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.