Shemmy wrote: I've heard other practitioners say you can't just gather empowerments like money off of trees and save them for later when you are ready, you have to make them part of your practice. I asked one Lama about practicing different sadhanas together and he said no that's not good, you're just backing up out of one and starting your whole process over with another.
Maybe other traditions view it this way, but I've never heard of or met a Nyingma lama that didn't encourage us to receive as many empowerments as we can from qualified lamas. Why? Because the very process of empowerment purifies karma and obscurations and generates merit. And in the Nyingma school, all practice commitments are subsumed under guru yoga since our Dzogchen perspective views the lama as the embodiment of all our lamas and all wisdom beings. This same principle applies to Vajrasattva practice as Yudron mentioned. We Nyingmapas generally don't have the custom of considering that one must practice every sadhana one ever received empowerment for; imagine receiving the entire Rinchen Terdzod, or the Nyingma Kama, or whole terms cycles like Dudjom Tersar, Longchen Nyingthig, Chokling Tersar, etc. That would be hundreds of empowerments. Nobody could practice them all! And all Buddhas and your guru have the same essential nature (qualitatively) and are inseparable with your guru and yourself anyway. So you practice one and you practice all. So unless your lama says you shouldn't go or there is a practice commitment you aren't ready for (which would be atypical), I'd recommend going to these empowerments.