A quarterly e-newsletter from IATTM July to September 2014 - Volume 4 Issue 3
Dear students and practitioners of the Yuthok tradition,
This is the horse year in the Tibetan calendar, the most auspicious year within the twelve year cycle for Yuthok Nyingthig practitioners. Yuthok himself was born in the year of the horse in 1126.
Also in the horse year, in the month of the monkey, Yuthok give the full transmission of the Yuthok Nyingthig cycle to his heart disciple Sumton Yeshe Zung. Thus, the month of the monkey in the horse year commemorates the anniversery of the Yuthok Nyingthig, and is the most important month in our tradition within the entire twelve year cycle.
This monkey month of the horse year falls from June 28 to July 26, 2014. Because of this auspicious time, it is very important for all who have a connection to the Yuthok Nyingthig lineage to do Ngondro or Outer Guru Yoga practice, either in a group or as a personal retreat. I strongly ask you all to find a way to do a retreat during this time.
Dr. Nida Chenagtsang
Dream Studies. Dr. Nida with Prof Robert Thurman at Menla Mountain Retreat Center, New York State.
Check out more photos in our gallery below!
It is indeed a summer of golden spiritual opportunities! There is a 'Yuthok Nyingthig Retreats" galore here at all IATTM branches around the world. So whether you join us in a group or go on a personal retreat, spiritual awakenings await....
Have an extraordinary, joyful and happy summer.
Sorig News Editor
& IATTM International Ku Nye Teacher
BOOK - PATH TO RAINBOW BODY
Introduction to Yuthok Nyingthig
by Dr.Nida Chenagtsang
with Foreword by Robert Thurman
This book was written in order to give an overview of Yuthok's complete Dharma Cycle to both new and experienced practitioners of the Yuthok Nyingthig.
The practice of Yuthok Nyinthig is the most important spiritual practice for physicians and healing practitioners of Traditional Tibetan Medicine. Yuthok Nyingthig means 'The Innermost Essence of thr Teaching of Yuthok'.
The practice was composed with the intention of imparting a profound and harmonious understanding to doctors, health and allied health care practitioners alonside dharma practitioners, giving them the opportunity to experience the union of medical practice and spiritual practice. A most essential and subtle perception takes place throughout the body, mind and energy by way of the five elements.
The Yuthog Nyingthig practice brings about spiritual progress, good health and longevity for all those who practice it. It must also be mentioned that it enhances diagnostic and therapeutic abilities for physicians, These aspects of the practice are considered the relative goal.
The ultimate goal of the Yuthok Nyinthig practice is geared towards a spiritual growth whereby the practitioner attains a deeper level of perception and experinece on the way to spiritual awakening. The ultimate goal is treading the spiritual path that leads to the Rainbow Body, the highest aspect of spiriutal realization.
On 24-26 June 2014, Dr.Nida Chenagtsang, together with more than 400 yogis and yoginis, as well as TTM students gathered in Rigzin Rabpel Ling, the most precious and blessed of the Rebkong yogi temples for the Great Shitro Ritual.
Originating from the same 14th century revelation that brought the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Shitro is the most important ritual to liberate the deceased, eliminate obstacles for the sick, understand and prepare for our own death, and plant seeds for liberation in the bardo. For practitioners, it liberates from fear and obstacles, brings harmony and awakens our inner potential.
Following are some words from the late Rebkong Ngakpa Lama Tharchin Rinpoche about Shitro practice:
“Shitro helps transform impure energy and increases long life for our teachers because it removes obstacles from damaged samaya in the sangha and purifies defilements that cause obstacles to enlightenment. I pray that we will all reach enlightenment together and that peace and happiness will pervade for all beings."
About the Rebkong Ngakpa Shitro ~
This tradition was initiated by a council of high yogis, led by Alak Andron and the second Namkha Rinpoche in the 1930‘s. In conjunction with the local ruler, all various Ngakpa groups came together every year to join in prayer. It grew to become the largest annual gathering of Tibetan yogis.
This year will be a special occasion, as the Shitro puja will be held at Rigdzin Rabpel Ling for first time after 32 years. After the tradition was broken during the cultural revolution, it was first re-initiated at Rigdzin Rabpel Ling. Since then, it has been held at various other temples in the region, and this will be the first time that Rigdzin Rabpel Ling will again host the event. In honor of this great event, the temple is being renovated to prepare for the 500-800 yogis and yoginis who are expected to attend.
This year will also be a unique milestone, as the female practitioners – known as Ngakmos- are invited to play an equal role in the ceremony for the first time.
YUTHOK NYINGTHIG RETREATS GALORE!!!
Yuthok Nyingthig Ngondro retreat in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
3rd to 9th July
with Jacqueline Yu Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yuthok Nyingthig Outer Guru yoga retreat in Estonia July 5th to 13th This retreat is for everybody who has completed ngondro and has received empowerment and lung for Outer Guru yoga from Dr Nida.
Retreat will start on 5th of July, but it's also possible to join on 7th (then it lasts until 13th).
Retreat will be guided by Viivi Käärma or Anu Rootalu
Congress Motto: SHARING KNOWLEDGE Bouddhanath Stupa: The place of the Congress Opening on Dec. 27
xxx latest Congress-News:Dr. Teinlay P. Trogawa, the highly esteemed Director of the Chagpori Tibetan Medical Institute in Dharamsala/India has confirmed his participationas a speaker and guest of honor. The topic of his presentation: The teachings and the Legacy of Trogawa Rinpoche. The schedule is still growing (& growing) steadily and we will have a very rich and inspiring program with wonderful speakers & presentations (renowned senior doctors and amchis from Nepal, Tibet, India & Bhutan and highly experienced Sowa Rigpa scholars, practitioners and scientists from various countries). I will try my best to "put the whole matter in a nutshell“ and to publish the final schedule with the next "Sorignews“.
xxx International Courses with Dr. Nida in Kathmandu after the Congress Days: -Reading transmission of Yuthok Nyingthig (1 day) -Training course for Medicine Buddha Healing Guide (like Nejang Instructor) (1 day) -more courses with Dr. Nida and other teachers are planned
Dear all friends of Sowa Rigpa,
Most cordial greetings on behalf of the International Congress Organizing Committee. The preparations are going on very well with enthusiasm and the local team of Sorig Khang Nepal (with our Nepalese Coordinator Raj Kumar Shrestha) is doing a great job.
"Sharing Knowledge" with the openness for a sustainable exchange and further cooperation is the inspiring motto of this year´s Congress. Thanks for the great interest shown so far already and the registrations from friends of Sowa Rigpa from all over the world.
Let´s meet all in Kathmandu for the 3rd International Congress on Sowa Rigpa and let´s create this next Congress together with the Nepalese team as days of interdisciplinarity, exchange and friendship in the long and profound tradition of "Sharing Knowledge“ in the field of Sowa Rigpa, for the benefit of all. You are most welcome.
We highly recommend an early registration & travel planning as there will be limited space and a limited number of participants. We look forward with joy to your requests, contributions and registrations.
For more information: http://www.attm-austria.at/congress-2014.html Sincerely yours, Jens Tönnemann (Austria)
Dear scholars and practitioners of Sowa Rigpa, dear all interested people in the field of Sowa Rigpa – Traditional Tibetan Medicine
Under the inspiring motto „Sharing Knowledge“ the 3rd International Congress in Kathmandu invites to an exchange of information and experience and a lively discourse between experts, scholars and TTM practitioners from all over the world.
A cordial invitation on behalf of the International Organizing Committee,
Venue of the TTMIC 2014: Shechen Monastery/Kathmandu
Opening of the TTMIC 2013 in Innsbruck/Austria
Diploma Ceremony during the TTMIC 2013 in Austria
5 – 18 SEPTEMBER 2014
TEACHINGS WITH DR NIDA CHENAGTSANG
IN MENLA LING FRANCE
“Garden of the Medicine Buddha”
45 rue Alfred de Musset - 27640 BREUILPONT
Located in a sanctuary of natural life in the Eure valley, near Paris, MENLA LING Centre is dedicated to the transmission of Tibetan Medicine and its spiritual teaching. This full path aims at the
ultimate healing of all suffering and through the practice of Guru Yoga, reveals the mind to its true
nature. This is "The Secret Path of the Rainbow body" of Yuthok Nyingthig transmitted in MENLA LING since 2008 by Dr. Nida Chenagtsang.
To fully benefit from the energy transmission that you will receive, MENLA LING can house you so long as there are available places. Since its creation, MENLA LING received the blessings of several
masters and we regularly offer practices and retreats. We have released more than a hundred thousand animals and adopted a vegetarian and environmentally responsible lifestyle in respect to all lifeforms.
MENLA LING exists thanks to the dedication of the team of volunteers that strive to bring the best
possible conditions for a stay adapted to the transmissions and meditation lessons. All the potential profits resulting from these activities are assigned to the maintenance and improvement of our
Program : 5 sept. -Empowerment and transmission of Yuthok Nyingthig / Commitment to completing a Preliminary retreat of 7 days (Ngondro). 6 sept. - Teachings on the Preliminaries of the secret path of the rainbow body (Yuthok Nyingthig Ngondro). 7 sept. - The 4 Guru Yogas of Yuthok Nyingthig / Commitment of completing a 7-day retreat
for each of the 4 Guru Yogas. 8 – 14 sept. - Outer Guru Yoga retreat / Recommended for people who have received prior
transmission and commitment to a later retreat of Preliminaries (Ngondro) if it has not already been done. This closed retreat has to be completed in full during the whole period (7 days). All participants have to reside in Menla Ling. Number of accomodation limited. 16 - 18 sept. - Tummo Teachings / Tummo is one of the advanced practices of the Six Yogas in Vajrayana. The Divine Fire of Tummo at Perfection’s stage purifies the channels and the energies that it transforms into the deity’s body. This teaching includes transmission and explanations as well as instructions for the dark-retreat..
Dr. Nida will be teaching in English. Live translations will be in French and Spanish
Function: Heals stomach ulcers, colic, gastritis, abdominal pain. Acts as a general pain releiver and against vomiting.
THE TREES OF TIBETAN MEDICINE by Dr Maria Locsei
~ article from TTM JOURNAL ISSUE 5, SEM DE - The Happy MInd
The Trees of Tibetan Medicine
The arboreal metaphor commonly known as the Trees of Tibetan Medicine, or - more poetically - ‘The Trees that Transcend Sorrow’, functions as both a summary as well as a detailed and methodical learning device whereby the core content of Tibetan medical knowledge is portrayed in the form of branching trees.
There are four Trees which are most commonly depicted: The Tree of the Four Tantras
This metaphorical tree gives an overview of the structure and content of the work known as the Four Tantras (Tib. rgyud bzhi). The rGyud bzhi is the classic Tibetan medicine text credited to have been originally compiled by Yuthok Yonten Gonpo in the eighth century. It consists of four volumes in which the entire corpus of Tibetan medical study is contained, and which continues to form the basis of Tibetan medical knowledge to this day.
In the metaphor of The Tree of the Four Tantras, each tree depicts one of the Tantras (or treatises), the branches denote a specific field of study and individual leaves depict further subdivisions or chapters of study.
The Three Trees (also known as ‘The Three Roots,’ Tib. rtsa wa gsum)
This group of three trees forms an overview of the structure and content of the Root Tantra, which is the first of the Four Tantras. The Root Tantra itself, is a summary or condensation of the most pertinent aspects of the Four Tantras.
In the rGyud bzhi, this arboreal metaphor is first encountered in the third chapter of the Root Tantra, where it is utilised specifically as a teaching device in order to illustrate the overall structure of the Root Tantra.
“Then the sage Yile Kye asked the sage Rigpa Yeshe: “O Master, Sage Rigpa Yeshe, of the four types of Tantra on the science of healing, how may one learn the Root Tantra? May the Healer, King of Physicians, please explain.”
At this, the [Buddha’s mind-emanation] Rigpa Yeshe, replied: O great sage Yile Kye! First I shall elucidate the combined principles of the Root Tantra. Entwined with the three roots are nine trunks, from which spread forty-seven branches. On these grow two hundred and twenty-four leaves and ripen five pristine flowers and fruits. These are said to be the summary of the Root Tantra.”
The metaphor is then revisited in more detail in chapter six, the final chapter of the Root Tantra.
Perhaps the relationship between these Trees can be best shown diagramatically:
It is said that there are 99 such trees of knowledge within Tibetan medicine. As the student becomes more engrossed in the complexities of Tibetan medicine, much of which is presented in the form of lists containing further subdivisions of lists, it can be seen that the presentation of medical knowledge in this arboreal format is a useful learning device and mnemonic aid. The metaphor of the Trees of Tibetan Medicine continues to be usedin Tibetan medicine schools and universities to the present day.
To read the full article as well as other interesting articles, be sure to get your copy of TTM Journal Issue 5!
Copies of the Journal of Taditional Tibetan Medicine can be obtained from your local TTM branches and at: Tanadugshop.com
News from Novosibirsk, Russia
In spring 2014, we carried out Sache Level 1, Yuthok Nyingthig Ngondro retreat and Tsetar ritual in Novosibirsk, Russia.
TTM courses with Dr. Nida are planned in Novosibirsk from August 4th to August 9th (6days). And if Dr. Nida schedule allows, it would be good to travel to the Altai Mountains for a few days. We hope to hold the Altai International Pharmacology course there next year!
Please view our photos from courses held in spring below.
Coordinator for Novosibirsk, Russia
Photo Gallery - IATTM activities held around the world! View our albums here!
July 16th, Dr. Nida arrived at Incheon Airport for his first visit to Seoul. Only a few days after his arrival, he delivered a lecture to a sizable crowd at the Korean Institute of Buddhist Research on Healing Mantras. I, completely clueless to the topic, entered the lecture hall with apprehension. What exactly is a mantra? As many of us have probably experienced, Dr. Nida assuaged my trepidation with simple and unfettered language. “Mantra means mind protection,” he patiently explained. His lecture moved smoothly from breathing exercises to an analysis of the urban lifestyle and finally why and how to integrate healing mantras in our lives.
The audience listened and laughed as Dr. Nida half-joked that we have multiple “busy monkeys” in our mind, running from thought to thought. As urbanites, the majority of us identified with his description. In a city as dense and fast-paced as Seoul, there are very few times when our minds are clear. “If anyone needs mind protection, surely it’s us!” I thought to myself.
We practiced pronouncing 21 mantras that healed everything from kidney stones to stress and many of us asked questions at the end of the lecture. We left with a satisfying amount of knowledge and much-needed time for introspection.
This past weekend, Dr. Nida delivered a short introduction to Dream Yoga at Dongguk University and a more in-depth Dream Yoga lecture at the Korean Institute of Buddhist Research. As an avid fan of deep sleep, I was very excited to hear about Dream Yoga, more commonly known as lucid dreaming. This time, the audience has almost doubled in size from the healing mantra lecture. We packed into the hall and watched as Dr. Nida illustrated Tibetan medicine using three trees: the patient tree, doctor tree and healing tree. With more background on the Tibetan tradition of healing, we were better prepared to understand dream yoga.
As he explained the concept, all I could think about was the movie “Inception.” A dream within a dream? Controlling and building your subconscious? Turning a house into a garden and then into a leopard? Who wouldn’t want to be able to do this? His daylong workshop was probably more interesting than any course I had taken in high-school.
I, and hopefully many others, came home and almost leaped into bed, excited for a whole new world of sleep
INTERESTING & USEFUL SITES
IATTM's homepage on Yuthok Nyingthig - the spirtual practice of Tibetan Medicine www.yuthok.net
sorigastro.com is a site on Tibetan Astrology. Check out the Tibetan calendar of the day - the elements present and how it can affect you. You can also see where 'La' protective energy is circulating for the day! www.sorigastro.com
The Sorig Institute is the North American branch of the International Academy of Traditional Tibetan Medicine (IATTM). The Sorig Institute offers certification in Ku Nye Massage and Traditional Tibetan Medicine (TTM). 'Sorig' is the official name of Tibetan Medicine, a combination of the words 'Sowa,' translated as 'healing' or 'nurturing', and 'Rigpa,' or 'awareness.' It is with the guiding principle of 'Healing Awareness' that we promote the lineage of Tibetan Medicine in the West. www.soriginstitute.org
The Traditional Methods and Practices of the Ancient Tradition of Yuthog Nyingthig by Khampa Naldjorpa
Introduction to the Tradition of Yuthog Nyingthig
The tradition of the spiritual practice of the Yuthog Nyingthig (G.yu thog snying thig) can be regarded as the most important and unique tradition which combines traditional Tibetan medical science and the personal training with spiritual practice for the twofold purpose of increasing the capabilities as doctor and healer in order to cure and heal sentient beings as well as developing one´s own personal spiritual experiences, eventually leading to complete realization.
Yuthog Nyingthig means The Innermost Essence of Yuthogpa or more literally The Heart Essence of Turquoise Summit, as the Tibetan word nying (snying) means `heart´ and thig (thig) means `essence´ and the expression yuthog is composed of yu (g.yu) or `turquoise´ and thog (thog), which has many meanings such as `primordial´, `lightning and thunder´, `wealth´ as well as `summit´, `roof top´ and `uppermost part of something´. Traditionally the great medical and spiritual Masters Yuthog Yönten Gönpo (G.yu thog yon tan mgon po) became known as Yuthogpa or `The One with a Turquoise Summit´ because of the many precious turquoise stones he stored on his rooftop and the turquoise umbrella that he is said to have used after receiving those precious gifts from various wealthy patients he healed.
However, turquoise stones are also used in the Tibetan medicine and as the Tibetans especially value those semi-precious stones as the supportive object or personal abiding place (gnas rten) of the protective energy of every individual (bla), which is known as `turquoise of protective energy´ or layu (bla g.yu), every Tibetan wears a turquoise around his neck and is often used them as precious head ornament worn on top of the head, where the color, size and quality also show the wealth of the owner and his family. From these explanations, the meaning of `turquoise of the uppermost part´ or `turquoise summit´ can be understood.
Finally there is an ancient autochthonous Tibetan tradition of various stories of divine turquoise birds or a turquoise colored cuckoo (g.yu bya, g.yu khu byug) being a messenger, sign or manifestation of a realized being like a master or dakini. In the Yuthog Nyingthig, Yuthogpa is said to have discovered a medicinal plant which yields incense, sometimes described as a sweet-scented white lily (tso) by a descending turquoise colored bird, through which he discovered some important healing methods.
Although those stories are recounted in the histories of both the elder and the younger Yuthogpa (G.yu thog pa gsar snying) or Yuthog Yönten Gönpo, which means `The Lord of Good Qualities, Turqoise Summit´, they give the background for understanding the name related to the precious turquoise stones. Yuthog Yönten Gönpo, the Elder lived in the 8th century from 708-8331 whereas the Younger lived in the 12th century from 1112 to 1203. According to the latter's biography the cycle of teachings which is known as Yuthog Nyingthig or The Heart Essence of Yuthogpa represents the realization and innermost essence of Yuthog Yönten Gönpo, the Younger who received exceptionally profound tantric teachings, which were like the hot heart-blood of the Dakinis, together with the seventy-five tantras connected to The Eight Branches of the Science of Healing (Gso rig yan lag brgyad pa) from the Queen of the Wisdom Dakinis Palden Trengwa (ye shes mkha’ ‘gro’ i gtso mo dpal ldan ‘phreng ba) through the transmission of a profound pure vision (zab mo dag snang), which he condensed into a coherent path leading to complete realization of the rainbow body (´ja´ lus), where the gross elements of the physical body dissolve into its nature of rainbow colored lights.
The expression Nyingthig or `Heart Essence´ is already quite well-known from the various Dzogchen teachings like Longchen Nyingthig, Chetsün Nyingthig or the Ancient Collection of Nyingthig Yabzhi and the so called Karma Nyingthig, which originally capture the innermost essence of the methods and practices leading to the realization of the ancient great masters like Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra, Karmapa III, Rangjung Dorje, Longchenpa, and Chetsün Senge Wangchuk. The methods and practices contained in those cycles are all related to the complete realization of the practitioner and apply the method of self-liberation of Dzogchen as well as the method of outer and inner transformation of tantra. In the late Longchen Nyingthig the main emphasis and most of the practices are related to Anuyoga whereas the others focus more on the special and unique methods of Dzogchen.
More on the practices in coming issues of Sorig News! Meanwhile, please visit: www.yuthok.net
La, which in the Tibetan language means supreme energy, is present both in Traditonal Tibetan Medicine and the ancient lore of Tibetan Astrology. La pervades the human body, stirring it to give us strength, stability and clarity of mind. Its vital eergy is considered to be an essence of our consciousness.
The Path of La follows a systematic sequence of points along the body through which the subtle energy flows during a 30-day lunar cycle.
With the money collected last year, thanks to the people who participated in this project, we have been able to help 12 students in 4 different villages. All of them are relatives of Ngakpas who are actively involved in maintaining the tradition at Rigzin Rabpel Ling. Students and parents (who often have to make difficult choices such as sending only one child to school, leaving in a single room because they cannot finish building their homes…) were very grateful to receive our visit. Visiting each family allows us to better identify people who most need help and make sure the money is used to finance education and nothing else. Having the possibility to exchange with the students gives us the opportunity to evaluate their motivations and understand their strengths and difficulties. Funds needed for this project: 2 000 RMB / 250 € per high school student; 10 800 RMB / 1350 € per university student.
Cultural Project Renovating Rigzin Rabpel Ling Ngakpa House
The work to renovate the Ngakpa House, where Ngakpas from the Rebkong area will gather to perform the Shitro ritual at the end of June 2014, is well advanced. Funds neededto finish: 20 600 RMB / 2 575 €.
Building a Retreat Centre with 8 Meditation Rooms
Local Ngakpas and westerners studying Traditional Tibetan Medicine with Dr Nida started to do retreats in the 3 meditation rooms, with shared solar shower and toilet, which are finished. Funds needed to finish building 5 additional rooms, kitchen, yard with garden are estimated at 148 800 RMB / 18 600 €.
For the success of this program, we need your support!
*The International Ngak-Mang Institute (INMI) was founded in 2000, as a worldwide non-profit organization, by Dr Nida Chenagtsang and two of his brothers, to preserve the Rebkong Ngakpa culture.
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Please contact your local branches to know more!
Donate €5,000 or more per year to IATTM or its branches and all your course fees will be waived! Your kind sponsorship will support the many projects of IATTM in order to preserve, develop and propagate the ancient art of traditional Tibetan Medicine.
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About International Academy for Traditional Tibetan Medicine (IATTM): The International Academy for Traditional Tibetan Medicine (IATTM) was established in 2006 in London, UK, with the aim of facilitating the spread of Tibetan Medicine teaching. Today, IATTM operates officially from Germany.
Since creation, local regional branches have been developed with the aim of realising the vision of IATTM; providing courses on Tibetan Medicine, educational materials and publications. The regional branches fall under the co-ordination of IATTM.
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