Ngondro

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Re: Ngondro

Postby Chaz » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:21 pm

AdmiralJim wrote:I only do 25 prostrations per day and I also fill a bowl of 25 marbles to count on the floor, so I can just forget about the counting and focus on the prostrations and prayer.



Could you describe how you use the marbles to count your P's?
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Re: Ngondro

Postby AdmiralJim » Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:26 pm

Hi adam and chaz,
Your are correct placement meditation is calm abiding! In response to chaz, I count my prostrations by counting out 25 marbles before the practice. Then I put them in a bowl on the floor on my right hand side and as I get up off the floor I take a marble out the bowl and discard it on the floor. I have also used pasta shells in the past they don't roll about lol, I prefer this way of counting rather than using a mala as I always get tangled in it or drop it on the floor. Obviously you can adjust the number of marbles etc to your liking, I find it helps with the visualisation as counting in your head is distracting!
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Re: Ngondro

Postby dakini_boi » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:30 pm

There's an iphone app called "diamond mala" that's really easy to use for prostrations - you can put the iphone on the floor near where your knees land, and just touch the button everytime you come up, and it counts for you.
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Jangchup Donden » Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:49 am

Just using a mala works fine too, loop it around your hand and you should be fine. That's why I did at any rate. I broke a few but I guess they were casualties of ngondro. :P
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Adamantine » Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:40 am

AdmiralJim wrote:Hi adam and chaz,
Your are correct placement meditation is calm abiding! In response to chaz, I count my prostrations by counting out 25 marbles before the practice. Then I put them in a bowl on the floor on my right hand side and as I get up off the floor I take a marble out the bowl and discard it on the floor. I have also used pasta shells in the past they don't roll about lol, I prefer this way of counting rather than using a mala as I always get tangled in it or drop it on the floor. Obviously you can adjust the number of marbles etc to your liking, I find it helps with the visualisation as counting in your head is distracting!


I used a wrist mala and which is easy to handle with one hand and whenever I got to the end I'd make a mark with pen on paper I had on the floor, then I'd add up the accumulation at the end. Some people put their malas in front of where their arms reach out to on a pillow on the floor, and then slide the beads forward every time when they're face-down.. there's many ways to do it.. some use electric counters
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Silent Bob » Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:59 am

Some people use a tally counter like this: http://www.hand-counters.com/products/D ... unter.html
They're inexpensive and can easily be attached to the top corner of a prostration board. I'd have used one if they'd been invented back then.
"All the sublime teachings, so profound--to throw away one and then grab yet another will not bear even a single fruit. Persevere, therefore, in simply one."
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Chaz » Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:18 am

Silent Bob wrote:Some people use a tally counter like this: http://www.hand-counters.com/products/D ... unter.html
They're inexpensive and can easily be attached to the top corner of a prostration board. I'd have used one if they'd been invented back then.


That was back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, right? :rolling:

Wasn't there someone on the old eSangha who had a tally counter blessed or was thinking about having it done?
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Re: Ngondro

Postby alpha » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:24 am

among all the counting methods i think the easiest to use is the tally counter.
I would keep it at the top end of the prostration board and whenever i go down i would press it..

it is currently on 0.... :tantrum: :rolling:
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Karma K Sonam » Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:33 am

Keep going! Lots of people hit a wall. I think its a bit like marathon running in that respect :tongue:

I ground to halt with mine a few years ago and went on e sangha for advice - got lots including use the tree to remember the prayer and set the right motivation which really helped.

A lama also said to me when I moaned that I was bored doing prostrations that I should see that as a positive thing because at least it showed that my mind wasn't wandering!
don't forget to stop and smell the daisies.
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Paul » Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:46 pm

I've just started mine and it's already interesting. I really feel a large amount of resistance to it.

I noticed this post:

tummo wrote:I adopted a simple rule for all my practices - I do not practice anything unless I understand 3 things:

1. The objective - what is it for exactly, how does it advance me on the path, why I can't avoid it.
Outer, Inner, Secret, Innermost Secret Objective.

2. The method - how it works and why this method better than the other method.
Outer, Inner, Secret, Innermost Secret Practice.

3. The sign of accomplishment - all practices have clear signs of accomplishment (if the teacher did not tell you, it does not mean it does not exist - keep looking).
Outer, Inner, Secret, Innermost Secret Signs.

Everything is in 4s.

In Ngondro, all practices have clear purpose, method and result - as usually Outer, Inner, Secret, Innermost Secret Objective.
Every step has a clear sign - Outer, Inner, Secret, Innermost Secret Sign. A lot of teachers do not know (it maybe surprising) - for them it became part of the tradition - my teacher told me so.

In essence, the method does not care if you accumulate 100,000 or 500,000. You have to get a sign.
For example, Kalachakra tantra talks about some sings for preliminaries.


Is there somewhere that I'd be able to find information on the signs? It strikes me as a very smart way to go about things. I'm doing the shorter Lamey Tukdrub Barchey Kunsel arranged by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.
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"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: Ngondro

Postby heart » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:47 am

Congratulations Hayagriva, what a wonderful Ngondro. I never done the full 500.000 of this Ngondro but I have done a fair amount, I often do the Guru Yoga. I haven't read this version of the Great Gate, but as you probably know it is the instructions for this Ngondro http://www.amazon.com/Great-Gate-Guideb ... 9627341045 .

I think only two things are important when you do Ngondro and that is trusting the need for accumulation of merit and then the knowledge that the main objective is Guru yoga, meaning the whole Ngondro is Guru Yoga.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Jangchup Donden » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:18 pm

Hayagriva wrote:Is there somewhere that I'd be able to find information on the signs? It strikes me as a very smart way to go about things. I'm doing the shorter Lamey Tukdrub Barchey Kunsel arranged by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.


I think the signs vary depending on the individual. Probably best to ask your guru what to look for.
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Re: Ngondro

Postby J-Bird » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:17 pm

He Y'all,
Mingyur Rinpoche's Organization has just released these great videos of Rinpoche's instructions on both the 4 common and 4 uncommon preliminaries.

http://tergar.org/store/index.php?_a=vi ... ductId=437
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Paul » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:59 pm

Hayagriva wrote:I've just started mine and it's already interesting. I really feel a large amount of resistance to it.


Okay, now I'm genuinely beginning to hate it.
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"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: Ngondro

Postby dakini_boi » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:21 pm

What do you hate about it?
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Paul » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:46 pm

dakini_boi wrote:What do you hate about it?


These answers are based on me doing it outside of a long retreat - in a long retreat or monastic setting I would have a very different view.

I think that it's taking up a huge amount of time which I would much rather spend meditating. I also think that the results are not as palpable as those from my usual practice, which would probably be different if I could do four sessions a day. It also seems arbitrary - for example I think spending as much free time & money as I can helping to build a retreat centre for my friends and teachers is a much better use of time than bowing to a visualisation 100000 times. The major reasons I am doing it and want to continue are *all* pride based.

Essentially I feel like I'm the wrong audience or am using the wrong tool.
Image

"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: Ngondro

Postby AdmiralJim » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:35 am

These answers are based on me doing it outside of a long retreat - in a long retreat or monastic setting I would have a very different view.

I think that it's taking up a huge amount of time which I would much rather spend meditating. I also think that the results are not as palpable as those from my usual practice, which would probably be different if I could do four sessions a day. It also seems arbitrary - for example I think spending as much free time & money as I can helping to build a retreat centre for my friends and teachers is a much better use of time than bowing to a visualisation 100000 times. The major reasons I am doing it and want to continue are *all* pride based.

Essentially I feel like I'm the wrong audience or am using the wrong tool.


I think you need to ask yourself some fundamental questions, for instance why would your view be different in a monastic or retreat setting? If you answer that brutally honestly you will find the root of your current problem I think and I mean no bullshitting, it is going to be painful. I think in a monastic setting you are just 'keeping up' appearances, you want to look like a good little meditator but when you are you own your own doing prostrations, you can't get away from the fact it is just plain old you. and by doing mindful prostrations you are meditating!!!

Building a retreat centre? are you for real, friends and teachers? interesting how you only include them isn't it, what about everyone else? and isn't everything you do mostly motivated by pride anyway, so what is the big deal about proudly doing ngondro?

You aren't using the wrong tool you are just a guy who doesn't like the taste of his medicine.

A few words of encouragement too, I experienced all the things you are talking about and indeed stopped and started many times, then I realised the whole situation was ridiculous. I realised that it was like initially stopping and starting you meditation, eventually you have to be diligent to get results. After realising this I decided to do ngondro every day even if I was ill and so far I have not broken that commitment to myself and I have to say the efforts are worth it. As for signs of succesful practice, you will eventually realise your pride diminishing and in some cases begin to have dreams about areas of practice you are unsure or still confused about, I look forward to sleep now because of the chance that I might understand something fundamental that I only intellectually understood before. Not sure if these signs are the same for everyone. Keep a practice diary too!

Your brother in Ngondro!

J

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Re: Ngondro

Postby Chaz » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:52 am

Paul wrote:
dakini_boi wrote:What do you hate about it?


These answers are based on me doing it outside of a long retreat - in a long retreat or monastic setting I would have a very different view.

I think that it's taking up a huge amount of time which I would much rather spend meditating.



I don't know what liturgy you're using, but the ptactice I'm doing includes 45-60 minutes of Shamatha and analyitcal meditation. That makes up about half my practice time.

I also think that the results are not as palpable as those from my usual practice, which would probably be different if I could do four sessions a day.


I just returned from a 5-day retreat where I did Ngondro Practice twice a day. It was great doing Ngondro in retreat.

I'm doing the practice for the sake of the practice. I'm not concerned with "palpable" results. I'm not even too concerned with accumulations. Yes, I have to do a certain number of prostrations, Vajrasattva mantra and so on, but for me that's really not the point. The practice itself is the point. I love this practice.
I'm not saying that what I'm doing is in some way "better" than what you're doing, but I will say that I think I'm having a much better and more rewarding time with my Ngondro practice.

It also seems arbitrary - for example I think spending as much free time & money as I can helping to build a retreat centre for my friends and teachers is a much better use of time than bowing to a visualisation 100000 times. The major reasons I am doing it and want to continue are *all* pride based.


Well, the practice is supposed to work on things like pride. Do your 111,111 P's and then take stock of how much pride you have left.

Why did you begin the practice in the first place? You sound like you want to abandon the practice and karmically speaking, that would be a very bad idea.
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Re: Ngondro

Postby dakini_boi » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:29 am

Paul wrote:
dakini_boi wrote:What do you hate about it?


These answers are based on me doing it outside of a long retreat - in a long retreat or monastic setting I would have a very different view.

I think that it's taking up a huge amount of time which I would much rather spend meditating. I also think that the results are not as palpable as those from my usual practice, which would probably be different if I could do four sessions a day. It also seems arbitrary - for example I think spending as much free time & money as I can helping to build a retreat centre for my friends and teachers is a much better use of time than bowing to a visualisation 100000 times. The major reasons I am doing it and want to continue are *all* pride based.

Essentially I feel like I'm the wrong audience or am using the wrong tool.


If you don't actually believe that ngondro might remove some of your obscurations and prepare you to effectively practice tantra, then maybe it isn't right for you.

What exactly are your "pride-based" reasons for doing it? If it's true that your ngondro practice is mainly motivated by pride, then I totally support you to discontinue it for now. And I applaud your self-awareness and honesty. But. . . look deeply and be sure this is really the case, and that you are not seizing on this idea as an excuse to give up! You would have to already be a Buddha to have "100% pure motivation" so if you notice some pride (but that's not actually the main motivator for your practice), then don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.

by the way, you're not actually bowing to a visualization. You're bowing to the actual sources of refuge - you visualize them there because you can't actually see them. If you practice sensing that they are actually there in front of you, you might get more out of the practice. I don't know what your text asks you to visualize, but if it's difficult to imagine the whole refuge tree, you can focus just on the lama and trust that he/she is the embodiment of all sources of refuge.
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Paul » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:43 am

AdmiralJim wrote:Building a retreat centre? are you for real, friends and teachers? interesting how you only include them isn't it, what about everyone else?


Yes. Two of my closest dharma friends are a couple in charge of a retreat centre which is still being built and will take many years to finish. Everyone is welcome, but it obviously needs to actually exist first. I really love working there and would do it full time if I could.

and isn't everything you do mostly motivated by pride anyway, so what is the big deal about proudly doing ngondro?


It turns medicine into poison. I know lamas that have done a ngondro and then 'discounted it' because they did it as a competition with other people.

Chaz wrote:I just returned from a 5-day retreat where I did Ngondro Practice twice a day. It was great doing Ngondro in retreat.

I'm doing the practice for the sake of the practice. I'm not concerned with "palpable" results. I'm not even too concerned with accumulations. Yes, I have to do a certain number of prostrations, Vajrasattva mantra and so on, but for me that's really not the point. The practice itself is the point. I love this practice.
I'm not saying that what I'm doing is in some way "better" than what you're doing, but I will say that I think I'm having a much better and more rewarding time with my Ngondro practice.


Personally, I think any practice should be immersive. It should flavour 24 hours of your day - which why I think a retreat is great for ngondro as it's all you're doing - it can do its job and take hold of your mind. Interrupting it with an ordinary lay-person's life spoils that for me. I have no doubt that what you've mentioned is very productive and that I'd also find it productive.

dakini_boi wrote:Why did you begin the practice in the first place?


I thought it was about time. I've never been told to do it.

What exactly are your "pride-based" reasons for doing it?


There are three reasons I am continuing - because I don't want to do it (which is pointless), to get it over with (which is barely a reason) and to get access to teachings from teachers who would usually demand a ngondro (which is pointless and very prideful). I can't honestly think of a positive reason I'm doing it for.

I don't know what your text asks you to visualize, but if it's difficult to imagine the whole refuge tree, you can focus just on the lama and trust that he/she is the embodiment of all sources of refuge.


The text I am using is VERY basic and doesn't have the big intro/outro that other texts have.
Image

"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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