ratna wrote:If I remember correctly, I once read somewhere that a serious practitioner of Tröma should practice only Tröma and nothing else. Is that true? Is there such an instruction?
That’s a good question. I think I’ve met others who have gotten that impression, too. Do you remember where you read that?
There certainly have been people—and whole communities of yogis and yoginis—who have focused almost completely on this cycle. Degyal Rinpoche, a student of Dudjom Lingpa’s, went to the Mt. Kailash area and established a yogic encampment of monks and nuns there, later joined by his student the Golok ngakpa Serta Rinpoche who had a group of his non-monastic students. This community practiced the Throma cycle together every day, and were widely influential throughout northern Nepal and Western Tibet throughout the mid 20th century. Eventually, they lived with HH Dudjom Rinpoche’s community in exile in the refugee camp in Orissa, India. Later, their tulkus established a center in Humla, Nepal that is now doing well.
This story really inspires me because these were very simple natural rural people who practiced a small group of practices – and I’ve heard sometimes their lamas would have them specialized in just one practice within the Throma cycle prescribed for them by their lama. Yet, everyone says that (the nuns in particular) showed the most accomplishment when they died in Orissa, while some of the lamas who were Dharma scholars who died there showed no accomplishment at all (sadly).
Generally, young people in that community did the sa ter ngondro first – a long ngondro terma of Dudjom Lingpa’s (like the Longchen Nyingthig) – then their 100 bums of Guru Rinpoche mantra, then the Throma ngondro, etc.... Degyal Rinpoche had an expedited path to Dzogchen for the rural elderly that included doing a large number of manis as their ngondro and going straight to dzogchen.
Now, Garab Rinpoche is doing something similar in Bhutan.
There is also one beautiful letter of heart advice by Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche in the sung bum telling a monk who was his student that he should focus on that cycle.
That being said, I get the impression that generally Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche had yogins do retreat on guru (such as Tsokye Thukthig or Dorje Drollo) and Yidam (such as Vajrakilaya) in addition to the Khandro after their first ngondro. Then, a serious Throma practitioner would continue on focusing mainly on Throma while continuing to recite the super-short daily practices on the lama and yidam as part of their practice day.