Spacious Passion

Chapter 2 – Sky Mind


When approached as a separate vehicle, Dzogchen also has a base, a path, and a fruit. Its base, path, and fruit are spontaneity – the natural, unfabricated flow of the continuum of non-dual perception. The base is the experience of non-duality, the path is remaining in the experience of non-duality, and the fruit is the continuation of the experience of non-duality. In Dzogchen, symbol is no longer employed, as it was in Tantra. The Lama introduces the student directly to the experience of the non-duality of emptiness and form and the practice is to remain there.

Fundamental teachings that are normally associated with Sutrayana can open out in great depth and subtlety when viewed in terms of each of the nine yanas.

An example of this can be found in the Ulukhamukha Dakini Upadesha Sutra (The Owl-faced Dakini’s Heart Essence Sutra)17 of the Aro gTér. This presents Sutra from the perspective of Dzogchen. The Owl-faced Dakini protects the subtlety of these teachings from misinterpretation, through the unfathomable simplicity of its expression. She guards the knowledge that Dharma is self-defined, inasmuch as each expression explains and interprets every other expression in such a way that the nine yanas are dissolved into Ekayana,17 the solitary vehicle of Dzogchen.


17. The Ulukhamukha Dakini Upadesha Sutra, or Heart Essence Sky-dancer Sutra of the Owl-faced Protector, is henceforth referred to as the Ulukhamukha Sutra. In Tibetan this text is entitled ’ug-dong Khandro Nying-thig Do (’ug gDong mKha’ ’gro sNying thig mDo).

18. Ekayana (Sanskrit): the singular vehicle.