In the vision, the huge mountain behind Virupa was covered with his body: he said 'this earth belongs to me' and then gave the full Lam Dre teaching and many other pith instructions to Kunga Nyingpo. And so, in this way, the great Lama Sakyapa Kunga Nyingpo became the owner of all the Buddha's teachings. Kunga Nyingpo gave these teaching to his sons and many of his disciples, and it has continued up to the present day. This is a very brief history of how the Lam Dre teaching was started.
The Lam Dre teaching is very profound and very vast. Though it is one teaching, it can be practised in many different ways. Those destined to follow the gradual path will start first with the Hinayana path and then continue with the Mahayana and Vajrayana. Others may be able to follow the direct path due to circumstances related to their state of mind and their karmic connections. So for this reason there are many different ways to present the Lam Dre teaching to disciples. The common way is to combine the whole of the Lam Dre teachings into two parts: the preliminary part and the main part.
At one point during these eighteen years he became ill and actually forgot many of the teachings, because at that time there was yet no written text. Because it was a strictly oral teaching he was very worried because his guru had already passed away. At that time, tantra was practiced secretly in the high mountains or in the great forests; it was not commonly given. He thought that even if he went to India it would be very difficult to find such a teaching. So he prayed, and in a dream, the guru Zhangton Chobar, came to him and gave teachings. In this way Kunga Nyingpo remembered a lot of what he had forgotten. A second time after praying in his meditation cell the Guru Zhangton Chobar came and gave teachings, and he was able to remember the greatest part of the teachings. A third time after praying, the great mahasiddha, the guru Virupa, founder of Lam Dre teaching who received the teaching directly from the deity, appeared in the Sakya mountains.
In the Lam Dre, as in all Buddhist traditions, the very first point- the preliminary practice of all the paths, the root of all dharma and the foundation of all vows is to take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. The practice of Refuge differentiates Buddhist practitioners from practitioners of other religions. The first meditations of the preliminary part divide taking refuge into three sections: