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Spiritual Healing in Buddhist Tibet

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  • Buddha of Compassion

    Spiritual Healing in Buddhist Tibet

    Tools for Healing, Relaxing and Awakening

    introduction meditation mantraprayer wheels prayer flags stupas

    herbal medicine incensedistant healing dying credits

    Tibetan Pages Directory

    Tibetan Healing Meditation

    Tibetan Buddhist CentersTibetan Buddhism Resources

    Tibetan Medicine Resources

    Dharma Haven Home Page

    IntroductionBefore the communist takeover, Tibet was a Buddhist country, andTibetan Buddhist culture still survives somewhat in some of theneighboring countries like Bhutan and Nepal, and in refugeecommunities in India and in the West.Buddhism is very practical. All of the Dharma is based on Buddha'sdiscovery that suffering is unnecessary: Like a disease, once we reallyface the fact that suffering exists, we can look more deeply anddiscover it's cause; and when we discover that the cause is dependenton certain conditions, we can explore the possibility of removing

  • those conditions. Buddha taught many methods for doing that, and theTibetans have preserved and refined many of them over the centuries.The spiritual and psychological entanglements that lead to sufferingalso can result in illness of all sorts. Many Tibetan Buddhist methodsand tools for awakening, for removing those entanglements, alsopromote relaxation and healing. In traditional Tibetan culture,practicing meditation and using prayer wheels, incense, prayer flagsand other methods all work together with Tibetan herbal medicine inhealing illness and maintaining health.You can use this page as a way of learning more about Tibetanculture, or you can actually try out some of the techniques to see ifthey might be useful in improving your own health. These methods ofspiritual healing require no training in Buddhist theory and littlepractical instruction, and the equipment required is inexpensive andavailable by mail. Meditation is especially simple -- you probablyhave the necessary equipment already: A human body, awareness,some emotional energies, and an environment are about all you need. You do need a little basic instruction to get started, with any of thesemethods, and this page will lead you to resources for acquiring thetools and learning to use them. The real learning, though, and thebenefits, come from practicing. The more you practice, the more youlearn. It's very simple.

    "Just do it!" -- Chgyam Trungpa, Rinpoche

    There's one book I'd like to mention, because it presents a fairlybalanced overview of the various healing traditions of Tibet:

    Tibetan Healing: The Modern Legacy of Medicine BuddhaPeter Fenton

  • Full of stories and interviews, illustrated withphotos, charts, and drawings, it offers aglimpse of all the many facets of healing thatwere integrated in traditional Tibetan culture.Exploring physical, psychological and spiritualaspects of healing, Fenton includes topics likehealing sounds and symbols, and shamanichealing and divination, which are rarelyaddressed in books on Tibetan medicine.

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    Meditation PracticeBuddhism offers many different types of meditation to helpindividuals move toward the goal of awakening, and some of them areare considered especially useful for people interested in promotinghealing for themselves or for others. We've developed a set of pagesdevoted to healing practices that are suitable for beginners:

    Tibetan Healing Meditation

    The meditations included are the basic mindfulness/awarenesspractice (sitting practice), tonglen, and Chenrezig, Green Tara, andMedicine Buddha visualization practices.

    Medicine Buddha Resources

    For some of us, especially those who have problems related to stressand alienation, finding a meditation practice that is easy for Westernpeople to connect to in a genuine and whole hearted way may be thebest approach, even if it is not traditionally considered to be ameditation especially connected with health and healing. Twoapproaches come to mind that have inspired very many students; bothof them were created especially for Western people by respectedlamas. To learn more about them, take a look at these pages:

    The Ancient Wisdom of Shambhala

  • Karmapa's Gift: Meditations for Western Students

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    Tibetan Medicine

    Tibetan Medicine Resources

    Tibetan Medical Clinics and Pharmacies

    This page includes a section on herbal Self-Help Preparations

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    Prayer Wheels

    Spinning the written form of the mantra around in aMani wheel (prayer wheel) is also believed to give thesame benefit as saying the mantra, and Mani wheels,small hand wheels and large wheels with millions ofcopies of the mantra inside, are found everywhere inthe lands influenced by Tibetan Buddhism. Here's a

    page about Mani wheels:The Prayer Wheel: Spiritual Technology from Tibet

    If you go look at it, lots of copies of the mantra will be spinningaround on the hard drive of your computer while you read it.

  • The Prayer Wheel

    Tibetan prayer wheel is a device for spreading spiritual blessingsand well being. Rolls of thin paper, imprinted withmany, many copies of the mantra (prayer) Om ManiPadme Hum, printed in an ancient Indian script or inTibetan script, are wound around an axle in aprotective container, and spun around and around. Tibetan Buddhists believe that saying this mantra,out loud or silently to oneself, invokes thepowerfully benign attention and blessings ofChenrezig, the embodiment of compassion. Spinningthe written form of the mantra around in a prayer

    wheel is said to have the same effect, and including many copiesof the mantra multiplies the benefit.

    The Benefits of Prayer Wheels

    A short teaching by Lama Zopa, Rinpoche: "Just touching andturning a prayer wheel brings incredible purification andaccumulates unbelievable merit." "One idea I have is to use them for healing. Anyone with a diseasesuch as AIDS or cancer, whether or not they have anyunderstanding of Dharma, can use the prayer wheel for meditationand healing."

    The Meaning of the Mantra explanations of the prayer (mantra)

    Om Mani Padme Hung

    Digital Prayer Wheels

    Turn your hard drive into a prayer wheelPrayer wheels generated by JavascriptPrayer wheels as animated GIF imagesDownload a prayer-wheel screen saver

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    Prayer FlagsTibetans have an age-oldtradition of printing prayersfrom hand-carved woodblocks onto colored squaresof cotton. These flags arethen strung together andhung at mountain passes,over homes and temples, oranywhere the wind will blowtheir prayers to the universe,

    to appease the local spirit powers and grant the wishes of theperson who hung the flags. (The most fervent wish of nearly allTibetans is that every being of any sort, in whatever realms ofexistence they may reside, should behappy and free from suffering, and thatthe individual making the wish shouldhave the good fortune to be allowed toassist in the liberation of all beings,without exception.) It is said that hangingprayer flags is certain to yield greaterpeace, happiness, and health for oneself,for ones loved ones and neighbors, forstrangers in the area, and even for ones enemies.

    The Power of Windhorseby Khenpo Konchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche

    "Due to the compassionate intention of those who create and thosewho hang the flags, and the movement of the wind itself, theblessings of the prayers are carried throughout all realms,pervading the minds of beings with peace and well-being."

  • Prayer Flags and Auspicious Days

    Ordering Prayer Flags

    Chagdud Gonpa FoundationDharmashop.com

    Radiant Heart Prayer FlagsSnow Lion

    Many more sources -- search for "prayer flags"

    BooksTibetan Prayer Flags: Send Your Blessings on the Breeze

    by Diane Barker,Blessings on the Wind

    by Tad Wise

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    MantraThis is Om Mani Padme Hum, thefamous mantra of Chenrezig, written inTibetan script. It is said that all theteachings of the Buddha are contained inthis mantra. Tibetan Buddhists believethat saying the mantra (prayer), out loud

    or silently to oneself, invokes his powerful benevolent attention.Viewing the written form of the mantra is said to have the sameeffect, and it is often carved into stones, placed where people can seethem.

    Tibetan Healing MeditationIncludes mantras and visualization practices for

  • Chenrezig, Green Tara, and Medicine Buddha

    The Meaning of the MantraExplanations of the prayer (mantra)

    Om Mani Padme Hung

    Mani Graphics: Symbols of Awakening Images of the mantra

    Human Voice Mantras by Peter Fenton"Mantras are also among the most ancient healing techniques. One veryimportant use of mantra for healers is in invoking the Medicine Buddhato bless medicines or produce other healing effects. Mantras are alsodedicated to healing specific illnesses or to bring about specific resultssuch as long life, clearing obstacles from one's life path, spirituallypurifying food and offerings, and so on."

    RecordingsFour Gates Tibetan Chants and Music

    Songs Of Awakening/Roads Of Blessings Mantras sung by Tibetan Monk Lama Gyurme, combined with musicplayed by French keyboard wizard Jean-Philippe Rykiel.

    Try searching amazon.com or another online source of music for"Tibetan chants".

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  • Healing IncenseHealing incense can be ordered on line. Search for

    "tibetan healing incense"

    These incenses are also available from Tibetan handicrafts stores.The following three brands of medicinal incense all have essentially thesame formula. They are effective for symptomatic relief from stress,depression and tension, headache, and asthma, and are totally natural,safe, non-toxic and non-habit-forming. Used by many people who havealle

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