Thursday, October 1, 2009

Aku Nyima is coming to the United States!

Pictured to the left is Aku Nyima, who is the most famous doctor in Amdo, and is possibly the most senior doctor living today in Tibet. Aku Nyima started studying medicine when he was 13, and he is 78 today; this means he has an astounding total of 65 years of experience with Tibetan Medicine.

The Explantory Tantra explains in chapter 31, The Activities of a Physician:
[Someone] of good family, intelligent, committed, expert in the meaning of the texts, hitting the points of the intimate instructions, well practiced, primarily concerned with Dharma, avoids desires, disciplined, expert in technical arts, with great thoughts of loving kindness, not lazy, thinks of others benefit as his own benefit and unconfused regarding all treatments is the best doctor. The sole protector of living beings who are ill, the lineage holder of the rishis and vidyadharas, is said to be an emanation of the King of Life-Giving Physicians.

Aku Nyima is exactly this sort of physician, and we are gifted to have such masters of healing with us today in the world. He is the very expression of humility and kindness. He donates his entire salary to the maintenance of his small monastery in Amdo. He sees patients constantly, and never seems to tire of seeing them. He leads students on medicine plant identification tours several times over the summer months, and in general leads a life of service to others which any one who aspires to be any kind of healer should emulate. He is actively interested in learning more about medicine, and is keen to restore advanced surgical methods to the corpus of Tibetan Medicine. In short, he is one of the very few pure masters of Tibetan Medicine left alive in the world today.

In the photo above, Aku Nyima is pictured on the last day of bestowing the reading transmission for the rgyud bzhi. This reading transmission (lung) took place over the three months that we were in Amdo last summer. There are very few doctors alive today in Tibet who are qualified to bestow this transmission, and we were very fortunate that Gen Phuntsog Wangmo arranged for us to receive this transmission from Aku Nyima. We are more fortunate in that this lung is given very infrequently, and many Tibetan Doctors in Tibet do not have the fortune of having the complete reading transmission of the Four Tantras.

Even more to the point, there are very, very few westerners who have received this reading transmission in its entirety, and those of us who attended this event are, at this point, the majority of them. As Gen Phuntsog pointed out recently, we are fortunate in that we have the lineage of instruction, from her; the lineage of the reading transmission from Aku Nyima, and the lineage of empowerment from Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and other masters that from whom we have received Medicine Buddha empowerments, initiations and other Vajrayana transmissions specifically related to the Yuthok Lineage of Tibetan Medicine. So hopefully, with the birth of trained Doctors of Tibetan Medicine in the United States, we will be able to follow the footsteps of such masters as Aku Nyima.

Aku Nyima is coming to attend our Shang Shung graduation ceremony (yes, another one), which will take place on October 17th, at 10:00 am on the grounds of Amherst College at Plano Hall. He will also be giving a public talk in Amherst on Friday the 16th. Not only is Aku Nyima coming, but also Gen Lusham Gyal, the Dean of the Qinghai Tibetan Medical College, Dr. Thubten Phuntsog, who is presently in residence at the University of Virginia, Dr. Lobsang Tenzin, Gen Konchog, Gyaltsen, Gen Yanga, and others.


Anonymous said...

Cool! :) What a precious visit from this doctor.

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