Niche Ngondros

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KonchogUrgyenNyima
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Niche Ngondros

Post by KonchogUrgyenNyima »

Hello,

I'm currently practicing LN ngondro. My understanding is that before one receives teachings and empowerments, a lama (usually) will have them complete a 500,000 accumulation set of a ngondro like LN. I have also heard that there are ngondros for certain terma cycles like the Troma cycle and the Khandro Nyingthig.

i'm wondering if, traditionally, these more uncommon ngondros would be the first set of 500,000 a practitioner would do before practicing the "main practice" of those cycles or if they would be expected to be additional, only accessed after something like the LN is completed?

I understand that things don't work as they once traditionally did, and i'm also curious about how these things work in a modern context.

i hope that is clear enough to understand. thanks in advance.
Arnoud
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Re: Niche Ngondros

Post by Arnoud »

It seems Lama-dependent.

Some will have you do 10% of the Ngondro of whatever cycle you may wish to practice. Some will have you do another complete one again. Some will say the Ngondro you will have done is enough to proceed. Some don't require Ngondro (in the traditional sense) at all.

It is quite the complete path in and of itself. Especially the GY. Little long for the LN but nice.
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heart
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Re: Niche Ngondros

Post by heart »

KonchogUrgyenNyima wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:36 pm Hello,

I'm currently practicing LN ngondro. My understanding is that before one receives teachings and empowerments, a lama (usually) will have them complete a 500,000 accumulation set of a ngondro like LN. I have also heard that there are ngondros for certain terma cycles like the Troma cycle and the Khandro Nyingthig.

i'm wondering if, traditionally, these more uncommon ngondros would be the first set of 500,000 a practitioner would do before practicing the "main practice" of those cycles or if they would be expected to be additional, only accessed after something like the LN is completed?

I understand that things don't work as they once traditionally did, and i'm also curious about how these things work in a modern context.

i hope that is clear enough to understand. thanks in advance.
There are no "niche ngondros". A ngondro is normally a part of a cycle of important teachings in the Nyingma. So, LN ngondro is for the LN cycle of teachings. Khandro Nyingtik is for the Khandro Nyingtik cycle of teachings and so on. There are so many cycles like this in the Nyingma. Many of these cycles have both overlapping teachings and unique teachings so it is quite normal for Nyingma practitioners to do several ngondros.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)
Arnoud
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Re: Niche Ngondros

Post by Arnoud »

heart wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:27 pm
There are no "niche ngondros".
/magnus

No, but it does have a nice ring to it.
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KonchogUrgyenNyima
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Re: Niche Ngondros

Post by KonchogUrgyenNyima »

I just mean niche as in less common than LN. maybe this is not correct usage of the word.
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Re: Niche Ngondros

Post by KonchogUrgyenNyima »

heart wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:27 pm
KonchogUrgyenNyima wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:36 pm Hello,

I'm currently practicing LN ngondro. My understanding is that before one receives teachings and empowerments, a lama (usually) will have them complete a 500,000 accumulation set of a ngondro like LN. I have also heard that there are ngondros for certain terma cycles like the Troma cycle and the Khandro Nyingthig.

i'm wondering if, traditionally, these more uncommon ngondros would be the first set of 500,000 a practitioner would do before practicing the "main practice" of those cycles or if they would be expected to be additional, only accessed after something like the LN is completed?

I understand that things don't work as they once traditionally did, and i'm also curious about how these things work in a modern context.

i hope that is clear enough to understand. thanks in advance.
There are no "niche ngondros". A ngondro is normally a part of a cycle of important teachings in the Nyingma. So, LN ngondro is for the LN cycle of teachings. Khandro Nyingtik is for the Khandro Nyingtik cycle of teachings and so on. There are so many cycles like this in the Nyingma. Many of these cycles have both overlapping teachings and unique teachings so it is quite normal for Nyingma practitioners to do several ngondros.

/magnus
Thanks for the thoughtful response. As i practice more and more ngondro it becomes more and more clear how truly pervasive and foundational the practices are. I came into it thinking that it was a barrier to me and what i wanted that i just had to get through. I’m starting to realize that my ngondro is a true friend who will accompany me throughout my life. And probably more than one ngondro too, if i’m lucky:)
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Re: Niche Ngondros

Post by Tata1 »

KonchogUrgyenNyima wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:36 pm Hello,

I'm currently practicing LN ngondro. My understanding is that before one receives teachings and empowerments, a lama (usually) will have them complete a 500,000 accumulation set of a ngondro like LN. I have also heard that there are ngondros for certain terma cycles like the Troma cycle and the Khandro Nyingthig.

i'm wondering if, traditionally, these more uncommon ngondros would be the first set of 500,000 a practitioner would do before practicing the "main practice" of those cycles or if they would be expected to be additional, only accessed after something like the LN is completed?

I understand that things don't work as they once traditionally did, and i'm also curious about how these things work in a modern context.

i hope that is clear enough to understand. thanks in advance.
Things never really worked like they "traditionally did" its always teacher dependent and there are almost no fixed rules.

For example i never heard of anyone asking to complete a ngondro to receive empowerments or teachings. Except maybe in kagyu but thats just the (several) teachers i had conection with. Like i said, its really teacher and student dependent
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Re: Niche Ngondros

Post by KonchogUrgyenNyima »

Tata1 wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:25 am
KonchogUrgyenNyima wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:36 pm Hello,

I'm currently practicing LN ngondro. My understanding is that before one receives teachings and empowerments, a lama (usually) will have them complete a 500,000 accumulation set of a ngondro like LN. I have also heard that there are ngondros for certain terma cycles like the Troma cycle and the Khandro Nyingthig.

i'm wondering if, traditionally, these more uncommon ngondros would be the first set of 500,000 a practitioner would do before practicing the "main practice" of those cycles or if they would be expected to be additional, only accessed after something like the LN is completed?

I understand that things don't work as they once traditionally did, and i'm also curious about how these things work in a modern context.

i hope that is clear enough to understand. thanks in advance.
Things never really worked like they "traditionally did" its always teacher dependent and there are almost no fixed rules.

For example i never heard of anyone asking to complete a ngondro to receive empowerments or teachings. Except maybe in kagyu but thats just the (several) teachers i had conection with. Like i said, its really teacher and student dependent
I’m assuming you mean you never heard of that in so called “tradition”? Thanks a ton for your insight.
Tata1
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Re: Niche Ngondros

Post by Tata1 »

Maybe my english is not so clear, sorry. In trying to say that sometimes what we call tradition is not always like that. For example, Milarepa met this girl and didnt tell her to go do 100000x5, he told her go watch your mind and see what its shape is...etc. tulku urgyen says in blazing splendor that in nagchen they pretty much gave instructions on nature of mind to anyone who was passing bye. Who can argue that milarepa or the lamas from nagchen where not traditional?

So like i said before the progression of things alwats depends on teacher and student
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Re: Niche Ngondros

Post by heart »

Tata1 wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:43 am Maybe my english is not so clear, sorry. In trying to say that sometimes what we call tradition is not always like that. For example, Milarepa met this girl and didnt tell her to go do 100000x5, he told her go watch your mind and see what its shape is...etc. tulku urgyen says in blazing splendor that in nagchen they pretty much gave instructions on nature of mind to anyone who was passing bye. Who can argue that milarepa or the lamas from nagchen where not traditional?

So like i said before the progression of things alwats depends on teacher and student
Getting mind instructions and doing ngondro at the same time was the way Tulku Urgyen taught and this is the way his his sons teach. So, you don't do the ngondro to achieve anything but merit and wisdom.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)
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Re: Niche Ngondros

Post by KonchogUrgyenNyima »

Thanks y’all. So thankful for all the clarification you give. Any more passing thoughts?
Malcolm
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Re: Niche Ngondros

Post by Malcolm »

heart wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:59 am
Getting mind instructions and doing ngondro at the same time was the way Tulku Urgyen taught and this is the way his his sons teach. So, you don't do the ngondro to achieve anything but merit and wisdom.
Have to pass the time somehow.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
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Re: Niche Ngondros

Post by SilenceMonkey »

KonchogUrgyenNyima wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:36 pm

i'm wondering if, traditionally, these more uncommon ngondros would be the first set of 500,000 a practitioner would do before practicing the "main practice" of those cycles or if they would be expected to be additional, only accessed after something like the LN is completed?
Are you asking if there are other ngondros that come after your ngondro?

I think it's more like there is a ngondro for each lineage (cycle) of practices. To be initiated into the Longchen Nyingthik lineage, you are given the Longchen Nyingthik ngondro. To be initiated into other tantric cycles, you do the ngondro of that cycle.

Unless the lama wants to teach more advanced practices without you having gone through the ngondro process.
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Re: Niche Ngondros

Post by KonchogUrgyenNyima »

SilenceMonkey wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:50 pm
KonchogUrgyenNyima wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:36 pm

i'm wondering if, traditionally, these more uncommon ngondros would be the first set of 500,000 a practitioner would do before practicing the "main practice" of those cycles or if they would be expected to be additional, only accessed after something like the LN is completed?
Are you asking if there are other ngondros that come after your ngondro?

I think it's more like there is a ngondro for each lineage (cycle) of practices. To be initiated into the Longchen Nyingthik lineage, you are given the Longchen Nyingthik ngondro. To be initiated into other tantric cycles, you do the ngondro of that cycle.

Unless the lama wants to teach more advanced practices without you having gone through the ngondro process.
Yes this is essentially my question. It makes sense that individual cycles would have their own preliminaries. It seems though that many people are assigned, say, the LN perhaps because it very popular and accessible, and then are allowed access to something like the troma cycle or the khandro nyingthig cycle, both of which have their own ngondros. The lama may or may not have you do some or all of that ngondro, so it seems less cut and dry than just doing one ngondro and practicing that cycle.

For better or for worse, I’m kind of just trying to compartmentalize “how things work” so i can chart a course to the teachings and empowerments that i want to spend my life practicing. What i’m hearing is that, as per usual, it comes down to what your lama deems necessary.
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Re: Niche Ngondros

Post by SilenceMonkey »

KonchogUrgyenNyima wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:48 pm
SilenceMonkey wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:50 pm
KonchogUrgyenNyima wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:36 pm

i'm wondering if, traditionally, these more uncommon ngondros would be the first set of 500,000 a practitioner would do before practicing the "main practice" of those cycles or if they would be expected to be additional, only accessed after something like the LN is completed?
Are you asking if there are other ngondros that come after your ngondro?

I think it's more like there is a ngondro for each lineage (cycle) of practices. To be initiated into the Longchen Nyingthik lineage, you are given the Longchen Nyingthik ngondro. To be initiated into other tantric cycles, you do the ngondro of that cycle.

Unless the lama wants to teach more advanced practices without you having gone through the ngondro process.
For better or for worse, I’m kind of just trying to compartmentalize “how things work” so i can chart a course to the teachings and empowerments that i want to spend my life practicing. What i’m hearing is that, as per usual, it comes down to what your lama deems necessary.
Maybe the book "A Beginner's Guide to Tibetan Buddhism" by Bruce Newman might be useful.
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Re: Niche Ngondros

Post by heart »

Malcolm wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:48 pm
heart wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:59 am
Getting mind instructions and doing ngondro at the same time was the way Tulku Urgyen taught and this is the way his his sons teach. So, you don't do the ngondro to achieve anything but merit and wisdom.
Have to pass the time somehow.
the precious gadfly strikes again :smile:

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)
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Re: Niche Ngondros

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KonchogUrgyenNyima wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:48 pm
For better or for worse, I’m kind of just trying to compartmentalize “how things work” so i can chart a course to the teachings and empowerments that i want to spend my life practicing. What i’m hearing is that, as per usual, it comes down to what your lama deems necessary.
It really depends. I think one of the reasons why many practice LN ngöndro is because it is quite vast and there are many materials to it, etc. At least that is what I believe after watching some nyingma students who do not pursue dudjom nyingthig.

What I am certain about is that if you find a lama you trust they will help you with this. By telling you that you only need to do 10k of those practices or if you ought to do 100k again. Depends. It is like a language course, each tutor creates different course. Some go by the books, some are more free, etc. Result is that you know the language.

Sometimes it is good to do one ngöndro and then when entering a new cycle to somehow engage in that cycle's ngöndro too. Different ngondro sadhanas often give different lense to the practices and the taste might be a bit different. Not to mention you begin to familiarize yourself with that particular lineage in a way.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
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Re: Niche Ngondros

Post by KonchogUrgyenNyima »

Könchok Thrinley wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:02 pm
KonchogUrgyenNyima wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:48 pm
For better or for worse, I’m kind of just trying to compartmentalize “how things work” so i can chart a course to the teachings and empowerments that i want to spend my life practicing. What i’m hearing is that, as per usual, it comes down to what your lama deems necessary.
It really depends. I think one of the reasons why many practice LN ngöndro is because it is quite vast and there are many materials to it, etc. At least that is what I believe after watching some nyingma students who do not pursue dudjom nyingthig.

What I am certain about is that if you find a lama you trust they will help you with this. By telling you that you only need to do 10k of those practices or if you ought to do 100k again. Depends. It is like a language course, each tutor creates different course. Some go by the books, some are more free, etc. Result is that you know the language.

Sometimes it is good to do one ngöndro and then when entering a new cycle to somehow engage in that cycle's ngöndro too. Different ngondro sadhanas often give different lense to the practices and the taste might be a bit different. Not to mention you begin to familiarize yourself with that particular lineage in a way.
What a wonderful answer. Thank you. I think i’m finding that my lama that i work most closely with is just impossible to read. I can’t tell if he’s more “free” or more “by the book”. Sometimes it seems like one and sometimes the other. That is probably a good thing though huh? Easing into just trusting his guidance is a really interesting process. It is a hard thing, to trust that someone only has your beat interest in mind.
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Re: Niche Ngondros

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

KonchogUrgyenNyima wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:08 pm What a wonderful answer. Thank you. I think i’m finding that my lama that i work most closely with is just impossible to read. I can’t tell if he’s more “free” or more “by the book”. Sometimes it seems like one and sometimes the other. That is probably a good thing though huh? Easing into just trusting his guidance is a really interesting process. It is a hard thing, to trust that someone only has your beat interest in mind.
Glad you liked the answer. And if he is free or by the book... that is often the case that it is both. :rolling: My dearest lama is both relaxed and very loving but also traditional. Just depends in what aspects. :smile:
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
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