Overview for Prospective Students

Your Commitment

Ngöndro Gar students are required to practice consistently. You may choose one of three daily practice tracks: 2 hours per day, 1 hour per day, or 1/2 hour per day. Students report their hours monthly to the Gar administrator. A minimum average of one hour per day is strongly recommended.

Progress

Students will progress through the Ngöndro one practice at a time, beginning with the 7 General Preliminary Contemplations and ending with Guru Yoga. Traditionally, there are three ways to measure accomplishment in a practice: by signs, by numbers of mantra and prayer accumulations, and by hours. This Gar will measure accomplishment by the number of hours accumulated in each of the Ngöndro sections.

Completion

Rinpoche envisioned this Ngöndro practice to be 3 years of 2 hours per day, therefore the completion number is 2,258 hours. Upon completion you will be able to apply for admission to the Dharma Gar practice. Moving to the Dharma Gar at that point is not a requirement – indeed, you can stay in the Ngöndro Gar for as long as you like!

Support

There is a team of instructors appointed by Rinpoche for this program. The role of the instructors is to introduce students to the practices within the Ngondro, to inspire, guide and motivate students in their practice, and to answer questions. Students can choose an instructor from this team, or you can choose just to rely Rinpoche’s blessing, and merely consult the website for practical guidance. Or a mix of both. It is your choice, but the instructors have been carefully selected, so you can trust them, and also you will most likely find it helpful to relate to someone who knows the path and who gradually also knows you.  Students will have access to the Ngondro Gar website with materials to support their practice.

Contents

You can choose to either practice the Longchen Nyingtik ngöndro, or the Chetsun Nyingtik ngöndro. They both are preparation for the view and practice of the Great Perfection, with the Longchen Nyingtik emphasising the combined Ati, or Dzogchen, teachings of Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra as it comes through Longchen Rabjam and Rigzin Jigme Lingpa, and the Chetsun Nyingtik emphasising the Ati teachings of Vimalamitra, as it comes through Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.
In terms of structure, the ngöndros of the Longchen Nyingtik and the Chetsun Nyingtik are similar. There is a common preliminaries section in both, with several contemplations that serve to transform our values and priorities, and there is the special preliminaries section which provide the essential foundations for the Vajrayana path. You are welcome to continue your current ngöndro practice within the Gar. However, most of the content of the Ngöndro Gar web site will be specifically about the LN and CN…….

 

 

Practice hours for each Ngöndro section:

Longchen Nyingtik NgöndroHoursChetsün Nyingtik NgöndroHours
General Preliminary Contemplations General Preliminary Contemplations 
1. Precious Human Rebirth141. Impermanence14
2. Impermanence142. Deceptive nature of pleasure14
3. Defects of Samsare143. Futility of our projects14
4. Karma144. Futility of life in general14
5. Benefits of liberation145. The irreversibility of liberation14
6. Attending a Spiritual Master146. The value of the guru's instruction14
7. Shamatha147. Training in non-thought samadhi14
Special Preliminaries Special Preliminaries 
1. Refuge and Prostrations3601. Refuge and Prostrations360
2. Bodhicitta3602. Bodhicitta360
3. Vajrasattva3603. Vajrasattva360
4. Mandala3604 Mandala360
5. Guru Yoga7205. Guru Yoga720
Total2258Total2258