from Ngakpa Chogyam and Khandro Dechen in Roaring Silence pg 86-87
Class schedule: The 16th of June is the last class at Courtenay Elementary. For the summer, classes will resume at 1146 Cumberland Rd. July 7th. Please arrive 10 minutes early.
Also check out these Chan sites of interest:
2. How to chan meditate:
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook
4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/
Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,