In this book Ponlob Rinpoche charts the course of the nine practices known in the Tibetan Bon and Buddhist traditions as Ngondro. Because Ngondro teachings hardly assume any prior knowledge, they are suitable for introducing Buddhist practices in general, as well as some key concepts of the underlying world view. For instance, before a meditation session a practitioner performs the three Ngondro practices known as Guru-Yoga, Refuge, and Bodhichitta. In this book one finds an orderly and detailed explanation of what these practices mean, as well as practical instruction on how to perform them. Ngondro (literally: "that which goes before") is, firstly, a preliminary. The role of the nine practices is to purify the mind in preparation for higher practices - in this case Dzogchen - like cleaning a cup before pouring fresh milk into it. Second, Ngondro is also the foundation for more advanced practices. Skipping it is like trying to jump to the top of a building instead of using the stairs. Unless one takes the stairs of Ngondro one by one, one's Dzogchen practice will not become stable and beneficial. Third, even a practitioner who has come to Dzogchen after climbing the stairs of Ngondro still needs it as a support. One's Dzogchen practice may fail to progress and become stagnated; practicing Ngondro is the remedy to this. As Rinpoche puts it, thinking to oneself "I have been practicing Dzogchen for a long time. I hold a high view. I've done Ngondro practice already" is misguided. Both Ngondro and Dzogchen are indispensable, like the two wings of a bird.