17th Karmapa Ngondro refuge tree

Post Reply
Posts: 358
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:15 am

17th Karmapa Ngondro refuge tree

Post by TaTa » Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:40 am

Is there a thanka of the refuge tree as explained in the short ngondro of the 17th karmapa?
Im about to start a ngondro retreat and it would be very helpfull.

User avatar
Posts: 5480
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: 17th Karmapa Ngondro refuge tree

Post by smcj » Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:46 am

I don't know about the specific short NgonDro you're talking about, but scroll down the Wiki page about the Karma Kagyu to see one of the popular ones for the standard NgonDro.


It's even got a list of who is who in the lineage. Ask your teacher what the important points are before you try to memorize 1,000 years of lineage holders, plus all the yidam, bodhisattvas, dharmapalas, etc.

Plus the thanka is a type of forced perspective. It's a tree with a central branch and four branches at a slightly lower level. The front branch isn't half as high as the back one, like it looks.

Talk to your teacher.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
Once in a while you can get shown the light
In the strangest of places if you look at it right.
Robert Hunter

User avatar
Palzang Jangchub
Posts: 803
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:19 pm

Re: 17th Karmapa Ngondro refuge tree

Post by Palzang Jangchub » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:02 am

There doesn't appear to be a painted version of the refuge tree described by the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa in Ngondro For Our Current Day... yet.

One of the beautiful things about thangkas, though, is that they can be commissioned. If you have an artist you trust, and who can follow the text carefully (most likely in the original Tibetan, taking His Holiness' commentary into account), I'd say that's the most sensible way to go. That is, if you can afford to become a patron of the arts.

Remember that thangkas are supports for visualization, and ideally should be consecrated by a lama so that they are actual representations of the deities depicted. When going for refuge by practicing the first section of the ngondro, try to visualize the refuge tree that Karmapa describes as best you can. It's pretty common to hear people say that even if your visualization is foggy or unclear, as long as you have confidence that the Three Roots are present before you, you needn't worry too much. The lamas know that visualization is difficult to accomplish in this degenerate age, so don't beat yourself up. We're not perfect, after all... otherwise we'd already be Buddhas!

Karmapa's description of the field of accumulation is very detailed and lucid. You have the book, so just make sure to familiarize yourself with his explanation and habituate yourself to it. The more you practice, the more easily you'll be able to call it to mind.

May all beings benefit!

"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, a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་མཁས་གྲུབ་ཀརྨ་ཆགས་མེད་མཁྱེན་ནོ། ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོཿ

Knotty Veneer
Posts: 465
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:50 pm

Re: 17th Karmapa Ngondro refuge tree

Post by Knotty Veneer » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:16 pm

smcj wrote: Those all seem to be of the same thanks! It really is the most popular.
It is by the late Sherab Palden Beru. The original is displayed in the temple at Kagyu Samye Ling.
“Trump’s grand and vulgar self-absorption is inviting all of us to examine our own selfishness. His ignorance calls us to attend to our own blind spots. The fears that he stokes and the isolation he promotes goad us to be braver, more generous.” - James S. Gordon.

Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:12 pm

Re: 17th Karmapa Ngondro refuge tree

Post by togg » Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:41 pm

TaTa wrote:Is there a thanka of the refuge tree as explained in the short ngondro of the 17th karmapa?
Im about to start a ngondro retreat and it would be very helpfull.
Hi! Any update about the refuge tree ?

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 20 guests