8 Karmapa Guru Yoga

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8 Karmapa Guru Yoga

Postby SuryaMitra » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:29 pm

I have a question.
Traditionally 8th Karmapa Guru Yoga is one of the practices after Ngondro in Karma Kagyu...But is it absolutely necessary to finish Ngondro before practicing
8 Karmapa Tun shi lami naljor ? I will ask my Karma Kagyu Lama when I see Him, but till then I would appreciate your opinions...
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Re: 8 Karmapa Guru Yoga

Postby heart » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:20 pm

SuryaMitra wrote:I have a question.
Traditionally 8th Karmapa Guru Yoga is one of the practices after Ngondro in Karma Kagyu...But is it absolutely necessary to finish Ngondro before practicing
8 Karmapa Tun shi lami naljor ? I will ask my Karma Kagyu Lama when I see Him, but till then I would appreciate your opinions...


It depends on what your Guru says I think. I heard both that you first have to finish Ngondro and that it is ok to practice when you have time before finishing Ngondro concerning this particular Guru Yoga. In general I think many Kagyu lamas are much to stiff when it comes to these matters.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: 8 Karmapa Guru Yoga

Postby udawa » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:34 pm

heart wrote:
SuryaMitra wrote:I have a question.
Traditionally 8th Karmapa Guru Yoga is one of the practices after Ngondro in Karma Kagyu...But is it absolutely necessary to finish Ngondro before practicing
8 Karmapa Tun shi lami naljor ? I will ask my Karma Kagyu Lama when I see Him, but till then I would appreciate your opinions...


It depends on what your Guru says I think. I heard both that you first have to finish Ngondro and that it is ok to practice when you have time before finishing Ngondro concerning this particular Guru Yoga. In general I think many Kagyu lamas are much to stiff when it comes to these matters.

/magnus


But then again, they are called 'preliminaries' for a reason, you know. :smile:

I think SM already knows the answer to his/her question really. As you say, Magnus, in this area it always comes down to what your personal guru tells you to do. Or not. All the rest is just opinion.
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Re: 8 Karmapa Guru Yoga

Postby heart » Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:43 pm

udawa wrote:But then again, they are called 'preliminaries' for a reason, you know. :smile:


Now and then I meet some of my friends from my old Kagyu group. Some of them haven't finished the Ngondro after 25 years, and feel really guilty about it. It would have been better if they practiced a sadhana they really liked instead, like so many do in the Nyingma. Ngondro is not for everyone I think.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: 8 Karmapa Guru Yoga

Postby udawa » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:23 pm

heart wrote:
udawa wrote:But then again, they are called 'preliminaries' for a reason, you know. :smile:


Now and then I meet some of my friends from my old Kagyu group. Some of them haven't finished the Ngondro after 25 years, and feel really guilty about it. It would have been better if they practiced a sadhana they really liked instead, like so many do in the Nyingma.

/magnus


Gosh, that is sad. Especially feeling guilty about it.

heart wrote:
Ngondro is not for everyone I think.

/magnus


No, indeed. And surely they should be preliminaries, not the main event....
Edwards: You are a philosopher. Dr Johnson: I have tried too in my time to be a philosopher; but, I don't know how, cheerfulness was always breaking in.
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Re: 8 Karmapa Guru Yoga

Postby Karma Jinpa » Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:34 am

Ngondro certainly isn't for everyone. Perhaps it's too easy for the lamas to give ngondro as the prescription for your practice, especially in the beginning. However, who among us is qualified to judge what practice is best for themselves? Deluded beings are notoriously unreliable judges. One would think that a person trained to be a lama and authorized by the lineage to teach has at least a little bit more clarity and realization than the average deluded being.

udawa wrote:surely they should be preliminaries, not the main event....

This, udawa, is why many lamas realize that the translation of "ngondro" (sngon 'gro) more literally as "Preliminary Practices" is problematic, mostly because of the negative connotations that come with such a term and how many of us want to be practicing the "higher" teachings (meaning that we consider stuff like ngondro as somehow beneath us or something to hurry through before we get to the "real" practices).

It would be better to consider translating ngondro as "Foundational Practices" since the purification of negativity and accumulation of virtue done in the four sections is what allows the other practices to be so effective. Without a good foundation, most things cannot be built. Also, don't forget that ngondro is a complete practice which can lead to full enlightenment without anything else being needed. Therefore it could very well be the "main event" for many practitioners (even some of the great masters past, present, and future).

In fact, many of the greatest lamas such as Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thayé, and others are said to have gone through ngondro multiple times at various points in their practice due to how effective it is. Sometimes they even were able to reveal terma as a result!

I highly recommend reading the introductory first several pages of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche's book Not for Happiness: A Guide to the So-Called Preliminary Practices to see what I mean and get a different view of Ngondro.

Follow the link below, and then tap/click the cover picture (notice it says "Click to Look Inside!"):
Image

http://www.amazon.com/Not-Happiness-So-Called-Preliminary-Practices-ebook/dp/B007PTA8WE
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།
ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།


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