Medicine Buddha Today
Welcome to Medicine Buddha, today and every day. Medicine Buddha, also known as Menla, is a view of life and a spiritual practice to help you get whatever you need in order to work through illness and problems and move along in a good way in life. If you are looking for help with your own or another’s problems, or you are a healthcare provider, Menla is here for you.
There is a profound health pervading the universe and within us at all times as well. We need to know this health especially when we are ill, or things seem difficult, or our path in life seems dark. Menla helps us by bridging those two versions of health to help us bring the light of the underlying, basic health out to life.
These teachings were offered in a seminar in Mt. Ranier Park in 1999 by the great Tibetan teacher, The Ven. Thrangu Rinpoche. You can also read a transcript of that seminar in his book, Medicine Buddha Teachings. I have made audio recordings of practice with my own thoughts on Medicine Buddha which I can send to you if you wish, and you can browse through this website to see a brief explanation of that vision and practice framed in some basic Buddhist ideas.
All experiences are related in background of fundamental health. When we know how health works, we can bring health out to our mind, body, life and world. Medicine Buddha helps us do just that. Even in the darkest times, we and our universe glow with the health that lights up our world. Menla is a master key that unlocks this health for us to use as needed.
The source of these teachings, The Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, was a senior teacher in the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism until his death on June 4, 2023. The Dalai Lama has called him “the crown jewel” of wisdom who not only offered exceptionally clear teachings on diverse Buddhist topics but also embodied the wisdom of the Buddhist path in a most cheerful and loving way. Sensing the increasing personal, social and spiritual stress we and our world now face, Thrangu Rinpoche offered these previously restricted teachings on Menla to everyone. This site is an attempt to offer some of the mindful, compassionate wisdom that shined from his heart as he gave these teachings.
First and always there is health. Every problem we meet offers an opening to some seed of wisdom we need on our path.
An ordinary approach to health can be like walking in the entrance to a hospital emergency room. We need help, so we go in, say what hurts, and hopefully get results. In the short term, this might be all we need at times. Menla works with that approach, but also takes us to the side doors of this hospital of life where staff and all health supplies come in. This is a view of healing energy we seldom see but upon which all work in that hospital ultimately depends. Menla brings out the big view of ultimate, non-dual wisdom/health to shine on the workings of ordinary life. If you stay with Menla you will make friends with and join these forces to make health real. Not only can you support the healing process, you see how managing the deeper forces of health can be more satisfying than just getting quick relief. This is work but it is good work. In time you grow to love it and how it brings health in the deeper, bigger ways we all ultimately need. In this way, Menla offers pathways to:
- Confidence in a ultimate health beyond concept in our selves and in our life
- Connection to the heart of all healing methods so that in some way those methods can work better for you
- A sense of workability in whatever illness or life problem we encounter
- Inspiration in the spirit of one’s healing journey, even if just in working through the karma of problems in a positive way
- A capacity to benefit others
- The ultimate healing known as enlightenment
While any contact with Menla can help, real health is knowing in our heart that we each are Menla. One step at a time, we can all do this. Practice makes our inborn, natural healing path shine.
Resources on this site are an attempt at a basic introduction to Menla and some advanced materials that are not essential when first doing this practice. To start:
- For a process overview, you might find the A Path to Healing stream under the Get Help Now menu helpful.
- While not needed in order to do this practice, if you are curious for more on the Buddhist path that supports this practice, you can visit The Heart Sutra, The Jewel Ornament of Liberation on this site, and Sitting Meditation as on the audio program.
- The Five Wisdoms highlight basic modes of daily life wisdom, inspiration and wakeful activity.
- For study and practice, you can contact me, Jim Sacamano, via this website if you would like to do a weekly group Menla practice from 5-5:30 PM PST. The text is scrolled for all see.
- A point to remember is to let go of expectations and just do the practice for how it touches your heart. Feel the goodness it calls forth. Be with that and enjoy. Then healing will arise as a natural, organic process.
While this approach to healing arises as part of the Buddhist path, anyone can benefit from this practice.
Menla practice is not a replacement for ordinary health care. Medicine Buddha supports rather than replaces ordinary health care. Please continue working with your health care provider. The material in this site is my attempt to offer the wisdom of my teachers, The Ven. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and The Ven. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. Any benefits are from them and any errors are mine. Both these teachers availed themselves of standard medical care when needed. The newsletter below and recordings at CDBaby are no longer available.
For further teachings direct from The Ven. Thrangu Rinpoche, you can receive very pithy, weekly quotations at: Karma Mahasiddha Ling <firstname.lastname@example.org>