“The most Profound and Highest Practice is Ngondro” ~ Chakhung Wangdrak Rinpoche

” His Holiness talks about how impertinent that every accomplishment we have in the dzogpa chenpo and the meaning of the nature of that teaching to penetrate our midstream depends on our ngondro and our preliminary practices…

Other people take the most ‘advanced esoteric’ practice as the supreme and highest practice and give less importance in the ngondro. But for me the most profound and highest practice is ngondro.

And the reason why, dzogpa chenpo practice is dependent entirely on our success and the same of any of the higher practices, it depends on how strong we lay the foundation of our ngondro. When we practice we should understand that and understand where to place our energy and focus on ngondro practice…I just want you to remember to please keep up your practice,  particularly your ngondro accumulation.” 

Chakung Wangdrak Rinpoche
Mountain Retreat
Pema Osel Ling

Chakung Jigme Wangdrak Rinpoche is the Spiritual Director of the
Abhaya Fellowship  El Cerrito, CA

You are warmly invited to attend in person
(non-residential) or online.

with Chakung Wangdrak Rinpoche
MARCH 31 TO APRIL 2, 2023

Vajrayana Foundation’s 2023 Annual Ngondro Retreat
at Pema Osel Ling and Livestream begins on April 1st ~ 9th

April 1st and 2nd ~ Sam Bercholtz on Awakening Body, Speech, and Mind. April 3rd, Tulku Thadral Rinpoche will give the Refuge Vow, Bodhisattva Vows, and the Oral Reading Transmission for the Dudjom Tersar Ngondro and Dudjom Lingpa Troma Nakmo Ngondro. 

The Retreat continues through the 9th with Teachings and Questions & Answers from Tulku Thadral Rinpoche, Lama Sonam Tsering Rinpoche, Amy Green, and Ivan Bercholtz with Ngondro Practice and Accumulation Sessions with Choying Wangmo and Stefan Graves. Arrangements can be made for your personal Ngondro Accumulation Sessions.

To learn more, visit the Vajrayana Foundation website.


Guru Yoga

Dudjom Rinpoche III Sangye Pema Shepa

“We need to understand the distinction between faults and noble wisdom qualities. When we do, then we can recognize our master’s noble wisdom qualities and perceive our master as Buddha. If, with that kind of confidence, we then practice guru yoga even just a little bit, nothing more profound is needed. Merely by praying to and meditating upon the master, you too will awaken as Buddha. On the basis of faith and fervent devotion, it will happen.”

~ Dudjom Rinpoche III Sangye Pema Shepa

I was able to Create and Maintain a Disciplined Practice

I was in my mid-forties when my husband, our two very spirited children, moved to California from Ohio. It was a difficult move which left me upended on several fronts. During this turbulent time, I was given a book which addressed the meaning of life and the main tenants of Buddhist thought. It was so sensible and logical: there was nothing about, “having to take the teachings on faith”, which I heard many times in my Christian upbringing. Buddhism opened my mind to the vastness and beauty of a reality that I had no idea existed, and yet, was accessible. This gave me a path to follow in a difficult time.

Photo submitted by Kristie

Soon after I found a sangha and a teacher and became dedicated to pursuing the Dharma. As I progress on the path I started Ngondro. What an undertaking! My kids were needing more attention and between them, and a full time job, life was becoming more complicated. Even thought I set aside time in the morning for practice, it was rather hit or miss. Yet, reading the Ngondro liturgy and explanations on how to practice, gave me comfort and confidence in my life, and the hope, that one day I’d figure it out how to get more practice time in.
I was able to attend retreats over the years, which were so inspiring. I had the opportunity to receive teachings from some of the greatest masters alive. This gave me such an appreciation for the wisdom that has been preserved, and the hard work that was done by the lamas and lineage masters, for our benefit.
Then one day I “woke up” to find that I was 68 years old and realized I really had been just fooling around in my practice. Because of a serious situation in my sangha, my practice had become quite disrupted. I found myself a bit lost in the wilderness. Additionally, I had become more involved in the mundane world because of more demands at work. Despondency temporarily overcame me, when I realized by adding up, how much more I had to do to complete my Ngondro.
Soon after that, I went to a weekend teaching at Pema Osel Ling and found out about their Ngondro Program. I had heard a few online teachings from Lama Sonam Rinpoche and about 3 weeks later got to meet him at a Treasure Vase consecration. I was enamored by his joyful and humble presence and thought to myself, “this is the Lama for me.”
Because of Lama Sonam Rinpoche’s perfect teachings, the support of my mentor, and the Ngondro Program staff, and the monthly online accumulation meetings, I was able to create and maintain the disciplined practice I had been hoping for. Finally, at the age of 72, I completed all my accumulations. So, it’s never too late to invest in present and future lifetimes!
One bit of advice – try not to be intimidated by prostrations. 
I was truly astounded by the flexibility and strength I acquired, and not spiritually. As Rinpoche said to a young frustrated student, during on of online Question and Answer sessions, “They’re better than plastic surgery.”

Thank you a million times over to Lama Sonam Rinpoche and the Ngondro Program (Regina, Stefan and Sonam) for sharing the teachings and your support and experience with this wonderful community of Ngondro practitioners that you have created.

Kristie Brady completed her Dudjom Tersar Ngondro just in time to enroll in the 2023 Rushen Retreat with Tulku Thadral Rinpoche given at the Vajrayana Foundation’s retreat center, Pema Osel Ling,  located in the Santa Cruz Mountains.