Depends on the practitioner. Depends on what they feel they need to do. The only thing that is absolutely essential is guru yoga followed by song of the vajra.
That is ChNN talking. Jim Valby told me the Song of Vajra is his terma tradition. I took this to mean Song of Vajra is not indispensable, because there are so many guru yoga methods. Whether you sing a song, visualize a picture or hum a mantra, you are doing something to get into not doing something. What that doing something is, is blessings.
What I meant was guru yoga is indispensable. After that, Song of the vajra is indispensable. But one cannot just sing song of the vajra out loud anywhere. it would be strange. Of course, you can mentally sing it everywhere.
Song of the vajra is not just ChNN's terma tradition. It is very important. Key in Dzogchen teachings. I cannot emphasize how much how important it is.
Okay. There are the three series of Ati right? Then, in the third, there are also three. Longchen Nyingthig is the highest. Then, in Longchen Nyingthig there are levels and Trileg Yeshe Lama is the quintessence. There is guru yoga at each of these levels. The guru yidam has outer, inner, secret, super secret and super duper secret. Tigle Gyachen is the super duper secret and it is a devotional sadhana connected with Longchenpa's mind and the Yeshe Lama, namely the fourth Appearance of Exhaustion into Dharmata. Then, there is the guru of inseparability, the Yeshe Lama (tregcho/togal). The final realizations of the two, Tigle Gyachen and Yeshe Lama, are identical. One is not a stepping stone to the other. However, practitioners generally treat Tigle Gyachen as preparatory, because of the reknown of Togal as swiftness. In reality, both are functional equivalents, mutually support one another and provide equal means to complete realization of Longchen Rabjam (vast knowledge). This is how it is explained at Ontrul Tenpa'i Wangchuk's monastery in Tibet. When one approaches this level of practice, fields of knowledge open up within Longchenpa's all-knowing mind. Then, one can understand how, in his treasuries, the description level and the experience level converge. The written word even can be a "relic of the dharmakaya," and inseparable from it. To escape the beginner's trap of play-word dancing, one must take up the practice of Tigle Gyachen. I'm not here to challenge or discredit anyone else's methodology or path. I'm merely wish to share this very amazing and imminently accessible
path. All it takes is a transmission, easy, devotion, easy, and consistent practice, hard. Guru supreme! Jai Jai Longchen Rabjam Drimey Ozer Jai Jai!