Structuring Practice Days

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Structuring Practice Days

Postby Yeti » Wed May 01, 2013 12:45 am

I'm just working on structuring my practice days. I'm kind of in recovery mode from illness and fatigue, but am not working, so I can focus on practice.

Of course there are the obvious; with Medicine Buddha and Tara practice days on the 8th and 23rd of the lunar calendar (I guess raising windhorse practices on these days too). Of course 10th and 25th. And I know the main Dharmapala days. Shakyamuni practices on the 15th and 30th.

What's the best practice calendar days for Vajrasatta sadhana and Riwo Sangcho?

Can't leave this post without a slightly paraphrased quote from one of my teachers
Everyday is an auspicious day to practice.
"When a Dzogchen Yogi hears Shakyamuni Buddha turning the Wheel of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths he hears Samathabhadra proclaiming the most profound Dzogpachenpo." - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
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Re: Structuring Practice Days

Postby michaelb » Wed May 01, 2013 9:15 pm

Why not focus on one practice and go deeper and deeper into that?
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Re: Structuring Practice Days

Postby conebeckham » Wed May 01, 2013 10:44 pm

Riwo Sangcho is good to do every morning.

I get what you're saying, about the various days...and it's good to focus on practices related to those days. But most practices are good every day.

Tara is good to do in the morning, and especially before eating meat or eggs, if you do consume those things normally.
Yidam practice is good every day. Tormas and Solkas to protectors every evening. Lujin at night before bed. Ngondro in the morning....vow taking in the morning. Confession in the evening.
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Re: Structuring Practice Days

Postby ngodrup » Thu May 02, 2013 12:51 am

:good:

Ngondro, Ri Wo Sang Chod any Yidam and protectors every day, please.
Then on auspicious days, just do more.
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Re: Structuring Practice Days

Postby heart » Thu May 02, 2013 5:47 am

ngodrup wrote:Ngondro, Ri Wo Sang Chod any Yidam and protectors every day, please.
Then on auspicious days, just do more.


That is more or less the way I do it to.

/magnus
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Re: Structuring Practice Days

Postby Yeti » Thu May 02, 2013 8:29 am

conebeckham wrote:Riwo Sangcho is good to do every morning.

I get what you're saying, about the various days...and it's good to focus on practices related to those days. But most practices are good every day.

Tara is good to do in the morning, and especially before eating meat or eggs, if you do consume those things normally.
Yidam practice is good every day. Tormas and Solkas to protectors every evening. Lujin at night before bed. Ngondro in the morning....vow taking in the morning. Confession in the evening.

Thanks Cone, much appreciated. Have heard that one should do one's yidam practice first up before anything else (besides Calling the Lama and lineage prayers). Please excuse my ignorance, but what are/is Lujin?
"When a Dzogchen Yogi hears Shakyamuni Buddha turning the Wheel of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths he hears Samathabhadra proclaiming the most profound Dzogpachenpo." - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
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Re: Structuring Practice Days

Postby Yeti » Thu May 02, 2013 8:32 am

ngodrup wrote::good:

Ngondro, Ri Wo Sang Chod any Yidam and protectors every day, please.
Then on auspicious days, just do more.

Yes, I think this is the primary approach. Just wondering if I want to target doing more of certain practices, beyond the auspicious days, targeting monthly cycles, which are the practice days associated with certain practices. But I'm glad you made this point.
"When a Dzogchen Yogi hears Shakyamuni Buddha turning the Wheel of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths he hears Samathabhadra proclaiming the most profound Dzogpachenpo." - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
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Re: Structuring Practice Days

Postby Yeti » Thu May 02, 2013 8:36 am

Just as a side note, one of my teachers recently said to a group of us... don't be surprised if the protectors actually stir up problems and situations in your life in order to help wake you up!
"When a Dzogchen Yogi hears Shakyamuni Buddha turning the Wheel of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths he hears Samathabhadra proclaiming the most profound Dzogpachenpo." - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
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Re: Structuring Practice Days

Postby ngodrup » Thu May 02, 2013 3:41 pm

Well, you don't *have to* do protectors, unless you were specifically requested to.
You'll find they generally help. Some are more "risky" in the way you mention than others,
for that reason, if you think your life or practice is unstable, you might refrain, until
you're more experienced.

Some protectors, in some traditions function more like Yidams. Gesar, Mahakala or
Seng Dong Ma would be examples.

What more typically comes up is the neurotic scaffolding, more than the things.
So it's not like they take away your house, job or spouse... ;)
Rather, making offerings is generally meritorious, so things get better so that
practice and more generosity becomes easier.
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Re: Structuring Practice Days

Postby conebeckham » Thu May 02, 2013 3:51 pm

Yeti wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Riwo Sangcho is good to do every morning.

I get what you're saying, about the various days...and it's good to focus on practices related to those days. But most practices are good every day.

Tara is good to do in the morning, and especially before eating meat or eggs, if you do consume those things normally.
Yidam practice is good every day. Tormas and Solkas to protectors every evening. Lujin at night before bed. Ngondro in the morning....vow taking in the morning. Confession in the evening.

Thanks Cone, much appreciated. Have heard that one should do one's yidam practice first up before anything else (besides Calling the Lama and lineage prayers). Please excuse my ignorance, but what are/is Lujin?

Lujin is the offering of one's body, otherwise known as "Chod."
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Re: Structuring Practice Days

Postby Yeti » Thu May 02, 2013 11:32 pm

ngodrup wrote:Well, you don't *have to* do protectors, unless you were specifically requested to.
You'll find they generally help. Some are more "risky" in the way you mention than others,
for that reason, if you think your life or practice is unstable, you might refrain, until
you're more experienced.

Some protectors, in some traditions function more like Yidams. Gesar, Mahakala or
Seng Dong Ma would be examples.

What more typically comes up is the neurotic scaffolding, more than the things.
So it's not like they take away your house, job or spouse... ;)
Rather, making offerings is generally meritorious, so things get better so that
practice and more generosity becomes easier.

Agree. Have also been told you have to have stable visualisation of yourself as your yidam otherwise the Dharmapalas will just ignore you. Also, once you start doing regular Dharmapala practice, you have to continue that, whether it is just on 9th, 19th and/or 29th or daily. My OP I was not really targeting daily practices, but extensive practices. BTW, it took HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche around 5 hours to do all the Dharmapala practices on the 29th.
"When a Dzogchen Yogi hears Shakyamuni Buddha turning the Wheel of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths he hears Samathabhadra proclaiming the most profound Dzogpachenpo." - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
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Re: Structuring Practice Days

Postby Yeti » Thu May 02, 2013 11:32 pm

conebeckham wrote:
Yeti wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Riwo Sangcho is good to do every morning.

I get what you're saying, about the various days...and it's good to focus on practices related to those days. But most practices are good every day.

Tara is good to do in the morning, and especially before eating meat or eggs, if you do consume those things normally.
Yidam practice is good every day. Tormas and Solkas to protectors every evening. Lujin at night before bed. Ngondro in the morning....vow taking in the morning. Confession in the evening.

Thanks Cone, much appreciated. Have heard that one should do one's yidam practice first up before anything else (besides Calling the Lama and lineage prayers). Please excuse my ignorance, but what are/is Lujin?

Lujin is the offering of one's body, otherwise known as "Chod."

Thanks :smile:
"When a Dzogchen Yogi hears Shakyamuni Buddha turning the Wheel of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths he hears Samathabhadra proclaiming the most profound Dzogpachenpo." - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
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Re: Structuring Practice Days

Postby Yeti » Thu May 02, 2013 11:44 pm

michaelb wrote:Why not focus on one practice and go deeper and deeper into that?

Sorry for seemingly ignoring this post, but I have to completely agree with the crux of your point. Under all this, I am focused on a key practice. I think what you say is actually really important.
"When a Dzogchen Yogi hears Shakyamuni Buddha turning the Wheel of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths he hears Samathabhadra proclaiming the most profound Dzogpachenpo." - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
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Re: Structuring Practice Days

Postby michaelb » Fri May 03, 2013 12:37 am

Yeti wrote:
michaelb wrote:Why not focus on one practice and go deeper and deeper into that?

Sorry for seemingly ignoring this post, but I have to completely agree with the crux of your point. Under all this, I am focused on a key practice. I think what you say is actually really important.
I was just thinking about myself. Not too long ago I thought of incorporating more practices into my month, which is good. But I think my main motivation for doing it was I was just getting a bit bored with my main practice. Instead of starting lots of new stuff, I reread commentaries and learned to appreciate what I was doing more and that it actually contained all the other stuff (long-life, dispelling obstacles, benefitting beings of the six realms, paying off karmic debts, etc.)

I agree with Riwo Sangcho in the morning, long-life at start of the month, protectors at the end, etc, though. I just don't have as much time on my hands as I would like.
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Re: Structuring Practice Days

Postby Yeti » Fri May 03, 2013 1:56 am

I think one's main practice should be just that, with doing as much of that as possible. The others just enhance that and probably expand ones activities and connection with sbs when one progresses well enough along the path to lead beings to liberation, opening more skilful means and the likes.

Getting bored with one's main practice I feel often comes from not doing enough of it to experience it as the source of blessings, etc. It's pretty natural for all of us to have to work through this IMHO.
"When a Dzogchen Yogi hears Shakyamuni Buddha turning the Wheel of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths he hears Samathabhadra proclaiming the most profound Dzogpachenpo." - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
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Re: Structuring Practice Days

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sun May 05, 2013 8:05 pm

Yeti wrote:Getting bored with one's main practice I feel often comes from not doing enough of it to experience it as the source of blessings, etc.

I think this is very, very true. Eventually the main practice just "clicks" and becomes more dynamic, much easier to visualize and get into the full-on feeling of being the deity without it feeling like something one is superimposing on oneself, and just more fulfilling. And of course, how much practice is enough for this to happen will be unique to each individual; for some, a lot of practice will be required, and for others somewhat less will do the trick, depending on karma and especially tendrel with their main practice. So perseverance is key.

One thing one of my gurus, ChNN, has said, however, is that it may actually be a good idea in the beginning to do different practices from time to time in order to prevent boredom and burnout, or to avert it if it's arisen, in order to keep one's practice fresh. My experience has been that this has indeed been helpful and kind of led to a boost of inspiration to go back to the main practice with a lot more "momentum" behind it. The possibility to approach it this way will of course depend on not having received instructions from one's lama not to deviate from one's main practice, as for some people powering through may be the better way, especially if their lama can sense they're on the verge of a breakthrough with that main practice. Anyway, just some thoughts. Of course, when I say "main practice" here, I really mean main deity practice, since our main practice as Nyingmapas is actually guru yoga. (Same may be true for other lineages, but I'm not familiar with them to know if that's the case.)

Yeti wrote:It's pretty natural for all of us to have to work through this IMHO.

Absolutely.
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Re: Structuring Practice Days

Postby Yeti » Tue May 07, 2013 12:00 pm

As the saying says "Meditation isn't, getting used to is" :smile:
"When a Dzogchen Yogi hears Shakyamuni Buddha turning the Wheel of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths he hears Samathabhadra proclaiming the most profound Dzogpachenpo." - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
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