Sunday, December 22 during the Dakini's Whisper Celebration
Instructions on the first Ngondro - Prostrations
The ngondro is preparation and fuel to progress and sustain your journey towards freedom and awakening. Before our departure, we gather all the necessary materials for the time ahead. Along the way, we take breaks to prepare, re-stock, energize and recharge ourselves for proceeding on the journey. So, the ngondro practice is an essential part of the process and the necessary fuel to sustain our main practices. Its purpose is part of the process of supporting our spiritual practice daily, rather than something no longer required upon the completion of a certain number of accumulations. Ngondro practice sustains the spiritual journey daily.
There are so many benefits, general and specific, for each ngondro practice. One primary purpose is to accrue positive energy and purify negative forces. These include the negative mind of blockages and doubts on our spiritual journey transforming these into conducive conditions for growth and fruition.
There are different ways of doing ngondro practices: One can do as preparation at the start of Vajrayana practice, or as an enhancement along the way, or combine both styles.
In the Geluk tradition, ngondro practices are done latterly, along the way, not as a start for Vajrayana practice. The emphasis is on first learning and developing certain positive states of mind with bodhicitta motivation. On this solid foundation, adapt and engage ngondro practices, either according to the advice of one's teacher or under your initiative.
There are two stages of ngondro – "external" and "internal" in the Nyingma and "common" and "uncommon" in other traditions.