Eight doors of spontaneous presence

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Eight doors of spontaneous presence (Tib. ལྷུན་གྲུབ་ཀྱི་སྒོ་བརྒྱད་ , lhun drup kyi go gyé, Wyl. lhun grub kyi sgo brgyad)

  1. compassion (Tib. ཐུགས་རྗེ་, tukjé; Wyl. thugs rje)[1]
  2. light (Tib. འོད་, ö; Wyl. ‘od)
  3. bodies (Tib. སྐུ་, ku; Wyl. sku)
  4. primordial wisdom (Tib. ཡེ་ཤེས་, yeshé; Wyl. ye shes)
  5. non-duality (Tib. གཉིས་མེད་, nyimé; Wyl. gnyis med)
  6. freedom from extremes (Tib. མཐའ་གྲོལ་, tadrol; Wyl. mtha’ grol)
  7. the impure gate of samsara (Tib. མ་དག་པ་འཁོར་བའི་སྒོ་, madakpa khorwé go; Wyl. ma dag pa ‘khor ba’i sgo)
  8. the pure gate of primordial wisdom (Tib. དག་པ་ཡེ་ཤེས་ཀྱི་སྒོ་, dakpa yeshé kyi go; Wyl. dag pa ye shes kyi sgo)

The Nyingma School distinguishes between the ground itself, and the ground manifesting as appearances through the ‘eight doorways of spontaneous presence’, and this is how this school accounts for all of the perceptions, whether pure or impure, that arise within the mind.[2]

Tsele Natsok Rangdrol says when these gates are embraced by the oral instructions, there will also be eight modes of dissolution.[3]


  1. Here, in the context of Dzogchen, 'compassion' has a much deeper meaning than the mere wish to alleviate the suffering of others. It means the natural expression of the indivisible unity of emptiness and luminosity. See 'compassionate energy'.
  2. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dzogchen : The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection, page 32.
  3. Quintessential Dzogchen, a compilation of Dzogchen texts compiled and translated by Erik Pema Kunzang & Marcia B. Schmidt, page 246.

Alternative Translations

  • Eight gates of beings' spontaneity (Kalu Rinpoche Translation Group)
  • Eight gates of spontaneous presence (EPK)
  • Eight spontaneously accomplished doors (Tulku Thondup)
  • Eight gateways of spontaneous presence (SK)
  • Eight doorways of spontaneous presence (Rigpa Translations)
  • 1. capacity (EPK)
  • 1. compassionate energy (Rigpa Translations)

Further Reading

In Tibetan

A detailed explanation is found in Khenpo Yönten Gyatso's commentary to the Yönten Dzö.

In English

  • Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Tayé, Myriad Worlds, Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2003, p. 210
  • Tulku Thondup, The Practice of Dzogchen, Ithaca: Snow Lion, 1989, p.206, n.1
  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dzogchen : The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection, published by Snow Lion, ISBN 1-55939-156-1, pages 30-33