The Venerable Paltul Rinpoche, a classically trained doctor of Tibetan medicine and Tibetan Buddhist teacher, will visit Hilo in April. Paltul will give a talk about Tibetan medicine, which will include a transmission of the mantra of Medicine Buddha, and also will be available for medical consultations.
He will present a program on “Tibetan Medicine — Ancient Science of Healing for the 21st Century” from 2-3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 6, at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center at 600 Imiloa Place. Admission is $5, plus a donation to the rinpoche, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Medical consultations will be offered Sunday and Monday, April 6-7, by donation. Tibetan medicines or acupuncture will cost $120. A limited number of sponsorships are available. Sponsors receive admission to the lecture and priority on medical consultations. For more information on sponsorships or consultations, call Kathy Ohara at 936-0302.
Paltul was born in Kham, East Tibet, in 1963. His parents were simple nomads of the Tibetan highlands and he spent his childhood living in the high altitudes of the Himalayas.
From an early age, he showed an extraordinary interest in the Buddhist teachings and a talent in the art of healing. He joined a local monastery and shortly after his ordination as a monk, he met the Venerable Yonten Phunstok, a famous physician who had an unbroken tradition in the ancient art of Tibetan medicine.
Paltul was accepted into a five-year apprenticeship with Yonten Phunstok and mastered the art of Tibetan medicine, including its five tantras. For several years, he served as an assistant to Phuntsok.
After returning to his village, Paltul was discovered to be the reincarnation of the fourth Pora Rinpoche, and subsequently enthroned and installed as the spiritual head of Pal Demo Tashi Coeling Monastery. He completed a three-year retreat, and received teachings and initiations from many high-level Tibetan Buddhist teachers.
Since 1999, Paltul has lived in New York City. He works as a healer and Buddhist teacher while engaging in the medical and economic development of his home region in Tibet, the rural area of Nangchen Par-Ka, Kham.
Paltul regularly travels to Germany, China, Taiwan and Malaysia and uses the funds received through medical treatments and Buddhist teachings to rebuild his monastery. He also helped build hospitals, a medical school and a temple to the Buddha of Medicine.
Tibetan medicine is based on the medical text “Vimalagotra,” which was taught by the historical Buddha more than 2,500 years ago. The origins of Tibetan medicine can be traced to several medical conferences organized by Tibetan kings through several centuries.
Traditional Tibetan medicine employs a complex approach to diagnosis, incorporating techniques such as pulse analysis, and uses behavior and dietary modification, medicines composed of natural materials such as rare Tibetan herbs, and physical therapies including a unique form of acupuncture.
When Tibetan physicians treat a patient, they focus equally on the mental and physical states because they believe the mind and body are inseparable. A Tibetan physician also considers how diet, behavior and daily habits affect each individual patient.