Good Fortune From the Pemakochung Monastery
ཕེབས་པར་དགའ་བསུ་ཞུ། (good fortune), my name is Dainin Daeshim and I am a male Tibetan doctor living in the Pemakochung monastery. I grew up in Kathmandu (just outside of Tibet) to two laborers part of the laity. They raised me with the Mahayana philosophical movement (the greater vehicle) that proclaimed the possibility of universal salvation and the idea of offering assistance to practitioners in the form of considerate beings called bodhisattvas. They strongly supported the goal of this school of Buddhist thought since it opened up the opportunity of Buddhahood to all sentient beings. All could aspire to be him and this included my laborer parents.
Once the University of Tibet was formally established in 1985, my parents sent me off on what became my extensive academic adventure. While at the University of Tibet, I learned Tibetan Medicine, which was brought from India to Tibet. I was taught the three classifications of sickness: thoroughly established diseases (including genetic disorder, birth defects and so on), sickness that arises from other conditions (including imbalances in the body) and imaginary diseases (including psychosomatic illnesses and sicknesses Tibetans view as being caused by damaging forces). I was also taught to examine the body in terms of equilibrium of either five elements or of three humors (the fives elements being earth, water, fire, wind and space, and the three humors being wind, bile and phlegm).
While I was surrounded by Tibetan culture, I became extremely fascinated by Tibetan art and architecture (more specifically, with Mandalas and Viharas). I came to understand that Mandalas are one of the most distinguishing creations of Tibetan Buddhism. They are maps of a divine temple, the purpose of which is to help Buddhist believers focus their attentiveness through mediation and follow the path to the central image of the Buddha. The immaculate colors and map of the mind became a wonder to me. Likewise, I was completely enthralled by the enchanted monasteries surrounding the University. On my free time, I spoke to Lamas about the diverse architecture of monasteries and discovered a particular form called Vihara. This is an early type of Buddhist monastery, consisting of an open courtyard surrounded by open chambers accessible through an entrance porch. They were originally created to shelter the monks during the rainy season. Also, Viharas were often excavated into the rock cliffs. For all of these reasons, I desired to continue my stay at the Tibet University to study Tibetan art and architecture.
After I received my primary skill in Tibetan Medicine and my two secondary skills in Tibetan art and architecture, a monk in the nearby area of Pemakochung came to seek my assistance. He required my aid in building a Vihara monastery in the mountains of the Pemakochung area. Furthermore, he required Tibetan Buddhist art to fill the interior of the monastery. I, along with other builders and artists, took this opportunity to help the essential Sangha. During this lengthy process, spanning a time period of many years, I came to really appreciate the life of an ascetic (a practice of austerity particular to the pursuit of spiritual objectives) and wondered what could be possible if I ventured to live my life in such a way. Once the Pemakochung monastery was complete, I vowed to the Sangha to develop my skills in silence and renounce worldly possessions. Here I am today, living among the Sangha in the Pemakochung monastery.
I am writing you today because of the rumors of an upcoming terrible hailstorm that have been circulating in our village. Living in a Vihara monastery excavated into the mountain cliffs, I am not in need of protective amulets or hailstorm rituals. However, I am preparing Tibetan herbs and minerals for medicine to help everyone in the community in case of the worse. The taking of medicines is the primary treatment in Tibetan medicine. To diagnose possible sickness, please travel to Pemakochung monastery for a visual examination and an examination of the pulse. Please keep in mind that the visual examination includes the tongue and the urine. I will need to look at the first urine of the morning and examine its color and formation of bubbles. I also want to remind the village that even in times of distress, we should all keep a positive attitude. Our attitude most certainly affects our immune system, especially when it involves imaginary diseases. I have heard that the Sangha (here at the Pemakochung monastery) will complete a ritual for the village after the hailstorm has subsided. Their hopes are to strengthen the immune system by giving the feeling that everyone is being supported. If you can make your way to the monastery, this may be beneficial to improve your spirit and your overall health.
Before I leave to complete these tasks, I must remind you of Karma. I will do my best to be of aid but if one has not developed the karmic forces to be treated of a sickness, nothing is going to help.
གཟུགས་པོ་བདེ་ཐང་། (good health)