Before painting others as
I would advise you take another look: Samatha
Venerable Chen’s presentation is coherent with Mahayana Abhidharma in as far as this subject matter is concerned. You can dismiss him as some Daoist, whatever that means to you. You can dismiss him as someone who says he does and teaches dhyāna but does not.
Is that lying? I would say someone is lying if they told people one thing and did another, and expected those people not to do what they told them.
I would also like to add Venerable Huifeng to the list of people you should be messaging, as particularly Vens Huifeng and Indrajāla are not engaged in esoteric practises, and are practising the six perfections.
But I haven’t given you any names. I forgot.
As for the Dzogchen claims, the teacher active on DharmaWheel, the link being far above, refutes that. So we have two different claims as to Dzogchen stances on the matter.
I wouldn’t say this is anything that I have said. What I have said, though, has been that ‘contemporary Buddhist practice is informed by old texts’.
This whole thing is moot because Loppön Namdrol, who prefers to go by ‘Malcolm’, has already made explicit an attestation of contemporary dhyāna practice. You just need to go ask him about it. I also provided you with attestation from the Dalai Lama confirming the association between dhyāna and shamatha in Mahayana that Malcolm brought up in the DharmaWheel link. Along with a heavily used mainstream meditation text from China which would be on the practical curriculum of any Tendai or Chan seminarian: the Six Subtle Dharma Gates, which starts with the 4 dhyānāni.
But apparently no one practises any of this. You just know.
As for Alan Wallace, he seems to have contradicted himself: http://c-c-n.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Why-Practice-Shamatha1.pdf
In that link, he seems to be speaking of an association of śamatha & dhyāna, could it be similar the association between śamatha & first dhyāna that Malcolm spoke of and that the Dalai Lama mentioned in that book I brought up in the PM? It’s a shame I haven’t brought up any names.
If you go looking further, you may find that first dhyāna is a prerequisite to realizing emptiness in Gelugpa, as a stabilized śamatha is required.
Proving that would involve citing ancient texts by authors like Je Tsongkhapa that no one practices apparently.
Yogi Chen also brought up an association between śamatha & dhyāna. Its almost as if all of these teachers read Abhidharma. Almost as if Abhidharma informs Mahayana practice in myriad diverse ways.
Or one could look for contemporary teachers citing such texts.
But they could be being deceptive. They could all just be citing these texts and going home and watching Game of Thrones. They might not actually practice what they preach. How does one establish anything?
Lastly: just search “first dhyāna” in this document if you are further interested.
This might be sufficiently contemporary, although it is from a source you may find incoherent. It is a synopsis of an eight - week Dzogchen retreat at Lama Tsongkhapa Institute in Pomaia, Italy, that took place April/May 2016.
For instance, part of normative Gelugpa view concerning dhyāna is that they believe that you can use analytical reasoning in the first absorption. These may not be the “same” dhyānāni.
Once again, proving that would involve citations of old texts.