Tibetan tradition be damned we need to do ngöndro in a way that reflects who we are as Buddhists in the West

Picture of how Tibetans of the Karma Kagyu sect do their ngöndro which simply isn’t who we are as Buddhists and has thus made how we do ngöndro, or don’t, such an issue for us in the West

“I’m all for owning the mishaps of the mishap lineage.”

Sally continues.

“It’s a much needed departure from how Tibetans practice ngöndro which simply isn’t who we are as Buddhists.”

Caroline replies.

“I’m reminded of a favorite quote of mine from Godrakpa.”

“I saw the path blocked by a wall; I saw it cleared away by the force of truth.” Godrakpa

Caroline continues.

“I say, let’s do this, make our ngöndro work for us as Karma Kagyu.”

Caroline adds.

“And let the results speak for themselves, our way versus the Tibetan way of practicing ngöndro.”

End scene. Fini.

A teachable moment brought to you by the Naropa Prairie Dog Players for your entertainment pleasure.



Filed under Buddhism

15 responses to “Tibetan tradition be damned we need to do ngöndro in a way that reflects who we are as Buddhists in the West

  1. okiebuddhist

    I practice ngondro, but I’m not aware I’m doing it differently from a Tibetan.

    Are you referencing the 17th Karmapa’s text, which limits our focus on the prostrations? If so, then I understand your message.

    I’ve also heard the 17th Karmapa state if people have time, do the traditional Ngondro. I actually do both the traditional Ngondro and the “short” Ngondro presented by the Karmapa.

    What I’ve stopped doing is COUNTING. I’m well over 111,111 for part one and by the time I’ve reached around 65,000 Vajrasattva recitations, I thought, I’ll be doing these practices the rest of my life. Why count?

    So, as far as I’m concerned, even counting like they do in Tibetan culture does not interest me anymore. I do the practices and include mahamudra into each session.

    Karmapa Chenno.

    • I’m not saying anything here.

      Of course you are doing ngöndro differently than lama Karma, for example.

      If you did, you too would be driving a Lexus today.

      • Fran

        Hahaha. That’s probably true.

        In Marpa’s day there was no ngondro. Just hard work in practice.

      • okiebuddhist

        I hope people aren’t practicing the dharma to improve their status in this life or the next. That reminds me of the prosperity “dharma” taught in some Christian Charismatic movements.

        • Tibetans do, apparently.

          Is that not the message lama Karma is making by purchasing a Lexus?

          I think so.

          And what is the deal with a retreat master owning a Lexus?

          • okiebuddhist

            Prosperity dharma!

            • Apparently, so.

              I submit it as such for your consideration as it pertains to the difference between how Tibetans practice ngöndro and we do as westerners.

              • okiebuddhist

                The Pali Canon spends much of its time questioning the problem with the India caste system. Tibetan Feudalism was perpetrated by similar caste systems, while Tulkus and many Rinpoches were given power and authority, which has nothing to do with the Buddha or dharma of the Pali texts.

                • What kind of Buddhist monk owns a Lexus?

                  Karme Ling’s retreat master, a Karma Kagyu monk does.

                  What does this tell us about Ogyen Trinley Dorje as a Buddhist teacher?

                  • okiebuddhist

                    Saudi Royalty? Nevertheless, I’ve had a strong connection and powerful practices with the lineage. Other friends have abandoned the Karma Kagyu because of infighting and spiritual materialism.

                    I’m still here. I see its benefits still. Others have disappeared from the lineage, and I understand why.

                    • The Karma Kagyu sect is not the Karma Kagyu lineage.

                      The lineage lives on in us, as it always has.

                      As long as there are human beings capable and free to realize the true nature of their minds the lineage known to the world as the Karma Kagyu, Mahamudra, will persist as a means to realize this end.

  2. Fran

    Name and fame!

    That’s why KTD and Karma Ling are so shiny?

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