Ngondro

Re: Ngondro

Postby zimpickens » Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:41 pm

Hi,

I noticed above that deepbluehum posted that the number counting (in ngondro, I'm guessing) started in the 13th C. I'm curious about the history of this number counting and I wasn't sure that people were doing ngondro in the 13 C. so if there are any leads about this I would appreciate hearing about it.

So if deepbluehum or anyone else knows about these topics please let me know.

Thank you!
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Malcolm » Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:10 pm

zimpickens wrote:Hi,

I noticed above that deepbluehum posted that the number counting (in ngondro, I'm guessing) started in the 13th C. I'm curious about the history of this number counting and I wasn't sure that people were doing ngondro in the 13 C. so if there are any leads about this I would appreciate hearing about it.

So if deepbluehum or anyone else knows about these topics please let me know.

Thank you!



Hi Zim:

People did Ngondro, but the overall systematization of Ngondro seems to be a rather nineteenth century phenomena that spread from Kagyu to the other two schools i.e. Nyingma and Sakya. For example, the massive 350 folio commentary on the Lam 'bras preliminaries authored by Zimog Tulku in the nineteenth century was explicitly influenced by Kun bzang bla ma'i zhal lung. Before this text, there was no separate Sakya Ngondro commentary. And the first independent Ngondro text in Sakya was written by Dezhung Rinpoche.

However, there was ngondro from an ancient period of time. For example, the klong gsal nyi ma 'bar ma rgyud [which probably dates to the 13th century and is the root tantra for the mkha' 'gro snying thig] has a fully elaborated ngondro from chapters 63-75. For example, the refuge chapter, 67, does not give a number. Chapter 73 specifies doing Vajrasattva for 21 days, for example.

In general, I think the idea of doing 100,000 thousand comes from the idea of reciting mantras 100,000 times in the gsar ma tantras.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


One who explains any Dharma
without possessing trustworthy scriptures,
has a conceptual nature,
spoiling himself and spoiling others.

-- Ghanavyūha Sūtra
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Karma Jinpa » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:59 am

smcj wrote:I just joined DW. I can't tell you how nice it is to see a thread with 186 posts regarding Ngondro/prostrations. It's heartwarming. Thanks everybody. I'll go through the entire thread at a later date. :namaste:


Amen, ditto, and EMAHO!

Just started ngondro myself, and find myself backpedaling from the prostrations a bit to focus on the Four Thoughts, since that's what my root guru told me to do (especially contemplating the fourth: the Unsatifactoriness of Samsara).

Also, a technical question for those who might know:

I was practicing the 17th Karmapa's text, Ngondro for Our Current Day, after getting permission to do so despite getting the lung for the 9th Karmapa's Chariot. Now that I have the latter, I find that I've gotten used to the first refuge field visualization and prostration prayer.

Is it sacrilege to revert back to NFOCD since I was inspired to do more of the practice with that text?
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།
ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།


:namaste:
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Re: Ngondro

Postby smcj » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:46 pm

Is it sacrilege to revert back to NFOCD since I was inspired to do more of the practice with that text?

Ask your teacher!
There is a tradition of making a distinction between two different perspectives on the nature of emptiness: one is when emptiness is presented within a philosophical analysis of the ultimate reality of things, in which case it ought to be understood in terms of a non-affirming negative phenomena. On the other hand, when it is discussed from the point of view of experience, it should be understood more in terms of an affirming negation.
HHDL
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Re: Ngondro

Postby shanehanner » Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:47 am

tummo wrote:I adopted a simple rule for all my practices - I do not practice anything unless I understand 3 things:

1. The objective - what is it for exactly, how does it advance me on the path, why I can't avoid it.
Outer, Inner, Secret, Innermost Secret Objective.

2. The method - how it works and why this method better than the other method.
Outer, Inner, Secret, Innermost Secret Practice.

3. The sign of accomplishment - all practices have clear signs of accomplishment (if the teacher did not tell you, it does not mean it does not exist - keep looking).
Outer, Inner, Secret, Innermost Secret Signs.

Everything is in 4s.

In Ngondro, all practices have clear purpose, method and result - as usually Outer, Inner, Secret, Innermost Secret Objective.
Every step has a clear sign - Outer, Inner, Secret, Innermost Secret Sign. A lot of teachers do not know (it maybe surprising) - for them it became part of the tradition - my teacher told me so.

In essence, the method does not care if you accumulate 100,000 or 500,000. You have to get a sign.
For example, Kalachakra tantra talks about some sings for preliminaries.

But keep looking, it is out there - all you have to do is to find a teacher who will explain you these things. Once you understand these things, you get really motivated and proceed fast, almost 24/7. It comes naturally because the understanding, clear definition of the method and the outcome keeps you focused.


"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." - Buddha


I really like this and will definitely ask my teacher, thank you!
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Re: Ngondro

Postby shanehanner » Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:57 am

tummo wrote:I adopted a simple rule for all my practices - I do not practice anything unless I understand 3 things:

1. The objective - what is it for exactly, how does it advance me on the path, why I can't avoid it.
Outer, Inner, Secret, Innermost Secret Objective.

2. The method - how it works and why this method better than the other method.
Outer, Inner, Secret, Innermost Secret Practice.

3. The sign of accomplishment - all practices have clear signs of accomplishment (if the teacher did not tell you, it does not mean it does not exist - keep looking).
Outer, Inner, Secret, Innermost Secret Signs.

Everything is in 4s.

In Ngondro, all practices have clear purpose, method and result - as usually Outer, Inner, Secret, Innermost Secret Objective.
Every step has a clear sign - Outer, Inner, Secret, Innermost Secret Sign. A lot of teachers do not know (it maybe surprising) - for them it became part of the tradition - my teacher told me so.

In essence, the method does not care if you accumulate 100,000 or 500,000. You have to get a sign.
For example, Kalachakra tantra talks about some sings for preliminaries.

But keep looking, it is out there - all you have to do is to find a teacher who will explain you these things. Once you understand these things, you get really motivated and proceed fast, almost 24/7. It comes naturally because the understanding, clear definition of the method and the outcome keeps you focused.


"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." - Buddha


Could you give a little more detail to the outer, inner, secret, innermost secret?
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Terma » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:19 am

Malcolm wrote:
The real meaning of "ngondro" is Guru yoga. First it is guru yoga to a guru in front of you; then on top of your head; then in front you to whom you make offerings; then in front of you from whom you receive empworments.

As long as it is understood that ngondro is guru yoga in the beginning, in the middle, and in the end, then this should remove obstacles to practice.

There is no practice more profound than Guru Yoga, it is the defining practice of Vajrayāna which is not present in Mahayāna or lower tantras.

N


I was re-visiting this thread, and I thought I would re-post this amazing quote by Malcolm.

So helpful to recall this over and over again!

Thanks, M.
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Re: Ngondro

Postby dzogchungpa » Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:15 pm

The mark of learning is gentleness, basically. - Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
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Re: Ngondro

Postby togg » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:39 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:Possibly of interest: http://saraswatibhawan.org/ngondro-words-of-inspiration/


Wow! thanks, that link was something to rejoice about! :thanks:

I can recommend this one also:
http://www.khandrorinpoche.org/wp-conte ... gondro.pdf
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Re: Ngondro

Postby Terma » Sat Jun 13, 2015 2:52 am

dzogchungpa wrote:Possibly of interest: http://saraswatibhawan.org/ngondro-words-of-inspiration/


Love it! Thanks.
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Re: Ngondro

Postby sherabpa » Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:47 pm

Konchok Chindu, a 17th century earth terma, has a strong emphasis on ngondro. Tsewang Norbu in his commentary on the practice quotes Terton Jatson Nyingpo as follows:

From the outer, inner and secret sadhanas to the end, in summary, whether one is engaged in the development stage or the completion stage, if one proceeds through the preliminaries – going for refuge, generating bodhichitta and prostrating one hundred thousand times, the One Hundred Syllables one hundred thousand times, the mandala one hundred thousand times, and supplication one hundred thousand times, and so forth – the main practice will be easily accomplished without obstacles, the signs will quickly appear, and one will be able to bring forth fruition in the way it is explained in the sadhana. That is the personal instruction (zhal lung) of Guru Rinpoche. I, Jatsonpa, have certainly experienced this to be so.


Indeed perhaps it is this lineage which is the original source of the popularity of ngondro in the Kagyu tradition in the last couple of centuries.
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