Offering mandala plates

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Lingpupa
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Offering mandala plates

Post by Lingpupa » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:22 am

I recently got a new one, smaller than the one I was using before but more nicely worked. This prompted 2 thoughts:

A) Traditional mandala offering plates are convex (somewhat domed). Does anyone know why?

b) The new one being smaller than the old one and in fact more highly domed, by the time I've put down my 7 "dibs" of rice, I'm lucky if there are more than a half-dozen grains still on the surface. Is that normal? I'm used to some of the grains falling off before I tilt-and-wipe, but almost all of them? Any thoughts?
All the best
Alex Wilding
Stupa in the Snow blog at http://chagchen.org/

pemachophel
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Re: Offering mandala plates

Post by pemachophel » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:59 pm

A. Convex symbolizes fullness and abundance. Concave symbolizes paucity and lack.

B. No problem. Carry on.

I rejoice!
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

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TharpaChodron
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Re: Offering mandala plates

Post by TharpaChodron » Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:06 am

Are you continuing Ngondro, doing another Ngondro or are you just having fun and being generous? :D

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Lingpupa
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Re: Offering mandala plates

Post by Lingpupa » Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:05 pm

TharpaChodron wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:06 am
Are you continuing Ngondro, doing another Ngondro or are you just having fun and being generous? :D
I'm doing another one. I did the Karma Kamtsang one quite a few years ago. I only continued doing a bit of that, because to make it "round" it's nice to do the whole set, but there is quite a lot of "overhead" in that one - you'd probably spend the best part of an hour getting through it if you missed out all the actual recitations, prostrations, mandala offerings etc.! So it only makes sense in a session of 2 or 3 hours. Working full time, and having other practices to do anyway, that didn't come up very often at all.

But things have changed, and I'm now much more involved with Dudjom Tersar - Jnanadakini and Throma. My Dudjom T teacher told me it would be good to do the Tersar ngondro which is, as I expect you know, the very opposite: you could rip through the "overhead" recitation in less than a minute, I reckon! He didn't actually give me a set number at all, but I figured I could do 10 000 for a start (not quite complete yet), and he seemed to think that was a good idea. When that's done I think I might well keep up a "21 of each" practice as a morning starter as a "permanent" thing.
All the best
Alex Wilding
Stupa in the Snow blog at http://chagchen.org/

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Grigoris
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Re: Offering mandala plates

Post by Grigoris » Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:50 pm

Lingpupa wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:05 pm
I'm doing another one. I did the Karma Kamtsang one quite a few years ago. I only continued doing a bit of that, because to make it "round" it's nice to do the whole set, but there is quite a lot of "overhead" in that one - you'd probably spend the best part of an hour getting through it if you missed out all the actual recitations, prostrations, mandala offerings etc.! So it only makes sense in a session of 2 or 3 hours. Working full time, and having other practices to do anyway, that didn't come up very often at all.

But things have changed, and I'm now much more involved with Dudjom Tersar - Jnanadakini and Throma. My Dudjom T teacher told me it would be good to do the Tersar ngondro which is, as I expect you know, the very opposite: you could rip through the "overhead" recitation in less than a minute, I reckon! He didn't actually give me a set number at all, but I figured I could do 10 000 for a start (not quite complete yet), and he seemed to think that was a good idea. When that's done I think I might well keep up a "21 of each" practice as a morning starter as a "permanent" thing.
I managed to finish the Kagyu Ngondro in 9 years, but we were allowed to do each section seperately. So to do 100 accumulations would only take an hour or so with the liturgy.
"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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Re: Offering mandala plates

Post by merilingpa » Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:58 pm

Answer to your b:
Have you tried to add some more saffronwater to the rice, that might do the trick !

Ngöndro takes long time but its a wonderful practice.
I did a Karma Kamtsang first and then much later a Nyingma one and it was very different then the first.
The first one you tends to just want to finish to get to the goodies that you think come after.
The second one becomes more serious when you understand that this is the thing.
Good idea to do a little everyday forever and ever......

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Re: Offering mandala plates

Post by Grigoris » Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:27 pm

Lingpupa wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:22 am
I'm lucky if there are more than a half-dozen grains still on the surface.
It is not about how much rice sticks to the plate, but about how much Dana sticks in the mind! :smile:
"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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Lingpupa
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Re: Offering mandala plates

Post by Lingpupa » Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:44 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:50 pm

I managed to finish the Kagyu Ngondro in 9 years, but we were allowed to do each section seperately. So to do 100 accumulations would only take an hour or so with the liturgy.
Yes, that was what I did - complete your prostrations, then your Dorje Sempas, then ...

When I referred to sessions of 2 or 3 hours doing everything I was thinking of "after the first 100000" practice.
merilingpa wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:58 pm
Answer to your b:
Have you tried to add some more saffronwater to the rice, that might do the trick !
I considered it, not yet tried it. It's a question there of how long the moistened rice will stay fit to offer, and how much I would be throwing to the birds.
merilingpa wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:58 pm
I did a Karma Kamtsang first and then much later a Nyingma one and it was very different then the first.
The first one you tends to just want to finish to get to the goodies that you think come after.
The second one becomes more serious when you understand that this is the thing.
My experience is much the same. I actually *want* to keep doing it every day. Strange but true!
All the best
Alex Wilding
Stupa in the Snow blog at http://chagchen.org/

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TharpaChodron
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Re: Offering mandala plates

Post by TharpaChodron » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:39 am

Lingpupa wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:05 pm
TharpaChodron wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:06 am
Are you continuing Ngondro, doing another Ngondro or are you just having fun and being generous? :D
I'm doing another one. I did the Karma Kamtsang one quite a few years ago. I only continued doing a bit of that, because to make it "round" it's nice to do the whole set, but there is quite a lot of "overhead" in that one - you'd probably spend the best part of an hour getting through it if you missed out all the actual recitations, prostrations, mandala offerings etc.! So it only makes sense in a session of 2 or 3 hours. Working full time, and having other practices to do anyway, that didn't come up very often at all.

But things have changed, and I'm now much more involved with Dudjom Tersar - Jnanadakini and Throma. My Dudjom T teacher told me it would be good to do the Tersar ngondro which is, as I expect you know, the very opposite: you could rip through the "overhead" recitation in less than a minute, I reckon! He didn't actually give me a set number at all, but I figured I could do 10 000 for a start (not quite complete yet), and he seemed to think that was a good idea. When that's done I think I might well keep up a "21 of each" practice as a morning starter as a "permanent" thing.
That's fantastic. I'm currently working (still) on my Dudjom Tersar ngondro, too. And mandala offerings is the one thing I'm really behind on. I've wondered why that's so, like maybe it's because I've been such a selfish person, that's the reason they were hard for me ha. However, having to focus so much now on them now as the last part left mostly is quite perfect it seems.

I know what you mean about wanting to keep doing it as a daily practice. A lot of good practitioners and Lamas do a daily Ngondro, so why not. I started with Longchen Nyinthik and then there were some obstacles, such as my Lama died, the practice group left town and my inspiration suffered. Thought I would never see the proverbial light at the end of the Ngondro tunnel and that I'd be at a point where I would say, heck let's do it again, and again. Ngondro is truly a marvelous practice, ain't it?

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Re: Offering mandala plates

Post by Adamantine » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:49 am

Are you sprinkling the base plate with the bumpa water
(containing bumzey 25) first, then rubbing in a clockwise circle
with your wrist before applying the grain heaps?

Usually this foundational moisture would create the conditions
for the grain to stick a little more.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

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tobes
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Re: Offering mandala plates

Post by tobes » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:47 am

For what it's worth, I think mandala offerings are an extremely profound and precious (and beautiful) practice: the actual doorway to the lineage masters. It seems like a lot of westerners feel it to be merely something of an archaic preliminary (in lieu of the ancient cosmology perhaps?). But you know, I think that if the mind is dwelling on the practice as an actual door to a profound lineage, then the worry about numbers/accumulations might drop off pretty swiftly.

This obviously puts me in the Ngondro for life camp.....

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Lingpupa
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Re: Offering mandala plates

Post by Lingpupa » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:21 am

The extra drops of saffron water have done the trick - thanks for all the suggestions!
TharpaChodron wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:39 am
I started with Longchen Nyinthik and then there were some obstacles, such as my Lama died, the practice group left town and my inspiration suffered. Thought I would never see the proverbial light at the end of the Ngondro tunnel and that I'd be at a point where I would say, heck let's do it again, and again. Ngondro is truly a marvelous practice, ain't it?
I haven't in any way "broken" with my Kagyu start, but obstacles did arise there, different from yours, but in an active sense it kind of ran into the sand. But lo! As Julie Andrews almost sang, somewhere in my youth or past lives, I must have done something good. A powerful connection to Dudjom Tersar appeared almost effortlessly (on my part, anyway - other people worked hard on the behind-the-scenes arrangements) some years ago. I don't live within any convenient distance of any other practitioners, though I did recently hear of a group four hours drive away. But I've received a *lot* of amazing teachings that give me plenty to work on. The internet helps too, and I expect to see my DT lama for a week of teaching in June - the first time I will have seen him in "meat space" for quite a few years.

So are you starting a whole 100,000 again?
All the best
Alex Wilding
Stupa in the Snow blog at http://chagchen.org/

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TharpaChodron
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Re: Offering mandala plates

Post by TharpaChodron » Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:13 pm

Lingpupa wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:21 am
The extra drops of saffron water have done the trick - thanks for all the suggestions!
TharpaChodron wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:39 am
I started with Longchen Nyinthik and then there were some obstacles, such as my Lama died, the practice group left town and my inspiration suffered. Thought I would never see the proverbial light at the end of the Ngondro tunnel and that I'd be at a point where I would say, heck let's do it again, and again. Ngondro is truly a marvelous practice, ain't it?
I haven't in any way "broken" with my Kagyu start, but obstacles did arise there, different from yours, but in an active sense it kind of ran into the sand. But lo! As Julie Andrews almost sang, somewhere in my youth or past lives, I must have done something good. A powerful connection to Dudjom Tersar appeared almost effortlessly (on my part, anyway - other people worked hard on the behind-the-scenes arrangements) some years ago. I don't live within any convenient distance of any other practitioners, though I did recently hear of a group four hours drive away. But I've received a *lot* of amazing teachings that give me plenty to work on. The internet helps too, and I expect to see my DT lama for a week of teaching in June - the first time I will have seen him in "meat space" for quite a few years.

So are you starting a whole 100,000 again?
I basically restarted everything except prostrations, which has been a source of secret feelings of guilt. But then the other day I looked back at how many I had counted from my first try at ngondro and it was relatively paltry compared to where I am now. I felt better and even am thinking I wouldn't die if I just redid those prostrations again. I'm going pretty slowly, and in the same mind as you, I could do a little each day and would make up the prostrations in a somewhat reasonable amount of time.

My practice center is about two hours away, so not too close. I can however get there and back pretty quickly and it's a beautiful drive in the country, through mountains and such. Could be worse!

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