Lama Sangye will explain all the details and visualizations of these three fundamental practices and teach us several possible texts to choose from that we can recite for each practice. These are three of the nine practices that Bönpos accumulate 100000 times each. The teachings form part of a series of three weekends in which the whole set of nine ngondro practices will be taught in Yeshe Sal Ling.
Ngöndro is the set of ``preliminary practices'' by which the practitioner enters the path of Bön. It is the foundation for all practices.
Guru Yoga and Refuge serve to forge a connection to the tradition and the lineage and to the Lama, and to establish trust and confidence. Bodhicitta, or, generating the mind of enlightenment, means training ourselves in compassion, which is a necessary motivation for practice. Unless we are convinced that our practice is absolutely needed to help others, we will not have the stamina to overcome the obstacles on the path.
Another important point, which Lama Sangye frequenly stresses, is, that progress in the higher practices, like Dzogchen, will never become stable if we have not laid a base with ngöndro. It is possible for an absolute beginner to start with Dzogchen practice immediately, but progress will be unreliable and unstable. It is like constructing a tall building: the higher you want to build, the stronger the foundation has to be.