The teachings of the Kagyu lineage stretch back to ancient India, where the accomplished yogi Tilopa received transmissions from the primordial buddha Vajradhara. Tilopa gave these teachings to the great scholar Naropa, abbot of the famed Nalanda Monastery. In the 11th century, the great Tibetan translator Marpa made the first of three trips to India, where he met and studied with Naropa. Marpa then brought these teachings back to Tibet and eventually transmitted the lineage to Milarepa, his most important student, who practiced the teachings until he attained enlightenment. Milarepa, in turn, passed the lineage to Rechungpa and Gampopa. Later in life, he thoroughly practiced and mastered the teachings he received from Milarepa.

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The preliminaries consist of four general and four special practices. By general practices are understood four basic thoughts, which help to strengthen the motivation and show the importance of the meditation not only for the practitioners themselves, but also for everyone who is connected with them and who they want to benefit. These are the thoughts the way they appear in the meditation: We recognize our precious opportunity in this life, that we can benefit countless beings through the methods of a Buddha.

Few people ever meet Diamond Way teachings and even fewer are able to us them. We remember the impermanence of everything composite.

Only the unlimited clear space of mind is lasting, and it is uncertain how long conditions will remain for recognising it. We understand causality, that it is up to us what will happen. Former thoughts, words and actions became our present state, and right now we are sowing the seeds for our future. We see the reasons for working with mind. Enlightenment is timeless highest bliss, and we cannot benefit others while confused or disturbed ourselves. Four special practices are the four meditations, which are commonly called ngondro, or Preliminary Practices.

They develop deep understanding of the goal and the way; purify the mind from heavy imprints left as a result of former harmful actions; and create countless positive impressions, which make a basis for the practice of Mahamudra, or the Great Seal. In each of the practices one should do , repetitions: taking the refuge and awakening of Enlightened attitude during prostrations; purification of painful impressions with the help of Diamond Mind meditation Sanskrit Vajrasattva ; development of generosity by means of mandala offering; Guru Yoga, meditation on the Lama.


Drikung Kagyu Ngondro Preliminary Practices

At this time, I must make this meaningful. It is uncertain when I will die and become a corpse. As it is only the dharma that can help me at that time, I must practice now with diligence. As I create my own karma, I should therefore abandon all unwholesome action, and always devote my time to wholesome actions.



The Karmapa gives clear and wise teachings on key issues of our times — the environment, social responsibility, and working with our emotional afflictions. He brings a fresh perspective on how to meditate and encourages us to take the path of compassion, engaging in actions that benefit others. Offers a path for participating in a global community based on compassion bringing social action into daily life, on a scale we can realistically manage through the choices we make every day: what to buy, what to eat, and how to relate honestly and bravely with our friends and family and coworkers. Instructions on the primary guru yoga practiced in the Karma Kagyu lineage, including newly-rediscovered texts as well as well-known commentaries. Comprehensive instructions on how to practice the ngondro; essential for anyone who wishes to do the practice of mahamudra.


Karma Kagyu Ngondro

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