According to the dharma, the methods a practitioner and a commoner use to address a problem are different. However, our dharma study tends to have only literal comprehension without putting it into practice, thus we only have accumulated merit of listening to the dharma and lack actual effect of the dharma. When facing layers of grave pressure of life, we act similarly to non-Buddhists. Therefore, we need progress and develop in this respect.
One needs to make a strenuous effort in the Ngöndro Practices, it may take three or five years, or even longer. One should not hasten to seek results. The process is vital, one needs to engage in solid practice methodically. Some of Patrul Rinpoche’s students had practiced Ngöndro over ten or twenty times, eventually all of them attained enlightenment. We need to meet all criteria of attaining enlightenment through practicing Ngöndro. Our mind is so turbulent and our defilements are so severe, without the power of Ngöndro, it’s impossible for us to attain enlightenment.
Concerning violating precepts, there are twofold problems, one is violating precepts, the other is not confessing. The Buddha expounded in the sutras and shastras of the Shravakayana that two kinds of people are worth praising: those who observe pure precepts and those who are willing to confess. This applies to any precepts.
In both Mahayana abhidharma and Sarvāstivāda’s abhidharmakosa, the term used for our negative emotions is kleśa or defilement, and different kinds of defilement have been clearly classified. Even in psychology and medicine, there are not nearly as many terms to describe the various aspects of negative emotions. However, no matter how it is classified, the origin of all defilement is ignorance.