Yangti Nagpo Curriculum
The below sections are taught at the annual Ewam Yangti Gomde, unless otherwise specified. After completing the individual practice requirements of a given section the subsequent section can be attended. The below breakdown is not definitive, and may vary slightly with elements of a particular section being taught in earlier or later sections based on the teacher's discretion. Dark retreat and the auxiliary tsalung and 7 Jewels teachings are not part of the standard group teachings and may be taught at different locations throughout the year to smaller groups or individually.
Lattice of Timeless Awareness:
Ewam Yangti Gomde Seven-Year Curriculum
Homage to the eternal Guru, Deva, and Dakini.
I pray to my root guru, who makes directly evident the eternal and spontaneously present intrinsic awareness deities of the three roots. At your feet I pay homage with unshakeable faith. I am composing herein a Yangti Practice Curriculum.
[Yangti Practice Curriculum]
This unique dharma, obtained through the kindness of the three lineages, is equivalent to buddhahood in a single lifetime being placed in the palm of your hand. In general, this path of the Single Golden Syllable of Yangti Nagpo is primarily focused solely on Dzogchen trekcho and togal, and in particular on the practices of Artey1Dark Yoga. However, in accord with the level of faculties of individuals, and thinking of those who engage the path in gradual progression, Trulshik Do-ngag Lingpa revealed a definitive arrangement of all phases of the path in their entirety.
This project came about through the hopes and aspirations of my students in the west of these modern times, with their white garb and long hair, who rely on me. This project is for those fortunate men and women who strive in spiritual training, and also for the sake of safeguarding against the decline of these teachings, and in order to maintain the continuity of this lineage. The wish-fulfilling jewel that is this precious Yangti doctrine is the very quintessence of the enlightened mind of the guru vidyadharas of the three lineages. It includes essential pith instructions on the ultimate culmination of Ati, along with the entirety of the various phases of the path, all presented in a way that can be practiced on a single seat.2
A division of the Ewam America Dharma Community, Yangti Gomde entails a seven-year curriculum of both study and practice. The taking of refuge and mahayana bodhisattva vows form the foundation needed in order to traverse this path. In addition, the initial entryway required to engage in the path of secret mantra vajrayana is to receive empowerments that ripen the mind. Following these prerequisites come the main practices, including trainings in both creation phase and completion phase. The curriculum is divided into seven sections/[years] in order for students to gain definitive experience in these trainings.
Year One—Vajra Year
The first year consists of the stages of preliminary practices, orngondro. In the Yangti tradition, training in the three excellences and guru yoga precedes all other practices. Following this, students receive the common ngondro trainings based on experiential mind training guidance (lojong nyong tri). Through this process, one’s mindstream becomes workable by contemplating thefour thoughts that turn the mind. After this, students train in the uncommon ngondro practices, including 100,000 prostrations performed in conjunction with the practice of taking refuge. Then there are the mind training meditations on bodhichitta, including contemplation on the four immeasurables and practicing the six paramitas, along with reciting a minimum of 30,000 recitations pertaining to bodhichitta. After this, obscurations are purified through the practice of Vajrasattva, based on the four powers, while completing 100,000 recitations of the hundred-syllable mantra. Likewise, the mandala offering for amassing the accumulations is performed 100,000 times, and then students focus on the main practice of devotional guru yoga. While emphasizing the accumulation of the name mantra, a guru supplication prayer is recited once every thousand mantra recitations. Five hundred thousand mantras plus a ten percent amendment are to be recited. This briefly describes how to accomplish the ngondro practices.
For those who have previously completed the accumulations of another comparable ngondro, just one tenth of the above accumulations are required, meaning 10,000 for each section, while the entirety of the above prescribed recitations for the practice of guru yoga is still required.
Year Two—Ratna Year
The main practices of this [Yangti] tradition consist of development stage trainings on the Four Cycles of Heart Essence (tuktik korshi) and completion stage trainings on the profound essence of the secret path of the three vajras. This section of teachings begins with receiving the ripening empowerments of Lama Kusum Tuktik,3followed by detailed teachings on the path of development stage. Over the subsequent year, in accord with Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche’s meditation manual, the nirmanakaya guru mantra is to be recited 1.2 million times with a recitation amendment. The six-syllable sambhogakaya guru mantra is to be recited 300,000 times, and the dharmakaya guru mantra 150,000 times.
From the Khandro Tuktik Great Empowerment,just the Outer Dakini Empowermentis bestowed. Then instructions on completion stagetsa lungand physical training (lujong) practices for unravelling the knots of the six chakras are bestowed.
Year Three—Pema Year
In this section, from among the Tuktik Korshi,students apply themselves in the approach and accomplishment phases of Khandro Tuktik4in accord with its meditation instruction manual. The creation stage requisite recitations for this dakini practice can be accomplished by staying in a one-month recitation retreat or by completing the appropriate number of recitations.
Once this is complete, it is best if students can receive each of the individual initiations of the Scrolls of the Seven Jewels Whispered Lineageand properly practice each. If that is not possible, because tsalung and tummo are completion stage practices unique to [Khandro Tuktik], students receive the Profound Dakini Empowerment: Tummo Fire Empowermentand so forth, which are part of the Khandro Tuktik Great Empowermentand are sealed in secrecy.
After receiving these transmissions, the second whispered lineage scroll, consisting of the teachings of tummo, must be practiced for at least seven days based on the instructional text Great Bliss Fire Mass of Timeless Awareness. It is ideal if this section includes the practice of the first scroll of the whispered lineage, Guru Yoga: The Dynamic Expression of the Play of the Guru.
Regarding illusory body (gyu lu), in this tradition it is customary for this practice to follow the trainings of the outer distinguishing between samsara and nirvana (korde rushen), and therefore it is ok to not practice it here. Likewise, regarding the practice of phowa, it is sufficient to receive the profound instructions for unelaborate phowa after practicing the five physical trainings (lujong).5
The remaining teachings6are subsumed in a condensed manner in accord with the practices from the thirteenth chapter of Instructions on the Main Practices,which are said to “bring about the enlightened qualities of the profound path of the Cycle of Seven Jewelsall at once.”
Additionally, solely for those able to practice, [there are the following practices and time commitments pertaining to] the third whispered lineage scroll, the divine instructions on illusory body, which should be practiced for seven days; the fourth whispered lineage scroll on lucid dreaming likewise to be practiced for seven days; the fifth scroll covering the critical points of the path of luminosity, to be practiced for seven days; there is no particular practice to be done for the sixth scroll; and the seventh whispered lineage scroll, the Trikaya Phowa, is also practiced over seven days.7In this way, these teachings are to be assiduously practiced. It is ideal if separate specific periods are set up to train in them. Keep these instructions in mind.
Year Four—Karma Year
Among the Tuktik Korshi, from the Yidam Shitro Tuktik, the Great Empowerment, Secret Empowerment, and the Great Unique Dzogchen Empowerment of the Dynamic Expression of Pure Awareness (rigpai tselwang) are all received. Following this, based on the development stage practice of the peaceful and wrathful deities, the requisite accumulations can be performed based on time by completing a one-month retreat, or by completing the appropriate number of recitations. Students are also to focus on practices from theImmutable Great Spike of Calm Abiding and Direct Insight.
Year Five—Buddha Year
In this year, as per the enlightened intent of Ati, enlightened blessings are forcefully developed by receiving the empowerment ofKunzang Tuktik8along with practice instructions. After this, the unique preliminaries of the Dzogchen path, distinguishing samsara and nirvana (korde rushen), are offered. These teachings are given in conjunction with the seven precious yogas and are based on the pith instructions on the various sections of korde rushen.
For the practices of outer korde rushen, there are the practices of: engaging the three together and engaging them individually. First, when engaging in outer rushen, if you have the time, when practicing body, speech, and mind together spend three days in each of the six realms, or at the very least, one day for each realm. Also, during this time, practitioners alternate between all of the body, speech, and mind trainings.
Following this, it is taught that one should also train in the conduct of the three jewels. Students then should train in the conduct of pacification and taming. Unique to this tradition, there is the practice of joining one’s activities with each of the nine analogies of illusion. If previous trainings, such as illusory body and so forth, practices included in the seven jewels, are learned at other times it will suffice. If that’s not the case, a few additional days are needed to learn these practices in order to fit them in this section of teachings.
In the texts, it is here that the inner rushen is placed; however, the pith instructions present them in a different order. Here, [instead], a mere seven days are spent on resting in naturalness (nal bap). Then, the practice of sustaining freshness (sor shuke) with the peaceful gaze of the shravaka is practiced for three days, then three days with the gaze of bodhisattvas, and three days with the wrathful gaze.
After this, once the instructions and trainings in inner korde rushen are complete, the corresponding 600,000 recitations and an amendment are to be completed over the following year.
Year Six—Dharmakaya Year
Together with the unique practice of Kunzang Tuktik,the practices of training the three doors (go süm jangwa) are learned. In this tradition’s essential guidance manual there are the body trainings of the five vajras.These teachings begin with the student cultivating the pure recollection of one’s own body as a white vajra that is the male and female aspects of Vajrasattva. In similar fashion, the student trains in the yellow, red, green, and blue vajras each for three days, or at the very least training in all of them over five days. After this comes the training in vajra phowa, which if received previously in the context of the seven jewels will suffice and is not received here. Lacking that, it can be practiced individually over three or seven days.
The second set of practices are the speech trainings in four sections: 1) sealing, 2) proficiency, 3) pliancy, and 4) entering the path. The first of these, sealing, consists of the practices of: 1) external sealing of appearances and 2) internal sealing of the aggregates. These should be trained in for three days. The second section, proficiency, consists of 1) external proficiency with appearances and 2) internal proficiency with the aggregates. These are trained in for three days. The third practice of pliancy should be trained in for three days. The fourth practice, entering the path, has three sections: the practice of purifying the habitual imprints of this lifetime should be trained in for three days; purifying the impure path of the six realms likewise should be trained in for three days; and training in entering the path to the pure realms of the buddhas for three days. This totals nine days in all.
The hidden meaning of the practices of gaining mastery over the phenomena of samsara and nirvana through the five sets of practices performed seven times is revealed as elucidated in the text Great Vipasana. These teachings will be condensed or elaborate, based on circumstance. Students must practice these trainings individually for [at least] five days.
After these teachings come the common and uncommon sections of mind training (semjong). These begin with training in the three phases of investigating—source, abiding place, and destination—over seven days, or however long is suitable. The second mind training section, although referred to as mind training, in actuality is trekcho. It consists of the seven practices of: 1) pure awareness being introduced based on the mind, 2) introduction to the direct insight of timeless awareness as the three kayas, 3) mastering the three doors in relation to the non-duality of projection and abiding, 4) introduction to projection as the dynamic expression of pure awareness, 5) introduction to the state of equality that is the non-duality of projection and abiding, 6) methods for clearing faults and obstacles to meditation, and the final practice, 7) introduction to simultaneous thought and liberation––natural liberation that leaves no trace. Each of these seven sections is to be practiced for no less than one week. This is needed for the key points of the practices to ripen.
To select students, Trekcho: The Sword that Circles Aboveand the Whispered Lineage of the Golden Tube and so forth are imparted.
Year Seven—Svabhavikakaya Year
Students begin the unique sadhana practice of Kunzang Tuktik. As taught in the Yangti texts, there are, in general, the seven exalted features of togal, and in particular, the seven ways togal is exalted in comparison to trekcho. The seven chapters on distinguishing mind and pure awareness as not being the same, and so forth, are not taken at face value but instead learned and practiced until students thoroughly get to the root of the matter.
The main practice should begin with the supplication prayer, Dharmakaya Rainbow Body(jalu chokuma), followed by abandoning the nine activities and engaging the key points of the three postures and three gazes without mistake. The root texts state:
“The extremely profound (yangzab) main practices of the Single Golden Syllable of Yangti Nagpo consist of methods for training continously both day and night in the six lamps of luminosity, connecting the four sets of the key points of the faculties, sense fields, subtle energy, and pure awareness. These practices make directly evident the direct insight of the interlinking continuum of pure awareness (rigpa lu gu gyu). Train in the four mudras and the seven yogas of luminosity.”
These teachings are encapsulated in the Supremely Secret daytime yoga practices and the Ocean Arteynighttime yoga practices.
Regarding daytime yoga, first there is the pure awareness White Guidance Yoga that leads to the direct manifestation of luminosity. Second is the Red Guidance Yoga that leads to spontaneously present timeless awareness becoming evident. Third is the Fire Guidance Yoga that leads to the automatic arising of luminosity. Fourth is the Golden Guidance Yoga of the Mirror Looking into the Pure Realms. These final two yogas are practiced during both day and night.
Like this, these daytime yogas of the Supremely Secret Togal, White Guidance, Mixed Guidance, Yellow Guidance, Red Guidance, and so forth, must be practiced altogether for six months.
Then there are the two Extremely Secret nighttime yogas: Ocean Artey and Entering Ocean Radiance. The first of these, Ocean Artey, in the context of this tradition’s Seven Yogas,9is a practice comparable to the fifth yoga related to the dawning of the empty lamp of luminosity—Mixed Guidance Eye Yoga.
The second section of practices are those of the unique dark yoga, or Ultimate Heart Essence (tila) Guidance Yoga. These practices bring one to the exhaustion into dharmata, and are the real Black Guidance. Furthermore, these practices contain the Yangti Golden Syllable Threefold Seven, Twenty-One Precious Scrolls; the Oral Instructions of the Twenty-One Whispered Lineage; and the Seven Day Precious Whispered Lineage. This totals forty-nine days, which is considered to be receiving the entirety of this whispered lineage.
However, the Oral Instruction Whispered Lineage (nyen gyu shel shema) and, in particular, the Buddha in the Palm of Your Hand in Seven Days, are not only practices imparted through individual transmission, but are also reserved only for those practitioners who are able to bring about the welfare of beings. These are sealed in secrecy and not disseminated to all students.
That which is called “Yangti” refers to the very essence of the enlightened mind of Samantabhadra, Vajrasattva, and Vajradhara. It is the culmination of the Heart Essence of the Lotus Born, the Dakini’s Whispered Lineage, the swift path to buddhahood. How marvelous! What fortune to obtain this through the kindness of the guru.
It is said to lead to liberation if seen, heard, or thought of. If supremely praised as such by the vajra words of truth found in the tantras of true words, no need to mention if one meditates on its actual meaning. This great dharma of the effortless vehicle, how marvelous!
Therefore, even having obtained a connection to the name of these teachings is a sign of having sown great accumulations over many eons. From considering this, comes a force of confident joy and delight; what splendid qualities of bliss and joy are given to me.
Without looking for buddhahood elsewhere, the Yangti path can show it directly to you right now. This amazing Dharma! In this existence, when this incomparable, peerless wish-fulfilling jewel has been obtained, don’t search for trinkets.
Place your own mind as witness, and practice. Through the chariot of the continuity of luminosity both day and night, which perfectly leads one to the stage of original omniscience, may the spontaneous accomplishment of the twofold purpose––perfect buddhahood––
This composition was needed for the sake of the male and female yogis, practitioner disciples of Yangti Gomde. This explanation of the seven-year curriculum, called “Lattice of Timeless Awareness,” was composed by the one with the name Gochen Tulku, Ngawang Ludrup Palzangpo at the Buddha Garden. It was written on the 25thday during the waning period of the first month of fall in the Fire Bird Year of the 17th Rabjung Cycle. At the conclusion of teachings on the preliminaries, main practices, and Dzogchen of Yangti Nagpo, at such special occasion, I wrote this. Through this composition may the essence teachings be benefited.
1.This Tibetan term is crucial for understanding a number of Yangti practices, and in particular the dark retreat trainings. A rough translation of this verb implies focusing intently and properly to master particular key features of a given practice. In some contexts it means to focus the gaze intently and properly.
2.This Tibetan idiom implies being direct, straightforward, and easy to engage without extensive preparation or facilities required.
3.(Eng: The Heart Essence of the Trikaya Guru)
4.(Eng: The Heart Essence of the Dakini)
5.These trainings are part of the teachings of rushen.
6.The remaining practices of the Seven Jewels, which closely parallel the six yogas.
7.Seven days is the minimum practice requirement for each of these sections.
8.(Eng: The Heart Essence of Samantabhadra)
9.These are the phases of togal practice in this tradition.