Buddha of Compassion
Tibetan Medicine
Prayer WheelsPrayer Flags
Distant Healing
Spiritual Technology




Tibetan Buddhist tools for awakening also promote relaxation and healing. In traditional Tibetan culture, practicing meditation and working (or playing) with prayer wheels, incense, chants, and prayer flags all are used together with Tibetan medicine. These days, however, finding a Tibetan physician is a little difficult even for the Tibetans, except for those who are lucky enough to be living in the refugee community in Dharamsala, India. These complementary methods, though, require no training in Buddhist theory and little practical instruction, and the equipment required is inexpensive and available by mail. 

Meditation is especially simple -- you probably have 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 these methods, and this page gives resources for aquiring the tools and learning to use them. The real learning, though,  and the benefits, come from practicing. The more you practice, the more you learn. It's very simple.

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

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Buddhism offers many different types of meditation to help individuals move toward the goal of awakening, and some of them are are considered especially useful for people interested in promoting healing for themselves or for others. We've developed a set of pages devoted to healing practices that are suitable for beginners:

Tibetan Healing Meditation

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

For some of us, especially those who have problems related to stress and alienation, finding a meditation practice that is easy for Western people to connect to in a genuine and whole hearted way may be the best approach, even if it is not traditionally considered to be an especially healing meditation. Two approaches come to mind as having inspired very many Western students, both of them created especially for Western people by highly accomplished lamas. 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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The Lama's Chant: Songs of Awakening

Lama Gyurme and Jean-Philippe Rykiel
Tibetan sacred chants with Western instrumental accompanyment. The combination is very soothing for some people. Others may find it too soothing. 

CD Sony SK 62591 
Order online from Pentagon

HEALING MEDITATION ($15.98 US) CD 00901 Aquarius! International Music 
The original soundtrack from the film The Knowledge of Healing (see also the book The Knowledge of Healing, Snow Lion, 1998) 

The prayers and Mantras of the Tibetans have played a very important role in their medicine for centuries. They are used in the healing of so-called "wind energy" sicknesses, and - as can be experienced in the film - they accompany various forms of therapy such as moxabustion. According to H.H. the Dalai Lama, for devout Buddhists they also reinforce the effects of medications by promoting self healing. The calming sound of this CD are ideal for creating an atmosphere of meditation relaxation. The CD is filled with mantras, prayers, pujas and traditional instruments of Tibetan Doctors, Nuns and Monks. 

The Meaning of the Mantra
explanations of the prayer (mantra) 
Om Mani Padme Hung

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The Prayer Wheel
Tibetan prayer wheel is a device for spreading spiritual blessings and well being. Rolls of thin paper, imprinted with many, many copies of the mantra (prayer) Om Mani Padme Hum, printed in an ancient Indian script or in Tibetan script, are wound around an axle in a protective container, and spun around and around. 

Tibetan Buddhists believe that saying this mantra, out loud or silently to oneself, invokes the powerfully benign attention and blessings of Chenrezi, the embodiment of compassion. Spinning the written form of the mantra around in a prayer wheel is said to have the same effect, and including many copies of the mantra multiplies the benefit.

The Benefits of Prayer Wheels

A short teaching by Lama Zopa, Rinpoche: "Just touching and turning a prayer wheel brings incredible purification and accumulates unbelievable merit." 

"One idea I have is to use them for healing. Anyone with a disease such as AIDS or cancer, whether or not they have any understanding of Dharma, can use the prayer wheel for meditation and healing."

This page has several images of Tibetan people using prayer wheels.

The Meaning of the Mantra
explanations of the prayer (mantra) 
Om Mani Padme Hung

Digital Prayer Wheels

Turn your hard drive into a prayer wheel

Prayer wheels generated by Javascript

Prayer wheels as animated GIF images

Download a prayer-wheel screen saver

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Tibetans have an age-old tradition of printing prayers from hand-carved wood blocks onto colored squares of cotton. These flags are then strung together and hung at mountain passes, over homes and temples, or anywhere the wind will blow their prayers to the universe, to appease the local spirit powers and grant the wishes of the person who hung the flags. (The most fervent wish of nearly all Tibetans is that every being of any sort, in whatever realms of existence they may reside, should be happy and free from suffering, and that the individual making the wish should have the good fortune to be allowed to assist in the liberation of all beings, without exception.) It is said that hanging prayer flags is certain to yield greater peace, happiness, and health for oneself, for ones loved ones and neighbors, for strangers in the area, and even for ones enemies. 

The Power of Windhorse

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

Prayer Flags and Auspicious Days


 Prayer flags at the Bodnath stupa
Radiant Heart Prayer Flags Pages


Chagdud Gonpa Foundation
Radiant Heart Prayer Flags Pages
Snow Lion

PRAYER FLAGS from Snow Lion

Windhorse detail

TIBETAN NUNS PRAYER FLAGS: Support Tibetan Nuns. This is a set of traditional prayer flags in the five colors with Windhorse and the four symbolic animals from the Shambhala teachings (Tiger, Lion, Garuda and Dragon) together with mantras for Vajra Guru (Padmasambhava), Chenrezig, Kalachakra, Mahakala and many others. The flags are pre-strung for easy hanging. The Tibetan nuns of Lobsering, India have made these and will receive payment for them as they sell. The purchase of one set of 5 flags will feed a nun for a month. $12

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Incense can be ordered on line from
Feng Shui Emporium - Snow Lion - Tibetan Incense Company

The following three brands of medicinal incense all have essentially the same 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 have allergic reactions to ordinary incense.

TARA HEALING INCENSE: Tara healing incense has been used for centuries. It is prepared according to the Tibetan medical system with 33 different pure & rare natural herbs.

AGAR 31 HERBAL INCENSE: made by Dr. Dolkar. Contains all the thirty-one herbal & mineral ingredients essential for reducing stress created by the different "wind" disorders. Basically the same formula as Tara incense, but better quality. 

NIRVANA BRAND: aroma-therapeutic incense. Prepared by T.J. Tsarong and Himalayan Herbal Co. of Gangtok, Sikkim.. 

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Tibetan Medicine Home Page

Tibetan Medicine Resources
Books, Videos, Web Sites, Training Programs

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Many Tibetan lamas of all traditions will perform special spiritual practices (pujas) for the benefit of individuals who are ill or recently deceased. A donation is appropriate to cover the cost of the materials (incense, etc.) used in the practice. Additional funds to support the work of the lamas are always welcome; Tibetans believe that such gifts add to the effectiveness of the blessing ceremony.

Tibetan Buddhist Centers

Healing Buddha Foundation is a very good example of this type of practice. On their Web site they have a page devoted to offering "special pujas and distant healing for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike who are experiencing all types of difficulties - physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual."

Special Pujas and Distant Healing

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Working with the Invisible

Prayer Flags, Mani Stones, and Prayer Wheels;
Stupas, Shrines, and Feng-Shui

Keys to a Hidden World

Intuition, Synchronicity, Auspicious Coincidence;
Oracles and Divination

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Living and Dying: A Buddhist Perspective

by Carol S. Hyman

"If we learn to let go into uncertainty, to trust that our basic nature and that of the world are not different, then the fact that things are not solid and fixed becomes, rather than a threat, a liberating opportunity. Then we are free to savor what life offers, to taste the texture of each moment fully, whether the moment is one of sadness or joy."

Dying Without Shame; Dying Without Panic

Excessive fear of death distorts lives, and seems to be responsible for many of the more bizarre and inhumane excesses of our American medical system. In our search for sustainable, effective, respectful health care practices, ideas that could contribute to a sane and compassionate integrated health care system, we've found nothing as simple, basic, workable and cost effective as coming to terms with death and the process of dying -- something we can do as individuals, as families, as communities and as a culture.

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Last updated December 15, 2000

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