Impermanence and Death

Contemplating impermanence and death
intensifies the motivation to practice dharma.

photo by Willie Korman

Truly understanding and permanence means recognizing both the nature of change inherent in all phenomena and the extraordinary opportunity to train your mind toward liberation. Reflecting, you begin to see that you must not waste precious time. As soon as you were born, it was guaranteed that you will eventually die. This inevitable death will deprive you of any for the opportunity to practice. Begin to realize clearly that, instead of putting off practice until some future time, you must begin right now to extract some meaningful essence from your human birth. The point of understanding impermanence is not to feel sad about it, but to use it as an incentive to overcome laziness.

~ Lama Tharchin Hawaii 1996

Advice on What to do Before Beginning Daily Meditation

Before we begin our daily meditation, we should clean our room and prepare our altar by cleaning it and making offerings. If we have no altar, we do not need to worry, we can simply visualize Padmasambhava in front of us.

The seven offering bowls which are offered on the altar symbolize the seven offerings:
🔸Water for drinking,
🔸Water for washing hands and feet,
🔸Flowers for adorning the head or hair,
🔸Incense for smelling to please the nose,
🔸Lamp for seeing to please the eyes,
🔸Perfumed water to sprinkle on the body, to refresh it, and
🔸Food to please the taste.
Music to please the ears can be an eighth offering.

The offerings which we make on the altar are symbolic. In our minds, we offer all pleasant things that we see, hear, taste, smell, and feel. We offer the light of the sun and the moon, all fresh flowers, all pleasing smells, all delicious food, and so forth, everything wonderful. Since these offerings are made to the Three Jewels and the Three Roots, who do not have any greed or desire for these offerings, they are made for the benefit of all sentient beings. After we have prepared our room and our altar, we begin our meditation with the common outer practice which is the four thoughts to turn the mind.

These are:
🔸The preciousness of human birth,
🔸 Impermanence and death,
🔸the cause and effect of karma, and
🔸The suffering of saṃsāra.
By meditating on these four thoughts, the mind is subdued and one is led to renounce saṃsāra.

Then we do the extraordinary inner preparation, which is the preliminary practice. Within the Ngondro, there are:
🔸going for refuge,
🔸generating Bodhicitta,
🔸Vajrasattva purification,
🔸maṇḍala offering,
🔸and the prayer of Guru Yoga

Thinley Norbu
Small Golden Key
Translated by Lisa Anderson
Shambala
©️2012

Live Stream Group Ngondro Accumulation Webcast

Join Choying Wangmo as she guides you through the
Ngondro Accumulation stages from the Four Thoughts through
Dissolution in a group live stream setting.

Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 5:30pm Pacific
LOOK in your email for the password and logon information

What to bring to the  Live stream Group Accumulation Session:
☀️ Mala

☀️ Dudjom Tersar Concise Ngondro Text
☀️ Accomplishing Mandala Pan
☀️ Prostration board and oven mitts or furniture sliders