Dzogchen teachings are integrated with an understanding of the elements.
Although there are supportive practices described in Dzogchen texts, the essential practice of Dzogchen does not begin until the practitioner recognizes the nature of mind.
It is easy to make a mistake, thinking one experience or another is the nature of mind when it is not.
The best way to become certain regarding this most vital point is to work with a teacher who knows the nature of mind and knows how to point it out to others.
In the Bön tradition, the highest teaching is Dzogchen, the Great Perfection or Great Completion.
Dzogchen teaches that the basis of the individual and of all phenomena is inseparable emptiness and luminosity.
Emptiness is the essence of all entities. This means that the most fundamental truth of things and beings is that they have no essential identity. Entities conventionally exist as conceptual designations but their identity is not intrinsic; it is situational and transitory. As conditions supporting an identity pass away and new conditions arise, the identity changes. A tree is set alight and becomes fire, then ash; eventually no trace of the tree can be found. Where did the tree go?
Even our subjective sense of self is conditional, conceptually designated, changeable, and impermanent.
This emptiness is not simply a nihilistic lack of existence or an absence of meaning.
Obviously, experience continues to arise for each of us. Awareness, together with the endless arising of phenomena in experience, is the other aspect of fundamental reality: luminosity or clarity.
Luminosity is both the concept and the sensual experience that best represents awareness, which is often symbolized by light. And luminosity also represents our experience of phenomena as they “light up” in our experience.
Emptiness and luminosity are inseparable. Emptiness is luminous and luminosity is empty.
In Dzogchen this fundamental reality is said to have a capacity or energy expressed as the unceasing manifestation of phenomena—the endless arising and passing away of countless luminous worlds and beings—all essentially empty but existing as a passing play of light.
Phenomena arise as a display of the basis of all, as the nondual manifestation of empty luminosity.
Emptiness and luminosity can be represented by space and light.
Dzogchen is the great knowledge of space and light.
Space is the empty Great Mother from which all things arise as a luminous display, in which all things have their existence, and into which all things dissolve.
The luminous display is the play of the five pure lights, the essence of the five elements.
The manifestation is all things and all beings and all elements of experience. This is the basis of the Dzogchen view.