Ngondro Challenges

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Ngondro Challenges

Postby Challenge23 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:15 pm

I'm not sure where to start this. Best to start at the beginning.

I received my Ngondro practice from a teacher within the Dudjom Tersar lineage in summer of 2007. I did the practice until around 2008 and stopped the practice after my doctor told me(and my teacher agreed) that she didn't want me doing full body prostrations due to my weight(I have attempted with limited success to diet since then) and because of my asthma.

I restarted my practice in 2010 with the dispensation of my teacher to do as many prostrations as I can physically and to visualize the rest. The fact that I need this dispensation and that I had to bother my teacher about it(he is very, very busy) makes me feel deeply guilty.

My practice went fairly quickly until August 30, 2011 when my significant other of over six years left me. I haven't broken the practice but it did reduce it significantly. Before when I did practice I was thrilled with the momentum. I was doing fine, making progress, and it was only a matter of time until I would start getting some peace of mind, maybe some happiness, and, if I worked at it, I'd be accomplished.

Now my emotions in regards to practice alternate between nothing or outright dread. Doing more than the bare minimum hurts and instead of feeling uplifted I feel panicky or sad. I've already bugged my teacher about my practice a few times and I don't want to bother him any more with something that I am sure I should be able to resolve. When I try to do shinay my thoughts just spin and spin. I know that even

So, here we are now. I'm not sure where the question and I'm sorry for that. Thoughts?
I'm an agnostic in the same sense that Robert Anton Wilson was, except his reaction was laughter. Mine isn't.

I am not a teacher in any tradition, Buddhist or otherwise. Anything that I have posted should not be taken as representing the view of anyone other than my own. And maybe Larry S. Smith of Montgomery, Alabama. But most likely just me.
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Re: Ngondro Challenges

Postby Josef » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:36 pm

Challenge23 wrote:I'm not sure where to start this. Best to start at the beginning.

I received my Ngondro practice from a teacher within the Dudjom Tersar lineage in summer of 2007. I did the practice until around 2008 and stopped the practice after my doctor told me(and my teacher agreed) that she didn't want me doing full body prostrations due to my weight(I have attempted with limited success to diet since then) and because of my asthma.

I restarted my practice in 2010 with the dispensation of my teacher to do as many prostrations as I can physically and to visualize the rest. The fact that I need this dispensation and that I had to bother my teacher about it(he is very, very busy) makes me feel deeply guilty.

My practice went fairly quickly until August 30, 2011 when my significant other of over six years left me. I haven't broken the practice but it did reduce it significantly. Before when I did practice I was thrilled with the momentum. I was doing fine, making progress, and it was only a matter of time until I would start getting some peace of mind, maybe some happiness, and, if I worked at it, I'd be accomplished.

Now my emotions in regards to practice alternate between nothing or outright dread. Doing more than the bare minimum hurts and instead of feeling uplifted I feel panicky or sad. I've already bugged my teacher about my practice a few times and I don't want to bother him any more with something that I am sure I should be able to resolve. When I try to do shinay my thoughts just spin and spin. I know that even

So, here we are now. I'm not sure where the question and I'm sorry for that. Thoughts?



Are you trying to regulate the amount of practice you do?
By that I mean, are you timing yourself or making yourself do a certain number of recitations per day?

If so, I would advise you not to do that until you have settled down a bit.
The last thing you want to do now is get discouraged and quit and forcing yourself is going to make your practice frustrating.
Work with your current condition and you will be able to overcome it.
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Re: Ngondro Challenges

Postby dakini_boi » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:54 pm

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. I understand how emotional disturbances in life can feel like a big obstacle to dharma practice.

Here's my thoughts - really consider what refuge means to you - and approach each aspect of ngondro from that perspective. If you're feeling desperate for relief, that's a good thing. The practice may or may not make you feel better, but your desperation can actually strengthen your refuge if you are honest with yourself about what dharma practice means.

It sounds like you are purifying the poison of pride pretty intensely right now. You had some satisfaction before that your practice was going well and was helping you feel better. . . now you realize that you don't have as much power as you had thought. It's also interesting that you felt so guilty for asking your lama for help - sounds like another example of pride (I say this because your question about prostrations seems like a really reasonable thing to approach the lama about, and I think it was very good that you did that). Give your practice ALL to the lama and the 3 roots. Now is the time to call on something bigger than you to help. I hope this helps, and I wish you swift dissolution of all obstacles, and spontaneous arising of joy.

I also want to add that I agree with Nangwa - don't put pressure on yourself to complete any particular quantity right now. . . but don't give up. If nothing else, sit down, take refuge, and do 1 vajra guru mantra from the heart - and then dedicate.
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Re: Ngondro Challenges

Postby Challenge23 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:19 pm

Nangwa wrote:
Are you trying to regulate the amount of practice you do?
By that I mean, are you timing yourself or making yourself do a certain number of recitations per day?

If so, I would advise you not to do that until you have settled down a bit.
The last thing you want to do now is get discouraged and quit and forcing yourself is going to make your practice frustrating.
Work with your current condition and you will be able to overcome it.


Pretty much, yes. It isn't a set number as much as "more". If I do one mala, I should have done two. If I do two I should have done five or ten or more. I have yet to be able to do a finite amount and say to myself, "Very good, now I shall cook beans and rice, watch some Travel Channel, and perhaps play Skyrim," while feeling smug about how "totally evolved, spiritual, and awesome" I am. The last time I spoke with my Sangha members(during our July teachings) I expressed confidence that I would be able to finish my prostration part by the Tibetan New Year and schedule a private interview with my teacher to talk about what I should work on next. I see now that was proud and I profoundly regret saying it. I'm just glad I didn't swear to it.


dakini_boi wrote:I'm sorry to hear about your loss. I understand how emotional disturbances in life can feel like a big obstacle to dharma practice.

Here's my thoughts - really consider what refuge means to you - and approach each aspect of ngondro from that perspective. If you're feeling desperate for relief, that's a good thing. The practice may or may not make you feel better, but your desperation can actually strengthen your refuge if you are honest with yourself about what dharma practice means.

It sounds like you are purifying the poison of pride pretty intensely right now. You had some satisfaction before that your practice was going well and was helping you feel better. . . now you realize that you don't have as much power as you had thought. It's also interesting that you felt so guilty for asking your lama for help - sounds like another example of pride (I say this because your question about prostrations seems like a really reasonable thing to approach the lama about, and I think it was very good that you did that). Give your practice ALL to the lama and the 3 roots. Now is the time to call on something bigger than you to help. I hope this helps, and I wish you swift dissolution of all obstacles, and spontaneous arising of joy.

I also want to add that I agree with Nangwa - don't put pressure on yourself to complete any particular quantity right now. . . but don't give up. If nothing else, sit down, take refuge, and do 1 vajra guru mantra from the heart - and then dedicate.


Thank you. You may be right about asking for help and pride. I actually hate asking for help for almost anything except the most insignificant and/or routine of things. The only reason I was able to ask a friend to help me move was because I insisted they take $40 and a promise for dinner at some point in the future.

I will have to seriously consider more about refuge. I thought I "knew" but now I'm not so sure. Now I think it is about feeling ok. Happy would be great but I'd do fine with "ok". I'll have to think about that.
Last edited by Challenge23 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'm an agnostic in the same sense that Robert Anton Wilson was, except his reaction was laughter. Mine isn't.

I am not a teacher in any tradition, Buddhist or otherwise. Anything that I have posted should not be taken as representing the view of anyone other than my own. And maybe Larry S. Smith of Montgomery, Alabama. But most likely just me.
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Re: Ngondro Challenges

Postby Josef » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:27 pm

Challenge23 wrote:
Pretty much, yes. It isn't a set number as much as "more". If I do one mala, I should have done two.


That there is the trouble Challenge.
Try to feel your practice, not what you think you should do with it.
It feels like a burden right now because you are looking at a map and where that map is supposed to lead.
Just try to work with what you have been taught in a way that works now rather than thinking about what you should be accomplishing.
Save that for work and Skyrim.
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Re: Ngondro Challenges

Postby dakini_boi » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:51 am

Challenge23 wrote:If I do one mala, I should have done two. If I do two I should have done five or ten or more.


I know that feeling. You have to spend more time with the 4 thoughts. You have to realize that you may die at any moment, and the next prostration or mantra you do might be your last. At the same time, you also have to come to terms with the fact that you may have to do ngondro 10 times in this life to attain siddhi. Who knows. I think for this to be effective, there must be both the sense of urgency to practice, AND the willingness to do whatever it takes - if you approach it simply like passing a test or doing well with investments in the stock market, I think it will have less impact in actually transforming you. When I notice myself getting preoccupied with the numbers, I literally imagine that the next prostration is the last thing I will ever do. It helps me get back into the moment.

Challenge23 wrote:I will have to seriously consider more about refuge. I thought I "knew" but now I'm not so sure. Now I think it is about feeling ok. Happy would be great but I'd do fine with "ok". I'll have to think about that.


Think about refuge in relation to the 4 thoughts. . . what ngondro commentaries have you read?

btw, good that you are asking for help now.
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Re: Ngondro Challenges

Postby Jikan » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:06 am

Part of this kind of practice is to recognize your own potential for awakening, your Buddha-nature. In fact you have to trust that. Vajra pride comes from it.

Feelings of shame, worthlessness, not-good-enough-ness are an obstacle to putting your trust in your practice and your ability to do it. Give yourself permission to be good enough to do this and do it well: to do the ngondro, to get your health in order, to heal your broken heart. If you do, you will find that you were right. Because you can do it.

Your lama believes in you. Can you believe in yourself?
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Re: Ngondro Challenges

Postby catmoon » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:07 am

Try thinking of it this way.

"I am doing prostrations. I am not enjoying it. I am even discouraged about it. But, hey, I'm way ahead of that idiot Catmoon on the internet."
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Re: Ngondro Challenges

Postby Jikan » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:12 pm

catmoon wrote:Try thinking of it this way.

"I am doing prostrations. I am not enjoying it. I am even discouraged about it. But, hey, I'm way ahead of that idiot Catmoon on the internet."


:lol:

It also helps A LOT to have a sense of humor.

You can do it, Challenge.
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Re: Ngondro Challenges

Postby Caz » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:29 pm

Motivation sets the pace at how we practice, Is your motivation that you perform the preliminaries for the benefit of all or specifically for your self needs alone ?
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

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Re: Ngondro Challenges

Postby Nemo » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:45 pm

All your striving is making me tired. Why not just sit for a few days and look at the sky?

Simplify your life. I think that is the secret of practice. There is also something to the advice of Lao Tzu. Become useless. With the blessings of a simple life and uselessness all you need is the company of the wise.

I was useless and practice was easy. Then I gained skills and diplomas. Then girls wanted to be with me. Then one got pregnant. Now life is an endless chore of being useful to other people in a relative sense.

Plus delete Skyrim. That thing eats time like black hole.
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Re: Ngondro Challenges

Postby Challenge23 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:09 pm

Nemo wrote:All your striving is making me tired. Why not just sit for a few days and look at the sky?



Mostly because if I do I will have to start my practice over at the beginning. I cannot put into words how little I want to do that.

Caz wrote:Motivation sets the pace at how we practice, Is your motivation that you perform the preliminaries for the benefit of all or specifically for your self needs alone ?


I think that is one of the places where I get into problems. I have a great deal of trouble seeing how me doing Dharma helps people in the short or the long term. I can't see how sitting on a cushion, offering the mandala, or anything else helps anyone except myself(sometimes) in the short term. In the long term it is written that being Enlightened helps other sentient beings but it doesn't say how, exactly. How does becoming a bodhisattva put food in anyone's stomach? How, exactly, do they heal the sick or comfort the dying? Since people have to do the practice on their own to get happiness, how does my doing the practice bring other people happiness? How does my Enlightenment, which is a deeply personal state, help others? More on Enlightenment a bit further down.

So, I agree that helping others should be our(and my) number one concern, but I've found that focusing on that leads to problems for me.

dakini_boi wrote:
I know that feeling. You have to spend more time with the 4 thoughts. You have to realize that you may die at any moment, and the next prostration or mantra you do might be your last. At the same time, you also have to come to terms with the fact that you may have to do ngondro 10 times in this life to attain siddhi. Who knows. I think for this to be effective, there must be both the sense of urgency to practice, AND the willingness to do whatever it takes - if you approach it simply like passing a test or doing well with investments in the stock market, I think it will have less impact in actually transforming you. When I notice myself getting preoccupied with the numbers, I literally imagine that the next prostration is the last thing I will ever do. It helps me get back into the moment.


Actually a few weeks ago I had a massive panic attack in regards to my own death. I started thinking about what it will be like to die, how it would be if my consciousness slowly faded into blackness as opposed to a sudden "whomp" like turning off a light switch. I questioned how sure I really was in reincarnation and if I was so absolutely sure that Enlightenment was the way to go for all sentient beings(including myself) that I was willing to spend the rest of my life striving and sacrificing for it.

I realized that I'm not sure. As a bit of background, the reason I became Buddhist in the first place is that, unlike other paths, Buddhism has a way for me to become a better person in a tangible fashion. It wasn't because I wanted to serve sentient beings, to become Enlightened, or to become some type of super being. I just wanted to not be an SOB.

As I've practice I've realized that I don't really understand what Enlightenment is. What few glimpses I have had in meditation seem not as much "pleasurable" as much as not "not" unpleasant. Also I'm not sure that being in the states that I read about and to a very small extent experienced(as in a few seconds once or twice) helps anyone.

Please understand. I'm not saying that I think Enlightenment is somehow wrong. What I am saying is that I'm not as 100% "gung ho" "super convinced" as a lot of people I talk to in regards to the end goal.

Obviously all of this is something I don't talk to with my Teacher or anyone. It seems like something that everyone thinks is perfectly and absolutely obvious and that I just don't see.

dakini_boi wrote:Think about refuge in relation to the 4 thoughts. . . what ngondro commentaries have you read?

btw, good that you are asking for help now.


Thank you. I've tried to be really honest in my thoughts here. Please understand that I'm not trying to be offensive or inappropriate. It is what has come up in my Ngondro practice and the concerns that have come up.

In regards to commentaries I've read.

I tried to read, "A Cascading Waterfall of Nectar" and "Words of my Perfect Teacher" and even though I can tell they are very good books they are very difficult reads for me. I can only make it through about one or two pages in 15 minutes or so. I'm used to being able to buzz through a page in 5 minutes or less.
I'm an agnostic in the same sense that Robert Anton Wilson was, except his reaction was laughter. Mine isn't.

I am not a teacher in any tradition, Buddhist or otherwise. Anything that I have posted should not be taken as representing the view of anyone other than my own. And maybe Larry S. Smith of Montgomery, Alabama. But most likely just me.
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Re: Ngondro Challenges

Postby heart » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:28 pm

Did you read this? http://www.pbdc.net/teach/tersar.pdf

/magnus
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Re: Ngondro Challenges

Postby Caz » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:13 pm

Caz

Motivation sets the pace at how we practice, Is your motivation that you perform the preliminaries for the benefit of all or specifically for your self needs alone?


challange23

I think that is one of the places where I get into problems. I have a great deal of trouble seeing how me doing Dharma helps people in the short or the long term. I can't see how sitting on a cushion, offering the mandala, or anything else helps anyone except myself(sometimes) in the short term. In the long term it is written that being Enlightened helps other sentient beings but it doesn't say how, exactly. How does becoming a bodhisattva put food in anyone's stomach? How, exactly, do they heal the sick or comfort the dying? Since people have to do the practice on their own to get happiness, how does my doing the practice bring other people happiness? How does my Enlightenment, which is a deeply personal state, help others? More on Enlightenment a bit further down.

So, I agree that helping others should be our(and my) number one concern, but I've found that focusing on that leads to problems for me.


Becoming Enlightened can provide even food in the stomach for others Chandrakirti provided milk for his entire monastery from the picture of a cow by means of his accomplishments, There are many benefits but the primary is being able to lead all beings to complete freedom from suffering, By doing practice we enable ourselves to help others, Without the motivation of Renunciation and Bodhichitta we will find our practice lacking and difficult to complete, What good is it engaging in Tantric practices if we lack even the motivation of Renunciation let alone Bodhichitta. These are the most important minds to develop in order for successful practice, All the happiness of sentient beings comes through the blessings of the Buddha's only they have the power to bestow mental peace upon others, The benefits to practice are limitless but first you need the proper motivation.

All the problems that we encounter are results of our own self cherishing mind if you are having problems then I suggest you might consult your teacher or look up Lamrim and specifically Lojong practices of mind training these habitually make the mind easier to work with and are a great help. :namaste:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

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Re: Ngondro Challenges

Postby catmoon » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:58 pm

Some of the immediate effects of mantra work, pujas and prostrations are:


The frame of mind improves. One has a feeling of accomplishment. The mind is filled with virtuous ideas.

Mindfulness improves.

As soon as you walk out the door, you begin to interact with other people. Because of your practice you are kinder, more compassionate, lighter. This is infectious. Your attitude begins to propagate from person to person, and in a short time hundreds of people are affected. All their actions, as well as your own, are altered. By the end of the day, the number of people affected could be in the tens of thousands.

As kindness and compassion propagate, here and there they take concrete form. A hungry person is fed. A lonely person is given some time. A kitty is taken home from the SPCA.

that's roughly how I look at it.
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Re: Ngondro Challenges

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:27 pm

Challenge23 wrote:In the long term it is written that being Enlightened helps other sentient beings but it doesn't say how, exactly. How does becoming a bodhisattva put food in anyone's stomach? How, exactly, do they heal the sick or comfort the dying? Since people have to do the practice on their own to get happiness, how does my doing the practice bring other people happiness? How does my Enlightenment, which is a deeply personal state, help others? More on Enlightenment a bit further down.
How can you help others if you can't help yourself? It's that simple!

As for the ngondro thing. Ngondro is not a challenge. It's not like:
Level 1 complete! You have now attained the supernormal powers of divine eye. Are you ready for the next challenge?
imagesCAKVYT10.jpg
imagesCAKVYT10.jpg (8.59 KiB) Viewed 1932 times

It's not like at the end you get to put your name on a list of tep ten scores or anything as the closing credits scroll down and whimsical music plays in the background.

Each and every practice is the whole game.
: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 Challenges

Postby Mr. G » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:27 am

Challenge23 wrote:
I think that is one of the places where I get into problems. I have a great deal of trouble seeing how me doing Dharma helps people in the short or the long term. I can't see how sitting on a cushion, offering the mandala, or anything else helps anyone except myself(sometimes) in the short term. In the long term it is written that being Enlightened helps other sentient beings but it doesn't say how, exactly. How does becoming a bodhisattva put food in anyone's stomach? How, exactly, do they heal the sick or comfort the dying? Since people have to do the practice on their own to get happiness, how does my doing the practice bring other people happiness? How does my Enlightenment, which is a deeply personal state, help others?


The aggregate of matter (rupaskandha) is composed of the 5 sense organs, and 5 sense objects. The five organs are the organs of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. The five objects of the five organs are visible matter, sounds, odors, tastes and tangibles. So if you see a person, hear a person's voice, feel their touch, etc...they are a part of your rupaskandha. By being compassionate and caring of others, you in turn care for yourself. Being a Bodhisattva or a Buddha helps you more effectively put food in starving people's stomach, heal the sick that can be healed, comfort the dying, and more importantly, teach the Dharma to help others become awake.

    As a result of intense vows and the development of compassion while following the Bodhisattva path to full Buddhahood....Through aeons of practice, compassion has become automatic, in fact spontaneous. In achieving Buddhahood the ability to help has been perfected too.

    - Professor Paul Williams - Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations


So get crackin' and be a Buddha, Challenge23! We need your help! :buddha1: :smile:
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
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Re: Ngondro Challenges

Postby Challenge23 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:43 pm

First, thank you everyone that responded. This has been very helpful.*

I wanted to respond here to give everyone an update all in one place. If anyone has any feedback, I will accept it with gratitude. If you don't, thank you for taking the time to read it.

The circumstances that created the original post have gotten better-ish. I have started working out and since I made that post I have lost almost 20 pounds. I don't feel out and out bad when doing my practice now as much as experiencing extreme doubt.

In order for my doubts to make sense I have to explain a little bit about how clinical depression works. Long term clinical depression isn't a reaction to external circumstances as much as it is a dark slant on thoughts that doesn't match up with external reality. All of the ways that clinical depression is dealt with center on ways to either reduce said thoughts or be able to ascertain their validity. Through a lot of progress I primarily deal with my depression via the second method. The way this works is that you analyze all of your thoughts as they come up to see how they match up with the outside world. If they don't match up then they are the depression talking and should be ignored.

Previously my Buddhist practice helped me to be able to analyze my thoughts more quickly and efficiently and therefore it made my depression easier to manage. However I've taken a look down the path a bit to see where it is supposed to lead and what the end result is supposed to be like and it worries me greatly. The "work hard" and "nothing happens for years" bit I can accept as at least it doesn't hurt anyone. But what I'm reading makes me think that if I keep on this path that it will end up with me either being such a pain in the ass that I'll alienate everyone I care about or me checking into a hospital at the advice of my physician for psychiatric reasons(again). And the reward? A state that nobody seems to be able to conclusively define(other than, "It's really awesome!" or "It's beyond rational thought.") that depends on something nobody can prove or disprove(that consciousness and therefore suffering don't end when we do). Remember that with the way I treat my depression if something is beyond rational thought then it has to be treated with extreme caution if not rejected outright.

I sent an e-mail to my teacher about this and his response was, "This is natural, concentrate on Vajrasattva." I have done this, of course, but I don't see how chanting and visualizing will address my concerns. Thus far all it has done is make me see the problems much more clearly. If they were the type of thing that could be solved that would be awesome.

*On a side note, some people might wonder why I always seem to start my posts with something like this. It is habit but there is also a reason behind it. I believe that internet communication is best done when there is an assumption of "good faith" on both sides. This statement and ones like it are a way for me to say, "I am coming to this discussion in good faith and gratitude and hope that you will respond kindly in return." As an FYI.
I'm an agnostic in the same sense that Robert Anton Wilson was, except his reaction was laughter. Mine isn't.

I am not a teacher in any tradition, Buddhist or otherwise. Anything that I have posted should not be taken as representing the view of anyone other than my own. And maybe Larry S. Smith of Montgomery, Alabama. But most likely just me.
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Re: Ngondro Challenges

Postby pemachophel » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:51 pm

Challenge23,

Mantrayana is magic, pure and simple. While rationally, doing Vajrasattva practice may seem irrelevant to your problems, I can absolutely tell you that it is not. Just keep doing it as your Teacher had recommended and, little by little, for no other explicable reason, you problems will dissipate. It's useless to try to analyze this by the thinking mind. Try to develop faith and perseverance, try to really feel Vajrasattva's presence, and, mostly importantly, think that Vajrasattva's essence is your own Teacher's Wisdom-mind. If you keep doing the practice, I guarantee you will see the result. The Three Jewels are undeceiving.

Good luck and best wishes.
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Re: Ngondro Challenges

Postby swampflower » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:08 am

At some level we must just have faith that the Path will benefit all beings and that our practice makes a difference.
On other levels I believe (see the faith thing?) that it becomes quite clear and evident that practice does benefit all beings.
This is due to the inextricable connections between all of existence.
Some of these effects are extremely subtle.
One must try to keep the mind and the heart open.
When I start feeling sorry for myself I try to think of those who are much more unfortunate such as hungry ghosts or humans in terrible suffering. In this way I can regain perspective.
Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Svāhā
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swampflower
 
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