Dzogchen and ngöndro

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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Simon E. » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:55 pm

At the risk of simply repeating myself..none of this is new or revolutionary.
I have already said that 20 or more years ago Chime Youngden Rinpoche was saying..." If you want Ngondro its yours...but you can see your natural state right here, right now, if you want. "

Most of us didn't believe him. We thought it wasn't literal. We thought we were not worthy. We thought we had dues to pay.


It was .
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Simon E. » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:00 pm

Clarence, the smiley face was just to soften the fact that I was disagreeing.
Clearly that did not have the intended effect. :shock:
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Yudron » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:02 pm

Well, for me at this point it has to do with Earl Grey, Stevia, Rice Milk and an electric kettle.

When I wake up I do a couple of short practices for waking, then I turn on the electric kettle in my cabin. The ideal is to prepare one cup of high end (perhaps Numi brand) Earl Grey with rice milk and stevia in a ceramic cup, and another in a sealed travel cup. I then set them down on my table next to my bed, near my ngondro text. Then, I remember the lama and rest in that state.

At this point I cannot truly be said to be awake, so I take a few sips from the ceramic mug and take my morning medicines, while turning to the first page of ngondro in my pecha. Then I start reciting the most uber ati ngondro I know. On an unhurried day I sing it. By the time I have gotten to Guru Yoga, I have finished the first cup of tea, and suddenly remember that I made a second cup. Oh Joy! I feel the warm nectar trickle down my throat, then set down the travel mug, replacing the cap, and recite Guru Yoga, doing a few malas of the guru yoga mantra from the heart, taking the four empowerments, and resting.

Then, I am done ngondro and I am perfectly awake for the next phases of my practice.

Beats the hell out of reading the newspaper! And in addition, I’ve managed to get through a half hour or an hour without engaging with heavy dualistic thought. Perhaps I even have light positive mind from attending to inconceivable wisdom deity, made of light, instead of the perception of heavy substantiality. Or maybe it's just the caffeine.
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:11 pm

Clarence wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:It sells well among those who are looking for Dzogchen teachings and end up getting ngöndro and tantra. All from a Dzogchen perspective, of course. :lol:


See Dechen Norbu, this line is the exact reason why people get annoyed. It is condescending.

Well, do you want me to be a hypocrite? OK, all you guys will actually be practicing Dzogchen when you are practicing ngondro and tantra. When you do those practices, that is Dzogchen practtice. Happy? :lol:

You know, most people I met who were performing ngöndro at the same time I was weren't really thinking they were practicing Dzogchen. You know what? That didn't bother us the least. We knew what was the Dzogchen perspective, our teacher was a Dzogchen teacher and we knew how we were supposed to do practice, but we were perfectly aware that we weren't expected to be able to practice Dzogchen just yet. As Ogyen, as so many people. We were told the truth about this take on Dzogchen. ngondro->yidam(under a Dzogchen perspective)->actual Dzogchen practice.

We were purifying karma and accumulating merits. The time for actual Dzogchen practice would come, but now we only were expected to cultivate a Dzogchen perspective. Nobody was fooling us and we knew what we were doing and that was not actual Dzogchen practice. My teachers were always very honest and open about it. If we continued, we would get to actually practice Dzogchen, but not just yet as we were considered unprepared. It was an apriori.
And that's the whole reason for doing ngöndro, for doing the preliminaries. We knew that and were perfectly happy with it. We didn't have to be told we were "practicing Dzogchen" to feel good.

Of course any practice can be integrated in Dzogchen pratice. I had to be daft since ChNN repeats that so often. And it's true, it can. But wanting to do it and actually doing it ar two very different animals. To actually do it, you must know how, develop this capacity, and that you won't learn by doing ngöndro, not mattering if it has a "Dzogchen perspective" or otherwise. You'll mostly be purifying karma and accumulating merits, preparing the future, time in which Dzogchen practice should bare results. Then, when you succeed at Dzogchen practice for a certain extent, you can do ngöndro or any other practice and integrate it in Dzogchen practice. But that is not expected when you start ngöndro. That's just a fantasy with little connection to how things really are.
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Karma Dorje » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:22 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:You know, most people I met who were performing ngöndro at the same time I was weren't really thinking they were practicing Dzogchen. You know what? That didn't bother us the least. We knew what was the Dzogchen perspective, our teacher was a Dzogchen teacher and we knew how we were supposed to do practice, but we were perfectly aware that we weren't expected to be able to practice Dzogchen just yet. As Ogyen, as so many people. We were told the truth about this take on Dzogchen. ngondro->yidam(under a Dzogchen perspective)->actual Dzogchen practice.

We were purifying karma and accumulating merits. The time for actual Dzogchen practice would come, but now we only were expected to cultivate a Dzogchen perspective. Nobody was fooling us and we knew what we were doing and that was not actual Dzogchen practice. My teachers were always very honest and open about it. If we continued, we would get to actually practice Dzogchen, but not just yet as we were considered unprepared. It was an apriori.
And that's the whole reason for doing ngöndro, for doing the preliminaries. We knew that and were perfectly happy with it. We didn't have to be told we were "practicing Dzogchen" to feel good.

Of course any practice can be integrated in Dzogchen pratice. I had to be daft since ChNN repeats that so often. And it's true, it can. But wanting to do it and actually doing it ar two very different animals. To actually do it, you must know how, develop this capacity, and that you won't learn by doing ngöndro, not mattering if it has a "Dzogchen perspective" or otherwise. You'll mostly be purifying karma and accumulating merits, preparing the future, time in which Dzogchen practice should bare results. Then, when you succeed at Dzogchen practice for a certain extent, you can do ngöndro or any other practice and integrate it in Dzogchen practice. But that is not expected when you start ngöndro. That's just a fantasy with little connection to how things really are.


The point is, that's not how many of us here were taught. Personally I was introduced to the view early and often and received ngondro instructions afterwards that pointed constantly to the natural state. We were again and again advised that to do ngondro properly you must recollect the view and mix everything with guru yoga. Your own experience is typical of only a subset of practitioners. You are getting a reaction from those of us who weren't instructed in that way because you are assuming that you can make pronouncements on how we were instructed and telling us that our gurus were being disingenuous. I think that's not very helpful for the discussion.
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:37 pm

I also received it. Several times. Not only before, but during and after completing ngöndro.
Being introduced to the view... what is that? Were you actually introduced to your real nature? Because the view, other than that, is just a mental concept.
I was introduced to the view intellectually and via direct introduction. I have a log off all the transmissions and empowerments I received before, during and after ngöndro. As I said to me it went like this: ngöndro->Yidam(Dzogchen perspective)... ChNN->Dzogchen practice and experience.
If you indeed recognized the primordial state and then did ngöndro, I am glad. I wish you the best. I just won't tell you that such experience is common or even expected. I won't also tell you that it's the practice you should be doing, because I don't think so, but in the end what matters is what YOU think, your experience. And until you recognize the natural state by experience, there's no Dzogchen practice. Doesn't matter what practice you are doing. If you haven't recognized the natural state and are expecting ngöndro solves that... if I were you I wouldn't keep the hopes high, but then again, it's up to you. Each person decides what to do. All I can speak of is my experience and that of those who I met closely and shared it with me. So far, the same as mine. You tell me yours is different. Fine. Good for you. :smile:
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Josef » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:42 pm

Before long we will have 400,000 "Dzogchen and Ngondro" threads.
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Sönam » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:43 pm

Yudron wrote:Well, for me at this point it has to do with Earl Grey, Stevia, Rice Milk and an electric kettle.

When I wake up I do a couple of short practices for waking, then I turn on the electric kettle in my cabin. The ideal is to prepare one cup of high end (perhaps Numi brand) Earl Grey with rice milk and stevia in a ceramic cup, and another in a sealed travel cup. I then set them down on my table next to my bed, near my ngondro text. Then, I remember the lama and rest in that state.

At this point I cannot truly be said to be awake, so I take a few sips from the ceramic mug and take my morning medicines, while turning to the first page of ngondro in my pecha. Then I start reciting the most uber ati ngondro I know. On an unhurried day I sing it. By the time I have gotten to Guru Yoga, I have finished the first cup of tea, and suddenly remember that I made a second cup. Oh Joy! I feel the warm nectar trickle down my throat, then set down the travel mug, replacing the cap, and recite Guru Yoga, doing a few malas of the guru yoga mantra from the heart, taking the four empowerments, and resting.

Then, I am done ngondro and I am perfectly awake for the next phases of my practice.

Beats the hell out of reading the newspaper! And in addition, I’ve managed to get through a half hour or an hour without engaging with heavy dualistic thought. Perhaps I even have light positive mind from attending to inconceivable wisdom deity, made of light, instead of the perception of heavy substantiality. Or maybe it's just the caffeine.


Nice to tell us ... then it's nice for you to continue ngondrö.

Sönam
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By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Fruitzilla » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:46 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:
Clarence wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:It sells well among those who are looking for Dzogchen teachings and end up getting ngöndro and tantra. All from a Dzogchen perspective, of course. :lol:


See Dechen Norbu, this line is the exact reason why people get annoyed. It is condescending.

Well, do you want me to be a hypocrite? OK, all you guys will actually be practicing Dzogchen when you are practicing ngondro and tantra. When you do those practices, that is Dzogchen practtice. Happy? :lol:



This statement from Joko Beck has been with me daily for a few years. I think it is pretty goddamned pertinent to this thread.
I meet all sorts of people who’ve had all sorts of experiences and they’re still confused and not doing very well in their life. Experiences are not enough. My students learn that if they have so-called experiences, I really don’t care much about hearing about them. I just tell them, “Yeah, that’s O.K. Don’t hold onto it. And how are you getting along with your mother?” Otherwise, they get stuck there. It’s not the important thing in practice.
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Karma Dorje » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:08 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote: If you haven't recognized the natural state and are expecting ngöndro solves that... if I were you I wouldn't keep the hopes high, but then again, it's up to you. Each person decides what to do. All I can speak of is my experience and that of those who I met closely and shared it with me. So far, the same as mine. You tell me yours is different. Fine. Good for you. :smile:


Recognizing the natural state is the beginning. Ngondro and any other practice is simply paying respect to the relative condition and is just one arrow in the quiver that is helpful to achieve total relaxation. One cannot equate these skillful means with any other activity like dish-washing as you alluded earlier. When you are working with the relative condition, ChNNR suggests using practices which recognize the Base. He doesn't say, "Oh, you are having problems with obstacles to your practice? Go do the dishes, have a glass of wine and screw your girlfriend".
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:21 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:Recognizing the natural state is the beginning. Ngondro and any other practice is simply paying respect to the relative condition and is just one arrow in the quiver that is helpful to achieve total relaxation. One cannot equate these skillful means with any other activity like dish-washing as you alluded earlier.
When you are working with the relative condition, ChNNR suggests using practices which recognize the Base. He doesn't say, "Oh, you are having problems with obstacles to your practice? Go do the dishes, have a glass of wine and screw your girlfriend".

:lol: You missed my point, and yet you are making it perfectly.
IF you can remain in the natural state, everything you do is practice. Washing dishes, watering plants, eating, sleeping, doing ngöndro, you name it. You can integrate all activities.
However, if you ever expect to get to that point, the methods you will use for such purpose will have different degrees of efficacy. For instance, you can use dishwashing to develop mindfulness. But probably it won't be enough for you to recognize and remain in the natural state. It's the efficacy of methods we are discussing as in the efficacy of tantric ngöndro vs specific Dzogchen preliminaries. Like doing dish washing is not as effective as doing ngöndro (and we need to be careful, because for some rare people, we never know how the introduction will go), the question is if ngöndro as effective as specific Dzogchen preliminaries. Some would argue and say yes. Others will disagree. Perhaps there's not even a general rule.
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Simon E. » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:23 pm

You are assuming Fruitzilla that seeing your natural state is another experience.
I dont want to get all Zen Forum but...
It isn't.
Its meeting the experiencer and watching it form, maintain, and dissolve.
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Fa Dao » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:27 pm

Holy crap!!! 17 pages of hash and rehash!!! Its kind of getting to the point that it appears as though nobody is hearing anybody anymore. It all boils down to a few simple questions.
Does Dzogchen require Ngondro for Direct Introduction? NO
Do some teachers give DI without Ngondro? YES
Do some teachers require you to do Ngondro first? YES
Is that wrong to do it that way? NO
Neither of these ways has to be contradictory.

Isnt it all about finding a teacher that you have a connection with, one that you know has Realization, one that you trust to help you find your own Realization? If a person has a connection with a teacher who does DI first then secondary practices OR if a person has a connection with a teacher that requires Ngondro first what difference does it make??? If a person did not have a connection with the DI first teacher then it wouldnt matter anyways, same goes for the Ngondro first teacher. Right??
"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 and ngöndro

Postby Fruitzilla » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:28 pm

Simon E. wrote:You are assuming Fruitzilla that seeing your natural state is another experience.
I dont want to get all Zen Forum but...
It isn't.
Its meeting the experiencer and watching it form, maintain, and dissolve.


The point was actually your relationship with your mother/spouse/child/boss, or mine for that matter...
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Jikan » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:31 pm

Simon E. wrote:At the risk of simply repeating myself..none of this is new or revolutionary.
I have already said that 20 or more years ago Chime Youngden Rinpoche was saying..." If you want Ngondro its yours...but you can see your natural state right here, right now, if you want. "

Most of us didn't believe him. We thought it wasn't literal. We thought we were not worthy. We thought we had dues to pay.


It was .


In another thread, I made a comparison between TienTai/Tendai pedagogy and Dzogchen pedagogy. I still think it's warranted and interesting, and not just to me, someone who is already interested in both. Short version: check out chapter 4 of the Lotus Sutra, on how the Buddha contrives ways to convince people of their own worthiness to accept their own inherent Buddhahood.

Perhaps ngondro is like that: a method, a contrivance, that orients the practitioner in such a way as to be willing to accept the big idea.
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:33 pm

Let me give you another example from the DC. When some people are following the short, medium or long tun, they believe they are practicing Dzogchen. ChNN made perfectly clear that such is not Dzogchen practice. If one understands him, one knows perfectly well why is that and what is Dzogchen practice. Similarly, all those guys who say they are practicing Dzogchen when they are practicing ngöndro are sorely mistaken.
The question is if the tantric ngöndro should be mandatory (because nobody disputes it can be optional) for Dzogchen practice. We both answer that the same way.
Perhaps our difference is that we have different views about the importance of ngöndro and Tantra for Dzogchen practice.

Since I completed it, I could be here saying to everyone that they should do it, that it is the best thing since sliced bread and all that. I have nothing to lose. I completed it. Why would I argue my position if not for concern about others? After all, all this discussion comes too late in my case. My opinion is based in experience, from both positions (and some more or less in between), people I met closely in several sanghas, study and instruction from a lot of different teachers.

What can I say? What I see here is people going through a tremendous gymnastic to convince others that doing ngöndro, kyerim and dzogrim is Dzogchen practice. Why? Who knows? Maybe they think they are defending something or someone. Who knows? That is simply not true and that's not even the point that we should be discussing in this topic. :smile:
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:34 pm

Fa Dao wrote:Holy crap!!! 17 pages of hash and rehash!!! Its kind of getting to the point that it appears as though nobody is hearing anybody anymore. It all boils down to a few simple questions.

At least now we are trying to contain it in one topic. With debatable success... :lol:
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Simon E. » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:48 pm

Maybe it is unworthy of me , but I wonder whether some of it simply about time and energy invested.
I completed Kagyu ngondro to the standards set by my very traditional teacher.
I probably benefited from it in all sorts of ways, not least physically.
But it did not prepare me for Dzogchen. Neither was it necessary for Dzogchen.
But not everyone is prepared to examine whether a big self conscious effort was strictly necessary...they have too much invested.

Its a similar issue with celibacy/non celibacy. An adult man or woman who has invested decades of effort in sublimating their sex drive is not going to welcome a view that questions the necessity for that.
They are highly likely to see questioning that need as the road to perdition.
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Kunga Lhadzom » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:01 pm

Fa Dao wrote:Isnt it all about finding a teacher that you have a connection with, one that you know has Realization, one that you trust to help you find your own Realization?



If you're not realized...how will you know if the teacher is ?
Just following the crowd, like a bunch of sheeple ?
Can't my not famous (but famous to me), qualified Vajrayana Lama do the pointing out ?
Having Pure View and Equanimity there are unlimited Dzogchen Masters.

:alien:
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Re: Dzogchen and ngöndro

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:05 pm

Simon E. wrote:Maybe it is unworthy of me , but I wonder whether some of it simply about time and energy invested.
I completed Kagyu ngondro to the standards set by my very traditional teacher.
I probably benefited from it in all sorts of ways, not least physically.
But it did not prepare me for Dzogchen. Neither was it necessary for Dzogchen.
But not everyone is prepared to examine whether a big self conscious effort was strictly necessary...they have too much invested.

Its a similar issue with celibacy/non celibacy. An adult man or woman who has invested decades of effort in sublimating their sex drive is not going to welcome a view that questions the necessity for that.
They are highly likely to see questioning that need as the road to perdition.

There's an attempt to explain that type of behavior through the theory of cognitive dissonance, in Social Psychology. I noticed that since the beginning of the whole discussion, but felt it was better not to bring it to attention, since I didn't want anyone to feel offended (although there's no reason for that).
What you describe is a classic case.
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