- The Healing Lama
- by Champa Legshe
|Biographical Notes on Lama Gangchen Tulku, The Healing Lama|
born in Western Tibet in 1941. He was recognised at an early age to be
a reincarnate lama healer and was enthroned at Gangchen Choepeling monastery
at the age of five. When he reached the age of twelve he received the 'Kachen"
degree which is usually conferred after twenty years of study. Between
the ages of thirteen and eighteen, he studied medicine, astrology, meditation
and philosophy in two of the major monastic universities of Tibet: Sera
and Tashi Lhumpo. He also studied in Gangchen Compa, Tropu Gompa, and Neytsong
Monastery. His root guru was HH Trijang Dorje Chang, the junior tutor to
HH, the Dalai Lama. Other main teachers were HH Ling Rinpoche, the senior
tutor of the Dalai Lama as well as HH Zong Rinpoche,
who was one of his major gurus for healing and astrology.
- Click Mahasiddha Image -
In 1963 he went into exile to India where he continued his studies for the next seven years at the Varanasi Sanskrit University (Bishwa Vhidhyiana) in Benares. In 1970 he received the Geshe Rigram diploma from Sera Monastic University situated in South India. After his graduation, he worked as a reincarnate lama healer among the Tibetan communities in Nepal, India and Sikkim, during which time he saved the lives of many people and was named private physician to the Royal family.
In 1981, Lama Gangchen visited Europe for the first time. In the same year he also established his first European centre: Karuna Choetsok in Lesbos, Greece, where he is known to have planted a bodhi tree in the 'Buddha Garden', and in the centre of which he consecrated what was to become the first of a long line of World Peace Buddha statues, thankas and images.
Since 1982 he has travelled extensively, both healing and teaching in Italy, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, England, Ireland, U.S.A., Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Nepal, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Mongolia, China, Tibet, Russia, and Buriyatia. During these years he has lead many pilgrimages to some of the most important holy places of the Buddhist tradition, in India, Indonesia, China, Thailand, Mongolia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Tibet, guiding large groups of friends and disciples from all over the world, the majority of whom have reported many physical and mental benefits from the experience. In addition to these pilgrimages to Buddhist holy places, Lama Gangchen has visited many holy sites in Europe, including that of Assisi, Italy the home of Saint Francis; the ancient temples of Delphi and Athens in Greece. In England he has visited the sites of Stonehenge and Avebury as well as visiting many Western Buddhist centres and temples. During all these pilgrimages he has met many high lamas, both in the East and the West. In 1988 he opened his first residential dharma centre outside of Asia: 'Shide Choe Tsok' Peace Dharma Centre, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. At present he has 85 Inner Peace Education Centres worldwide.
Since coming to the West in 1982, and later becoming both a resident in Italy and and eventually an Italian citizen, Lama Gangchen's activities have taken on an ever increasing worldwide scope towards the achievement of World Peace. Mainly, it began with the founding of: The Kunpen Lama Gangchen Institute for the propagation and preservation of the Tibetan Medical Tradition in Milan, Italy in 1989. Here Lama Gangchen has initiated the first extensive programmes of Himalayan medical and astrological studies for Western students. Also concerned with the preservation of the Himalayan culture, the centre holds courses in Buddhist philosophy, thanka painting and other arts. Lama Gangchen has invited many groups of Tibetan monks to Europe such as the Ganden Shartse monks, the Sera-Me monks, the Nyalam Phengyeling monks and the Segyupa monks to make sand mandalas and perform sacred Cham dances; all of their activities are dedicated to world peace. The Institute is also the Western Headquarters of Lama Gangchen's activities and his Western residence. The Lama Gangchen World Peace Foundation (L.G.W.P.F.), International Friendship for the Support of Tibetan Medicine, Vajrayana Buddhist Philosophy and Self Healing to Develop World Peace, established in 1992 following an International conference of doctors, healers and therapists held in Milan, Italy. The Foundation has its main seat in Spain and was officially recognised by the Spanish government in November 1993. Each year the L.G.W.P.F. holds an International congress m Madrid, Spain, which provides a forum for discussion between scientists, doctors, therapists and philosophers. One of the major aims of the Foundation is to provide documented scientific evidence about the benefits of ancient Tibetan Himalayan healing methods, other natural healing methods and the energetic qualities of spiritual healing. The Foundation also gives a base for constructive dialogue between different cultures in order to create and promote educational methods to develop Inner Peace and World Peace.
The Himalayan Healing Centre in Kathmandu, Nepal which provides minimal cost Western medical care alongside traditional Tibetan and Ayurvedic medical care for local inhabitants. The Healing Centre offers many different facilities enabling the use of many therapeutic systems, space to hold residential courses in Tibetan medicine, lectures, conferences and so on, with the aim to create a base for the exchange of verbal information and clinics for the actual medical practice between the Eastern and Western medical sciences. In 1994, the Kunpen Lama Gangchen Institute and the Himalayan Healing Centre jointly financed a one year project of a leprosy station in Kathmandu and another station which is linked to the Sanku hospital, 20km outside of Kathmandu. Lama Gangchen financially supports the construction and upkeep of schools, clinics and monasteries in India, Nepal and Tibet/China, supplying them with different therapeutic systems, trained Western doctors and facilities, materials and medicines. In 1994, Lama Gangchen founded Peace Radio 'La Radio della Pace' and Lama Gangchen Peace Publications, both situated in Milan, Italy. Their aim is, respectively, to broadcast and spread positive information about Inner and World Peace Education, Self-Healing, self-responsibility and self-morality; natural therapies, environmental awareness and inter-religious cooperation.
Tulku, A Great Yogi and Tantrician
- Some Personal Remarks by Champa Legshe
Being fascinated by a special and very rare Buddhist deity called Nagaraksha Manjushri (a wrathful naga-king emanation of Manjushri) we asked several lamas if they would know somebody who could give teachings and empowerments on this tantra. Through the mediation of Lama Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche we came in contact with Lama Gangchen Tulku, who just had established a Buddhist centre in Milano/Italy, and who finally agreed to come to Ireland (June 1990) to give a series of tantric empowerments and teachings at our home (Manjushri Mandala). It was his first visit to Northern Europe and everybody was very excited to meet this outstanding tantrician, healing lama and astrologer. With him he brought some of his closer students, a translator and a whole pharmacy shop of Tibetan medicine. For a few days Thomas' physiotherapy clinic was transformed into a Tibetan healing centre and many came to see for the first time in their life a Tibetan Healing Lama and to get medical advice. For us it was nothing new. But imagine the Irish people, living in rural Donegal, and coming to a doctor, who not just made a pulse diagnosis and prescribed herbal medicine pills but also performed strange rituals, spoke some magical mantras on them and on top of all they had to repeat Buddhist prayers and to memorize the mantra of Shakyamuni Buddha as the most important part of the healing process! But due to their Celtic past and living in a country full of magic places, haunted houses and holy wells, they behaved quite naturally.
The healing sessions took part in the morning. Afternoon, evening an nights were reserved for teachings, empowerments and occasionally for sightseeing tours and discussions. It was not easy to keep a tight time schedule for a group of 30-40 students arriving for this event from various places of the world and getting lost in a welter of languages. It was the first time in Europe Rinpoche gave such a series of high empowerments and teachings and acting predominently as a tantrician and yogi, which he is by nature and by his special education, trained by highly experienced Tibetan gurus. Two of his major gurus, HH Zong Rinpoche and HH Kyabje Ling Rinpoche were also my teachers during the seventies and early eighties, and being also an astrologer (even though from the Western tradition), having worked as a 'healer' in the mid-seventies (homoeopathy, acupuncture, herbal medicine), and being a tantrician and Buddhist by heart, we had something in common which made this event so special for me. -Anyhow, the outer preparations kept us all busy: getting the ritual objects together, making heaps of photocopies with the various sadhana texts and illustrations and taking care to capture all those events on video, audio and photo, organizing private interviews or preparing refreshments and snacks etc. This usual Dharma-craziness I knew so well from living at different Buddhist monasteries and running a Buddhist centre for many years, creates a special flair and feeling of being part of a real and lively experience and it trains the art of improvizing and enhances the anticipation :-) In addition, reaching the extremes of one's capacity helps to enforce the necessary sensitivity for receiving some 'out of the normal' esoteric teachings. So there is even some wisdom behind all this! It is an important part of the Tibetan mentality to improvize and to make spontaneous decisions, using the energy and temporary 'weather situation' of the mind instead of a strict and fixed kind of planning. In this context I remember a situation where a teacher of mine mentioned incidentally and just an hour before a major teaching, that he needs a rosary with 108 green beads as if it would be the most normal thing that every household has a depot of green beads. So in no time I organized several expedition teams which swarmed out all over the town to find that 108 green beads. Sweating all over, close to a hysterical fallout and having searched at least a dozen shops, one team discovered the beads in a warehouse nearly risking a car accident to bring them in time. - The astrological informed reader may be reminded that this airy disposition may come from Tibet's libra influence. Many old sources assign Tibet to the cardinal air element sign libra, which mirrors also in Tibet's natural attachment to art, beauty, esotericism and the loving kindness of it's people.
But it was worth all this. After giving a short introduction into the basics of Buddhist philosophy, the nature of mind and of Buddhist tantra, he transmitted the empowerment of the black Nagaraksha Manjushri (Jampel Nagaraksha), a wrathful emanation of the water-element (Akshobhya family) and a powerful naga king with ten heads, eighteen arms, a snake's tail and adorned by the eight great Nagas (serpent kings) of the four major directions and four sub-directions (Northwest, Southeast etc.), standing amidst a mass of wisdom flames. (- see also Nagaradja and Lama Yeshe, A Milestone in My Life) The purpose of this deity yoga is to overcome magical hindrances of lower spirits and nagas disturbing the meditator's concentration or causing various diseases. Than he gave the initiation of White Tara (Dölma Kharpo), a peaceful emanation of the fire element which generates a calm mind, tranquility, fearlessness and longevity. Spread over the next days Rinpoche gave empowerments and explanations on the mandala of the 6-armed and three-headed yab/yum aspect of Mahachakra Vajrapani (Chana Dorje Khorlo Chenpo), a wrathful emanation of the water-element, transforming hate energy into wisdom activity, the two-armed form of Yamantaka (Dorje Jikche), a wrathful emanation of Manjushri (water element, transforming hate into wisdom-knowledge activity), Orange Manjushri (Jamyang Marser), a peaceful emanation of highest wisdom knowledge and wisdom activity (water element), White Dzambhala riding on the turquoise dragon (Dzambhala Kharpo), generating wealth and magical powers (siddhis) as well as the Medicine Buddha, King of Aquamarine Light (Bhaishajaguru or Mänlha), pacifying all kind of naga diseases and patron of Tibetan medicine. Assisted was Gangchen Tulku by Lama Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche, his former friend from India, now a resident in Northern Ireland and a teacher and friend of Thomas, me and Manjushri Mandala, who gave additional empowerments on White Manjushri and Dzambhala. Some short blessings on Chenrezig and Green Tara as well as blessings to every single room of our house, garden and our grounds completed the official part of the visit.
For a few days we enjoyed the vital and unique energy which goes along with all Tibetan festiveties of this kind. In Gangchen Tulku we had found not just an enthusiastic and powerful Healing Lama, but also an experienced and souvereign tantrician and magician, well aware of his secret talents. A man full of energy and vision, complete dedicated to keep the Buddhist spirit of Tibet alive and using his power to help wherever help was needed. Not a theoretical scholar but a man of action, combining the charm of a young boy with the dignity of a Buddhist master. A mixture I discovered in most Tibetan teachers I came in contact with. Also generous in giving, with a good sense of humor, and a bit of crazy wisdom, a 'by-product' of so many tantric practitioners. Due to the short visit I couldn't test his medical, healing or astrological talents, but I certainly know that he was honestly devoted to tantric reality. Just a little story to illustrate this. During a walk together with all course participants we passed a holy well, situated directly beside a street, and decorated by the Irish with all kind of little souveniers (from childrens combs to handkerchiefs to some coins or personal wishes, written on a piece of paper). People say that the Irish Saint Glencolumkill gave some teachings at this place in 600 AD. It must have reminded Gangchen Tulku on Tibet, where all wells are seen as special magical places. Anyhow, after having inspected the well very carefully, he spoke a long series of mantras to honor or enlighten the nagas and spirits of this place and than started a twenty minute ritual and puja, blocking complete the street. But all cars waited patiently, watching this crazy group of Buddhists, chanting and praying to the spirits of this historical spot. One could feel that Gangchen Tulku was completely in his element and not pretending. He simply did his best to bless and honor the well or even communicate with it. He did the same in blessing our grounds, not missing a square yard and even climbing up the highest point, which is very difficult to reach, because it's heavily overgrown with gorse. We felt relieved when he finally stated that our place is free of magical hindrances. It's great to know that in a time of hi-tech and computer-magic people like Gangchen Tulku remind us of even finer and further reaching realities which we are in danger to ignore or even forget. May this old knowledge, once known by so many cultures have a continuation and may the wisdom and practice of Buddhist tantra stay alive, presenting itself in a modern language and acceptable for a wider audience. The archetypal essence of tantra will never change, but we can try to find new words and allegories to attract more people. Vajrayana should never become a curiosity or cultural nature reserve for curious Westerners, who stare at some exotic lama dances as part of a tourist attraction, getting a kick by watching some monks, creating a sand-mandala or listening to some overtone chantings of sacred mantras as an exotic spice to pop up a second class techno album.
- Additional personal remark:
- Beside the classical education in Buddhist monasteries I personally think, that a wise, guided and legalized handling of psychedelics (LSD-25, to be exact), later replaced by more traditional methods still has the potential to keep tantric Buddhism alive. Just a few will find time to do the traditional three year retreat to come in contact with the magic reality of one's own mind. I think Buddhist tantra 'could' get a fresh start again by setting-up of some kind of 'Nature of Mind Research Centre's', in the framework of spiritual and religious freedom. Here the spiritual and honest seeker of the 21st century should get the legal chance for psychedelic experiencees under the supervision of experienced spiritual teachers, tantricians, Tibetan lamas, depth psychologists etc. But under no circumstances in a clinical environment! From my own biography I know that it is much easier to come from live-experiences, acting like eye-openers, than starting from mere beliefs. I think that the purpose of enlightenment justifies all means. - It would give me a bad feeling if I would keep this important message back. - Anyhow, the future will show.
- For Non-Buddhists the importance of this
tantric deities and empowerments are often difficult to understand. For
those just a *very* short explanation: All these deities should be understood
as spontaneous emanations of our enlightened mind, evoked by sound (seed
syllable), which then transforms into formless light (in the color of the
according element) and having the potential to manifest into a special
rainbow- or dreambody-like form (deity) by speaking a special mantra (sound
composition). By identifying with the body, speech and mind of those magical
forms of our higher 'self' one is able to increase the special qualities
of those wisdom-emanations to speed up the process of enlightenment. They
don't represent the ultimate goal of Buddhahood but have to be understood
as precious vehicles towards the nondualistic mahamudra state of mind.
Tantric Buddhism states that there is no final enlightenment possible without
overcoming our inner magical universe of powerful illusions without temporary
magical protection and wisdom transmission of the higher mind deities.
A bit confusing, but logical, as soon as you exept the magical nature of
your 'self', being composed of a vast amount of magic forces, fighting
against there relativation and depolarization of the spiritual seekers
mind. In principle all this is similar to astrology where we also deal
with deities (Jupiter, Mars etc.), zodiacal forces etc., trying to channel
their archaic energies using our wisdom and will power. Even before the
Greeks astrology was always a tantric religion In Tibetan tantrism
those wisdom powers just have a specified name, a sound, a form etc. Easy,
isn't it? :-) I just would like to add, that, like in astrology,
also tantra understands the microcosmos as a mirror of the macrocosmos
and vice versa. So it is possible to envoke or experience certain deities
(or energies) also in the outside. Both methods are common practice in
Buddhist tantra, even though the advanced practitioner works more on harmonizing
his inner magical reality and as a result of synchronicity he experiences
the outer reality according to his inner realizations. So if he developed
inner harmony he will experience automatically the outer world as being
in complete harmony and beauty too. If he realized the nature of emptiness
of all phenomena, he will experience also the outer world as empty and
illusionary...and so on.
- To overcome our so-called evil forces or karmic hindrances it needs corresponding, extremely powerful antidotes to magically transform those hindrances and that's why in tantric Buddhism you find various wrathful deities like Yamantaka, Vajrapani etc. which offer their powers, wisdom and magical 'know-how' to help the spiritual seeker. So even looking devilish and terrifying their motivation is based on love and compassion. Peaceful deities have the function to stabilize the inner pureness and harmony etc. So the Buddhist pantheon is like a huge pharmacy shop, giving the practitioner the choice to select his special deities, custom-tailored to his individual karmic reality. The pharmacist is the according teacher or yogi. That's how the tantric 'psycho-therapy' or 'karma-therapy' works. During an empowerment you not just get the recipe and allowance to handle the tantric 'medicine' but also the magical transmission of the teacher resp. the initial treatment. To make all this work, a mutual trust between teacher and student (doctor and patient) is essential. - There is another thing one should understand. Even though it is fundamentally possible to reach Buddhahood in one life-span, it is more the exception. But by practicing a special deity yoga like Yamantaka or White Tara and making progress on this path one could reach a rebirth in their higher magical realms (or realms of our own mind) which allows a quicker realization in just a couple of lifes. So an initiation is always just a start or possibility for a better karmic career. It depends complete on the motivation of the student if and how he handles this chance by using the magical medicine on a regular basis. If not, a magical transmission can't harm and can be understood as a blessing, initiating a seed into the mind stream, which can show a result in a much later life-form. Tantra goes even so far to postulate, that just seeing a deity or Buddha image will have some positive results in a later life. So, just surfing through our Buddhist pages may once have some wonderful effects, a magical transmission by millions of pixels, coming through your telephone line. Now, that's what I call an electronic tantra experience of a new dimension! ;-)
Astrological Prayer - From the Outer Kalachakra
- Excerpt from Gangchen Tulku's Book 'Self-Healing II'
Lama Action Vajra, great Rigden,
- Bless me to realize my body is the mandala of the universe, and to transform it into a pure container of spiritual and life energy like a pure crystal.
- Bless me to realize that the birth, life and death of my body is the birth, life and destruction of the cosmos.
- Bless me to realize that my spine is Mt. Meru and that the five colors of my skin and organs are its five colored faces. May my body and mind become a pure container for this positive elemental energy. (*)
- Bless me to realize that the flow of the vital energy, drops and winds rotating in my channels and chakras is the cosmic energy flow and the rotation of the celestial bodies. May my body and mind become a pure container for this positive, pure celestial energy.
- Bless me to realize that my right and left channels are the Sun and Moon. May my body and mind become a pure container for this positive solar and lunar energy.
- Bless me to realize that my central channel (tsa uma) is Rahu (=rising Moon Node). May my body and mind become a pure container for this positive, deep and profound, essential life energy.
- Bless me to realize that my 28 vertebrae are the 28 constellation divinities (=lunar mansions). May my body and mind become a pure container for this positive, divine celestial life energy.
- Bless me to realize that my seven facial parts (eyes, ears, nose, mouth, tongue, chin and forehead) are the seven planets. May my body and mind become a pure container for this positive planetary energy.
- Bless me to realize that my twelve left and right ribs are the twelve zodiac houses in the lunar and solar aspects. May my body and mind become a pure container for this positive archetypal energy.
- Bless me to realize that my countless millions of atoms and cells are the stars of the heavens. May my body and mind become a pure container for this positive stellar energy.
- Bless me to realize that my chakras are the great rotating galaxies. May my body and mind become a pure container for this positive universal energy.
- Bless me to realize that the year is the Shambhala King, that the twenty-four solar and lunar months are his twenty four ministers, that the days are the army of Shambhala warriors and that the hours and seconds are their powerful weapons.
Thus, may we become free from linear time, experience the past, present and future in the eternal now and dance in the sphere of timelessness.
p.s. Rigden = King of the mystical kingdom of Shambhala, also called 'Lama Action Vajra'.
(*) Annotations by Gangchen Tulku based on the outer Kalachakra tantras:
Our own body, the microcosm contains all the energies and elements of the universe, the macrocosm. All outer and inner phenomena are manifestations of our own consciousness and subtle wind energy (- air element), so they are naturally related. Our subtle energy winds, upon which our mind is mounted, is five colored and contains the subtle five elements. Due to ego grasping and collective karma of living beings, this subtle wind energy manifests the outer and inner universe in stages, e.g. the formation of a baby in the mother's womb and the formation of the world in space.
Formation of the universe due to the collective karma of living beings:
1. The space element allows the outer four elements to dance and interact. This is called the 'Space Vajra Mandala', formed by the sound EH.
2. Due to the collective karma of living beings, the wind energy (air element) rises, called the 'Wind Vajra Mandala', formed by the sound YAM.
3. Due to the circulation of the wind, friction produces heat, called the 'Fire Vajra Mandala', formed by the sound RAM.
4. Due to the fire element rising and then cooling, water vapour forms the 'Water Vajra Mandala', formed by the sound BAM.
5. Due to the solidification of the water, a cream forms which then transforms into the 'Earth Vajra Mandala', formed by the sound LAM.
Formation of a human body due to contaminated karma:
1. In the space of the womb there is the 'Space Vajra Mandala', formed by the sound EH.
2. Due to the force of karma, the subtle energies and consciousness of the bardo is entering the parent's sperm and ovum and the 'Wind Vajra Mandala' forms by the sound YAM.
3. Due to the friction of the consciousness inside the sperm and ovum, union heat is produced: the 'Fire Vajra Mandala' forms by the sound RAM.
4. Due to the fire energy rising and cooling, liquid is generated: the 'Water Vajra Mandala' forms by the sound BAM.
5. Due to the liquid quality solidifying, the physical body begins to form: the 'Earth Vajra Mandala' forms by the sound LAM.
- Thus there is an exact relationship between our body and mind, and the cosmos.
Our five inner elements are space, wind (air), earth, fire, water and our five organs correspond to the outer five elements.
Our spine is Mt. Meru. (=the axial cosmic moutain of Buddhist mythology)
Our 28 vertebrae correspond to the 28 constellations (=28 stars or star constellations, also known as 'lunar mansions').
Our 24 ribs relate to the twelve lunar and solar half-months of the year.
Our seven facial points correspond to the seven planets (in Tibetan astrology the Moon Node Rahu is understood as a planet).
Our body is a mandala of the universe!
We can find the outer samsaric universe within our own body and mind.
Due to the rotation of the celestial bodies, energy is flowing in the cosmos. - Our vital energy, subtle drops and winds are flowing through our channels and chakras at the same frequency, but our body must consent to the energetic flow of the cosmos, because the greater is more powerful than the lesser.
Sometimes we are in harmony with the celestial bodies, and we experience their influence as beneficial, but at other times, we may be in opposition with them and experience this as obstacles or problems.
Sanghie Men Cho Ling Centro Buddha della Medicina (Torino/Italy)
Lama Gangchen's World Peace Foundation
For further informations click the 'Intercultural Open University Press' website
Lama Gangchen's Piazza della Pace & Radio Pace
Lama Gangchen Peace Publications
List of Gangchen Tulku's Self Healing Centre's
Or send an email to Gangchen Tulku: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Photos: Hans Taeger / Background (Gangchen Painting) from the book Self-Healing II, Sungrab Editions, Italy 1993|
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Pages on Tibetan Buddhism
Kalu Rinpoche: Mahamudra
Biographical Notes: Ven. Kalu Rinpoche
Kalu Rinpoche: The 6 Bardos
Lama Yeshe: Buddhist Way of Thought
Lama Yeshe, A Milestone in My Life
Geshe Rabten: Buddhist Philosophy
Tenga Tulku (Biographical Notes)
Tibetan Art (Thangka Gallery #1)
Taeger's Buddhist Teachers
Mentor (White Manjushri Thangka)
Book Recommendations (Buddhism)
Alex Grey: Nature of Mind
|Some Minor Buddhist
Geshe Rabten, Kalu Rinpoche,
Gangchen Tulku & Panchen Ötrul R.,
Tenga Tulku,(small page),
Kalu Rinpoche (Photo),
Lama Yeshe & Lama Zopa (Photo),
Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche,
Green Tara Painting (by A. Weber),
8-Armed Green Tara Painting,
Initiation Page (H. Taeger),
Retreat Confirmation (H. Taeger)
Hans Taeger: Thoughts & Quotes
August 99/Oct. 2000