Requesting help with Ngondro protocol: initial mandala

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RoadToPines
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Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:42 pm

Requesting help with Ngondro protocol: initial mandala

Post by RoadToPines » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:43 am

I practice in the Dudjom lineage, but there's some language difficulty with my Lama and I'm wondering if you can help me with a point of form.

At the very beginning of Ngondro practice, I was instructed to make a plate with five mounds of (slightly sticky) rice and place it on the altar. This is to be the basis of visualization for the practice, and is not the mandala repeatedly created and dissolved for accumulations of mandala practice. My question is whether "at the very beginning" means you reconstruct it at the beginning of each session, or, like, from the very first session of your entire Ngondro career it never moves from the altar until the 100,000, or million or whatever accumulations are accomplished.

I also got the impression that this distinct from the 37 heap mandala offered before doing accumulations. Is this right, or was there a false dichotomy conveyed in the translation (i.e., is this 5 heap offering just substituting with a simpler version)?

What can you tell me about the purpose served by this mandala, versus the others?

Thank you for your help.

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heart
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Re: Requesting help with Ngondro protocol: initial mandala

Post by heart » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:50 am

RoadToPines wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:43 am
I practice in the Dudjom lineage, but there's some language difficulty with my Lama and I'm wondering if you can help me with a point of form.

At the very beginning of Ngondro practice, I was instructed to make a plate with five mounds of (slightly sticky) rice and place it on the altar. This is to be the basis of visualization for the practice, and is not the mandala repeatedly created and dissolved for accumulations of mandala practice. My question is whether "at the very beginning" means you reconstruct it at the beginning of each session, or, like, from the very first session of your entire Ngondro career it never moves from the altar until the 100,000, or million or whatever accumulations are accomplished.

I also got the impression that this distinct from the 37 heap mandala offered before doing accumulations. Is this right, or was there a false dichotomy conveyed in the translation (i.e., is this 5 heap offering just substituting with a simpler version)?

What can you tell me about the purpose served by this mandala, versus the others?

Thank you for your help.
The mandala on the altar represent the mandala of the Guru, the receiver of the offerings. You can keep it there all the time. Make a new when it starts looking bad. I was told to do a 37 heap mandala every 100 short mandala offerings, but that is unusual. I think it is wonderful if you can do at least one 37 heap mandala each time you practice.

/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)

RoadToPines
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:42 pm

Re: Requesting help with Ngondro protocol: initial mandala

Post by RoadToPines » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:05 pm

Thank you very much; this is exactly what I wanted to know.

The mandala of the guru! That's what it is. It's getting dusty, so I would like to remake it.

I do try to do the 37-heap mandala at the beginning of every session of accumulations.

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