Typical Progression

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Typical Progression

Postby Vidyaraja » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:34 pm

I apologize if this is a question of ignorance, but so far in my studies of Buddhism I have been mainly studying the teachings, the scriptures, or guides on meditation, etc. however I don't know much about the system of progression in Vajrayana.

What I am getting at is, what is the typical process towards higher initiations and empowerment for the novice? Where does a monk or lay practitioner begin and how many years is it before the "higher" teachings and initiations are revealed to him? Is there a guide to this process and the typical amount of time/years one needs to practice on a particular step before moving to the next step? Say for someone interested in Dzogchen, what would be the typical path of progression? Is this a uniform process or is it unique to each individual based upon the gurus recognition of the students inner state? For example, there obviously must be individuals who step on the path with comparatively little experience of higher states of consciousness or knowledge of Buddhist teachings, so is the progression a uniform process or individually unique?
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Re: Typical Progression

Postby etinin » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:50 pm

Before getting Dzogchen, you are typically required to go through the Ngöndro, which comprises the preliminary Vajrayana rites. You should check on nearby practice centers for more details. There are few differences between the four major traditions and all of them *usually* require some form of Ngöndro, though some teachers do not impose that prerequisite.
--Karma Rigpe Wangchuk

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Re: Typical Progression

Postby Heruka » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:16 am

Vidyaraja wrote:or is it unique to each individual based upon the gurus recognition of the students inner state?


any teacher that claims they know this, is just stroking your ego to shake you down for money.

my advice, and its for free so take it or leave it, is to go to get instruction on meditation, which you should not have to pay for ( unless you want to make a small donation ) and see how you get on with that. forget about everything else for now.

:namaste:

all the best.
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Re: Typical Progression

Postby heart » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:10 am

Vidyaraja wrote:Say for someone interested in Dzogchen, what would be the typical path of progression? Is this a uniform process or is it unique to each individual based upon the gurus recognition of the students inner state? For example, there obviously must be individuals who step on the path with comparatively little experience of higher states of consciousness or knowledge of Buddhist teachings, so is the progression a uniform process or individually unique?


Decades later I would say that the path is kind of unique with a hint of uniform, or uniform with a hint of unique. But from the beginning it is kind of uniform, no matter what Guru you take instructions from. But uniform or unique is irrelevant I think. You need some genuine trust in the Guru you take instructions from, if you want it to work.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Typical Progression

Postby Yudron » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:31 am

Vidyaraja wrote:I apologize if this is a question of ignorance, but so far in my studies of Buddhism I have been mainly studying the teachings, the scriptures, or guides on meditation, etc. however I don't know much about the system of progression in Vajrayana.

What I am getting at is, what is the typical process towards higher initiations and empowerment for the novice? Where does a monk or lay practitioner begin and how many years is it before the "higher" teachings and initiations are revealed to him? Is there a guide to this process and the typical amount of time/years one needs to practice on a particular step before moving to the next step? Say for someone interested in Dzogchen, what would be the typical path of progression? Is this a uniform process or is it unique to each individual based upon the gurus recognition of the students inner state? For example, there obviously must be individuals who step on the path with comparatively little experience of higher states of consciousness or knowledge of Buddhist teachings, so is the progression a uniform process or individually unique?


If your lama is a Dzogchen master... on paper the path wold be ngondro, intensive deity yoga practices, perhaps tsa lung or not, dzogchen ngondro, trekchod, togal. In reality, today probably focus on ngondro first, then concurrently with that get some Dzogchen instruction, then focus on trekchod for many years and doing deity practices as you wish, or as the lama recommends. Not many lamas are qualified to teach Dzogchen. Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche and a few others have other gateways into Dzogchen.

There will be individual adaptations as the lama comes to know you personally and what your obstacles are. Remedial practices, such as specific deity practices, may be advised for you.

Guru Yoga is the main practice of the Vajrayana and Dzogchen from beginning to end. So, you gotta have a great guru and one that you can come to trust and view purely.
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Re: Typical Progression

Postby tomamundsen » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:17 pm

Yudron wrote:
Vidyaraja wrote:I apologize if this is a question of ignorance, but so far in my studies of Buddhism I have been mainly studying the teachings, the scriptures, or guides on meditation, etc. however I don't know much about the system of progression in Vajrayana.

What I am getting at is, what is the typical process towards higher initiations and empowerment for the novice? Where does a monk or lay practitioner begin and how many years is it before the "higher" teachings and initiations are revealed to him? Is there a guide to this process and the typical amount of time/years one needs to practice on a particular step before moving to the next step? Say for someone interested in Dzogchen, what would be the typical path of progression? Is this a uniform process or is it unique to each individual based upon the gurus recognition of the students inner state? For example, there obviously must be individuals who step on the path with comparatively little experience of higher states of consciousness or knowledge of Buddhist teachings, so is the progression a uniform process or individually unique?


If your lama is a Dzogchen master... on paper the path wold be ngondro, intensive deity yoga practices, perhaps tsa lung or not, dzogchen ngondro, trekchod, togal. In reality, today probably focus on ngondro first, then concurrently with that get some Dzogchen instruction, then focus on trekchod for many years and doing deity practices as you wish, or as the lama recommends. Not many lamas are qualified to teach Dzogchen. Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche and a few others have other gateways into Dzogchen.

There will be individual adaptations as the lama comes to know you personally and what your obstacles are. Remedial practices, such as specific deity practices, may be advised for you.

Guru Yoga is the main practice of the Vajrayana and Dzogchen from beginning to end. So, you gotta have a great guru and one that you can come to trust and view purely.

This is consistent with what I have noticed. I'd like to elaborate that it seems lamas will give trekcho instructions to Westerners before completing ngondro as long as you make the commitment to finish it. Of course these decisions are made on a case-by-case basis in the context of a personal relationship with your lama. Also, from what I understand, ngondro itself is also Dzogchen practice :)
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