Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

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Terma
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Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by Terma » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:50 am

This is mainly a question for those who have finished their ngondro or at the very least a good chunk of the way through.

Do you think it is better to do ngondro as a stand alone practice, meaning focusing only on that and not doing any other daily practices? Or do you feel there is some benefit to doing a short daily practice along with doing the accumulations?

Everyone is different and every teacher gives different advice. Having said that, how you go about it?

Thanks.

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Josef
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Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by Josef » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:52 am

Terma wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:50 am
This is mainly a question for those who have finished their ngondro or at the very least a good chunk of the way through.

Do you think it is better to do ngondro as a stand alone practice, meaning focusing only on that and not doing any other daily practices? Or do you feel there is some benefit to doing a short daily practice along with doing the accumulations?

Everyone is different and every teacher gives different advice. Having said that, how you go about it?

Thanks.
It depends on the individual.
When I did ngondro, I did ngondro.
While doing the main practice of course.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

amanitamusc
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Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by amanitamusc » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:56 am

Terma wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:50 am
This is mainly a question for those who have finished their ngondro or at the very least a good chunk of the way through.

Do you think it is better to do ngondro as a stand alone practice, meaning focusing only on that and not doing any other daily practices? Or do you feel there is some benefit to doing a short daily practice along with doing the accumulations?

Everyone is different and every teacher gives different advice. Having said that, how you go about it?

Thanks.
What does your Lama say?

Miroku
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Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by Miroku » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:58 am

I am not a good chunk through ngöndro, but so far my experience is that the most important thing is establishing stable daily practice because ngöndro is really a great practice by itself and I am confident it has basically everything. However, if one is in a situation where some practice seems like a good idea to do (like me looking for a new apartment and job for example) then I'd say it is a good idea to do some short extra practice like Tara or Jambhala or something else depending on the situation.
A boat delivers you to the other riverbank.
A needle stitches up your clothes.
A horse takes you where you want to go.
Bodhicitta will bring you to Buddhahood.

~ Khunu Lama Rinpoche

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Grigoris
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Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by Grigoris » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:18 am

If you have practice samaya because you received an empowerment BEFORE doing ngondro (ie put the cart before the horse), then I guess you will have to fulfill your daily commitments AND do ngondro simultaneously.
"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

Terma
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Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by Terma » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:06 am

amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:56 am
Terma wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:50 am
This is mainly a question for those who have finished their ngondro or at the very least a good chunk of the way through.

Do you think it is better to do ngondro as a stand alone practice, meaning focusing only on that and not doing any other daily practices? Or do you feel there is some benefit to doing a short daily practice along with doing the accumulations?

Everyone is different and every teacher gives different advice. Having said that, how you go about it?

Thanks.
What does your Lama say?
Well I guess that is the most important one right?

But that wasn't really my question here. :smile:

amanitamusc
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Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by amanitamusc » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:19 am

Terma wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:06 am
amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:56 am
Terma wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:50 am
This is mainly a question for those who have finished their ngondro or at the very least a good chunk of the way through.

Do you think it is better to do ngondro as a stand alone practice, meaning focusing only on that and not doing any other daily practices? Or do you feel there is some benefit to doing a short daily practice along with doing the accumulations?

Everyone is different and every teacher gives different advice. Having said that, how you go about it?

Thanks.
What does your Lama say?
Well I guess that is the most important one right?

But that wasn't really my question here. :smile:
Yes it is the most important one. Why would you want any other?

Terma
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Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by Terma » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:40 am

amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:19 am
Terma wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:06 am
amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:56 am

What does your Lama say?
Well I guess that is the most important one right?

But that wasn't really my question here. :smile:
Yes it is the most important one. Why would you want any other?
My Guru is not often strict in these regards. I thought that I would get others' experience in the question raised and discuss it a little.

:roll:

amanitamusc
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Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by amanitamusc » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:47 am

Terma wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:40 am
amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:19 am
Terma wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:06 am


Well I guess that is the most important one right?

But that wasn't really my question here. :smile:
Yes it is the most important one. Why would you want any other?
My Guru is not often strict in these regards. I thought that I would get others' experience in the question raised and discuss it a little.
Then do you take it more serious than your Guru does?
:roll:
Then do you take it more serious than your Guru does? :shrug:

Gatinho
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Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by Gatinho » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:20 pm

amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:47 am
Terma wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:40 am
amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:19 am

Yes it is the most important one. Why would you want any other?
My Guru is not often strict in these regards. I thought that I would get others' experience in the question raised and discuss it a little.
Then do you take it more serious than your Guru does?
:roll:
Then do you take it more serious than your Guru does? :shrug:
I think it's a perfectly reasonable topic for discussion.

When I was doing prostrations my lama said that I should do periodic other practice as well as sitting practice. He said that I should do Chenrezig sadhana but not necessarily as a daily practice and also later Medicine Buddha.

Terma
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Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by Terma » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:38 pm

amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:47 am
Terma wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:40 am
amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:19 am

Yes it is the most important one. Why would you want any other?
My Guru is not often strict in these regards. I thought that I would get others' experience in the question raised and discuss it a little.
Then do you take it more serious than your Guru does?
:roll:
Then do you take it more serious than your Guru does? :shrug:
Jeez. If you must know, my Guru has left that up to me. Do you think I would take the advice of strangers on an internet forum over that of my own precious Guru? C'mon. :roll:

Do you have anything to add in relation to the questions that I posed?

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Grigoris
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Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by Grigoris » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:38 pm

Terma wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:38 pm
Jeez. If you must know, my Guru has left that up to me.
If he has left it "up to you" then why are you asking us?
"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

Terma
Posts: 196
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:07 am

Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by Terma » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:50 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:38 pm
Terma wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:38 pm
Jeez. If you must know, my Guru has left that up to me.
If he has left it "up to you" then why are you asking us?
Let me clarify. I am not "asking" you guys "what to do". I am more interested in discussing whether there are benefits to carrying on a daily practice while doing the accumulations vs. focusing on just ngondro.

I was also interested in a general sense how others may have approached it as well.

yagmort
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Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by yagmort » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:55 pm

Terma wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:40 am
...My Guru is not often strict in these regards. I thought that I would get others' experience in the question raised and discuss it a little...
i'd guess that's probably because he wants to observe you to see your true intentions? if he is strict then how it is to know if it's your intention or you just being compliant? ) i'd say talk to him. at least that's what i did when i had similar question. he said it's better to do just ngondro and don't dissipate efforts on some other things, like joining pujas.. but i would add i didn't receive any other commitments/daily practices as my teacher gave me only ngondro and said this is must be done before proceeding any further.

Gatinho
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Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by Gatinho » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:52 pm

Terma wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:50 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:38 pm
Terma wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:38 pm
Jeez. If you must know, my Guru has left that up to me.
If he has left it "up to you" then why are you asking us?
Let me clarify. I am not "asking" you guys "what to do". I am more interested in discussing whether there are benefits to carrying on a daily practice while doing the accumulations vs. focusing on just ngondro.

I was also interested in a general sense how others may have approached it as well.
Thank you for asking, it is potentially an interesting discussion for me as well - that is if it allowed to develop in the spirit of civil discourse.

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Malcolm
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Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by Malcolm » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:48 pm

Terma wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:50 am
This is mainly a question for those who have finished their ngondro or at the very least a good chunk of the way through.

Do you think it is better to do ngondro as a stand alone practice, meaning focusing only on that and not doing any other daily practices? Or do you feel there is some benefit to doing a short daily practice along with doing the accumulations?

Everyone is different and every teacher gives different advice. Having said that, how you go about it?

Thanks.
Ngondro is sufficient by itself as a daily practice, since it contains all the essentials of creation and completion stage.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

WeiHan
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Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by WeiHan » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:32 pm

Terma wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:50 am
This is mainly a question for those who have finished their ngondro or at the very least a good chunk of the way through.

Do you think it is better to do ngondro as a stand alone practice, meaning focusing only on that and not doing any other daily practices? Or do you feel there is some benefit to doing a short daily practice along with doing the accumulations?

Everyone is different and every teacher gives different advice. Having said that, how you go about it?

Thanks.
I do my Ngondro mainly with my Yidam sadhana since i received the empowerment and all the tri first and felt that it will be a waste not to continue with the sadhana. But really, most Yidam sadhana is really not that long if the refuge, bodhicitta, Vajrasattva hundred syllables, mandala, guru yoga are all taken out..I am happy with this arrangement since daily accumulation amounts to a huge number steadily. Assume you do 50 hundred syllables each day in the main practice, one year will attain 18250, 20 years will attain 365000. Not a shabby amount of accumulation if one can maintain for entire life..

Crazywisdom
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Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by Crazywisdom » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:58 am

I think Buddha’s intent was finalized in Kalachakra where he described the Sadhana, the preliminaries are to the development stage, which makes sense. But they are also not long. The development stage is the preliminary practice,
which makes even more sense.
I got my Chili Chilaya.

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passel
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Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by passel » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:30 pm

I just came across this in my notes from a retreat w Tsoknyi a couple summers ago:

“Do your ngondro while you are young- it will only get harder.”

I’ve sat basically every day for 20 years, have 2 years accumulated retreat time, but ngondro kicks my damn ass. I’ve been stalled in the neighborhood of 30k prostrations for years; I went ahead and did 10k of vajrasattva last winter, and that’s a practice that I can get behind. If I could ever get over this prostration junk. I don’t have an excuse- I’m not old yet and in good shape. It only takes me 20 mins to do a mala. But as a practice, it bores me to tears... I can’t fathom not sitting and just doing prostrations. And I feel like I’m just taking it on faith that ngondro is worthwhile- I’ve met many dozens of people who had completed at least a full accumulation, but only a few struck me as serious practitioners...tho I can’t know their minds... it’s just that they can’t sit still for more than a few minutes, seem terrified of any kind of meditation without an object, and tend to parrot painfully self-deprecating views year after year...

Just venting. You said you were curious about other people’s experiences.
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

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conebeckham
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Re: Ngondro: A Stand Alone Practice For You?

Post by conebeckham » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:07 pm

Ngondro was my "main practice," for years, but also had a some other short recitation practices--short torma offering to my protectors, and Chenrezig practice which was fairly regular, and some occasional Tara, LuJin, etc.

I think it's good to focus on ngondro when you are accumulating.....Ngondro can be seen as a Guru Yoga practice, really.....all of the Ngondro practices can be understood in this way. In the Karma Kagyu tradition, it's usual to accumulate Ngondro as a main practice and to do other practices at times, as well....when you start the main yidam practices, you will find that the ngondro practice you've accumulated becomes modified in a way as part of the yidam sadhanas, as well. So, if you're on that path, it's good to follow the gradual approach. But you can also understand Karma Kagyu Ngondro as a stand-along with Mahamudra as the associated "completion stage" methods. This is how it's presented in ChagChen Ngedon Gyamtso.

Shangpa Ngondro actually comes AFTER yidam practice. So, there are a variety of approaches.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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