Beginning the Ngöndro: An Introduction to the Preliminary Practices

Your next big adventure—the Preliminary Practices!

If you’ve been practicing Round Robin with the Four Boundless Qualities and Shamata Vipassana for a few months, you might be ready to deepen your practice by embarking on this next phase of teachings.

The Beginning Ngöndro cohort will have access to:

  • In-person teachings with Lama Tsomo and Khen Rinpoche
  • Monthly virtual teachings and coaching calls
  • Reading on the Ngöndro
  • A supportive community to share your practice.

This experience spans 12 months and will take you deeply into the underlying principles and practical instructions of the Tibetan Buddhist foundation practices, or Ngöndro as they are known in Tibet.

Who is this course for?

This course was designed for those who want to deepen their study and practice through exploration of the Ngöndro. It is assumed that those embarking on this journey will have an established meditation practice and be ready to commit an hour a day to practice. These hours can be broken into two sessions.

What can I expect to do in this course?

This course will be a blend of in-person and virtual teaching, reading, and personal practice. In addition to the in-person teachings and retreat, Namchak teachers Lama Tsomo and Khen Rinpoche offer monthly calls that introduce teachings and answer students’ questions about personal practice. There is also the opportunity for one-on-one sessions with a teacher.

What practices will be covered?

The full Ngöndro is comprised of five practices that together take you on a beautiful journey and prepare you for any other practice that might follow on this path. Over the course of the year, Lama Tsomo and Khen Rinpoche will adapt the flow of the teachings to meet the needs of the group. We will seek to cover the first few teachings known as the Inner Preliminaries before moving on to the Outer Preliminaries.

Inner Preliminaries: The first section of the Preliminary Practices, known as the Outer Preliminaries, provides the framing that ushers us into the main part of the Ngöndro—naturally called the Inner Preliminaries.

  1. The Four Thoughts. 
  2. Refuge Vow
  3. Bodhicitta Vow
What will I learn in this course?

You will receive a in-depth exploration of the Inner Preliminaries, providing you with the space and guidance to ground your understanding of these key practices before moving on to the outer preliminaries.  You will also enjoy one-on-one guidance from Namchak teachers and the opportunity for connection and support with other community members who are studying and practicing the Ngöndro.

How much does it cost?

This yearlong Beginning Ngöndro course cost is $250. This includes entry into all monthly teaching calls, books, and a mala. There will be an additional registration fee for the fall retreat. Our intention is to make these teaching financially accessible to all. If the registration retreat costs present a barrier, please contact Jessica at [email protected].

When does it start?

This course of study will begin February 2020 with a three-hour class with Lama Tsomo covering an overview of the Ngöndro and an Intro to the Four Thoughts. Interested students can join either of the following sessions in-person or virtually:

  • Friday, Feb. 7: 2-5pm ET in NYC
  • Friday, Feb. 14: 2-5pm PT in Berkeley, CA
What is the schedule for the remainder of the year?
Monthly teaching & coaching call schedule:

These one-hour calls will be part dharma teaching and part meditation coaching call, offering students a chance to check-in about their practice, ask questions, and seek support along the way. Participation in these teachings is required. We understand that life happens, so we will make recordings of these teachings available after each session.

  • March 8: 3pm MT
  • April 19: 3pm MT
  • May TBD
  • June 14 3pm MT
  • July 19 3pm MT
  • Aug. 16  3pm MT
  • Sept. 20 3pm MT
  • Oct. 28 3pm MT
  • November TBD
  • Dec. 6 3pm MT
In-person teachings and retreat: 

Feb. 7 & 14 (only one session required): Overview of the Ngöndro and An Introduction to the Four Thoughts

Aug. 2-7 (optional retreat): Shamata Vipassana with Khen Rinpoche in Montana

October 12-15 (NY) OR October  26-29 (CA): Four day Ngöndro retreat with Khen Rinpoche will be offered in both NYC and Berkeley, CA. This retreat is required.

Register here