Medicine Buddha Today

A Path to Healing


Polished Lapis Lazuli pebble isolated on black.If you have a problem of any sort, or if you want to help another, and you need that help now, the Get Help Now stream is for you.  Medicine Buddha, or Menla, as he is generally called, is the collected energy of all healing forces arising as one vision with the specific goal of helping all in distress. Menla can help with all kinds of problems—health, social, environmental, or unnameble. Menla is there to help.

Even in urgent situations, however, a basic understanding of how Menla works can speed your healing journey. Medicine Buddha may start with helping us or the person we care for find relief from a problem. We all know that sometimes problems seem to take over life. We get stuck. But there is a larger goal as well—the goal of waking up into the bigger experience of health beyond suffering, a way of being called enlightenment. And as we practice Menla, we see how the goals of resolving our ordinary life problems and of spiritual awakening can work together. We see that the real joy in life is not just in feeling well for ourself alone, but also in being well and wise enough to understand and serve our world. Just knowing this can be our first step in healing.

Whatever your problem, know that Menla will help in some way. You may find a solution to your problem, or a better way to work with it, or a way to put it into a healing perspective. There is no way to know in advance how Menla will help, but you will find a practical, meaningful healing path. And if you stay with Menla, eventually you will go beyond the limitations of illness and fear to the ground of being fully awake.


While possibly seeming foreign at first, with practice we can see that Medicine Buddha and the healing power he embodies is as natural to us as is our own face and breath. We can feel his radiance as our own life force and as the healing power of a bigger view of the universe. This union of healing forces is the radiant heart of all healing, and while often hidden from view, this union is where we start and return to refuel for our healing journey.


Sun shining through the trees on a path in a golden forest landscape setting during the autumn season.In this approach to healing, you will meet the healing power of Menla in a graduated series of understandings and practices roughly analogous to the steps we might follow as we work with health issues of increasing severity in modern times. We start with First Aid, and then progress through increasing levels of care. This progression can provide a path through the outer forms of Menla practice to the ultimate core health within. Eventually we can see that health is not only the goal of our journey but in the ground within our being all along. And we can see that whatever problem we face, that problem offers a path to the ultimate health of being fully awake.

Everything in our universe is alive and connected to everything else, and as any part of our world changes it will affect all other parts. Each thought affects the entire universe and can be a great healing force. No one knows for sure how any one action or thought will affect our problem, but we know it will. A thought motivated by fear will in time increase fear, and even one thought, motivated by love and held firmly in the heart, can begin our healing process.

Menla statue with flower and bowlIf you have encountered an illness or problem of any sort, know that you have come to a sacred place, a place that takes you to a most holy experience, the healing openness in your heart as it joins the wholeness of the universe. This unfolding of all health is the subject of The Heart Sutra, and is purest form of love. This is your starting place. You have to love yourself, or someone, or you would not be seeking help. Knowing this, your big, open heart can hold whatever arises in your life, all in peace and love. Your problem is your call to honor all you are, especially the health you hold in your heart as it opens and extends out to the world.

If your problem has brought you to Menla, you have found a doorway and calling to a vast view of life, a life where you can actually feel and know the health within and manifest it to your world. You may be working with what seems like a small challenge or you may be facing death. But no matter what happens, as you go along you will find that you are bigger, brighter, and more powerful than any problem you will face. Never lose heart. You are on a journey and when you know how to travel, the journey itself is the healing process. No one knows in advance how it will unfold. Only you can find your way. It is so real, fresh and personal. But if you keep Menla in your heart, your journey will be a good one, and you will find what you need along the way. You will know and radiate wholeness in all your life.

A final note: As Thrangu Rinpoche said, mind and body support each other. As a spiritual approach to healing, Medicine Buddha honors, supports and energizes rather than replaces ordinary health care. Please continue working with your health care provider.