Luke wrote:But I do have suspicions that I am just not cut out for Tibetan Buddhism at all. For example, except for the chapter on bodhichitta which I really enjoyed, I find the book "The Words of My Perfect Teacher" to be very boring and uninspiring. But this seems to be a book that one has to say is totally wonderful if one does Tibetan Buddhism. I liked The Jewel Ornament of Liberation and any stories of Gampopa's life much, much better. I always feel very warm-hearted about Gampopa. I feel that reading his teachings created a lot of the good karma which allowed me to experience so many interesting Buddhist things over the past 5 years. But *sigh* there is so much negative politics in the Kagyu school these days (Karmapa controversy, etc.).
And I really hated doing the Longchen Nyingthik ngondro. Are other ngondros really so different?
And I don't believe that reciting thousands of mantras is really of great benefit. But believing the opposite is a key belief in Tibetan Buddhism, isn't it?
You don't have to like WoMPT unless you really want to be Nyingma. WoMPT and The Jewel Ornament
cover the same material (mostly).
Ngondro are hard, that's part of the point.
Bodhicitta, mediation, and wisdom are all more important than mantras.
“If you have developed bodhicitta in your mind-stream you will succeed in all the things ordinary people fail at, the knowledge mantras or tantric spells described in the sutras and tantras, in certain anthologies and so on to make it rain, stop hail, and so forth. Blame this on ordinary people’s lack of bodhicitta. Thus, if you want to rid yourself and others of sickness, etc. and want to have greater abilities, you must develop this mind. It is wrong to think an instruction taught on some tantric spell is at fault if it does not work for you.”
-Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand pg. 560
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.
-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra
"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."
-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats