Entry into gcod

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Entry into gcod

Postby michaelb » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:44 am

As I mentioned in another thread, I am interested in doing gcod more often. I did the short kusali offering (without special melody or instrumental accompaniment) as part of the LN ngondro, which I just had the lung for. I have also received the Dudjom Throma wang which I think doesn't actually include a gcod transmission like 'opening the sky door' but is just a standard deity empowerment. I understand to do full gcod in the Dudjom Tersar tradition, you have to do a special ngondro and other things (maybe complete Throma sadhana?) I was also wondering about Longchen Nyingthig gcod. I've heard there isn't a specific empowerment for this, Yumka is enough along with the khandro Gejang lung, is that right? Also, I was told that traditionally the Kagyu empowerment into the Lujin practice [traditionally] entails heavy commitments of having to do the 108 cremation ground practice or something like that, but I was given the lung for the practice.

I suppose my thinking is kind of all over the place and I was wondering where to start and how.

I'm planning to attend this empowerment. I like the look of the website and the setup seems kosher but following the study programme seems quite expensive at $275 per module. (I just looked again and it seems to have gone up to $325).

Anyway, how does one start these practices? Does one need the Opening the Sky Door transmission or need to do other things first?

many thanks,
michael.
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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby Yudron » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:31 am

michaelb wrote:As I mentioned in another thread, I am interested in doing gcod more often. I did the short kusali offering (without special melody or instrumental accompaniment) as part of the LN ngondro, which I just had the lung for. I have also received the Dudjom Throma wang which I think doesn't actually include a gcod transmission like 'opening the sky door' but is just a standard deity empowerment. I understand to do full gcod in the Dudjom Tersar tradition, you have to do a special ngondro and other things (maybe complete Throma sadhana?) I was also wondering about Longchen Nyingthig gcod. I've heard there isn't a specific empowerment for this, Yumka is enough along with the khandro Gejang lung, is that right? Also, I was told that traditionally the Kagyu empowerment into the Lujin practice [traditionally] entails heavy commitments of having to do the 108 cremation ground practice or something like that, but I was given the lung for the practice.

I suppose my thinking is kind of all over the place and I was wondering where to start and how.

I'm planning to attend this empowerment. I like the look of the website and the setup seems kosher but following the study programme seems quite expensive at $275 per module. (I just looked again and it seems to have gone up to $325).

Anyway, how does one start these practices? Does one need the Opening the Sky Door transmission or need to do other things first?

many thanks,
michael.


In the Dudjom Tersar one generally receives a Throma empowerment (there are three, any of them will do) before practicing the feasts of Chö (the gyey zhi) then you can do them any time you want, if you know how. I'm not sure if the wang is really necessary or not. You can read the Saraha Nyingthig for an explanation of how things proceed. But to do a 100 (108 acually) day Chö retreat (there is an indoor one and an outdoor one) you need to do the Throma ngondro first, at minimum. The general order of practice for the Throma cycle is ngondro, then an approach and accomplishment retreat on the medium or concise Throma practice, then the 100 day chö retreat, and on down the line.

Alternatively, a lot of people incorporate the concise feast into their daily practice--it's short and has everything in it. I'm quite sure some people practice it who have never had the wang.
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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby michaelb » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:30 pm

Thanks Yudron. I have a couple of Tersar Throma texts given to me by the group of the lama that gave the empowerment. These are a very short offering of the body, much like the Kusali Tsok in the LN ngondro. I'm not sure if it is "the concise feast" that you mention but it doesn't have everything in it in the sense of explicitly mentioning various white, red, mixed or black feasts, well maybe a white feast but not much else. Sadly, the text I have doesn't have a title other than "Throma" followed by a brief description and note that it was discovered by Dudjom Lingpa and translated by Sarah Harding. The other one is a Throma yidam sadhana with no 'feasts' other than a tsok. It's called "The Quinessential Accomplishment in Accordance with the Lineage of the Vajra Essence" compiled by Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche.

I understand that if you are chosing to specialize in the Tersar Throma cycle, doing the 100 day retreat etc. doing the ngondro and completing the approach and accomplishment of Throma are important, but it's still kind of okay to do the larger gcod practces including all the feasts even if you haven't done the preliminaries? Maybe the practice would just be less effective?

I wanted to hear from anyone that had experience of the Kagyu Lujin. Are there any qualifications required to practice this? I suppose many Kagyupas would have plenty of experience visualizing themselves as Dorje Pagmo but what if you haven't done any other Kagyu practice?

Regarding Longchen Nyinthig, is it okay to do the Khandro Gejang straight after ngondro or would one be expected to complete the three roots first or something else? Anyone have any knowledge or experience.

thanks
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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby michaelb » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:12 pm

By the way, Yudron, where could I read the Saraha Nyingthik?
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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby Silent Bob » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:41 pm

Michael--In answer to your question, I've had the Lujin empowerment four times from three different lineage holders, as recently as last week and I've yet to hear any requirement that one do 108 charnel ground practice. My impression is that "Opening the Sky Door" and the lung are the minimum needed to enter the practice. There is a short ngondro section that opens the Lujin, but it is an integral part of the liturgy and doesn't involve accumulating numbers.

The "Tibetan Healing Chod" program in England that you're hoping to attend next year is worthwhile, IMHO. Lamas Tsewong and Jinpa are very thorough and precise in their presentation and you won't be disappointed or led astray. You can also contact Jinpa through the THC website and address your questions or concerns about the curriculum to him. My own experience, in case it isn't already obvious, has been quite positive.

BTW, the single best book on Lujin is Tenga Rinpoche's commentary, "Cho: The Garden of All Joy...",
http://www.namsebangdzo.com/Cho_The_Garden_of_All_Joy_p/15863.htm

Chris
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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby michaelb » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:57 pm

Thanks for your reply, Chris. Without going into too much detail, it was my lama who, if I understood correctly, mentioned the commitment of undertaking the 108 day practice on receipt of the empowerment. Maybe he just didn't want to give me this empowerment, though he was happy to give me the lung, explain the practice and said I could do it. I actually took "the Garden of All Joy" book to him to show him where Tenga Rinpoche says there is no commitment from taking the empowerment. He replied that Tenga Rinpoche may do it that way but he doesn't. Which is fine, but I still feel a little uncomfortable about doing a practice that I haven't had empowerment for. I will ask him about this again when I get an opportunity.

I will also, of course, ask about taking the empowerment from Tsewong Rinpoche. I'm glad your experiences of THC have been positive. I appreciate what they are doing in making teachings and expertise available and have received helpful advice from Lama Jinpa previously. I might ask for his advice again.
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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby Terma » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:54 am

Hello Michael,

I think that if you really have an interest in chod and feel an affinity to the practice, then attending the weekend with Tsewang Rinpoche and Lama Jinpa would be excellent, where it looks like you will have a chance to receive the "opening the sky door" empowerment in person. This is a requirement to practice what is taught in the different modules thereafter.

As for the modules, I think they may have added a few things to the modules then before but even having said that, what is included in the first module alone is well worth the price in my opinion. I'm not going to go into great detail here about it, as you can get a lot of info from their site and Lama Jinpa himself if you are interested. But I will say the program they offer will most definitely have you hit the ground running in terms of Chod practice.

But you can PM me if you'd like to know a little more from my side of things and my own experience.

Though some say it is not so necessary, I would strongly encourage you to find a good traditionally made damaru if you don't already have one. On many levels it goes hand in hand with the practice of Chod.

Good luck!

Terma
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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby Yudron » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:02 am

It's absolutely okay to do the feasts in daily life without having done the Throma ngondro. It's also okay to do the Throma yidam sadhana, either concise or medium length (Dungse Rinpoche fleshed out the concise Throma a little to create a complete practice and tsog). Lama Pema Dorje told me that the feasts are complete path to enlightenment unto themselves. I've never heard him say the practice is less effective without having done the specific Throma ngondro. I can't tell myself because I did do the ngondro first.

That being said, that Throma ngondro is so unique and sublime, hardly anyone who encounters it does not want to practice it to one degree or another. Many people undertake it after having completed the Tersar ngondro or the Longchen Nyingthig ngondro.

Lama Tharchin Rinpoche's instructions are to not conflate the Dudjom Throma Chö and the other chö traditions, there are differences between this terma Dzogchen chö tradition from Saraha and Guru Rinpoche inseparable, and the father lineage and the mother lineage instructions which are more based on the Prajnaparamita, etc...

The Saraha Nyingthig (Heart Essence of Saraha) will be available again from Light of Berotsana (http://www.berotsana.org/works/). They are revising it, and I believe it will contain other related texts in the next edition, as well. They also have "The Ornament of the Great Mother's Wisdom," which gives the details of the visualizations, a volume with the feasts in it, and other supports for Chö practice. I assume the concise feast is in the volume with the four feasts in it.

For me, the chö really has helped cut through some of my hangups and obstacles, and I'm sure it will continue to do so. For me, the feasts themselves, as wonderful as they are, are not as important as the pith instructions in the Saraha Nyingthig. I hope it is out again very soon.

michaelb wrote:Thanks Yudron. I have a couple of Tersar Throma texts given to me by the group of the lama that gave the empowerment. These are a very short offering of the body, much like the Kusali Tsok in the LN ngondro. I'm not sure if it is "the concise feast" that you mention but it doesn't have everything in it in the sense of explicitly mentioning various white, red, mixed or black feasts, well maybe a white feast but not much else. Sadly, the text I have doesn't have a title other than "Throma" followed by a brief description and note that it was discovered by Dudjom Lingpa and translated by Sarah Harding. The other one is a Throma yidam sadhana with no 'feasts' other than a tsok. It's called "The Quintessential Accomplishment in Accordance with the Lineage of the Vajra Essence" compiled by Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche.

I understand that if you are choosing to specialize in the Tersar Throma cycle, doing the 100 day retreat etc. doing the ngondro and completing the approach and accomplishment of Throma are important, but it's still kind of okay to do the larger gcod practces including all the feasts even if you haven't done the preliminaries? Maybe the practice would just be less effective?

I wanted to hear from anyone that had experience of the Kagyu Lujin. Are there any qualifications required to practice this? I suppose many Kagyupas would have plenty of experience visualizing themselves as Dorje Pagmo but what if you haven't done any other Kagyu practice?

Regarding Longchen Nyinthig, is it okay to do the Khandro Gejang straight after ngondro or would one be expected to complete the three roots first or something else? Anyone have any knowledge or experience.

thanks
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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby conebeckham » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:04 am

I don't want to contradict your teacher's personal word to you, MichaelB, but I can tell you that "Opening the Door of the Sky" is, in my view, essential for the practice of the Daily Offering of the Body (Lujin, commonly known as "daily chod practice") --and that this practice is done in 3 year retreats as the final evening practice before sleep, from the time one commences mandala offerings as part of ngondro, and for the remainder of the retreat. No commitment regarding charnel grounds is necessary in these cases. However, the charnel ground pilgrimage practice is most definitely a part of the Chod lienage, and would be something a dedicated chodpa may aspire to, for sure......possibly after completing a retreat with all the advanced phases of the complete practice, a la Tsokle Rinchen Trengwa or other systems....
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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby Yudron » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:09 am

Regarding the Nyingthig... there are people who do the Khandro Gejang in daily practice before having finished ngondro. I think I recall that our lama from Tibet said one engages with it as a main practice after the three roots, though. But I could be mistaken. These chö practices are known to really help one's Dzogchen practice.

People who complete even one ngondro, then three roots accumulations outside of a three year retreat setting are very rare in today's world. So lamas are adapting to current situations.
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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby michaelb » Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:34 pm

Thanks for your replies.
Terma, I am interested in Lama Jinpa's programme, maybe not taking the full course but at least getting the information I need to practice more correctly. Unfortunately, my current circumstances (small child, moving house next week, etc.) really don't allow even taking one module. I'm pleased I haven't heard anything negative about THC and look forward to meeting Lama Tsewong and Lama Jinpa next year.

Yudron, thanks again. I'm getting the idea that there are two ways of seeing gcod. Firstly as a rather simple offering practice that can be done with ngondro, for people who have nothing else to offer (possibly ironic given the expense of some of the items needed to practice) or as the enlightened activity of a yidam, which one usually only does after completing the approach and accomplishment. Interesting but understandable that Dudjom lamas do not want their gcod conflated with other versions. I imagine other traditions may feel the same. I guess Lama Jinpa's approach of studying and practicing them together is quite novel. I am attracted to the Dudjom version, due to spending quite a bit of time with some impressive practitioners in Tso Pema like the anis up in the caves where it was the main practice.

Cone, I was reticent to mention my Lama's position as I am aware others teach differently. I don't know why he gave the advice he did. Maybe he just didn't want to give the wang. He's not that big on giving lots of empowerments. I will ask again for clarification. Of all the gcod practices I asked about it is this one he suggested I do and, of course, I really should follow his advice before anyone else's. Maybe if he says it's okay to get the wang from Lama Tsewong the apparent problem is solved and I can get on with it.

It seems to me three things are really important in Dharma practice: devotion to Three Jewels and Three Roots, compassion for all beings, even those that would harm us, and awareness of our true nature. No other practice seems to embody these three aspects of practice in the way that gcod does. I am a little daunted by the musical side of it, learning the melodies and using the instruments, as I'm really not a very musical person, and this has been putting me off really pursuing it for years, but seeing the great value of the practice I want to really give it a go.

thanks
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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby Yudron » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:58 pm

In your case, I would not worry about the melodies. Some people are just tone deaf and will never get it right. The meaning is what is important--just don't ever ever pass on your "new melodies" to others.
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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby pemachophel » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:31 am

MichaelB,

I highly recommend studying chod with Tsewang Sithar Rinpoche through Lama Jinpa's Tibetan Healing Cho program. Tsewang Rinpoche has really focused on chod, both in His personal practice and His monastery's liturgical schedule. He is an expert in at least four cycles of chod: Longchen Nyingthig, Dudjom Tersar, Pegyal Lingpa, and the original Tsoglay Rinchen Trengwa. For all I know, He may even know/practice other chod as well. Not only does He know the lujin (body charity) for these chod, but He also knows all the ancillary practices as well. Even better, Tsewang Rinpoche is one of the most open, relaxed, warm, loving, and generous Lamas I have ever met. In my experience, you won't go wrong in studying chod with Him.

:namaste:
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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby Kunga » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:19 am

Alternatively, you could come to Kathmandu and receive the wang from Dampa Sangye himself, Lama Tsering Norbu Rinpoche.
Rinpoche gives the wang, lung and tri regularly and openly and you can learn the music and practice of the Longchen Nyingtik chod every day with his monks. He does not expect or require that people have done Ngondro. Also he doesn't charge for teachings.

(Rinpoche gives an extensive 'opening the sky door' transmission initiation.)

A Dudjom lama friend in Boudha told me that this wang is sufficient to do the Dudjom throma or any other chod practice, if one has the relevant lung for the practice.

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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby heart » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:44 pm

Kunga wrote:Alternatively, you could come to Kathmandu and receive the wang from Dampa Sangye himself, Lama Tsering Norbu Rinpoche.
Rinpoche gives the wang, lung and tri regularly and openly and you can learn the music and practice of the Longchen Nyingtik chod every day with his monks. He does not expect or require that people have done Ngondro. Also he doesn't charge for teachings.

(Rinpoche gives an extensive 'opening the sky door' transmission initiation.)

A Dudjom lama friend in Boudha told me that this wang is sufficient to do the Dudjom throma or any other chod practice, if one has the relevant lung for the practice.

K


Seems ChNNR is transmitting the Longchen Nyingtik chod tomorrow and in the following days in the open webcast.

/magnus
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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby michaelb » Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:35 pm

Thanks again for your comments.
Yudron, I'm glad it doesn't matter that I'm tone deaf. I also have pretty bad coordination too, so I hope it doesn't matter if I play the drum and bell like I'm drunk.
Pemachopel, I intend to make every effort to attend Tsewong Rinpoche's teachings in London next year. Your opinion adds to the large number of positive views regarding THC I have heard.
Kunga, thanks for the tip but if the £170 for a THC module is a bit ex
pensive for me at the moment, I think the £500+ airfare to Kathmandu is quite beyond me. My days of taking off to India or Nepal for exciting teachings is past me, for the moment, anyway.
BTW, I already have the Dudjom Throma Wang but no tri
Magnus, I've just moved house and will be without broadband internet for another week. (Typing on this phone is a lesson in patience in itself.) I think I've already had this transmission. I think Rinpoche gave it when he gave the Dorje Drollo empowerment earlier this year? I was also under the impression that the gcod he gives is derived from LN but not the same, different Guru Yoga?
Thanks.
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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby philji » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:41 pm

Hi Kunga..yes I agree that meeting up with Lama Wangdu is one of the best ways to immerse oneself in the Chod practice. we were fortunate here in Cardiff to have been given the " opening the sky door" empowerment. From Ngagpa Rinpoche recently....
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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby heart » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:48 am

michaelb wrote:Magnus, I've just moved house and will be without broadband internet for another week. (Typing on this phone is a lesson in patience in itself.) I think I've already had this transmission. I think Rinpoche gave it when he gave the Dorje Drollo empowerment earlier this year? I was also under the impression that the gcod he gives is derived from LN but not the same, different Guru Yoga?
Thanks.


Yes, but today it seems he will give the "Khadroi Gadgyang”, he already transmitted his own chöd practice the last two days.

/magnus
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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby ratna » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:56 am

Gadjang is tomorrow, today is Machik's Khatsom Chenmo.
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Re: Entry into gcod

Postby heart » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:49 am

ratna wrote:Gadjang is tomorrow, today is Machik's Khatsom Chenmo.


Yes, I mixed up the days.

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