HELD AT KAMALASHILA TIBETAN BUDDHIST CENTRE MARCH 2021
Over the three full days of this retreat Khenpo la gave the attendees clear insights into the practices of refuge, bodhicitta, Vajrasattva and the Mandala Offering through his truly inspirational teachings. Khenpo la taught much about how we can use these methods of the Ngöndro practice in our own search for the Ultimate Truth. Khenpo la incorporated many prostrations throughout the day’s practices whilst reciting the refuge prayer, along with the physical aspect of the Mandala offerings with the mandala plate, precious gems and/or rice. This truly was an extraordinary and precious block of time in the most important practices of all in Tibetan Buddhism, The Preliminary Practices, the foundation of all other practices guided so beautifully and comprehensively by Khenpo la… “The Dharma Practitioner is one who searches for the truth daily.” Thank you so much Khenpo la.
Having returned home from the recent Ngöndro Retreat and teachings with Khenpo la, I find myself reflecting once again how lucky I am, and more broadly, we are as students, to have access to such an amazing teacher as in Khenpo la here on the South Coast of NSW. I personally, am always very self-conscious of how little I know when it comes to the Vajrayana teachings. The teachings on all the different deities, their consorts, and the rituals in the sadhanas of Vajrayana, I do find it all quite daunting after practising in the Mahayana stream for a decade or so, in which exposure to the Tantra does not become evident, well not to the lay practitioner any way.
I, and others, who were completing year three of The Complete Path were given a couple of days of introduction to the Ngöndro teachings, using the Mandala plate under Khenpo’s guidance some 18 months back. I truthfully found it all a bit confusing, very in-depth at that time and did not feel confident with what I had learnt. As such I did not proceed with the practice on returning home with the fear I may not be doing it correctly. After attending this refresher Ngöndro retreat under Khenpo’s guidance once more with more in-depth and most comprehensive explanations, I believe I now have a much deeper understanding of taking refuge, developing bodhicitta, and the Mandala Offering practices. I now feel I have the confidence to correctly do the practice at home. I now need to only apply myself… ‘fearlessly’!