transmissions, ngondro, samaya

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transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby roman » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:29 pm

I am not sure if I have placed this post in the correct place, but, no the less, I will continue in hopes that someone will be able to help me with this answer.

I have been practicing a particular ngondro, but have also been given transmissions for others. I have been deeply contemplating changing my practice and have run into these questions. One, if one receives transmissions for other practices and don't do them is that breaking a samaya vow, of some sort. And, if I do change my ngondro, would that be breaking a samaya vow?

I think that it wouldn't be for one I never was asked to take a vow, and two, I would be continuing to practice hence not stopping practice. Though I could be wrong with everything. So i am here to gain some insight on this for you.

I hope I made everything clear for everyone to understand.
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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby Yontan » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:45 am

Samaya is the bond between you and your teacher. If that isn't strong enough to run the question by them, I'm not sure it matters. Just keep practicing whatever keeps you practicing.
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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby pensum » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:11 pm

roman wrote:I have been practicing a particular ngondro, but have also been given transmissions for others. I have been deeply contemplating changing my practice and have run into these questions. One, if one receives transmissions for other practices and don't do them is that breaking a samaya vow, of some sort. And, if I do change my ngondro, would that be breaking a samaya vow?


In answer to your first question, Roman, one often gets empowerments and reading transmissions (lung) for practices that one is unable to immediately begin to practice or that one will not practice. This can be simply for the connection with the lineage or a particular lama, or out of necessity as the possibility to receive a particular empowerment or reading transmission is often not easy to come by and one should avail oneself of any opportunity for it may not arise again.

As for changing ngondros, once one has begun a ngondro with the intention of completing a set number, the samaya is with oneself and one breaks this committment by changing or not completing the decided upon number. So it is advisable to complete a ngondro before switching to another. One needs no more than the must pragmatic of views to see the wisdom of this as each time one loses resolve and breaks one's vows, one becomes more apt to do so in future weakening one's potential perseverence and diligence.

And please remember that ngondro isn't to be viewed as some lower practice, but rather encapsulates the entire path including the most profound practice of guru yoga, hence the lineage masters not only advised others to practice it every day throughout one's life, but many did so themselves.
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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:24 pm

roman wrote:I have been practicing a particular ngondro, but have also been given transmissions for others. I have been deeply contemplating changing my practice and have run into these questions. One, if one receives transmissions for other practices and don't do them is that breaking a samaya vow, of some sort. And, if I do change my ngondro, would that be breaking a samaya vow?



All preliminary practices are the same --they have refuge, bodhicitta, etc. It does not matter which one you do. You do the one you are doing, or you can do a different one everyday.

If you do one ngondro, you are doing all, so there is no break in "samaya".

If you change from one ngondro to another also no problem.

But bear in mind the real ngondro in Dzogchen is rushan and semzin, not counting.

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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby kalden yungdrung » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:58 pm

roman wrote:I am not sure if I have placed this post in the correct place, but, no the less, I will continue in hopes that someone will be able to help me with this answer.

I have been practicing a particular ngondro, but have also been given transmissions for others. I have been deeply contemplating changing my practice and have run into these questionson. One, if one receives transmissions for other practices and don't do them is that breaking a samaya vow, of some sort. And, if I do change my ngondro, would that be breaking a samaya vow?

I hope I made everything clear for everyone to understand.



Tashi delek,

The problems you have with this question focusses on finishing or not finishing your Ngondro. Well there is realy no problems IMO that you would not finish your Ngondro. Then you did do that with which you did start. It is based on breaking that what you yourself did laid on your shoulkders.

Yes i see it also like, what did you learned during those 4 a 500.000 Ngondros / realisations? I know the Tsawe Lama does also play here an eminent role like in Kagyud some Lamas are Dorje Chang. Well in this tantric approach one can better finish Ngondro but that does not mean for you that you could not follow /practice Dzogchen at the same time.

It is a question of flexibility etc. to be able in combining both at the same time.


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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby pensum » Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:40 pm

Malcolm wrote:If you change from one ngondro to another also no problem.


I am sure you have a reliable basis for such an opinion Malcolm (and any others who hold similar views as him); and from a certain perspective i can conjecture how that could be the case. However, being far more limited in my references and experience, let alone knowing next to nothing about these things, i am unable to say anything more than repeat what Tulku Urgyen personally taught me and others. So i don't present the following as any kind of rebuttal but merely because i like the fact that there are countless views and attitudes, and i personally view diversity as a wonderful thing especially in dialogue. The truth is that I find heterogeneity far more appealing than the bland flatlands of homogeneity that the world is fast succumbing to, and it is with more than a touch of sadness that i watch the passing of not only species, but cultures and languages as well.

So as to the issue at hand, Tulku Urgyen was quite clear, to me and others, that if one had started a ngondro then one should finish the complete number before switching to (or adding) another. Furthermore, he also always encouraged people to not view the ngondro as something to be completed and then dropped, but rather as an ongoing practice throughout one's life. In fact, his own guru Samten Gyatso began every day by doing complete sets (100 of each of the five practices) of two ngondros--one for the Kunzang Tuktig (from the Chokling Tersar) and the other for the Chetsun Nyingtig (see pp. 173-5 in As It Is, vol.1 [though that entire chapter is worth a read as well]).

On a personal note, I suspect a big difference between my view and yours, which i suspect likely reflects that many others as well, is that, like Tulku Urgyen, i have never viewed the ngondro as a burden or some drudging task, but rather as an incredibly profound gift, being as it is a beautiful immersion into living and embodying the teachings in a very deep and real way.

Most importantly, whether one had recognized the nature of mind or not, Tulku Urgyen never gave the impression that ngondro and yidam practice was anything other than a blessing of the buddhas to be approached with, and resulting in, pure joy (as well as complete enlightenment of course). When he was explaining the ngondro to me, I remember him stopping to marvel at not only how profound, but how beautiful the lines were too. For what it is worth, in my admittedly limited experience following his personal advice i have only ever found the regular practice of ngondro to be not only of great benefit but a sheer delight. Though perhaps that is less a sign of any realized view than of an ignorant fool with little capacity for understanding those more rarefied realms in which the rest of you more fortunate ones seem to reside.

Whatever you decide, Roman, may you benefit countless beings by your efforts!
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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby Sönam » Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:03 pm

"if one had started a ngondro then one should finish the complete number before switching to (or adding) another. Furthermore, he also always encouraged people to not view the ngondro as something to be completed and then dropped, but rather as an ongoing practice throughout one's life."

Tulku Urgyen speaks from the point of view of Vajrayana and so he is perfectly right. From the point of view of Dzogchen it is so that it does not matter which one you do. You do the one you are doing, or you do otherwise ... because, as Malcom says "All preliminary practices are the same".

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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby heart » Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:51 pm

Sönam wrote:"if one had started a ngondro then one should finish the complete number before switching to (or adding) another. Furthermore, he also always encouraged people to not view the ngondro as something to be completed and then dropped, but rather as an ongoing practice throughout one's life."

Tulku Urgyen speaks from the point of view of Vajrayana and so he is perfectly right. From the point of view of Dzogchen it is so that it does not matter which one you do. You do the one you are doing, or you do otherwise ... because, as Malcom says "All preliminary practices are the same".

Sönam


No, I think Tulku Urgyen actually only taught from the point of view of Dzogchen. At least that is my impression. I just spent some time with one of his translators, not Erik, and he told me that he asked Tulku Urgyen why he didn't make any progress after many years of practicing only the highest Dzogchen teachings and Tulku Urgyen told him that it was because he didn't take the preliminaries seriously. He then did Ngondro and finally achieved some results in his practice. I wonder what part of the Ngondro you think you don't find in the 17th Tantras?

/magnus
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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby Mariusz » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:49 pm

:thumbsup: Of course. Because from POV of Dzogchen Ngondro is called the ordinary, and Khordo Rushen is called the extraordinary preliminaries. Nearly nobody get Direct Introduction with the recognizing Rigpa without them.
heart wrote:
Sönam wrote:"if one had started a ngondro then one should finish the complete number before switching to (or adding) another. Furthermore, he also always encouraged people to not view the ngondro as something to be completed and then dropped, but rather as an ongoing practice throughout one's life."

Tulku Urgyen speaks from the point of view of Vajrayana and so he is perfectly right. From the point of view of Dzogchen it is so that it does not matter which one you do. You do the one you are doing, or you do otherwise ... because, as Malcom says "All preliminary practices are the same".

Sönam


No, I think Tulku Urgyen actually only taught from the point of view of Dzogchen. At least that is my impression. I just spent some time with one of his translators, not Erik, and he told me that he asked Tulku Urgyen why he didn't make any progress after many years of practicing only the highest Dzogchen teachings and Tulku Urgyen told him that it was because he didn't take the preliminaries seriously. He then did Ngondro and finally achieved some results in his practice. I wonder what part of the Ngondro you think you don't find in the 17th Tantras?

/magnus
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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby pemachophel » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:54 pm

I agree with pensum that, if you begin a ngondro, you should finish that ngondro before starting another. In my understanding from my Teachers, this has to do with ten-drel and lineage. Not finishing a practice commitment can create a tendency to not finish other practice commitments. (This is referred to as bag-chak kyi drib-pa, the obscuration of habit.) It also seems to me that, if one is practicing Vajrayana (as in the ngondro), then one should do the practice according to Vajrayana rules and regs even if one is simultaneously in the View. For me this the same as committing to practice vinaya (whether as a genyen with vows, getsul, or gelong) and also practicing Dzogchen. One keeps one's vows while recognizing that the keeper of the vows, the vows, and the merit from keeping the vows are all nonexistent. If one does not want to keep the vows, then one gives them back. I can't imagine the late, great gelong Trulshik Rinpoche playing loose with His vows because He was also a great Dzogchenpa. As Guru Rinpoche famously said, "Although My View is higher than the sky, My attention to karma is finer than flour." Decisions, such as stopping or switching ngondros, have consequences which will inescapably ripen as long as one is still within the three times.

Just my two cents. :namaste:
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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby Mariusz » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:58 pm

pemachophel wrote:I agree with pensum that, if you begin a ngondro, you should finish that ngondro before starting another. In my understanding from my Teachers, this has to do with ten-drel and lineage. Not finishing a practice commitment can create a tendency to not finish other practice commitments. (This is referred to as bag-chak kyi drib-pa, the obscuration of habit.) It also seems to me that, if one is practicing Vajrayana (as in the ngondro), then one should do the practice according to Vajrayana rules and regs even if one is simultaneously in the View. For me this the same as committing to practice vinaya (whether as a genyen with vows, getsul, or gelong) and also practicing Dzogchen. One keeps one's vows while recognizing that the keeper of the vows, the vows, and the merit from keeping the vows are all nonexistent. If one does not want to keep the vows, then one gives them back. I can't imagine the late, great gelong Trulshik Rinpoche playing loose with His vows because He was also a great Dzogchenpa. As Guru Rinpoche famously said, "Although My View is higher than the sky, My attention to karma is finer than flour." Decisions, such as stopping or switching ngondros, have consequences which will inescapably ripen as long as one is still within the three times.

Just my two cents. :namaste:

I'd like to add here that the Dzogchen Ngondro is not exactly the same as Vajrayana Ngondro.
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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby Karma Dorje » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:00 pm

To ngondro or not to ngondro... who would have thought the Great Internet Wars of the 21st Century would be fought over such a thing?!

Perhaps the only answer that everyone can agree on is that one should follow the advice of the teacher whose advice you respect. Internet forums are not the best places for definitive answers to anything. For contention and acrimony on the other hand, they rock!
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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby pensum » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:01 pm

heart wrote: I think Tulku Urgyen actually only taught from the point of view of Dzogchen.


This is correct Magnus, Tulku Urgyen only ever saw things from the perspective of Dzogchen. However, unlike the way in which many on this forum appear to view Dzogchen as separate from the other vehicles, Tulku Urgyen perceived them all as an unbroken unity, each unfolding into a broader more open understanding and each encompassed by and embraced by that understanding. In his view ultimately one takes refuge in the three kayas, Vajrasattva is no other than one's own true essence, and the guru that one bows to is no other than this same buddha nature. Whereas, if one hadn't yet had the good fortune to recognize then it is by receiving teachings, overcoming misunderstandings and ignorance, etc. that one would eventually recognize the state of rigpa. Hence, for him the gift of ngondro was just as integral to Dzogchen as trekcho and togal were.

Tulku Urgyen never set Dzogchen up in contradistinction to any other vehicle whether Hinayana, Mahayana or Vajrayana, but again and again reiterated how they are all of a single whole. As he said, "The main emphasis in Dzogchen practices is to recognize mind essence. That is the primary intent. As a support for that there are the different sadhanas." Later in the same teaching he went on to say that "[w]e have the capacity for enlightenment because our nature is enlightened in essence. In order to awaken us to this fact, the dharmakaya appears in different forms to help us recognize our own nature. The state of enlightenment appears in an inconceivable variety of forms to influence beings. We should acknowledge that anything that appears before us in our field of experience and turns our mind towards recognizing our own nature -- whether it be a spiritual friend, an image or whatever -- is an emanation of the dharmakaya buddha. It is showing us tremendous kindness." He again and again made the point that the sole purpose and fundamental basis of every practice--whether those of ngondro, any yidam sadhana, tummo, rushen, trekcho, togal or any other--was always the same: to recognize and settle within the unbroken stability of rigpa.

There is always an excuse not to do something, justifications are easy to find, just as criticisms of others' and their viewpoints are easily flung about--I'm a sad example of all this. What is difficult is to find the perseverance and diligence to actually set out on an adventure and carry on to its end, all the while remaining nonjudgmental and open. I feel very fortunate that a wretch like me had the opportunity to have met someone who manifested not only an incredible realization and humble dignity, but such pure openness and genuine heartfelt compassion and care for others. I don't doubt that those were also the qualities that drew ChNN and so many other great lamas to visit Tulku Urgyen as well and to hold him in such high esteem.
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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby heart » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:10 pm

pensum wrote:
heart wrote: I think Tulku Urgyen actually only taught from the point of view of Dzogchen.


This is correct Magnus, Tulku Urgyen only ever saw things from the perspective of Dzogchen. However, unlike the way in which many on this forum appear to view Dzogchen as separate from the other vehicles, Tulku Urgyen perceived them all as an unbroken unity, each unfolding into a broader more open understanding and each encompassed by and embraced by that understanding. In his view as ultimately one takes refuge in the three kayas, Vajrasattva is no other than one's own true essence, and the guru that one bows to is no other than this same buddha nature. Whereas, if one hadn't yet had the good fortune to recognize then it is by receiving teachings, overcoming misunderstandings and ignorance, etc. that one would eventually recognize the state of rigpa. Hence for him the gift of ngondro was just as integral to Dzogchen as trekcho and togal were.

Tulku Urgyen never set Dzogchen up in contradistinction to any other vehicle whether Hinayana, Mahayana or Vajrayana, but again and again reiterated how they are all of a single whole. As he said, "The main emphasis in Dzogchen practices is to recognize mind essence. That is the primary intent. As a support for that there are the different sadhanas." Later in the same teaching he went on to say that "[w]e have the capacity for enlightenment because our nature is enlightened in essence. In order to awaken us to this fact, the dharmakaya appears in different forms to help us recognize our own nature. The state of enlightenment appears in an inconceivable variety of forms to influence beings. We should acknowledge that anything that appears before us in our field of experience and turns our mind towards recognizing our own nature -- whether it be a spiritual friend, an image or whatever -- is an emanation of the dharmakaya buddha. It is showing us tremendous kindness." He again and again made the point that the sole purpose and fundamental basis of every practice--whether those of ngondro, any yidam sadhana, tummo, rushen, trekcho, togal or any other--was always the same: to recognize and settle within the unbroken stability of rigpa.

There is always an excuse not to do something, justifications are easy to find, just as criticisms of others' and their viewpoints are easily flung about. What is difficult is to find the perseverance and diligence to actually set out on an adventure and carry on to its end, all the while remaining nonjudgmental and open. I feel very fortunate to have met someone who manifested not only an incredible realization and humble dignity, but such pure openness and genuine heartfelt compassion and care for others. I don't doubt that those were also the qualities that drew ChNN and so many other great lamas to visit Tulku Urgyen as well and to hold him in such high esteem.


Just spent last week with Tulku Urgyens oldest son and there is no doubt that this is style of Tulku Urgyen is a continuous tradition.

/magnus
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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby roman » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:54 pm

thank you all that read the post and have posted. You have answered the questions and have given me insight on the
questions.
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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby pemachophel » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:00 pm

Mariusz,

I believe Roman is talking about a Vajrayana ngondro, not the Dzogchen ngondro as described by Malcolm. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks. :namaste:
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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby Mariusz » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:29 am

pemachophel wrote:Mariusz,

I believe Roman is talking about a Vajrayana ngondro, not the Dzogchen ngondro as described by Malcolm. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks. :namaste:
When I'm looking post made by Malcom, he takes only Rushen as the real Ngondro.

However, when you take The Three Statements of Garab Dorje (* Direct Introduction * Do not remain in doubt * Integrate into everyday life), the second states if you had Direct Introduction from the master and you are not sure you really recognized Rigpa yet, you should eliminate your all your doubts by not only extraordinary Ngondro (Rushen practices of separating Mind from Rigpa) but also ordinary (outer and inner Ngondro: the four contemplations and the 5 practices). So I take the both as the real Ngondro. At least what I know from the Kunzang Gongpa Kundu cycle of Dzogchen Nyinthig.
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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby Sönam » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:43 am

Mariusz wrote:
pemachophel wrote:Mariusz,

I believe Roman is talking about a Vajrayana ngondro, not the Dzogchen ngondro as described by Malcolm. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks. :namaste:
When I'm looking post made by Malcom, he takes only Rushen as the real Ngondro.

However, when you take The Three Statements of Garab Dorje (* Direct Introduction * Do not remain in doubt * Integrate into everyday life), the second states if you had Direct Introduction from the master and you are not sure you really recognized Rigpa yet, you should eliminate your all your doubts by not only extraordinary Ngondro (Rushen practices of separating Mind from Rigpa) but also ordinary (outer and inner Ngondro, the four contemplations and the 5 practices). So I take the both as the real Ngondro.


The practice related to the 2nd statement is Longdé practices ...

Sönam
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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby Mariusz » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:56 am

Sönam wrote:
Mariusz wrote:
pemachophel wrote:Mariusz,

I believe Roman is talking about a Vajrayana ngondro, not the Dzogchen ngondro as described by Malcolm. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks. :namaste:
When I'm looking post made by Malcom, he takes only Rushen as the real Ngondro.

However, when you take The Three Statements of Garab Dorje (* Direct Introduction * Do not remain in doubt * Integrate into everyday life), the second states if you had Direct Introduction from the master and you are not sure you really recognized Rigpa yet, you should eliminate your all your doubts by not only extraordinary Ngondro (Rushen practices of separating Mind from Rigpa) but also ordinary (outer and inner Ngondro, the four contemplations and the 5 practices). So I take the both as the real Ngondro.


The practice related to the 2nd statement is Longdé practices ...

Sönam
Nyinthig (the innermost essence) stands alone. No need for Longdé
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Re: transmissions, ngondro, samaya

Postby Stewart » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:26 am

Sönam wrote:
Mariusz wrote:
pemachophel wrote:Mariusz,

I believe Roman is talking about a Vajrayana ngondro, not the Dzogchen ngondro as described by Malcolm. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks. :namaste:
When I'm looking post made by Malcom, he takes only Rushen as the real Ngondro.

However, when you take The Three Statements of Garab Dorje (* Direct Introduction * Do not remain in doubt * Integrate into everyday life), the second states if you had Direct Introduction from the master and you are not sure you really recognized Rigpa yet, you should eliminate your all your doubts by not only extraordinary Ngondro (Rushen practices of separating Mind from Rigpa) but also ordinary (outer and inner Ngondro, the four contemplations and the 5 practices). So I take the both as the real Ngondro.


The practice related to the 2nd statement is Longdé practices ...

Sönam



Mmmm, so your saying every Dzogchen practitioner who applys the 3 statements has to practice Longde?! I don't think that's quite right...DI first, then any method that eliminates doubt surly.
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