Author: Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye and Hanson, Judith
The four ordinary and four special foundations, essential preliminaries to tantric practice, explained by the great 19th century master, Jamgon Kongtrul. The nature of impermanence, the effects of karma, development of an enlightened attitude and devotion to the guru are among the subjects treated in this volume.
This text is of great importance because these preliminary practices, or ngondro, are basic to all sects of Tibetan Buddhism. "The Four Foundations are the beginning of the Vajrayana discipline...your attitude toward yourself and toward everything in your life becomes connected purely with Dharma practice. There is no longer such a thing as a division between sacred and profane. To begin to practice, you must first give in to the Dharma completely. This is accomplished by doing prostrations, a process of complete surrender, of definite commitment. I don't think anyone can begin Vajrayana practice without that. "Chogyam Trungpa.
"Generally speaking, the first practices (refuge and prostrations, Vajrasattva and mandala offering) clear away obscurations and gather the two accumulations. The guru yoga gives you great faith in your guru which leads to your receipt of his blessing and attainment of mahamudra". Kalu Rinpoche.