Nov 23

Kalu Rinpoche | How important is Ngöndro (Part 1)

Q: How important is Ngöndro (སྔོན་འགྲོ།)?

A: Ngöndro (སྔོན་འགྲོ།) [the prelimary practices of Vajrayana Buddhism] is important, but not in a way that you understand the meaning of the Ngöndro (སྔོན་འགྲོ།).

Because when people think about the Ngöndro (སྔོན་འགྲོ།), they think about the ཕྱག་འབུམ། “chak bum” [Prostrations X100,000], ཡིག་བརྒྱ་འབུམ།yik gya bum[Hundred Syllable Mantra X100,000], མཎྜལ་འབུམ།mandal bum[Mandala Offerings X100,000], and then བླ་མའི་རྣལ་འབྱོར་འབུམ།lamé naljor bum[Guru Yoga practices X100,000], you know? Like འབུམ།bum” [100,000] this and འབུམ།bum” [100,000] that. And then they think once you done that, then they say “Ah, the preliminary Ngöndro is finished”. [Haha]

But the reality of the Ngöndro is not necessarily that. You know? I’m terrible at the Ngöndro practice. You know? I’m not really professional in all the ཕྱག་འབུམ། “chak bum”, ཡིག་བརྒྱ་འབུམ།yik gya bum”, and all of that. You know, I’m a terrible practitioner.

But the Ngöndro practice means that you, before you start any sort of a Deity practice or the Visualisation practice, you have a, a sense of awareness in your mind, a pure intention that wanting to practice Dharma, and then also, you know, act of generosity from your mind, not necessarily in a material level, but from your mind, wanting to be generous, wanting to do good, and then having a sense of awareness of your own actions from your body, speech and mind. And then willing to follow the footsteps of the Buddha, Lord Buddha Shakyamuni.

And if you have all these elements combined together, that is the Preliminary practice.

So it doesn’t mean that “doing a preliminary practice” it doesn’t mean that you have to finish 100,000 of this and 100,000 of that. But rather it means that the foundation of the mind is far more important. You know? Counting the success of your spirituality based on how many times you have counted, doesn’t guarantee anything! If you look back in the history of all the great masters. None of them have mentioned “I have accumulated 100,000! With 100,000 mantra I became enlightened!” None! You know?


Kalu Rinpoche
FB Livestream – 23 October 2022 (1h 09′ 45”)

To be continued …