Getting the MOST out of ngondro

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SonamGyatso
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Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by SonamGyatso » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:04 pm

Hey DW community :)

I am well into the Dudojom Tersar Ngondro, and it seems to be very good stuff.
I'm doing my best to "complete" the ngondro accumulations, but I went a little overboard with prostrations, and I hurt myself. I may not be able to do prostrations, which is kind of disappointing because it seemed to be particularly strong while I was working on them. Circumambulations have been recommended as a replacement.

I am wondering if any well-versed practitioners here have any good advice on how to get the meatiest results out of doing the Ngondro. It's pretty apparent to me that it's worth my time to do, and I'd like to make sure the process is as thorough as possible for my faculties.

thanks for any insights, advice, or otherwise helpful words.

<3

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SonamGyatso
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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by SonamGyatso » Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:50 pm

Also for some context, my teacher is 80 this year, and i would really love to recieve togal instrucitons before she retires.
My goal at the moment is to strengthen my direct perception and broaden my bodhicitta, and ask for togal when i think it's right. I, uh, am not sure when it is right. Ceratinly, it will be too late if i wait too long.

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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by Könchok Thrinley » Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:41 am

Well, that is an interesting question. I am not very qualified to talk about this, but these are my 5 cents. The best is to really check your motivation when you practice. Sometimes it happens to me that I do practice jsut to accumulate, or to have it done for the day or so I can be important later. So, proper motivation is definitely a good thing to focus on. Also when doing the practice then really give it your best but in a relaxed way. Just work with your mind gently but give it your best without pushing too hard. And also try to remember your practice in your daily life. When doing refuge imagine you are circumbulating, when mandala offer whatever nice you see, hear, etc.

These are more of my aspirations than experiences.
“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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tobes
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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by tobes » Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:14 am

Be less ambitious.

Give away your goals.

Enjoy your practice.

Don't use it to get from A to B.

Treat each practice as complete in itself.

AJP
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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by AJP » Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:54 am

SonamGyatso wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:04 pm
Hey DW community :)

I am well into the Dudojom Tersar Ngondro, and it seems to be very good stuff.
I'm doing my best to "complete" the ngondro accumulations, but I went a little overboard with prostrations, and I hurt myself. I may not be able to do prostrations, which is kind of disappointing because it seemed to be particularly strong while I was working on them. Circumambulations have been recommended as a replacement.

I am wondering if any well-versed practitioners here have any good advice on how to get the meatiest results out of doing the Ngondro. It's pretty apparent to me that it's worth my time to do, and I'd like to make sure the process is as thorough as possible for my faculties.

thanks for any insights, advice, or otherwise helpful words.

<3
Devotion

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SonamGyatso
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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by SonamGyatso » Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:04 am

tobes wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:14 am
Be less ambitious.

Give away your goals.

Enjoy your practice.

Don't use it to get from A to B.

Treat each practice as complete in itself.
this advice feels light and natural, but should I not look for an opportunity for Dzogchen instructions? Togal's hard enough to come by, given from a teacher in this very world -- i can't imagine how difficult it must be to find it in the whole sphere of existence. doesn't it seem foolish to stand by idly and let such an opportunity pass?

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SonamTashi
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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by SonamTashi » Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:51 pm

tobes wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:14 am
Be less ambitious.

Give away your goals.

Enjoy your practice.

Don't use it to get from A to B.

Treat each practice as complete in itself.
:good:
:bow: :buddha1: :bow: :anjali: :meditate:

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PeterC
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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by PeterC » Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:53 pm

SonamGyatso wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:04 am
tobes wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:14 am
Be less ambitious.

Give away your goals.

Enjoy your practice.

Don't use it to get from A to B.

Treat each practice as complete in itself.
this advice feels light and natural, but should I not look for an opportunity for Dzogchen instructions? Togal's hard enough to come by, given from a teacher in this very world -- i can't imagine how difficult it must be to find it in the whole sphere of existence. doesn't it seem foolish to stand by idly and let such an opportunity pass?
In general, Dharma practice is pretty simple:
1. Find a teacher
2. Request teachings
3. Do the practices they give you to the best of your ability, without thinking or second-guessing them too much, and without reservation or hesitation
4. Return to step 2

There are plenty of teachers in the world that can give you more advanced teachings, and if you practice seriously you will receive them when you need them, so I wouldn't worry about that. Your time is best spent concentrating on the practices you are doing right now. if you doubt that, consider how fortunate you are to have received the Dudjom tersar ngongdro in the first place. You have been born in a place and time when these teachings are available, you've been fortunate enough to come into contact with them when billions of people in the world cannot, and you have the time and ability to practice them (prostration-induced injuries notwithstanding).

Simon E.
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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by Simon E. » Sun Feb 23, 2020 3:15 pm

Lots of good advice. I also gave myself physical grief trying too hard. In my case prostrating too hard while leading a generally sedentary life reawoke a hiatus hernia..which wasn’t fun.
Just bear in mind that if the worst happens and you are unable to finish in this life you are far more likely to get favourable conditions next time. Nothing is wasted. :namaste:
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Ayu
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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by Ayu » Sun Feb 23, 2020 3:32 pm

PeterC wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:53 pm
... There are plenty of teachers in the world that can give you more advanced teachings, and if you practice seriously you will receive them when you need them, so I wouldn't worry about that. Your time is best spent concentrating on the practices you are doing right now. ...
:good: It's so very, very true.

The lesson is not about getting something. Don't try to have it. Having is nothing.
The practice will be there when you need it. Don't waste your Ngöndro for dreaming about other practices. It doesn't work like that.


SonamGyatso wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:04 pm
I am well into the Dudojom Tersar Ngondro, and it seems to be very good stuff.
I'm doing my best to "complete" the ngondro accumulations, but I went a little overboard with prostrations, and I hurt myself. I may not be able to do prostrations, which is kind of disappointing because it seemed to be particularly strong while I was working on them. ...
I guess, that's a common problem. I suffered from similar issues with my prostrations and I learned some lessons from it:
- Don't overboard, take your own speed and your own rhythm. Don't compare yourself with others. Dive into that practice and observe what it is teaching to you.
- And don't stop. Just when I got my back pain from prostrations and I couldn't move there was a news about some scientific reseach. They found out the subject group who only visualized doing gym sports had nearly the same physical benefits as the subject group who performed the sports literally.
So, I tried to bend only that much as I could and visualize the rest of the prostration. This was a very good measure, because I think the back pain was not only a physical problem. I think there were hidden stresses coming out as pain in my back. And it was very good not to hide them again by disrupting the flow of prostrations.
Somehow over a longer period the pain vanished and I could finish the practice.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:

Simon E.
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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by Simon E. » Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:01 pm

I cannot tell you Ayu how much the information that visualising the exercise is as good for you as actually doing it has brightened my day! :smile:
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

Sennin
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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by Sennin » Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:05 pm

Ngondro works on tsa lung tigle.
It's a golden ticket.

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SonamGyatso
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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by SonamGyatso » Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:29 pm

thanks for humbling me and keeping me inspired, DW <3

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tobes
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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by tobes » Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:26 pm

SonamGyatso wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:04 am
tobes wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:14 am
Be less ambitious.

Give away your goals.

Enjoy your practice.

Don't use it to get from A to B.

Treat each practice as complete in itself.
this advice feels light and natural, but should I not look for an opportunity for Dzogchen instructions? Togal's hard enough to come by, given from a teacher in this very world -- i can't imagine how difficult it must be to find it in the whole sphere of existence. doesn't it seem foolish to stand by idly and let such an opportunity pass?
Yes, you should. When the opportunity arises.....I never said anything about passing up an opportunity for Togal!

If you treat Ngondro as a complete practice (which it is), and practice it wholeheartedly and without being instrumental - the opportunity will definitely arise.

The point is: you have everything you need already. :anjali:

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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by weitsicht » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:01 am

SonamGyatso wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:50 pm
Also for some context, my teacher is 80 this year, and i would really love to recieve togal instrucitons before she retires.
My goal at the moment is to strengthen my direct perception and broaden my bodhicitta, and ask for togal when i think it's right. I, uh, am not sure when it is right. Ceratinly, it will be too late if i wait too long.
Get the instructions soon
and anything else you feel like you could need
unless you are sure you won't regret

Procrastination is a foolish advisor
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
HO NANG SRI KHOR DAE THAMCHE KUN ZHI CHIG LAM NYI DRAE BU NYI RIG DANG MA RIG CHOM THRUL TE

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weitsicht
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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by weitsicht » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:01 am

Simon E. wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:01 pm
I cannot tell you Ayu how much the information that visualising the exercise is as good for you as actually doing it has brightened my day! :smile:
plus one.
Thanks Ayu!
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
HO NANG SRI KHOR DAE THAMCHE KUN ZHI CHIG LAM NYI DRAE BU NYI RIG DANG MA RIG CHOM THRUL TE

merilingpa
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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by merilingpa » Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:57 pm

Hi. Its difficult to get everything you want from your ngöndro. The problem is that you want to finish it so you can get to the real goodies in my experience. Doin it again some years later is a completely different thing. Then you have a better motivation.
About asking for teachings, go ahead and ask for what you really want. Dont wait for someone else to do it for you. And dont wait until its too late.
Good luck

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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by KoolAid900 » Fri Feb 28, 2020 9:35 pm

Also, really helpful IME is confidence in the practice. With genuine confidence in the ngondro it will be easier to let go and focus on it single mindedly & wholeheartedly. Real confidence arises as you experience the results of the practice.

I was also injured during a practice of prostrations at the end of my ngondro, it was very frustrating because I really wanted to do the practice fully, enjoyed it, and had a lot of confidence in it. I tried to push through it & it only got worse. Then I tried to wait, only doing minimal practice and after more than a year or two it became clear that I couldnt wait any more. So I did as many prostrations as I could (sometimes 0, 3, 7, 21, 28, or 56) out of every 111 and just did the recitation and visualization for the remaining. I also often touched hands to head, throat & heart while sitting & imagined doing the full prostration. Sometimes I stood, touching hands to the 3 places and then bowed, bent my knees, and stretched out my arms without fully going down to get as close to a prostration as I could. I had permission from my teacher the whole time to just visualize the prostrations, but I really wanted to do them if at all possible... I ended up doing around 60,000 of the 100,000 recitations with physical prostrations. I am content with that now (it was also my 3rd set, so that helps a bit). It seems like there's a balance to strike between the quality of tye practice & the practicality of it, which is somewhat individual. Of course, its best to do all with prostrations, but if it takes 25 years... maybe its better to compromise a bit.

All the best,
Cairy

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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:36 pm

I have never seriously done prostrations/refuge, I spent a bit of time on the practice and did consult teachers about it, they stressed that the refuge part was more important than full physical prostrations. in fact, we were even given modification of simply bowing etc. when not capable of the full physical motion. One could substitute circumambulation etc. and simply recite the prayer as well. Is this not common? I have always assumed that the "Refuge" bit is really the important part and the physical act is a supporting role.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Getting the MOST out of ngondro

Post by Könchok Thrinley » Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:53 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:36 pm
I have never seriously done prostrations/refuge, I spent a bit of time on the practice and did consult teachers about it, they stressed that the refuge part was more important than full physical prostrations. in fact, we were even given modification of simply bowing etc. when not capable of the full physical motion. One could substitute circumambulation etc. and simply recite the prayer as well. Is this not common? I have always assumed that the "Refuge" bit is really the important part and the physical act is a supporting role.
There seem to be some traditions where they focus bit more on the number of prostrations really. Especially it seems to be like that in Karma Kagyu (please correct me if I am wrong). In some other traditions, such as Drikung Kagyu, there are some instructions that prostrations are good idea even while doing mandala and then bodhicitta in the context of five fold mahamudra.
“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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