During the 2019 Annual Ngondro Retreat, Lama Sonam Rinpoche gives instructions on How to do Prostrations (as a participant from the Ngondro Retreat demonstrates.)
Prostrations can be performed as you recite the two refuge lines. To do a prostration, stand with your feet together. The arms come up from both sides and the hands join together in the “lotus bud” mudra of faith and devotion. With this mudra, touch the top of your head, throat, and heart center. Touching these three places with the lotus bud mudra purifies the defilement of the three doors: body, speech and mind, and you receive the blessings of the Three Vajras: the enlightened aspects of Guru Rinpoche’s body, speech, and mind. Then touch the five points of your body to the ground. These five points are the forehead, the two hands and two knees. Touching these five points of your body to the ground can seal the door for rebirth in samsara. Bend down touching the hand and knees to the ground, sliding all the way out until you are prone, bringing the hands together overhead while touching the forehead to the ground. Prostrations purify the defilement of the body, tone the muscles, purify the organs, increase life spa and merit and subdue pride. To complete this portion of Ngondro, you must do one hundred thousand prostrations. Generally, ten percent should be added to each accumulation of one hundred thousand to repair any mistakes, making a total of one hundred and ten thousand prostrations. Taking refuge is the entrance to the path of Buddhism and is the foundation of all other vows. Although there are many vows within the Buddhist system, refuge is the first and most fundamental. When you take this vow, you actually begin on the path of buddha dharma. The vow has many details, but the main point is to avoid harming all sentient life. Buddhism recognizes that all suffering is caused by hurting others. By giving up harmful mind and negative action, the causes of suffering are removed and pacified. Taking the vow of refuge is infinitely beneficial. Buddha said that any being who even hears the name of the Three Jewels will gain so much merit that the sky will be too small to contain it. When someone with all their heart truly takes refuge in the Triple Gems, the merit gained is inconceivably vast and indescribable.
The essence of the refuge practice is unshakable, unchangeable faith and devotion. Without this kind of faith and trust, your mind cannot open. When your mind opens, it becomes soft and receptive. Buddha’s compassion is like a hook which catches the ring of faith and devotion. Without faith, there can be no real connection to dharma ~ not blind faith, but rather intelligent faith, free from any doubt or confusion. Because dharma is pure and faultless, Buddha’s mind is like the sun shining on a snow-covered mountain. With devotion, the rays of your faith can melt the snow of Buddha’s nectar of blessing. So with pure faith and devotion, recite, the two lines of refuge. During each prostration recite both lines of refuge and the two lines of bodhicitta….
A Commentary on the Dudjom Tersar Ngondro: The Preliminary Practice of the New Treasure of Dudjom by Lama Tharchin
~~~ RESOURCES ~~~
Concise Dudjom Tersar Ngondro, a Practical Explanation
Teaching 10 from Series 19 Dudjom Tersar Ngondro
© 2008 Lama Tharchin Rinpoche
In this video digital download, Lama Tharchin Rinpoche performs and gives practical guidance for how to do the Concise Dudjom Tersar Ngöndro. This video is part of the Video Series 19 which is available as a digital download at the Heart Teachings Website.
Heart Teachings is dedicated to collecting, preserving and making available Lama Tharchin Rinpoche’s rich dharma legacy and is a valuable resource for practitioners of the Nyingma school of Vajrayana Buddhism and particularly the Dudjom Tersar lineage.
Note: Heart Teachings by Lama Tharchin Rinpoche is offering a 30% discount to
Ngondro Items on their website: HeartTeachings.com to Participants of the
Vajrayana Foundation Dudjom Tersar Ngondro Program.
Ngondro Participants: Please contact your mentor for the discount code.