Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators
Namdrol wrote:Chaz wrote:Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Wow, you had to get the permission of four different people just to begin ngondro?!
Yep. Four people.
And "just" to begin Ngondro? Well, it's only the most important step in my practice since I took my Refuge Vows. Had it been ten peoples' permission, including a trip to India to seek the Karmapa's blessing, I would have done that - "just" to begin Ngondro.
If you didn't have to jump through all those hoops, that's fine, but you did have someone's permission to begin the practice. However, it seems like there are people who have commenced the practice without permission from a lama qualified to give such blessings and I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that.
To do prostrations to the Buddha requires no one's permission.
Silent Bob wrote:Apart from the real benefits to the student of properly completing ngondro, it also helps the teacher see who among his oh-so-sincere aspirants are in it for the long haul and which ones are wasting his time.
Kai wrote:The purpose behind doing Ngondro is:
1) Developing renunciation
2) Developing Bodhicitta
3) enhancing one's faith in the triple Jewel and especially one's Guru
5) Increasing one's merits
6) Understanding the nature of mind and all phenomena
If anyone of you can achieve the six targets above using some other methods like attending Nyung Ne retreat, etc, then doing Ngondro is not necessary. Of course, doing Ngondro is great and very helpful.......
andy wrote:Hi Everyone,
For me the most important part of this practice is the Ordinary Foundations.
1. The Precious Human Life
3. Cause and Effect
4. Defects of Samsara
I was lucky that I was given this practice after a total grilling from my teacher, he wouldn't accept my answers to begin with. "Not the answers you have read or heard about"
After I had managed to convince him with a total outpouring of my heart, he gave me the instruction. He wanted to know I had really contemplated these, and would continue to do so.
They are the reason im doing this, they are the practice for me.
I think without them the special foundations would be empty, Im finding it very tough but its the ordinary foundations that keep me going.
one mala at a time....
Adamantine wrote:I've found that in general it's very hard to deeply enter into any of the ngondro accumulations in fragmented day-to-day way that is mixed with worldly life. It is essential, of course, to do a minimum every day to keep the continuity, however if you want to really fully enter into the practice in a way that will reveal it's true import and inspire and invigorate you beyond boredom and concern for numbers-- then I believe it is essential to do some strict retreat time. It may be hard to get time off from your job, but even doing a 5, 7, or ideally 10 day retreat at the minimum will show you a lot. In this type of context, you should ask your teacher about setting a schedule, but generally you'd wake up before dawn, do three hours of practice----> take a tea and breakfast break, then another three hour session-- on and on like this so you are doing at least 12 to 15 hours a day. Ideally you'd take a couple hour break after lunch, and mix some other practices in-between- like sang in the morning and dharmapala or chod at night if you have those practices. If three hour sessions seems to extreme, you could do more sessions but 2hours each-- that's why you should discuss with your own teacher. But in my humble experience it is through this sustained continuity of prolonged immersion in practice that the mind makes the required leap and the purification becomes much more than theoretical. So if you are truly interested, take the time and really go for it. There is a reason that ngondro is traditionally done in retreat!
I happen to disagree with the idea that it should be done in retreat, but it might be that Adamantine did the most in retreat and I did the most outside of retreat. I completed the ngondro about 7 years ago, and continue to do prostrations every morning along with my other practices.
Prostrations are a great way to start the day. You take refuge, do the bodhisattva promise, and get your body flowing and energized for the day. It gets me on the right track to feeling confident and useful in the world.
In my experience, when I did practices in retreat, I came out with really strong purifications and blessings, and when I did it on a daily basis in life, I still had purifcations and blessings. Possibly they were a little more concentrated when I came out of retreat because I accomplished more in larger doses, but the smaller doses would add up just the same.
I also want to add, that I really enjoyed what an other person said, which is to "push through it." Our other practices can be with the mindset of a precious moment, but ngondro is really about getting a lot of work done.
Thanks for listening!
Paul wrote:Are there any texts that detail the signs that accompany ngondro? WOMPT surprisingly doesn't.
gregkavarnos wrote:Gampopa "The Jewel Ornament of Liberation" lists the "signs" at the end of each section of each practice.