The Preliminary Practices


The Refuge Field of the Tukdrub Barché Kunsel


Samye Institute rejoices in your commitment to Ngöndro practice (the Four Foundations)! Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, the grandfather of Phakchok Rinpoche, said that the “essence of all the sūtras and tantras were condensed into four things to think of, the four mind changings, and four things to practice, the preliminaries of four times one hundred thousand (ngöndro)”.

We’ve designed this practice companion to support you in every step of your training in the Tukdrub Barché Kunsel Ngöndro practices. For practitioners of other traditions, many of the core principles will resonate and support your practice as well. Our resources include free access to Samye Institute’s self-paced Ngöndro course and individual teachings from our Druplas and Khenpos on each element of the common and uncommon preliminaries.

We regularly add video teachings of the extensive Ngöndro that are applicable to anyone engaged in Ngöndro. We encourage all Vajrayana members to repeatedly review the precious instructions on the four mind changings–the reflections that we all can return to on a daily basis for inspiration. In addition, you can “practice along” to the chanted tunes with audio downloads of each of the practices. Moreover, we provide visual supports and aids for your visualization.

The Texts

There are different Ngöndro texts for each Vajrayana cycle. This practice guide is focused on the preliminaries for the Tukdrup Barché Kunsel cycle of the Chokling Tersar.

There are two main liturgies for these practices. The extensive Ngöndro, titled The Seed of Supreme Awakening arranged by Jamyang Khyentsé Wangpo. The concise Ngöndro was arranged by Kyapjé  Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.

You can access these texts from Samye Translations.


In these recordings, Drupla Sonam Tsering recites the liturgies for the extensive and concise Ngöndro practices. You can use these recordings as a companion to your practice to familiarize yourself with the pronunication and melodies of these practices.

The Seed of Supreme Awakening

The Concise Tukdrup Prelminary Practices

Phakchok Rinpoche's Ngöndro Companion

As part of the Vajrayana Membership, you gain access to Phakchok Rinpoche’s course, providing a comprehensive introduction to the Tukdrup Barché Kunsel Ngöndro practices.

We suggest that you take the time to review all these materials before beginning the practices (taking the most time with those you’ll be doing first) to get a reasonable overall understanding. But please remember that understanding is something that grows as we actually practice. Don’t worry too much if it seems complicated or confusing at the beginning. Many practitioners have done these practices in the past, and they all were confused at first… so take heart!

Drupla Sonam Tsering's Teachings on The Seed of Supreme Awakening

Drupla Sonam Tsering has been teaching about the extensive Ngöndro of the Tukdrup Barché Kunsel, The Seed of Supreme Awakening arranged by Jamyang Khyentsé Wangpo.

Resources on the Ngöndro From Your Membership

Here you can find a selection of teachings from the Vajrayana Membership about the Preliminary Practices.

The Foundation
Audio Teaching
Phakchok Rinpoche reminds us about the profound blessings of taking refuge.
18 Mins
The Foundation
Chokling Tersar
Audio Teaching
Why, if Ngöndro practice is the key, is there a need for anything beyond this?
3 Mins
Mahayoga Practices
Chokling Tersar
Audio Teaching
Drupla Sherab Dorje explains the background and history of the Tukdrup Barché Kunsel Ngöndro.
23 Mins
Ground, Path, and Fruition
Audio Teaching
Location: Bhutan
Phakchok Rinpoche advises listeners on the best way to enter the Tibetan Vajrayana path by relying on three pillars to build a strong foundation.
5 Mins
The Foundation
Chokling Tersar
Video Teaching
In this teaching, Khenpo Gyaltsen discusses how the outer preliminary practices are essential for developing a true renunciation for the sufferings of Samsara.
2 Hours
0 Mins
Video Teaching
In this teaching, generously sponsored by Samye's Indonesian Sangha, Drupla Sonam Tsering provides instruction and commentary to the Ngöndro practices of the Tukdrup Barché Künsel.
2 Hours
21 Mins