What:Sangye Menlha is the common name of Bhaisajyaguru, also known as the Master of Healing or the Buddha of healing.
Why:The veneration of Medicine Buddha (Sangye Menlha in Tibetan) is considered a powerful method not only for healing and increasing healing powers, but also for overcoming the inner sickness of attachment, hatred, and ignorance.
Benefits:It is believed that meditating on the Medicine Buddha can help decrease physical/mental illness and suffering.
Discovering Sangye Menlha in Glastonbury
Sangye Menlha means Medicine Buddha or Medicine Tonpa, to Bonpos. The transmission of Sangye Menlha is revered as one of the most powerful blessings for healing, making it ideal for advocates of the holistic, complementary and/or alternate therapies.
Within Tibetan medicine the therapeutic practices of meditation & chanting are highly regarded; to fully engage in the process of true healing, one must first locate the subtle, (though powerful & potentially destructive) mental and emotional patterns that may be at the root of specific health conditions.
The ability to see such unconscious energies is why the Medicine Buddha is depicted with a sky-blue body in Thangka art. Indicating the nature of his all-encompassing, ‘skylike’ awareness.
The medicine Buddha holds in his left hand a sprig of myrobalan, the king of herbs, which Tibetan tradition upholds as a panacea; a remedy that would cure all dis-ease and prolong life indefinitely. Such a plant is also linked to the elixir of life and the Philosopher’s stone.
In modern Buddhist practice however, external medicines are limited in their application. The only cure for humankind’s root illness; inattention to the true nature of self & reality – is spiritual illumination. This is achieved, not through plants and medicines, but through deep, transcendent insight into the human condition. By identifying with ones innermost nature, the healer can develop the powers of intuition & porous awareness; crucial elements in the healing of both oneself & others.
Tibetan medicine demonstrates an integral link between spirituality, health and the improvement of well-being through mind/body/spirit approaches. A Tibetan doctor will recognise the lifestyle and environmental factors that impact on a person’s health & will suggest lifestyle adjustments to relieve the causes of physical, mental & spiritual stress. Whilst what we digest in the physical body is important, what is of equal importance is what we digest in our psyches on a mental/emotional level.
Connection to Sangye Menlha is achieved through means of meditation, mantra recitation and/or visualisation. The process of doing so has the ability to awaken, facilitate & nurture the practitioner’s innate healing abilities. This is a powerful healing practice for harmonising imbalances as well as purifying negative karma and/or past deeds.
Geshe Chongtul Rinpoche, a Tibetan Bon Master is well rehearsed in the complex art of Tibetan Medicine & how the ancient, traditional techniques can be integrated within the practice of Western Medicine.
By invoking the natural healing energies of the mind and body, the practice brings a deep connection to the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and space); the energetic undercurrent that form and affect the physical world, including our own bodies.
To heal is to make whole, to restore wisdom, balance and equilibrium. In the healing practices of Tibetan medicine, the unconscious energies that often sabotage our lives are restored to conscious awareness. When we recognise our inseparability from all life, healing often occurs spontaneously – through the expression & cultivation of natural abundance.
Glastonbury is extraordinary. For centuries it was England’s most sacred place of pilgrimage and it remains unrivalled for its wealth of myth and legend. Glastonbury is home to the first church in Britain, alleged to have been founded by Joseph of Arimathea.
The Tor, which rises from the Isle of Avalon, is the seat of the Goddess and a gateway to the Celtic Otherworld. The Isle of Avalon is believed to be where Excalibur was forged, where Arthur came to heal his wounds & where he and Guinevere were finally laid to rest.
Although the Great Benedictine Abbey is now ruined, Glastonbury still remains as one of Britain’s most sacred sites of pilgrimage, making it an ideal setting to explore & learn the ancient healing practice of Sangye Menlha.