In keeping with tradition of loving kindness, compassion and swift effectiveness of blessings for sentient beings the historic Buddha and other enlightened beings taught a methodology that was designed to take suffering and confused sentient beings to a state of mental strength and stability that would enable them to eventually reach enlightenment. Through their insightful wisdom the Buddhas taught the most effective, profound and powerful teachings first. Although these teachings have been called foundational and preliminary practices in the West we have mistakenly come to think of those teachings as beginner practices or practices that are not so important for someone of superior intellect! Nothing could be further from the truth! These foundational meditations can be compared to the "heavy equipment" of mind training that removes our greatest boulders of obscurations, neuroses and other mental fixations. The so-called advanced practices are merely subtle improvements upon the foundational preparation, development and realizations gained through the careful and systematic process of Ngondro, the foundational practices that give us the tool to experience reality as it is. In his introduction the Ngondro practice text "The Preliminary Practices of the Incomparable Drikung Kagyu" Khenchen Gyaltshen Rinpoche states: "For the benefit of all sentient beings Buddha Shakyamuni spoke the Dharma through the Sutras and Tantras. The essence of the Buddha's teachings enable one to attain enlightenment even in one lifetime. However, to practice (these) one must fully (practice) the four ways of turning the mind then one practices the four extraordinary foundations (of) Vajrayana Ngondro to purify negative Karma and obscurations of the mind, speech and body and to develop virtues." The founder to the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism Lord Jigten Sumgon stated, "Ngondro is even more important than the higher practices." It has also been said that sincerely practicing only Ngondro will lead to enlightenment since all mind training techniques leading to enlightenment are included within it! PREREQUISITES: Survey of Tibetan Buddhism or instructor permission.