who's ngondro is it anyway

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Malcolm
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by Malcolm »

Johnny Dangerous wrote:So to my mind part of the issue is the assumption that ngondro is something everyone should be doing in the first place, not just in how it's done. I mean ultimately we listen to our teachers of course...
There are ngondros and then there are ngondros, for example, in Dzogchen, the Dzogchen preliminaries are indispensable. But prostrations, recitations of refuge verses and bodhicitta verses, etc., these are all dispensable in Dzogchen.

That said, I did a full ngondro, and it didn't hurt me none.
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conebeckham
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by conebeckham »

Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:I wonder how much of the argument is people ending up in the wrong place, especially after having been told that they should follow the "correct" approach, when in fact there does not appear to be such an animal.
It seems to me that very few people have the chance to get any truly personalized advice, based on real familiarity with their condition, so what you describe is probably quite common.
This is in part due to a somewhat corporate approach in Vajradhātu, that spread widely. I know people who did seminary in the '80s who still have not completed their ngondro, and thus never went any further in that system.
Which is somewhat ironic, considering that the Phagmo sadhana contains ngondro that is quite similar to the general Kamtsang Ngondro in use at Vajradhatu.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
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It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
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TaTa
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by TaTa »

Malcolm wrote:Practicing Ngondro is nice, but practicing Dharma is better.
Well i guess this could be apply to other practices scenarios and i agree
Malcolm
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by Malcolm »

TaTa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Practicing Ngondro is nice, but practicing Dharma is better.
Well i guess this could be apply to other practices scenarios and i agree
Indeed, practicing Dzogchen is nice, but practicing Dharma is better.
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that name does not exist."
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Arnoud
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by Arnoud »

What is Dharma?
Malcolm
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by Malcolm »

Arnoud wrote:What is Dharma?
Knowledge of your own state.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
Anonymous X
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by Anonymous X »

Malcolm wrote:
Arnoud wrote:What is Dharma?
Knowledge of your own state.
:cheers:
Anonymous X
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by Anonymous X »

dzogchungpa wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:I have to conclude that western Vajrayana practitioners have some serious baggage regarding ngondro... :shrug:
My man DJKR puts it well here.
You don't think that ngondro is a practice developed and related through the Tibetan culture? Westerners are not naturally disposed to this kind of practice and resistance seems quite natural to them. I like what Malcolm said: Practicing Dharma is better.
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dzogchungpa
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by dzogchungpa »

Anonymous X wrote:You don't think that ngondro is a practice developed and related through the Tibetan culture?
Of course I think that. Why do you ask?
Anonymous X wrote:Westerners are not naturally disposed to this kind of practice and resistance seems quite natural to them.
I point out that this thread is in the Tibetan Buddhism forum, so it's kind of taken for granted that people posting here are in fact interested in practicing some form of Tibetan Buddhism, especially in a thread like this. People should feel free to resist practicing ngondro all they like as far as I'm concerned.
Anonymous X wrote:I like what Malcolm said: Practicing Dharma is better.
Well, Malcolm says a lot of things. :smile:
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Matylda
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by Matylda »

dzogchungpa wrote:
Anonymous X wrote:You don't think that ngondro is a practice developed and related through the Tibetan culture?
Of course I think that. Why do you ask?
Once I checked Japanese vajrayana/shingon curriculum for the initial retreat. What was interesting for the first four weeks there is practice of prostrations. But devided in four parts, so each week is slightly different. Prostrations are done with mudra and mantra, and it changes every week so for each 7 days different mudra and mantra is used. Sounded like very intensive daily schedule from early hours till late night. First month of retreat reminded me very much of ngondro in Tibetan tradition. I think the whole first retreat was designed for 3 months or 100 days. Other parts of retreat were different as far as I remember. Definitely guru yoga was missing. Anyway I wonder if in fact there is no some remote origin of Tibetan ngondro in India... somehow Tibetan masters had to come to conclusion with ngondro, and probably it was not out of the blue.
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Mantrik
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by Mantrik »

I completed Ngondro for Vajrayogini HYT practice. Relieved and satisifed but did nothing for me spiritually.
Dzogchen DI and some hours with Nyingma Lamas, Anuyoga and Atiyoga has been wonderful and given me joy and progress.

I think this only proves that one form of practice suits me better than another, so I'd challenge the assertion that Ngondro is 'necessary' or 'better' as it simply may or may not be true for each individual. In the same way, DI and Dzogchen may not suit others. Still others may find a combination of both to work best.

I'd also say that some Lamas do not assess each individual and give them suitable practices, and that at least one has tried to sell Ngondro to me like a secondhand car dealer who hadn't reaches his sales target that month. £60 to meet him, £60 for the Ngondro, £120 for the compulsory weekend, then you're on the hook for the rest of the programme. This may be an extreme case, but to some degree I am suspicious of the way in which Ngondro is sold.
Last edited by Mantrik on Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Tongnyid Dorje
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by Tongnyid Dorje »

My experience is, that when I was only part of DC sangha, I was looking down on practice of ngondro (as many other in DC). Why should I do such inferior practice, when I have this pinacle teachings and all I need is to sound HUM and have some feeling Im Simhamukha, recite one mala of her mantra and all the transformation is completed in it and black magic reversed. Why should I throwing myself on the floor, when its enough to sound A and be in my really real nature! Why I should do Vajrasattva when one second of contemplation cleans much more of negative karma? And there is no doubt I can be in contemplation for much longer time, of course! :jumping:

Later I noticed this thrill between practicioners, they doubts when they visited other teachers: should I do it really, or not? How surprised I was on SMS First level, that there actually is ngodro!!! So this was my first ngondro.

Then I met Dudjom Yangsi during Rinchen Terdzod and he gave us ngondro transmissions and teachings. I took it as a challenge also and decided to completed it. Its guite short one, easy to do so why not? Why not to have this experience? So I did it. And I can say, its really complete practice in itself. It has all the "juicy" one would like to have. Now I started Troma ngondro and Im enjoying it soooo much!

Anyway, sometimes I have feeling, that the most ppl who are speaking against ngondro are just too lazy so they want to find every excuse. Dont take me generaly. Of course there are ppl who just dont have capacity to do ngondro, like they have some health issues and so on.
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Grigoris
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by Grigoris »

The fact that all teachers give preliminary practices/exercises, of one type or another, is rather more telling than the opinions of internet experts. ;)

To me, if anything, it underlines the extreme need for the guru yoga practice (which is normally part of the preliminaries for any serious Vajrayana practice).
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Mantrik
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by Mantrik »

Grigoris wrote:The fact that all teachers give preliminary practices/exercises, of one type or another, is rather more telling than the opinions of internet experts.
They do, but not all in the same form.
Assuming 'one size fits all' creates the two-sided debate, and simultaneously lets down both sides of the debate.

I'll wager that those who are most dissatisfied with their path have not received much personal guidance from the Lama or senior students.
As many lamas cannot possibly meet every student, I don't disparage the internet ..... in that respect.

Edt: I agree about the Guruyoga.
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by Anonymous X »

dzogchungpa wrote:
Anonymous X wrote:You don't think that ngondro is a practice developed and related through the Tibetan culture?
Of course I think that. Why do you ask?
I should have been more clear. In most Buddhist practices outside of Tibetan teachings, this kind of ngondro is not done. In Japan, as Matyida points out, the Shingon also incorporate this, but the influence in Shingon is derived from Tibet, not Japanese culture.
Anonymous X wrote:Westerners are not naturally disposed to this kind of practice and resistance seems quite natural to them.
dzogchungpa wrote:I point out that this thread is in the Tibetan Buddhism forum, so it's kind of taken for granted that people posting here are in fact interested in practicing some form of Tibetan Buddhism, especially in a thread like this. People should feel free to resist practicing ngondro all they like as far as I'm concerned.
I understood that.
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Grigoris
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by Grigoris »

Mantrik wrote:They do, but not all in the same form.
Assuming 'one size fits all' creates the two-sided debate, and simultaneously lets down both sides of the debate.

I'll wager that those who are most dissatisfied with their path have not received much personal guidance from the Lama or senior students.
As many lamas cannot possibly meet every student, I don't disparage the internet ..... in that respect.

Edt: I agree about the Guruyoga.
I don't think anybody said there is a "one size fits all". When I, in another thread, talked about preliminaries I was not referring to a specific set of practices.

For example: when we received the lung for Dudjom Lingpa's Buddhahood Without Meditation from Ogyan Tanzin Rinpoche each of us had to pledge to accumulate 1,200,000 Vajra Guru mantra, in order to be present. That is a form of preliminary practice, a preparation, a means to mature the mind so that the significance of the text becomes apparent.

(Yes, he did kick out people that refused to do the accumulations)

I also believe engaging in preliminary practices also shows one's seriousness/dedication to practice. I have, on multiple occasions, seen teachers give incredibly rare and precious practices (with samaya) that people have then put straight into the "circular filing cabinet". If they has gone through a testing phase of ngondro/preliminaries first it would have saved both the teacher and the student from future suffering AND in the meantime the student would have reaped the benefit of the preliminaries.

Personally, I think it is a win-win situation.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde
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Mantrik
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by Mantrik »

Grigoris wrote:
Mantrik wrote:They do, but not all in the same form.
Assuming 'one size fits all' creates the two-sided debate, and simultaneously lets down both sides of the debate.

I'll wager that those who are most dissatisfied with their path have not received much personal guidance from the Lama or senior students.
As many lamas cannot possibly meet every student, I don't disparage the internet ..... in that respect.

Edt: I agree about the Guruyoga.
I don't think anybody said there is a "one size fits all". When I, in another thread, talked about preliminaries I was not referring to a specific set of practices.

For example: when we received the lung for Dudjom Lingpa's Buddhahood Without Meditation from Ogyan Tanzin Rinpoche each of us had to pledge to accumulate 1,200,000 Vajra Guru mantra, in order to be present. That is a form of preliminary practice, a preparation, a means to mature the mind so that the significance of the text becomes apparent.

(Yes, he did kick out people that refused to do the accumulations)

I also believe engaging in preliminary practices also shows one's seriousness/dedication to practice. I have, on multiple occasions, seen teachers give incredibly rare and precious practices (with samaya) that people have then put straight into the "circular filing cabinet". If they has gone through a testing phase of ngondro/preliminaries first it would have saved both the teacher and the student from future suffering AND in the meantime the student would have reaped the benefit of the preliminaries.

Personally, I think it is a win-win situation.
Yes, Ngondro is highy relevant in the Gelug too. I witnessed people receiving HYT empowerments from a certain pixie, including Tantric Vows, who had no idea why they were there and most definitely were not going to keep their practice commitments.
It also perhaps does not dawn on people just how much time needs to be dedicated to Ngondro, especially when designed for full time monastics.
I wonder what the dropout rate is. This is why I made the point about persona guidance from the Guru, which you have reinforced here.
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Malcolm
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by Malcolm »

Anonymous X wrote: In Japan, as Matyida points out, the Shingon also incorporate this, but the influence in Shingon is derived from Tibet, not Japanese culture.
No, Japanese Shingon does not depend on Tibetan Buddhism at all for anything. It is a completely independent stream of Vajrayāna.
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Malcolm
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by Malcolm »

Grigoris wrote:The fact that all teachers give preliminary practices/exercises, of one type or another, is rather more telling than the opinions of internet experts. ;)

To me, if anything, it underlines the extreme need for the guru yoga practice (which is normally part of the preliminaries for any serious Vajrayana practice).
Guru yoga isn't a preliminary. It is the main practice, far more important than any deity yoga.
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Re: who's ngondro is it anyway

Post by DGA »

I learned a lot from "uncommon" ngondro. It helped me tremendously and in surprising ways. I'm very, very glad I did it.
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