Psychiatrist and cultural anthropologist Henry M. Vyner spent thirty years interviewing Dzogchen masters for his research. In a new article for Down To Earth Circle, Dr. Vyner condenses the conclusion of his findings and provides his heartfelt insights.​
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Henry M. Vyner, M.D., M.A.

“I have been interviewing DzogChen lamas for over 30 years now about their experiences of their own mind. These interviews have been a joy and a gift from the universe. In our interviews I have been asking the lamas to describe their states of mind, and I have used DzogChen terminology to elicit those descriptions. For example, I might ask a lama to describe a gzhi-nang, which I translate as “primordial meaning.” Or I might ask a lama to describe the experience of de khona nyid togpa’i yeshe, which I translate as “suchness primordial wisdom.” I took the lama’s descriptions of their states of mind and turned them into a systematic modern science of the dual, nondual and predual phenomena that appear in the stream of consciousness. That science can be found in chapter six of one of my books – The Healthy Mind: Mindfulness, the True Self and the Stream of Consciousness. The next step was to derive maps of the structure and dynamics of both the natural mind (sems-nyid) and the egocentric mind (dag med gyi sems) from that science of the stream of consciousness. Then I compared those maps to determine which state of mind is healthier. My goal with this work has become that of changing humanity’s understanding of what a healthy mind is. As matters stand now, every society raises its young to have an egocentric mind — which is the cause, of course, of everyday emotional suffering. First Noble Truth. But more than that, the egocentric mind is also the ultimate cause of humanity’s identity-based socio-political conflicts: racism, misogyny, culture war, war between nation states and the like. In other words, we have mistakenly assumed, as a species, that the egocentric mind is a healthy mind. My goal with my work is to help create a body of science that will change our definition of the healthy mind so that we will all start bringing up our kids to have natural minds — a mind with an egoless ego. I believe that we can eliminate much of the suffering in the world if we could just accomplish that. It will take some time, but it will be worth the effort!”

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Buddhism’s science of the mind has established that the Ego’s addiction to its identity is the cause of much of humanity’s suffering and unhappiness. Buddhist philosophy has established that the Ego and its identity are actually illusions, and that a person’s Ego is not who they really are. It thus follows that Buddhism recommends that our path to happiness is to let go of our Ego.If we are not our Ego, then who are we? Who do we become when we let go of our Ego? The answer is this: there is, within each and every human mind, a mandala; an inner mandala that is yo...

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Buddhism’s science of the mind has established that the Ego’s addiction to its identity is the cause of much of humanity’s suffering and unhappiness. Buddhist philosophy has established that the Ego and its identity are actually illusions, and that a person’s Ego is not who they really are. It thus follows that Buddhism recommends that our path to happiness is to let go of our Ego.If we are not our Ego, then who are we? Who do we become when we let go of our Ego? The answer is this: there is, within each and every human mind, a mandala; an inner mandala that is your own unique picture of how you see life and the universe. This inner cosmology has been created by...
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