We are now focusing, once again, on the Ngöndro practice during our Wednesday evening gatherings. This sadhana (ego transcending spiritual practice) is often referred to as the “extraordinary preliminary practice” of our tradition. Extraordinary, because it is beyond the usual, an entry point into understanding the nature of mind and how perception creates reality. It is an extraordinary spiritual tool that is quite logical and transcendent at the same time.
The logic of Ngöndro makes it also very ordinary. It guides us through the afflictive emotions and offers us a way to liberate the habitual expression of those emotions in every day life. The transcendent quality arises within the logic, revealing how natural it is for the mind to rest in an unconditioned state of awareness. In other words, the transcendent is inseparable from the ordinary.
With all the benefits Ngöndro provides, you would think more folks would jump at the chance to learn and practice this sadhana which has remained for hundreds of years. Were it not for our need to exist as a separate individual we all would be engaged in some form of Ngöndro. Of all the people who come to our Dharma Center, very few choose to become diligent at foundational practices for any length of time.
I know it is not everyone’s karma to become a dedicated spiritual seeker. But I think my lack of skill and laziness as a practitioner do not help inspire folks to follow their natural instincts to wake up. Oh well, one does what one is capable of doing. The karma of a Dharma teacher is very strange. I often wonder what I am doing. Then I remember…
May we all be born in a time and place where the Dharma is available. May we recognize it and not become tired of practicing for the benefit of all beings. By the great waves of benefitting others without bias, may everyone attain Buddhahood together.