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RJacobson: Medicine Buddha

To: alt.magick.tyagi,talk.religion.misc
From: (mordred)
Subject: RJacobson: Medicine Buddha
Date: 21 Mar 1995 10:12:28 -0800

[from alt.zen: (Robert B Jacobson)]

In article <3jii2i$>,   wrote:
>what is a 'Medicine Buddha'?  from where does this term originate?

Medicine Buddha is also known as the Healing Buddha.  The focus of the 
kriyatantra practice of Medicine Buddha is physical suffering, of old 
age, sickness and death.  Integral to this practice, as taught by Tibetan 
masters, is tong.len, the practice of taking and giving.  One visualizes 
that the physical suffering of another is 'breathed in' in the form of 
black smoke, imagining that one is absorbing the illness of another.  
The black smoke travells on the channels to a blue dhih at your heart.  
When exhaling, one imagines sending much white light from the heart 
center to the other person, thereby healing them of their illness.

The Tibetan name for Medicine Buddha is Mangyi-la Bendurya O Gyi 
Gyalpo-la (I'm not completely sure of the spelling right now).  I've 
received this initiation twice, most recently in 1991 from Geshe 
Khenrab.  It is particularly good to do when someone is either sick or 
has died.  (My brother-in-law was killed about a month ago and I have 
done the sadhana of Medicine Buddha every day since then and dedicated 
the merit to his attaining a precious human rebirth, quickly meeting with 
the dharma and reaching liberation in his next life.)

Medicine Buddha's body is blue, the color and nature of lapis lazuli, 
deeply colorerd and very smooth.  He sits with his right hand on his 
right knee, palm outward in the mudra of giving realizations (thumb and 
index finger together, other fingers extended).  He has his left hand in 
his lap, holding a begging bowl filled with medicine and nectar to heal 
others of their illnesses.  

One little thing that I've noticed in doing this practice is that I 
sometimes tend to take on the symptoms of the other's illness.  One time 
a friend had an excruciating headache and I recited the mantra to myself 
and performed tong.len.  After a while, his headache subsided, but I 
developed one!  My cat (who meditates with me) has been bothered by ear 
mites, so when we meditate, I breath in black smoke from his itching ears 
and breath white light to him.  After a while, I notice that my ears 
start to itch!!  I realize that this is most likely not actually my 
absorbing their sickness, but my own mind trying to similate the act of 
taking their illness on myself. :)

An aside:

The Land of Medicine Buddha is a retreat center in Soquel, CA (outside 
San Francisco) that is a part of the Foundation for the Preservation of 
the Mahayana Tradition.  It is located next to the Vajrapani Center, 
which is the central office for FPMT.  

Be well!


Bob Jacobson              | May all living beings have happiness;  | May they be free from suffering;
The University of Montana | May they have happiness without suffering
Missoula, MT  59812       | And live in equanimity without anger or clinging.

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