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Tibetan Buddhist Medicine and Psychiatry [Paperback]

Terry Clifford
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser; New edition edition (Aug 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877287104
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877287100
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,093,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This volume presents comprehensive introduction to the arcane tibetan art of healing. The author discusses the many components of tibetan buddhist medicine. Its religious, philosophical and psychological foundations, its history and deities, its tantric andritual aspects and unusual methods of diagnosis and cure. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
We seldom find works on Tibetan Medicine which are so precise in content and, at the same time, readable for the general public. The beginner will find the introduction a valuable doorway to a little known tradition and the student of Tibetan Medicine will be able to read translations of the chapters of the Third Tantra pertaining to Tibetan psychiatry for the first time in a western language. Terry Clifford gives an unbiased account of a part in Tibetan culture that, though not a simple 'read', is very precious to the West.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and Useful 26 April 2009
By sunsoul
Clearly written and well organised. The difficult subject matter is well laid out, and obtruse Tibetan teachings are clarified. Quite a number of charts and tables in the book help the reader understand all the different spiritual and physical correspondences that can affect the body and spirit.

Recommended for any serious student of Tibetan lore or health science.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable book for everyone interested in Tibetan Medici 21 Jan 2000
By Joseph Chinnock, Founder of Tibetan Formulas - Published on
True story of psychiatric nurse, Terry Clifford,who left her job working in a NYC psychiatric hospital to travel to Tibet, Nepal and Northern India to research traditional Tibetan medical methods of working with mental illness.
The traditional Tibetan doctors really opened up due to Ms. Clifford's sincerity, knowledge of physchiatric illness, and amiable personality. They translated esoteric Tibetan medical concepts, related expereinces from their medical practices and even gave her traditional Tibetan herbal formulas for pyschiatric illnesses.
The author's description and explanation of "demons" in Tibetan Medicine, including one that causes the patient to believe that their religion is the one and only true religion, shows a great deal of the insight,humour and intelligence that permeates the entire book.
Tragically, Ms. Clifford died shortly after this book was published and her work was cut short.
Everyone working with traditional Tibetan medicine owes a debt to Ms. Clifford's groundbreaking work.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ancient Knowledge that is still valid today 28 Jan 2000
By Chaz - Published on
I am a Native American and I have found many spiritual similarities between my own Hidatsa-Mandan traditions and the Tibetan tradition. The section on causes of Psychiatric disorders is the most interesting and relevant section in my opinion.
If nothing else, this book will open the hard nosed "scientific" community's eyes. The mere survival of its people and traditions is a testament to the validity of the views of Tibetan culture.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thorough Exploration of Psychological Healing from an eastern perspective 27 Jun 2007
By Amy Hellmers - Published on
This book is truly and evidently a classic. Clifford presents the methods of Diamond Healing - only by means of letting go of ego-grasping and ignorance might we begin to merge mind, body and spirit with truth.
Tibetan Ayurveda consists of the medicine of the tantric vehicle, the dharma, shamanistic practice, and an extensive pharmacopoeia. It includes a comprehensive chart of the beneficial herbs of Tibetan psychiatry. However, most medicines should be bought rather than prepared, for there is an extensive preparation ritual performed by the enlightened healer. Generally, the method of the Tibetan doctor is to treat on all levels by way of profound compassion to reduce negativity.
As the most psychological religion, the view of illness seems to be essentially psychosomatic - the repercussion of karma, the poisons of the mind. Other theories which are conveyed include an imbalance of life energy (prana), disorders of the humors - these are wind, phlegm, and bile - toxins, and the demons of the mind. The three humors correspond with various states of internal and bodily suffering. Left open to individual interpretation, however the author concludes that they are interpretations of the inner psyche, or presentations of a psychological state.

Phlegm disorders suggest a tendency toward catatonia.

Disorders of wind cause anxiety, sorrow and discomfort. They are treated with warming herbs.

Disorders of bile - treated with bitter and cooling herbs - cause frustration and rage.

Amongst therapies are mandala meditations, the practice of mindfulness so one may come to know that he or she is not the only being afflicted with suffering and imbalance, and powdered formulas, oils and incense. Fascinating the breakthrough which leads to the first major tranquilizer was found within the chemical structure of rawolfia serpentina, a plant used for centuries to treat madness in the east. There are invocations such as mantras and meditation on the Medicine Buddha. These are among the most powerful visualizations for self-healing.
There is explicit material on the religion itself, the profound psychology implicated, and the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. When one first finds these concepts may seem esoteric. But as Clifford examines they become profoundly sensical.
My fiancé - who is a Christian - and I suffer from madness. We are presently taking necessary western medicines, and using pre-prepared items such as incense, oil, and dietary intervention thus far. However, we are considering taking reiki, which is a spiritual discipline one of any faith can pursue.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars super 12 Dec 2002
By Mary Marston St John - Published on
fantastic book! a great way for westerners to learn about tibetan medicine... Clifford enables the reader to connect an eastern tradition to our western minds... if you're interested in Tibetan medicine, this book is a great on to begin with...
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, all I expected. 31 Jan 2013
By ralph brown - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Presently following the dharma teaching of Buddha, this book has given me a better understanding of the blue Buddha and how Buddhism plays a major role in Tibetan medicine.
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