What does “preliminary practice” of Tibetan Buddhism mean? It means preparatory practice. Despite the fact that ultimately we need to attain the wisdom of emptiness, without laying a solid foundation of cultivating renunciation and bodhicitta, we are not able to realise emptiness.
Practice is to train our mind.Through training and practice the human mind can be transformed. A selfish mind can be transformed into a selfless mind that does everything to benefit all sentient beings. All of this depends on one’s continuous efforts. Without effort, no one can become such a person.
The reason to practice dharma is to face, to control and to remove the afflictions. This is the mission and goal of Buddhists. To measure whether a Buddhist is good or bad, it is not to see who can recite more mantras or who has accumulated more merits, even it is not to see who is wealthier, healthier or having smooth progress in work. However, it is rather too see how much of afflictions that one has been diminished.
Life and death are critically important to everyone because they are destiny. No one can reject or avoid suffering associated with birth, aging, sickness, death and real life. Mustering up enough courage to face it is the only way.