Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Medical college in Labrang

There are a few important colleges besides temples within the Labrang monastery complexes. Here monks study for years about the body and medicinal plants from ancient sutra writings. They learn how to identify them in the wild, how to collect and prepare them for use. They do incorporate ancient Bon practices of 'voodoo' for healing. There is a college for the study of tantric practices, this is where they learn about magical arts and other 'voodoo' practices. In fact, the French explorer, Alexandra Neel-David is said to know a lot about the tantric art and magical practices of Bon Buddhism and has threatened bandits with it while on her secret trip to Lhasa. Our guide the English speaking monk told us that spoken Tibetan is easy but the written word is very difficult. The first king of Tibetan, Tsangsen Gampo sent people to India to come up with a written Tibetan script. Today the Tibetan script still survives. I've sent the word out that I'm looking for a Tibetan instructor. I recently learnt that we have a small Tibetan community in Southern California who were refugees of the Chinese invasion of Tibet.

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