Slowing Down in the Midst of 100,000 things
Dear Dharma Friends,
We are just a few days away from the beginning of the next ngondro training. This morning I was remembering something I learned from Ngondro meditation- how to slow down in the midst of 100,000 things. Ngondro is not a practice that can be done in a hurry. Well, one can hurry, but it doesn’t really help one get there, because the destination is so far away. And hurrying feels horrible, it ruins the practice to go beyond a natural rhythm. Ngondro requires slowing down precisely because it is an extended experience, it is a journey, one where the goal is not just to finish. Because of this it requires a radical re-orientation, an abandonment of ambition and speed – in the midst of 100,000 things ahead. I didn’t discover this at first. I used to do ngondro with urgency. Then one day, I was sitting in the middle of a field on a warm autumn day, and I found myself just simply being there with the felt experience of the practice. I had slowed down enough to enjoy it. It’s something I often think of in the midst of the demands of my busy life, when in the midst of 100,000 things, slowing down makes it better. That is the beauty of ngondro. It is such serious training that puts us in contact with the urge to strive and simultaneously the need instead to slow down and find our stride. I forget this and remember this over and over again, which is why I love teaching ngondro so much, it is a reminder of the most profound things about being and doing.
The great Nyingma master, Patrul Rinpoche (1808-1898), said that if we give up ngondro we cut off the root of dharma and indeed he practiced ngondro repeatedly throughout his life. That practice he did was the Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse – the same ngondro we are starting on Monday. Its name, Longchen Nyingthig, (klong chen snying thig) is a treasure revelation of the Nyingma lineage. It was revealed by Jigme Lingpa after he had three visions of the great yogi-philosopher, Longchenpa, from the fourteenth century. Its word “klong” is vast expanse, “chen” is great and “snying thig” refers to the innermost essence. So in English its name is Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse. It is a guide to the practice of Dzogchen and ultimately an introduction into the expanse of being.
I am overjoyed to be embarking on a journey into the Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse together with a new group beginning this Monday. You are are warmly invited to join us.
My very best to you always,
NGONDRO TRAINING STARTS JAN 24TH!
Meditation is more than you think! Tibetan Buddhists engage in meditation as a dynamic system for identity transformation, healing from the past, changing karma and generating resilient compassion. Ngondro is pillar of Vajrayana meditation engaging with all the techniques that central to Buddhist Tantra. But Ngondro can be extremely difficult to complete by oneself. It is a practice best done with expert guidance and community support. In 2022, the Ngondro Training is being offered in an expanded program with extra support – weekly Monday night meetings plus live webinars and self paced material.
Join the Ngondro Training at the first Live Webinar Class with Pema Khandro on January 24th, 2022. Then get all your questions answered in the quarterly live classes with Pema Khandro.
Live Webinars and Self-Paced Learning
with Pema Khandro
Ngondro self-paced classes and live webinars will be led by Lama Pema Khandro, scholar and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism. Khandro-la’s teachings emphasize Buddhist philosophy and practice from a trauma-informed, feminist perspective that engages tradition with the great questions of our time. Classes with Pema Khandro will be given by self-paced videos and live meetings once a quarter, with practice sessions led in between by Tsalgyur.
Led by Tsalgyur
Ngondro students can enjoy support to accomplish the accumulations with a weekly online practice group. It is optional to join with your ngondro community every Monday night in Ngondro practice led by Tsalgyur.
Also, foster a community through signing up for an accountability partner to support each other through the journey.
About Tsal’gyur Dorje Tsalgyur has been studying with Pema Khandro since 2005. She is the Membership Co-ordinator and Registrar for the Buddhist Studies Institute and has been on the leadership team for Ngakpa International since 2012. Tsal’gyur is a certified Yoga Instructor, Meditation Teacher, and Teaching Assistant in the school. Having danced professionally for 10 years, she now teaches ballet, yoga, and meditation in group classes and private lessons.