padma norbu wrote:FWIW, I just found practically the exact opposite description of Dorje Drolo:
Dorjie Drolod is the most important among the great manifestation of Guru Padmasambhava.
According to both Buddha and the Guru Padmasambhava, this degenerative era is characterized by strong forms of desire and anger. These are the major obstacles confronting practitioners nowadays. Dorje Drolo is the emanation related to the transformation of these situations.
Dorje Drolo is a very special and powerful influence to help clear away and dispel complex loops of mental and emotional obstacles. People who are aware of feeling mentally unstable or unhappy for no apparent reason would do well to practice on Dorje Drolo. Even though everything is together, sometimes the mind doesn't feel comfortable, relaxed or at peace. This is when such practice is really relevant. When there are unsettled feelings, it is particularly useful to meditate on Dorje Drolo. This will help calm and balance the mind.
thanks for posting this explanation by Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche. If anyone wants to read the full teaching on Guru Rinpoche's Eight Manifestations, please look here: http://www.turtlehill.org/khen/eman.html
(The Drolo section is at the bottom of the page before the conclusion)
I think the potential problems caused by the practice may have been overstated here. The real issue, as I understand it, is doing the practice with the incorrect motivation and identifying with your ego rather than the enlightened mind of Dorje Drolo. In her doctoral thesis, Cathy Cantwell looked at the sadhanas and ritual practices of the Nyingma (Dudjom Tersar) gompa in Tso Pema, (incidentally, where I got the Dudjom Drolo wang) including their daily practice of Drolo and the torma casting ritual or lower activity (smad-las) practice at the end of the year. After the torma is thrown as a weapon she explains the meditation on the protective circle.
"As the lay-people moved from the scene, Padma sKal-bzang remained still, making hand guestures ("mudra"), and meditating on the Protection Mandala. This meditation is to eradicate any trace of the weapon in case the practitioner has at any stage lost awareness of the inseparability of his mind and that of the yi-dam (i.e. the Enlightened Mind). This would constitute an identification with "Rudra" - egocentredness sprung from ignorance, characterised by the poisons - and given the forcefulness of this ritual, the "weapon" might backfire to strike the unenlightened meditator. Although the aim of the practice is that the "Rudra" within (as well as without) should be destroyed, the meditator should never identify with "Rudra", or let himself be harmed, since this is tantamount to denying one's true Buddha Nature, and may also obstruct the potential for realisation. While the "Rudra" is destroyed, it is crucial for the meditator to identify with the Enlightened manifestation, and to develop awareness of the ultimate emptiness and insubstaniality of all projections. Thus, in the Protection Mandala meditation, designed to reaffirm the "samaya" or "bond", the meditator identifies with the yi-dam, and all the Buddhas consecrate the Reealisation. Then, all appearances dissolve, and finally, with the background awareness of emptiness still present, the Protection Mandala, indestructible because it is not substantial enough to attack, arises."
So, as has previously been mentioned, the biggest problem is to identify with Rudra rather than on our own nature, and to use Drolo as an extension of our ego without awareness.