When I first heard of the ngondro practice in my twenties, I was very drawn to it, but circumstances and personal obstacles led me to pass an opportunity. Yet, I did make strong aspirations to do ngondro in the future. Exactly ten years later these aspirations ripened and the time was right. Friends pointed me to Pema Osel Ling (POL) and Lama Sonam kindly gave me instructions. Starting with prostrations was difficult and I met some friends on the way, who dropped out of this practice because of these (physical) difficulties. For me, it was the noticing that many short sessions accumulate quickly. Particularly I am so grateful for Dudjom’s Rinpoche’s wisdom to keep the ngondro text pithy, which made it possible to practice it almost daily, even if just very briefly in this so busy and demanding life we are in. I had further the opportunity to bring my ngondro onto pilgrimage to holy sites in India and Nepal, which helped raise inspiration to completing it. There are so many practitioners doing ngondro in this world! It’s good to know how deep and vast this network of devotion spreads! However, on my accumulation journey, it was mostly the times of solo retreat that stand out for me as some of the best experiences I had – ever! Four sessions a day for a month or just a week truly connects one to this practice and to a lineage of blessings. There are also many readings, when added to the practice schedule can nurture an intense and meaningful time of practice in retreat from our daily routine. I felt the practices come forward and truly embrace me, change me and transform my outlook. I feel a profound gratitude in my heart for all these wise ancestors and current mentors, who encourage us to engage in this method of mind training. There is something deeply encoded in this practice that makes it work for sure, no matter who one is and what one’s circumstances. And it also raises confidence in one’s study of Buddhism, because one has tasted first hand that through one’s efforts, one will find “lifesaving water” – a response to one’s questions and struggles.
May all be auspicious!
July 7, 2020