Q: Could you explain why completing the Ngöndro is so important?
A: All the practice is Ngöndro.
Many of us, when we think about the Ngöndro practice, we view, little bit like, doing a prostration, doing a Vajrasattva practice, and Guru Yoga practice, and mandala practice, we think that is a Ngöndro practice. Actually, everything is Ngöndro practice. Ngushi practice, “Ngushi” means primary practice, Ngushi practice is the nature of the mind. Ngöndro, everything is Ngöndro.
Even when we do a deity practice, even when you are doing a deity practice, we say:
sang gye cho dang tsok kyi chok nam la
jang chub bar du dag ni kyab su chi
dak gi jin sog gyi pai so nam kyi
dro la pen chir sang gye drub par sho
And then we start with the refuge, we start with the bodhicitta, we start with the dedication. And that is a Ngöndro already. No matter what deity you are doing. No matter which tantric level that you may be doing, even you are doing Chakrasambhara practice, even you are doing a Six-Armed Mahakala practice, whichever the tantric level that you may be doing, there’s always a Ngöndro.
Whenever we are making a refuge prayer, and Buddhadharma prayer, that is a Ngöndro practice. Everything is Ngöndro practice. So you need to see it that way. Even you don’t finish the four preliminary practice, it’s fine. But it doesn’t escape the requirement of the preliminary practice. You can escape from the ordinary preliminary practice, but you can go to the next one, and then yet, you come to, you come back to the mindset of the preliminary.
There is no such practice, like an example, when we receive a teaching from His Holiness Dalai Lama, when we receive a teaching from other great masters, and we always say “I make a prayer to the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, and then I confess to everything, to everything, all the wrongdoing that I have accumulated, and then I rejoice myself to all the footsteps of the Buddha, and bodhisattva, and I offer the mandala, and my body speech and mind, and let all the negativity, purified by the blessings of all the Buddha and bodhisattva in this very moment”.
You see, when you make a prayer, when you say “I take a refuge to the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha”, that is already a prostration. When you say that “I confess to all the wrongdoing that I have accumulated until now”, that is already a Vajrasattva practice. And then when you say “I offer my body, speech and mind to the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha”, that is a mandala. And then when you make a prayer to all the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, and bodhisattva, to empower you and to bless you, and that is already a Guru Yoga practice. Because it’s due to your devotion, and your respect and your prayers. So therefore, everything is a preliminary practice.
The primary practice is the nature of the mind, the nature of the mind is a non-duality practice and therefore it is the primary practice. Everything is a preliminary practice.
So that’s that. That’s my answer to you.
FB Livestream – 13 December 2020