Preliminaries (sngon 'gro).
The general outer preliminaries are the Four Mind Changings: reflections on precious human body, impermanence and death, cause and effect of karma, and the shortcomings of samsaric existence. The special inner preliminaries are the Four Times Hundred Thousand Practices of refuge and bodhichitta, Vajrasattva recitation, mandala offering, and guru yoga. See Torch of Certainty (Shambhala Publications), and The Great Gate (Rangjung Yeshe Publications). [RY]