Ngondro

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Re: Ngondro

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:47 am

lisehull, just in case you decide to stick with your practice of the traditional ngöndro, allow me to make a few suggestions. :smile:

Have you read the book "The words of my Perfect Teacher", by Patrul Rinpoche? It's a very good guide to Ngöndro in general.
I also suggest "A Guide to The words of my Perfect Teacher", by Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang.

Before plunging into Ngöndro, especially if you deal with faith related purposes, it's important to have some theoretical background to boost one's confidence. This theoretical background should encompass not only the practice of Ngöndro, but Buddhadharma in general. It helps to have the Four Noble Truths well studied and by this I don't mean just knowing them, but having at least some intellectual understanding of them by means of contemplation. One should clarify some of those more nagging doubts with one's teacher (or by oneself).

Then, spending some time contemplating (thinking carefully about) the four thoughts that turn the mind to the Dharma is usually beneficial. Probably you have noticed that the practice of Ngöndro is very well structured and usually the last step prepares the following. Maybe you could spend some time (perhaps a few weeks), thinking carefully about each individual part of the whole practice and then relating them with each other.

There's a good book you can request online by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche to help you in your practice (it's the Longchen Nyingtik Practice Manual).
You can do so here:
https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/Khyent ... eForm.html

You may as well request the others, if you feel interested. They are all good.

Take it easy, don't force yourself and practice out of understanding, not just will power. There will be better times and terrible times, but as long as you know what you are doing a strong will will arise and you will end it. It's assured. However, if you do it by the sheer power of will, it won't matter if you end it or not as it will be pretty much pointless.

Still, notice what I wrote before. There are other ways and you are free to check them, especially if you don't have a lot of time available. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Still, the traditional ngöndro is a wonderful practice as long as it doesn't become a hindrance to your progress.

Best wishes, friend!
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:01 am

lisehull wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:
lisehull wrote: The issue there is that, as a newbie, I find I get the words jumbled if I focus heavily on the refuge tree.
The words, the visualisation and the action of prostrating are not as important as the "feeling" that the lineage is right there in front of you and the awe, humbleness and respect generated by this presence. This is the key aspect, the erradication of pride that comes about when you are in the presence of all those enlightened beings. Hang in there, it will get better (but may still become a lot worse yet).

Thanks Greg, for your input. I think this aspect of awe is something I need to look at, because at the moment, still only a month and a half into this new practice, I don't think I feel that kind of awe. Right now, I feel more as if I am going through the motions, trying to get it all coordinated and done correctly. I will take some time and consider your comments.
:thanks:


Lise,

Often at first you gotta "fake it til you make it" because at first one knows the lama and three jewels have been kind to one, sure, but one hasn't had a real viscerally felt, life-changing experience to allow one to really understand exactly HOW kind they've been. Because, I mean really, not much has apparently changed yet haha. But as you continue on and you practice through with just the right amount of pushing yourself without overdoing it, eventually a natural awe and uncontrived devotion and thankfulness will well up inside you as you noticeably begin to tame the wild thoughts and really get to understand something deeper about your mind. Then there will be no more faking it or trying to feel something that just isn't there.

But it is very early on, and the ngondro approach is much more demanding than a practice like Tara, for instance, for beginners like ourselves, because what Mahayana Buddhist wouldn't find it lovely to visualize him or herself as this beautifully loving, motherly figure that really embodies the good heart's wish to remove all beings' suffering and bring them all happiness? That's probably the very thing that turned us on to Buddhism to begin with, and we can think of ourselves as something other than ourselves (thus without any of the mundane worries and stuff and whatever "self" issues we may have) for a little while as we practice the sadhana. And while doing that we can imagine we're really benefiting others thoroughly and effortlessly.

But with the ngondro, much of our time doing it is in our ordinary form with our ordinary situation very apparent to us. And I don't know about you, but probably most of us normal people have a fair amount of mental and emotional baggage and clear ideas about needing "down time" and "me time" which we like to use to distract ourselves from own minds... But, of course, ngondro doesn't give us any of those outs and requires a lot of us and we really gotta come face to face with our demons, so it sucks big time for many people at first. But that will absolutely change. We've gotta face our minds sooner or later... it's the only way. The sooner we do and the sooner we commit to persevering through that, the sooner we will come to understand what real happiness is and how to truly benefit others. So I encourage you to stick with it like you're doing, no matter what. It will pay off big-time! Best wishes. :)

Your neighbor,
Brian

P.S. Oh and I almost forgot. A really important way to help one's faith along is to learn about the objects of refuge one is turning to, really educating oneself on why they are our refuge. We know it's due to more than just that it "feels right." Somewhere along the line, we came to the conclusion that our teacher(s) and the Buddha and Bodhisattvas and siddhas, etc have cleared away all their doubts and know reality as it truly is, and we decided they are the ones that can lead us to realize our identically enlightened nature. But often we need to keep reminding ourselves by reading their life stories and the texts that explain what realizations and skillful means they've developed and which we too can realize and cultivate. So I'd really recommend looking into that, especially if you're currently doing the refuge and prostration section of ngondro. I think it would be really helpful. Anyhow, long rambling post over lol.
Last edited by Pema Rigdzin on Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ngondro

Postby catmoon » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:49 am

lisehull wrote:
Adamantine wrote:I find it hard to imagine that most people couldn't take a minimum of 5 days out of their lives to do retreat in a given year. I'm not discussing anything unrealistic. In the U.S. even the most demanding of full time jobs give at least two weeks vacation a year and in most European countries it is more...
In the context of Dharma being the quintessentially most important activity in life, I think it is more disheartening to imply that anyone can't take at minimum 5 out of 365 days to devote fully to it. I think that'd be a really rare case if it were true. On the other hand, there are many people that may choose not to take those 5 days, preferring instead a different type of holiday, but that's another matter altogether!


Five days away from home is impractical for me. My husband and I both have medical issues that need frequent attention. That said, I do my practice six days a week and will try to figure out a way to "go deeper" to generate greater devotion than I am feeling presently. :namaste:



Atta girl go Lise Go! I bet when it's over you'll be running around telling us all how easy it was. :twothumbsup:
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Jangchup Donden » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:14 am

lisehull wrote:
Adamantine wrote:I find it hard to imagine that most people couldn't take a minimum of 5 days out of their lives to do retreat in a given year. I'm not discussing anything unrealistic. In the U.S. even the most demanding of full time jobs give at least two weeks vacation a year and in most European countries it is more...
In the context of Dharma being the quintessentially most important activity in life, I think it is more disheartening to imply that anyone can't take at minimum 5 out of 365 days to devote fully to it. I think that'd be a really rare case if it were true. On the other hand, there are many people that may choose not to take those 5 days, preferring instead a different type of holiday, but that's another matter altogether!


Five days away from home is impractical for me. My husband and I both have medical issues that need frequent attention. That said, I do my practice six days a week and will try to figure out a way to "go deeper" to generate greater devotion than I am feeling presently. :namaste:


Don't forget the Bodhisattva vow. Apart from devotion to your guru, I'd say that's the most important part -- because without hammering home that desire to free all beings from suffering the practice won't work. If you have that desire, no matter what you end up doing, it will be beneficial.
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Adamantine » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:37 am

lisehull wrote:
Adamantine wrote:I find it hard to imagine that most people couldn't take a minimum of 5 days out of their lives to do retreat in a given year. I'm not discussing anything unrealistic. In the U.S. even the most demanding of full time jobs give at least two weeks vacation a year and in most European countries it is more...
In the context of Dharma being the quintessentially most important activity in life, I think it is more disheartening to imply that anyone can't take at minimum 5 out of 365 days to devote fully to it. I think that'd be a really rare case if it were true. On the other hand, there are many people that may choose not to take those 5 days, preferring instead a different type of holiday, but that's another matter altogether!


Five days away from home is impractical for me. My husband and I both have medical issues that need frequent attention. That said, I do my practice six days a week and will try to figure out a way to "go deeper" to generate greater devotion than I am feeling presently. :namaste:


Who said anything about leaving home?

Home can be the best place for retreat. Just set up a room devoted to practice, a shrine, keep the schedule and try not to talk to your husband more than bare necessities.. he can actually support your practice by preparing meals for you, and tending to your medical needs, etc. You can pay him back in other ways at a later date.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:36 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:Why don't you try Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's approach to practice?

...Have you read the book "The words of my Perfect Teacher", by Patrul Rinpoche? It's a very good guide to Ngöndro in general.
I also suggest "A Guide to The words of my Perfect Teacher", by Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang...There's a good book you can request online by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche to help you in your practice (it's the Longchen Nyingtik Practice Manual).
You can do so here:
https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/Khyent ... eForm.html
Don't forget that you are in the Kagyu forum Dechen and that each tradition has its own "version" and approach to ngondro and that they are not really interchangable.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Ngondro

Postby muni » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:14 am

Those prostrations, ... are luxury medicine to crush the dusty door of suffering to genuine natural peace. The helpful hand who guides through such by wisdom and true compassion is not to compare by all the gold on this world.

So fortunate one!

The hardship some are going through as part of "natural ngondro" is less comfortable.
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Re: Ngondro

Postby gnegirl » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:30 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:Why don't you try Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's approach to practice?

...Have you read the book "The words of my Perfect Teacher", by Patrul Rinpoche? It's a very good guide to Ngöndro in general.
I also suggest "A Guide to The words of my Perfect Teacher", by Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang...There's a good book you can request online by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche to help you in your practice (it's the Longchen Nyingtik Practice Manual).
You can do so here:
https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/Khyent ... eForm.html
Don't forget that you are in the Kagyu forum Dechen and that each tradition has its own "version" and approach to ngondro and that they are not really interchangable.
:namaste:


Despite the lineage diff, WOMPT is a VERY good book! Also the guide to it as well.
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:07 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:]Don't forget that you are in the Kagyu forum Dechen and that each tradition has its own "version" and approach to ngondro and that they are not really interchangable.
:namaste:


The real meaning of "ngondro" is Guru yoga. First it is guru yoga to a guru in front of you; then on top of your head; then in front you to whom you make offerings; then in front of you from whom you receive empworments.

As long as it is understood that ngondro is guru yoga in the beginning, in the middle, and in the end, then this should remove obstacles to practice.

There is no practice more profound than Guru Yoga, it is the defining practice of Vajrayāna which is not present in Mahayāna or lower tantras.

N
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:08 pm

gnegirl wrote:Despite the lineage diff, WOMPT is a VERY good book! Also the guide to it as well.
I don't disagree at all, the video is excellent too, especially the added features with the interview with DK, but it ain't Kagyu ngondro. DN was reccomending lisehull try ngondro from another tradition since she was having problems with the Kagyu ngondro. Well...

I have heard that Orgyen Trinley Dorje offers a "discount model" ngondro for westerners (as opposed to Thaye Trinley Dorje who is 100% traditional 5 times 111,000), like 10,000 of each practice. Maybe that is the type of deal lisehull is looking for? What a bargain! Give me two please! :tongue:
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Ngondro

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:37 pm

It is better to do 100,000 prostrations one time than to do one prostration 100,000 times.
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Dhondrub » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:41 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
gnegirl wrote:Despite the lineage diff, WOMPT is a VERY good book! Also the guide to it as well.
I don't disagree at all, the video is excellent too, especially the added features with the interview with DK, but it ain't Kagyu ngondro. DN was reccomending lisehull try ngondro from another tradition since she was having problems with the Kagyu ngondro. Well...

I have heard that Orgyen Trinley Dorje offers a "discount model" ngondro for westerners (as opposed to Thaye Trinley Dorje who is 100% traditional 5 times 111,000), like 10,000 of each practice. Maybe that is the type of deal lisehull is looking for? What a bargain! Give me two please! :tongue:
:namaste:



You see everybody "hears" something. I really dont want to write all the stuff I "heard" about whatever Rinpoches.

HH Orgyen Thinley Dorje composed a concise Ngöndro for busy practicioners. He never said one only has to do 10.000 repetitions. Its just a condensed form in matter of words on pecha not in numbers being repeated. There is nothing untraditional about composing condensed Ngöndro texts. Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye did it for the longer Kamtsang Ngöndro, Dudjom Rinpoche did it for Dudjom Tersar and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo(I think) did it for Longchen Nyingthik.

best

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Re: Ngondro

Postby Dhondrub » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:08 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:lisehull, just in case you decide to stick with your practice of the traditional ngöndro, allow me to make a few suggestions. :smile:



I dont really think you can just decide what to approach to choose. as soon as you as are on the path of Vajrayana your decisions have some consequences.
As they say "better dont get into Vajrayana, but if you choose to do so better make a good job out of it".
Of course you are free to do whatever you like, but one has to be aware of which direction one is taking. If you want to quit Ngöndro you better tell the Lama who taught you the practice about it.
In the end your Lama should be more of authority on the path than any well meaning internet buddhist
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:26 pm

Dhondrub wrote:HH Orgyen Thinley Dorje composed a concise Ngöndro for busy practicioners. He never said one only has to do 10.000 repetitions. Its just a condensed form in matter of words on pecha not in numbers being repeated.
Thank you for clearing up that misconception tashi! :twothumbsup:
:namaste:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:30 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:Why don't you try Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's approach to practice?

...Have you read the book "The words of my Perfect Teacher", by Patrul Rinpoche? It's a very good guide to Ngöndro in general.
I also suggest "A Guide to The words of my Perfect Teacher", by Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang...There's a good book you can request online by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche to help you in your practice (it's the Longchen Nyingtik Practice Manual).
You can do so here:
https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/Khyent ... eForm.html
Don't forget that you are in the Kagyu forum Dechen and that each tradition has its own "version" and approach to ngondro and that they are not really interchangable.
:namaste:

Yes, Greg, indeed it is as you say. I remembered that after posting and I didn't do that remark. Still, those books can be very helpful, not mattering the school one follows. They have a wealth of good information about the preliminaries suitable to most practitioners. So I think anyone can benefit from reading them.
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:38 pm

Dhondrub wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:lisehull, just in case you decide to stick with your practice of the traditional ngöndro, allow me to make a few suggestions. :smile:



I dont really think you can just decide what to approach to choose. as soon as you as are on the path of Vajrayana your decisions have some consequences.
As they say "better dont get into Vajrayana, but if you choose to do so better make a good job out of it".
Of course you are free to do whatever you like, but one has to be aware of which direction one is taking. If you want to quit Ngöndro you better tell the Lama who taught you the practice about it.
In the end your Lama should be more of authority on the path than any well meaning internet buddhist


Seems to me that lisehull can talk to her lama, as she pointed in a previous post, so obviously I'm confident she will do just that. People can stop doing the traditional ngöndro and do other forms of preliminaries without breaking samaya, if that's what you are hinting.

And obviously it is you who decide which approach you should take to your practice, no one else, and you should do so correctly informed and with advice of your guru or gurus. Your practice is solely your responsibility and nobody will carry you on his back.
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:04 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
gnegirl wrote:Despite the lineage diff, WOMPT is a VERY good book! Also the guide to it as well.
I don't disagree at all, the video is excellent too, especially the added features with the interview with DK, but it ain't Kagyu ngondro. DN was reccomending lisehull try ngondro from another tradition since she was having problems with the Kagyu ngondro. Well...

I have heard that Orgyen Trinley Dorje offers a "discount model" ngondro for westerners (as opposed to Thaye Trinley Dorje who is 100% traditional 5 times 111,000), like 10,000 of each practice. Maybe that is the type of deal lisehull is looking for? What a bargain! Give me two please! :tongue:
:namaste:

No I wasn't.
I'm telling her that there are options to the traditional ngöndro. There are and she has the right to know this, especially if she is not connecting with this particular method. I'm not even advising that she changes practice, just informing her.

In case she decided to stick with the one she is doing, I've recommended a few good sources of information and gave a few suggestions from my own experience when I practiced the ngöndro. Moreover, I also did a search to place a link from a manual I read long ago that anyone could benefit from.

My concern was helping her, whatever her decision may be. I fail to see how that post of your is helpful to the OP in any sense. Greg, you seem more worried about making sniping comments about what I say and debate Adamantine and others who disagree with what you say than anything else and this is not helpful at all, so I ask you to be a little more mindful. This is not about you and me and others who disagree with you on something, but about giving some help to lisehull to overcome her difficulties regarding the practice of ngöndro. You gave her good suggestions, but don't assume you are the only one around here able to do just that. You should also give lisehull some credit. I'm sure she will know what to do with the advice she is given.
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Re: Ngondro

Postby muni » Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:02 pm

Guru is crushing the root of all attachments.
It is so said: in honest devotion and deep gratitude; the hook of wisdom and compassion will pull one swiftly in the land of liberation.
To see the kindness of the highest gift one can get...
This is Vajrayana, like Dechen Norbu says.
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Re: Ngondro

Postby LastLegend » Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:17 pm

muni wrote:Guru is crushing the root of all attachments.


True but do we practice like a guru?
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Re: Ngondro

Postby lisehull » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:32 pm

I would like to thank everyone who responded to my inquiries about doing the practice. I have a lot to consider and to get on with! I am reading Torch of Certainty and Foundations of Tibetan Buddhism (Kalu Rinpoche) as well. These were recommended by my teacher and seem to be quite useful.
:thumbsup:
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