Ligmincha Learning will offer an online course with Geshe Denma Gyaltsen, resident lama for Ligmincha Texas, and John Jackson, mentor for many Ligmincha Learning courses, on “Ngöndro: The Foundational Practices” from March 7–December 31, 2020. This nine-month course is much longer than our other online courses, due to the number of meditation practices and the commitment of the practitioners to accumulate 100,000 repetitions of many of the practices.

The ngöndro teachings are a set of nine practices that offer complete instructions for taming, purifying and perfecting the suffering mind. Although these practices are considered the foundation for entrance into the five-part cycle of Tibetan Bön dzogchen teachings – Bön’s highest teachings on the nature of mind – many practitioners adopt the ngöndro as their main meditation and complete the nine sets of 100,000 repetitions over the course of a lifetime. Within each is contained the entire path to liberation. They are considered to be the foundational practices for the entire tradition.

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche rarely teaches the ngöndro and recommends it for dedicated practitioners who feel a strong connection to the Bön lineage. Within the ngöndro are found practices that are used within many other practices, such as the Guru Yoga Prayer, Bodhicitta Prayer, Refuge Prayer, Prostrations, and the Three Heart Mantras, so the ngöndro supports and deepens all other meditation practices.

This online course is drawn from recordings when Tenzin Rinpoche taught the ngöndro at Serenity Ridge in Virginia in 2014 over the course of a weeklong retreat. Added additional recordings include demonstrations on how to create a shrine, make prostrations and perform mandala offerings, so this is a very full and comprehensive course.

The ngöndro practices are in three groups.

The Three Practices for Taming Oneself:

  • Opening Your Heart with Guru Yoga
  • Impermanence
  • Admitting Your Misdeeds

The Three Practices for Purifying Oneself:

  • Bodhicitta: Generating the Mind Intent on Enlightenment
  • Going for Refuge
  • Offering the Mandala

The Three Practices for Perfecting Oneself:

  • Purification through Mantra
  • Offering Your Illusory Body as a Tsok
  • Request for Blessings

The course includes teaching videos on each of the topics, many guided practices and a thorough written practice guide. You will be able to download MP3 audio recordings of each of the guided practices. Monthly live guided group meditations via Zoom one Sunday each month, plus a discussion forum for participants to share insights, also are part of the course.

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