Practices for beginners in each tradition

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Re: Practices for beginners in each tradition

Postby kirtu » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:45 pm

Shinay, lojong, the four thoughts which turn the mind toward the Dharma and ngondro are common to all Tibetan Buddhist schools. Once a person is practicing ngondro, shinay, some form of lojong and the four thoughts are incorporated into the practice daily with the four thoughts being preliminary to a formal practice session.

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Re: Practices for beginners in each tradition

Postby kirtu » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:51 pm

My Sakya lama has recommended 100,000 refuge prayers using Atisha's refuge prayer prior to engaging in formal ngondro. He said this prayer is specially blessed for common refuge.

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Re: Practices for beginners in each tradition

Postby alpha » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:28 pm

For a beginner like me the most important practices are the ones which give me energy for practice, for ex.the four thoughts.

And then is the shinay and the generation of bodhicitta.

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Re: Practices for beginners in each tradition

Postby Jangchup Donden » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:29 am

kirtu wrote:The whole point of all the preliminaries as actual ngondro practice is to accumulate a lot of merit, some wisdom, but to esp. impress the preliminary practices on the mind.

Kirt


Also purification. Lots of it :)
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Re: Practices for beginners in each tradition

Postby kirtu » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:36 am

Jangchup Donden wrote:
kirtu wrote:The whole point of all the preliminaries as actual ngondro practice is to accumulate a lot of merit, some wisdom, but to esp. impress the preliminary practices on the mind.


Also purification. Lots of it :)


Yes indeed - looks like I need to do some more practice ... :tongue:

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Re: Practices for beginners in each tradition

Postby Josef » Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:35 pm

Luke wrote:I recently asked my lama in an email which practices he thought were most important for beginners to practice, and his answer was shinay, lojong, and the four thoughts which turn the mind toward the Dharma. My lama is a Karma Kagyu lama.

I was wondering which practices the other schools of Tibetan Buddhism think are the most important for beginners (people who haven't yet begun Ngondro) to practice. And perhaps some different Kagyu schools might have different opinions as well.

I have a feeling that everyone will recommend shinay, but I don't think that everyone practices lojong. I might be wrong, but I think that only the Kagyu and Gelug schools practice lojong.


Hi Luke,
All traditions practice Lojong.
Lojong, the four thoughts that turn the mind, shine and vipasyana are all great starts along with refuge and bodhicitta.
As far as the other discussion about the capacities of lay practitioners or "householders" the ngakpa tradition is actually a very profound means for non-monastic practitioners to progress along the stages and paths.
As lay people we have just as much opportunity for the two accumulations and the recognition of our nature as any one else.
Its about view, meditation, and conduct more than anything else.
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Re: Practices for beginners in each tradition

Postby Josef » Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:37 pm

kirtu wrote:
muni wrote:
catmoon wrote:
The whole point of all the preliminaries as actual ngondro practice is to accumulate a lot of merit, some wisdom, but to esp. impress the preliminary practices on the mind.

Kirt

These are more like latent functions of Ngondro.
The "whole point" of ngondro is ultimately Guru Yoga.
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Re: Practices for beginners in each tradition

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:36 pm

Luke wrote:I recently asked my lama in an email which practices he thought were most important for beginners to practice, and his answer was shinay, lojong, and the four thoughts which turn the mind toward the Dharma. My lama is a Karma Kagyu lama.

I was wondering which practices the other schools of Tibetan Buddhism think are the most important for beginners (people who haven't yet begun Ngondro) to practice. And perhaps some different Kagyu schools might have different opinions as well.

I have a feeling that everyone will recommend shinay, but I don't think that everyone practices lojong. I might be wrong, but I think that only the Kagyu and Gelug schools practice lojong.


Hi Luke,

I'm a practitioner in the Nyingma lineage and I would definitely have to concur with your lama and I think pretty much every lama would say basically the same thing. The reason is that through shinay, one can calm the mind and cultivate more precision and concentration. And the four thoughts will cause you to truly recognize the preciousness of this rarely attained human rebirth and how the circumstances conducive to practice are very precious, hard to attain, and must be taken advantage of while they last, or else we risk not gaining this chance again for countless lives once we die. Lojong will cultivate qualities and purify negative habits patterns. In addition to making a human life truly precious all by themselves, these practices are all an indispensable foundation that make the so-called advanced practices actually be "advanced" and fruitful.
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Re: Practices for beginners in each tradition

Postby Buddhanataka » Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:02 am

Luke wrote:I was wondering which practices the other schools of Tibetan Buddhism think are the most important for beginners


For Nyingma I strongly recommend beginners to turn to Longchenpa's "Kindly Bent to Ease Us" in 3 volumes: Mind, Meditation, and Wonderment.

You can't go past Longchenpa's "Kindly Bent to Ease Us" as an introduction to the Dzogchen way.
If you haven't already, Nyingmapas, please seek it out today.
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Re: Practices for beginners in each tradition

Postby Luke » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:14 pm

Thanks for the replies everbody. I feel better knowing that there are still lots of lamas out there who teach in a traditional way.

I find it interesting that all schools now practice Lojong. I don't think it was always that way. I thought the old Kadampa school (the predecesor of the Gelugpa) created Lojong. I remember reading that Gampopa blended those teachings with the oral instructions of the Kagyu mahasiddhas.
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Re: Practices for beginners in each tradition

Postby Josef » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:27 pm

Luke wrote:Thanks for the replies everbody. I feel better knowing that there are still lots of lamas out there who teach in a traditional way.

I find it interesting that all schools now practice Lojong. I don't think it was always that way. I thought the old Kadampa school (the predecesor of the Gelugpa) created Lojong. I remember reading that Gampopa blended those teachings with the oral instructions of the Kagyu mahasiddhas.

Lojong as we know it may have been formulated by the original Kadampa's but the mind training techniques themselves can be traced back to common Indic sources and are therefore non-sectarian in nature.
You should read the Library of Tibetan Classics volume "Mind Training" if you want a thorough picture of the lojong history and practice.
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