Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby Fa Dao » Sat May 07, 2011 12:24 am

I have always been curious as to why some masters require ngondro prior to Dzogchen teachings/pointing out and others do not. One of my old masters from many years ago required it, Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche. During that time though after reading Master Namkhai Norbu's books it appeared that he did not require it. (Loved his books by the way)
"But if you know how to observe yourself, you will discover your real nature, the primordial state, the state of Guruyoga, and then all will become clear because you will have discovered everything"-Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby tamdrin » Sat May 07, 2011 12:32 am

Yes the people who study under Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche will come on here and so, no Ngondro isn't required for Dzogchen becaue Dzogchen is garab Dorje's teaching and he said the 3 words say point out the nature of mind first not do Ngondro. These people will make all sorts of arguments about how mind practice doesn't lead beyond the mind etc...

Then the majority of other masters will say Ngondro is good and essential to build a solid foundation, purify obscurations, and accumulate merits so that something can really "click" in attaining an introduction from your Lama.. People like Jigten Sumgon will say that Preliminaries are More important than the main part because they are like a foundation for building a big tower..

It seems that the live's of the great Dzogchen masters throughout history show that Ngondro is important and does lead to realization.. Many of these masters did ngondro 8 or 20 times or so..
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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby Malcolm » Sat May 07, 2011 12:54 am

Fa Dao wrote:I have always been curious as to why some masters require ngondro prior to Dzogchen teachings/pointing out and others do not. One of my old masters from many years ago required it, Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche. During that time though after reading Master Namkhai Norbu's books it appeared that he did not require it. (Loved his books by the way)



Norbu Rinpoche emphasizes Dzogchen ngondro i.e. seven mind trainings, rushan, sems dzins, etc. not tantric preliminaries.
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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby adinatha » Sat May 07, 2011 1:36 am

Believe it or not, in the Drikung Kagyu tradition, there is pointing out and the "ngondro" come after as a way to fully recognize it, particularly guru yoga, vajrasattva and mandala. Here the practice is to be in the state of mahamudra while you do these practices and one's mind becomes much more vivid and relaxed. Namkai Norbu also says that doing a practice like vajrasattva can increase clarity after a pointing out or direct intro.
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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby tamdrin » Sat May 07, 2011 1:42 am

if the master is highly realized, liberation can be swift...

adinatha i would be interested to hear.. what does being "in the state of mahamudra" mean to your mind?
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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby Fa Dao » Sat May 07, 2011 2:13 am

Thank you all for your responses
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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby Malcolm » Sat May 07, 2011 2:16 am

adinatha wrote:Believe it or not, in the Drikung Kagyu tradition, there is pointing out and the "ngondro" come after as a way to fully recognize it, particularly guru yoga, vajrasattva and mandala. Here the practice is to be in the state of mahamudra while you do these practices and one's mind becomes much more vivid and relaxed. Namkai Norbu also says that doing a practice like vajrasattva can increase clarity after a pointing out or direct intro.



Any practice one does can increase clarity after receiving transmission.

The question however was why our teacher in the Dzogchen Community does not approach ngondro the way it is done in other dharma communities. So when we do Vajrasattva practice, for example, or the Longsal preliminary practice which is connected with Vajrasattva and the purification of the six lokas there is never any idea that we have to accumulate a certain number or do it for a certain length of time. Same thing applies to deity yoga -- there is never any suggestion that it is important to do one hundred thousand per syllable of a given mantra, for example. What it is important is connecting with one's primordial state. If there is a yidam in Dzogchen Community, it is that. So therefore, reciting a certain number of mantras to finish a deity retreat as in Tantric practice is not the principle in our community because our teacher approaches the teachings differently than do other teachers.

There are certain exceptions to this related to SMS training. But SMS is an option, not a requirement. SMS was originally designed as a teacher training program. According to Rinpoche, to be able to give lungs, one must complete a major deity retreat in a proper way, very precisely. So in SMS there is a very modified tantric ngondro, as well as a three roots requirement.

N
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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby username » Sat May 07, 2011 6:42 am

ChNNR finished ngondro twice himself while young. As he says several (in my opinion: lesser) Dzogchen teachers resident in the west criticized him for giving Dzogchen teachings without ngondro. Now those few ones don't say so anymore as they are doing the same and as ChNNR says Dzogchen has become a commodity! Ngondro is good for grinding runaway egos, for example those who talk big all the time so freely specially about other lineages' practitioners and major tertons they might have breezed through and left or not. Ngondro is also good for eradicating coarse harmful clarity such as too much sensory inputs, ideations, imagined visuals and other fantasies. Ngondro might be good for some in our Judeo-Greco society with it's recent Logical Positivist of the Vienna Circle variety that is self admittedly illogical and baseless though they don't bother brainwashed undergrads hellbent on conquering the world with such trivial proven details.

Namdrol's posts stated the main points and they should be read again. A few other points. For specific tantric practices, Green Tara Ozer Chenma etc., ChNNR is very traditional and insists on retreat conditions and duration anything from days to weeks depending, in order for them to work. He also emphasizes adequate saddhana mantra recitations in very large relevant numbers before accumulating large numbers of action mantras. He states accumulating such mantras from a Rigpa POV is more effective in the meanwhile than doing large numbers of action mantras when one has not accomplished that practice yet. Also any practice including Ngondro should ideally be done similarly from a Rigpa POV. And many of us following ChNNR are doing Ngondros of various terma cycles or as main practice too. Also many masters cut Ngondros short if they deem the disciple fit to progress. So the usual rookie black and white slogans can stop.

The best ngondro is after Dzogchen Direct Introduction when gradually all of day and night turns into presence and daily glimpses of instant presence or rigpa and after some years into constant rigpa or most of the time as taught and achieved by rare living mahagurus such as ChNNR and their diligent older disciples.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby Sönam » Sat May 07, 2011 9:02 am

... but never forget what our teacher constantly repeat : "we have to work with circumstances" and "we have to go in essence"

this is a "major" teaching of Rinpoché

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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby Pero » Sat May 07, 2011 11:31 am

Namdrol wrote:The question however was why our teacher in the Dzogchen Community does not approach ngondro the way it is done in other dharma communities. So when we do Vajrasattva practice, for example, or the Longsal preliminary practice which is connected with Vajrasattva and the purification of the six lokas


You know that text, klong gsal ati lam gyi sngon 'gro, actually also has pithy instructions on outer and secret rushen and it names the 7 semdzin. So while the inner rushen is elaborately described, and so perhaps could be considered the main point of that text, I actually think the Longsal preliminaries encompass all of that together.

SMS was originally designed as a teacher training program. According to Rinpoche, to be able to give lungs, one must complete a major deity retreat in a proper way, very precisely.


This is something I haven't quite understood. Is it that upon completion of a major deity retreat one can give lungs of any kind? Or is it just of that deity?
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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby Malcolm » Sat May 07, 2011 11:54 am

Pero wrote:
This is something I haven't quite understood. Is it that upon completion of a major deity retreat one can give lungs of any kind? Or is it just of that deity?



Lungs of any kind that you have received.
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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby Pero » Sat May 07, 2011 12:07 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Pero wrote:
This is something I haven't quite understood. Is it that upon completion of a major deity retreat one can give lungs of any kind? Or is it just of that deity?



Lungs of any kind that you have received.

Ahhh... That's good to know and also clarified something for me.
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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby tamdrin » Sat May 07, 2011 6:51 pm

username wrote:! Ngondro is good for grinding runaway egos, for example those who talk big all the time so freely specially about other lineages' practitioners and major tertons they might have breezed through and left or not. Ngondro is also good for eradicating coarse harmful clarity such as too much sensory inputs, ideations, imagined visuals and other fantasies. Ngondro might be good for some in our Judeo-Greco society with it's recent Logical Positivist of the Vienna Circle variety that is self admittedly illogical and baseless though they don't bother brainwashed undergrads hellbent on conquering the world with such trivial proven details.

-What are you talking about?

Namdrol's posts stated the main points and they should be read again. A few other points. For specific tantric practices, Green Tara Ozer Chenma etc., ChNNR is very traditional and insists on retreat conditions and duration anything from days to weeks depending, in order for them to work. He also emphasizes adequate saddhana mantra recitations in very large relevant numbers before accumulating large numbers of action mantras. He states accumulating such mantras from a Rigpa POV is more effective in the meanwhile than doing large numbers of action mantras when one has not accomplished that practice yet. Also any practice including Ngondro should ideally be done similarly from a Rigpa POV. And many of us following ChNNR are doing Ngondros of various terma cycles or as main practice too. Also many masters cut Ngondros short if they deem the disciple fit to progress. So the usual rookie black and white slogans can stop.
-

-There is no rookie black and white slogans going on here.. I am just saying people who say Ngondro doesn't lead to Dzogchen clearly don't have any clue what they are talking about.. Do you think CHatral Rinpoche did Ngondro 8 times to prepare - b/c he didn't know what the cho nyi was even though Khenpo Ngagchung (who was one of the incarnations of Vimalamitra) declared that he had the same realization as him. I don't think there is any "one" approach for everyone- therefore am in favor of many approaches.. But all approaches are still relative.

The best ngondro is after Dzogchen Direct Introduction when gradually all of day and night turns into presence and daily glimpses of instant presence or rigpa and after some years into constant rigpa or most of the time as taught and achieved by rare living mahagurus such as ChNNR and their diligent older disciples.


I wonder if people who use the term "instant presence" have a clue what they are talking about... I don't even know what Tibetan word that is supposed to be a translation of..
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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby tamdrin » Sat May 07, 2011 6:56 pm

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:Believe it or not, in the Drikung Kagyu tradition, there is pointing out and the "ngondro" come after as a way to fully recognize it, particularly guru yoga, vajrasattva and mandala. Here the practice is to be in the state of mahamudra while you do these practices and one's mind becomes much more vivid and relaxed. Namkai Norbu also says that doing a practice like vajrasattva can increase clarity after a pointing out or direct intro.



Any practice one does can increase clarity after receiving transmission.

The question however was why our teacher in the Dzogchen Community does not approach ngondro the way it is done in other dharma communities. So when we do Vajrasattva practice, for example, or the Longsal preliminary practice which is connected with Vajrasattva and the purification of the six lokas there is never any idea that we have to accumulate a certain number or do it for a certain length of time. Same thing applies to deity yoga -- there is never any suggestion that it is important to do one hundred thousand per syllable of a given mantra, for example. What it is important is connecting with one's primordial state. If there is a yidam in Dzogchen Community, it is that. So therefore, reciting a certain number of mantras to finish a deity retreat as in Tantric practice is not the principle in our community because our teacher approaches the teachings differently than do other teachers.

There are certain exceptions to this related to SMS training. But SMS is an option, not a requirement. SMS was originally designed as a teacher training program. According to Rinpoche, to be able to give lungs, one must complete a major deity retreat in a proper way, very precisely. So in SMS there is a very modified tantric ngondro, as well as a three roots requirement.

N


The difference between "tantric Ngondro" and "dzogchen Ngondro" as I have seen it presented in longchen nyingthig and drikung yangzab is mere chose of words- it is stylistic more than anything (not talking about rushen etc..)
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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby Pero » Sat May 07, 2011 8:12 pm

tamdrin wrote:I wonder if people who use the term "instant presence" have a clue what they are talking about... I don't even know what Tibetan word that is supposed to be a translation of..


That's pretty funny considering "instant presence" is the translation Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche uses for rig pa. Same could be said for all other translations of rig pa too you know.

Though I guess you're just trolling a little hehe.
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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby username » Sat May 07, 2011 8:21 pm

Technically there are different types and stages of rigpa but in essence they're the same and we're told things will become clear for the practitioner. ChNNR uses the term "presence" to refer to various practices and methods to get into rigpa. But he only means rigpa when he says "instant presence". The main problem is often one wonders too much about things that are not of much use to him in that phase of his life. The cure is calming that turbulent mind with regular daily shamatha/shiney practice for as long as necessary. Once accomplished you will know what to ask your lama instead of constant irrelevant questions or better yet will know how to progress yourself.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby tamdrin » Sat May 07, 2011 8:28 pm

Pero wrote:
tamdrin wrote:I wonder if people who use the term "instant presence" have a clue what they are talking about... I don't even know what Tibetan word that is supposed to be a translation of..


That's pretty funny considering "instant presence" is the translation Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche uses for rig pa. Same could be said for all other translations of rig pa too you know.

Though I guess you're just trolling a little hehe.



I guess although I don't know how he came up with instant presence?, with all due respect.. although just awareness, or intrinsic awareness or primordial awareness are some of the translations I am more familiar with..
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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby Pero » Sat May 07, 2011 8:38 pm

tamdrin wrote:I guess although I don't know how he came up with instant presence?, with all due respect.. although just awareness, or intrinsic awareness or primordial awareness are some of the translations I am more familiar with..


I have no idea. Perhaps he didn't come up with it on his own. :shrug:
Yes I know those translations (although primordial awareness is ye shes). Awareness for me personally is probably the worst translation. The dog outside has awareness too but I doubt he has any clue about rig pa. To be fair, I actually don't like instant presence that much either. But at least it's not such an oft used common word like awareness and so is more easily distinguishable.
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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby tamdrin » Sat May 07, 2011 8:44 pm

Pero wrote:
tamdrin wrote:I guess although I don't know how he came up with instant presence?, with all due respect.. although just awareness, or intrinsic awareness or primordial awareness are some of the translations I am more familiar with..


I have no idea. Perhaps he didn't come up with it on his own. :shrug:
Yes I know those translations (although primordial awareness is ye shes). Awareness for me personally is probably the worst translation. The dog outside has awareness too but I doubt he has any clue about rig pa. To be fair, I actually don't like instant presence that much either. But at least it's not such an oft used common word like awareness and so is more easily distinguishable.


I dunno either man.. I think that primordial awareness is O.k. for rigpa meaning wise and that ye shes would be good as "primordial wisdom" with sherab as "wisdom"..
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Re: Dzogchen with or without ngondro?

Postby heart » Sat May 07, 2011 9:06 pm

Well, I think you are all wrong here. You don't do Ngondro to get to Dzogchen, you are already in the Dzogchen teaching when you do Ngondro. Read Jigme Lingpas own commentary on the Ngondro, it is quite clear. Each part of the text finish with the instruction to dissolve the visualization and rest in the natural state. Then doing Ngondro is not about getting bored a 100.000 times, it is about refuge, bodhicitta, purification, accumulation of merit and wisdom and Guru yoga. Quite necessary things, no?

Your problem with Ngondro is just that you think to leads to Dzogchen, that is not the way it is in Dzogchen, it isn't a gradual path.

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