TaTa wrote:I was wondering whats the usual prerequisites before starting doing sadhanas. How much shine practice is needed? Is ngondro a requisite? Is there such a thing as "rushing into ngondro"? What was your experience?
Sorry about my ignorance, and thank you in advance.
Nothing to be sorry about, Tata. Since vajrayana is all about the connection and "relationship"* between a sincerely interested and diligent student and a qualified, kind, and diligent lama, I would say the only hard and fast prerequisite is to have established such a relationship before embarking upon sadhana practice if one's goal is to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all others. Then, different lamas may have further prereqs. Shinay might be a prereq for some if they have an especially unruly mind and if they are not able to immediately grasp how the elements of shinay (as well as of lhagtong or vipashyana) are fully present in creation stage practice if done correctly. Do you currently have such a connection with a particular lama?
* As for my statement above, I should note that I put the word "relationship" in quotes only because it's not necessarily a relationship in the ordinary sense we normally give to the word, but more fundamentally it's a connection and collaboration in the same mandala with joined bodhicitta intention and aspirations and where one's effort in training in the vajra dharma is directly linked to that connection. This is evidenced by the fundamental instruction to consider one's lama (who one has established trust and confidence in) to be the essence of all buddhas in general, and of one's yidam in particular. And then when one practices a sadhana considering oneself to be the yidam, there is basically a guru yoga going on there that makes the methods much more powerful than just considering that we've gotten the empowerment, etc and permission to do the practice from some lama we have no real relationship with.