So I got the whole story on the Ngondro practice tonight from the lama - Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal. He ought to know what he is talking about, I figure. There are about 5 sections that need to be repeated 10,000 times. After that point, one is qualified to use ritual objects. The lama didn't say what type of ritual objects, but I would assume any or all since he did not specify. He also said that one could wear robes after that point. Not had to - but could. Interesting. I had never heard that before. I always assumed there had to be some kind of ordination ceremony with vows or something like that.
He also said that we were all Vajrayana practitioners if we had taken an empowerment.
I thought that was the case, but I was curious why some people would wear striped shawls and others different colors and what the significance was. I know there are particular vows that some people do take, then they wear the shawl. I am not exactly sure how that works yet.
Lol, I found out tonight that wearing a shawl can be misleading -- I was wearing mine and a lady asked me if I had taken vows - I said "only in my own mind". Heck, I couldn't afford to fly to New York to the main temple to take them and as far as I know there has never been an opportunity to take them here (in 3 years). I figured if you had taken a highest yoga empowerment (I have) you sure as shootin' ought to be able to wear a piece of cloth! Anyway, that's my attitude. It may not be correct, but that's my attitude. I haven't heard where you couldn't wear one. I sure don't want to show off in any way that I am some kind of special or accomplished yogini or something, but I know in my own mind that I have made some progress.
I think I will decide to test out what the lama said. He said that joy and peace would result from this practice. I could certainly use some of both. My major issue has always been this unceasing undercurrent of fear - which has gotten worse since my brother died in 2009 and I lost my job in 2010. I would like to make some progress on at least diminishing it. Then there is the lengthening shadow of my parents becoming very old and how am I going to deal with that living 1,200 miles away.
I am sure this entry will not be very interesting to most. I can most easily write about the perils of organized religion - any type of organized religion. There are problems with all of them- the "in" crowd and politics in any group. That's a fact. So far it isn't too bad where I am at, but we shall see. I must say I think I have seen it all.