Friday, May 02, 2003

That basically brings us up to the present. I'm reading Jamgon Kongtrul's *Torch of Certainty* and counting the days before I can get the Ngondro instructions. Starting to work my way through the Tibetan of the six-line refuge prayer (my Tibetan is very rusty, but less rusty than I'd feared, and the Chinese I've been studying is surprisingly helpful -- some of the syntax is quite similar, e.g. the way that you construct a modifying clause by ending it with a vaguely genitive particle and then sticking it in front of the noun-phrase it modifies).

I'm on the point of emailing B---- (who'd give the ngondro instructions) and asking him if I can go ahead and start practicing -- I am anxious to begin the refuge practice, and I have odd groundless fears that I'll die before I can start it, or before I can finish it. Maybe I'll see someone I can ask at the sangha this weekend.

Miscellaneous things to find out: do I need a shrine to do ngondro in front of? And where can I find a Kagyu Karma lineage tree, so as to have a better idea of what to visualize? And can I do prostrations at odd times of the day, if I have fifteen free minutes, say, without doing the full introductory recitation again first? And how the devil do I keep track of how many I've done?

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