Sunday, August 17, 2008

Chagpori Project Proposals for the Year 2008 - 2009

Chagpori Medical Students

Dr. Anne MacDonald, Assistant Professor in the Dept. of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Vienna, recently wrote me to request that I list the current fundraising priorities for Chagpori Tibetan Medical Institute in India.

She writes, "Dr. Trinlay Trogawa, Rinpoche’s nephew and head of Chagpori, makes once a year trips to Europe to raise money via medical consultations for his institution; even so, the yearly income is relatively low. Because of the strikes in Darjeeling this summer, his 2008 European trip had to be canceled. This will severely affect Chagpori’s finances for the year."

For further information about making donations, Please contact:

Chagpori Tibetan Medical Institute, Emchi Trinley Trogawa, Trogawa House, North Point, Darjeeling 734104, West Bengal, India Tel: 0091 3542 270266 EMail

To convert suggested donations in Euros to US dollars, click here.

For a more complete description of the Chagpori Tibetan Medical School, click here.

The following Project Proposal for the Year 2008 - 2009 was written by Emchi Trinley Trogawa regarding the most urgent needs Chagpori currently faces.

For the coming year we divided the projects in urgent (A) and semi-urgent (B) projects.

Most Urgent Projects:

Students' Sponsorship

Most of the students coming to Chagpori are from very poor families. Without sponsorship it will not be possible for them to fulfill their ambition to study Tibetan medicine.

Each student will need € 75,- per month which is € 900,- per year for the duration of 6 years (5 years theoretical studies and 1 year practical). This will cover the student's tuition fees, board & lodging, pocket money and some of the overhead costs.

At the moment we are looking for two of the 4th. batch students who still need additional € 25,- per month for their sponsorship.
For the 5th. batch we need five more full sponsorships and for five other students additional sponsorships of € 38.

If you are willing to help please let us know, so that we may send you the student's bio data and other information.

Project Pharmacy

The existence of a good medical institute depends on a reliable and regular supply of medicines made in its prescribed way. Till date we have been making our medicines manually only during the winter months, when it is dry and sunny.

In order to expand and become financially independend we need to produce medicines throughout the year. Therefore what we are seeing firstly is to start this year on the acquired land with the construction of a pharmacy.

The 3 to 5 story building will include facilities for medicine manufacture, different store rooms for raw and finished materials and staff quarters. The construction will meet the amount of € 250.000,-.

As we know that this amount is beyond many purses we would like to present our

Please feel encouraged to sponsor bricks as many as you want for € 1,- each to contribute towards the construction of the pharmacy building.

We will send the project with blue print separately after it is prepared by the architect.

Project: Herb Collection and
(less urgent) B- Project: Medicine garden

Herb Collection
Tibetan medical students go to the mountains each year to learn to identify the medicinal plants. At the same time it is a part of the education to learn how to collect the plants and treat each plant in the necessary and appropriate way for preparation for their medicinal use.

Every week the students spend one day for collection of herbs in the nearby hills or they help with the preparation for medical use.

This coming summer the senior group will go for one month to a distant place for this important part of their education. The junior group will make a trip in the surrounding area.

To cover the cost of the herb collection activities of both groups we need € 7.000,- for 2008.

B- Project: Medicine Garden

We started medicine gardens for teaching, replantation and conservation of different general and rare medicinal herbs at the College compound which is spacious and ideal for growing plants. The main garden is in the shape of the Medicine Buddha mandala and is located next to the stupa at the compound.
We will try to get seeds, roots and seedlings from their original natural habitat to enhance the quality of the crops.We are happy that this means will provide practical lessons to the students as well as fulfilling a need for the pharmacy.

Donations towards the herb collecting and medicinal garden project will be gratefully received.

Urgent Project: Educational Pharmacy at the College compound

We have also started the construction of an educational pharmacy at the college ground. Through spending one day a week with pharmacy activities the students will be able to learn about this specific skill of the Tibetan doctor during their educational period.These activities of learning to find, identify and treat the plants in the proper way throughout the process till they are made into powders, tea's and pills is a complex procedure. The herbal trips, educational gardens and educational pharmacy will familiarize them with this process.

The costs of the construction as well as some basic equipment will be € 15.000,-.

We are very grateful if you can help the students towards this project.

Medical Equipment Project for Clinics

We thank the Dutch Support Group who kindly took care for this project.

It is essential to have different medical equipments, like golden needle, cupping devices, moxa-bustion and cauterization equipments at the respective clinics. Additional weighing scales and emergency light were included in this project.

Total amount required for the clinics at Darjeeling, Kurseong and Takdah was € 1.500,-.

A-Urgent Project: Dehumidifiers

Darjeeling area is very well known as a wet area due to a long monsoon period because of which there is mist for almost three quarters of the year. That is also the reason why tea grows so well and Darjeeling is so famous for throughout the world.

But to keep things dry is a problem for us. The raw materials and finished products for the pharmacy as well as the books in the library and some of our museum's display items are perishable. We need dehumidifier machines which cost € 700,- per machine.
We need three dehumidifier machines and the total cost will be € 2.100,-.

We will be very grateful if you could help us preserve the precious materials.

A-Project: New Clinic in Siliguri.

We realize that CTMI needs more clinics and clinic doctors, that's why we would like to open as soon as possible a clinic in Siliguri market. Siliguri is a reasonable town with a big need for health practitioners.
We want to request one of our 1st batch doctors to rejoin CTMI and become a clinic doctor in Siliguri.
Recurring costs are the rent of the place € 80,-
the salary of the clinic doctor - 125,-
the housing allowance - 50,-
total recurring costs € 225,-

The furnishing of the clinic will be a one time expense of € 1.500,-.
Additionally there will come running costs for the clinic as soon as the clinic opens.

We are very grateful for any donation towards this project.

B- Project: Generator for the College.

Power failure is a daily recurring fact in Darjeeling area. After 15 years of duty the generator for the college becomes old and is also very noisy, which disturbs the students during their study hours. That's why it would be good to replace it as soon as possible.

A new generator will cost € 1.100,-.

Although it's a B-Project we will be very grateful to anyone who can help us to replace the generator.

Urgent Project: Darjeeling Clinic

Two years ago we opened a clinic in Darjeeling town. In the meanwhile patients know to find the clinic and are satisfied with the treatment they receive.
As Darjeeling is a tribal area, this doesn't mean that the coming of patients and the sale of pills meets the actual costs of running the clinic. For the salary of the doctor and his housing costs the Dutch Support is taking care and the French Support group takes care for the rent of the clinic itself.

To meet the additional costs of maintaining this clinic and to be able to run it continuously we still need € 5.700,- per year (€ 475,- per month). This amount covers salaries, administration of the clinic and a part of the institute's overhead costs.

We are very grateful for any donation towards this project.

Urgent A-Project: Kurseong Clinic

In 1997 we opened a clinic in Kurseong market, unfortunately due to financial and personnel shortage we had to close the clinic in 2001.

As we still had that place, we re-opened this clinic in April 2006.
For the salary of the doctor and his housing costs the Dutch Support is taking care. And although the rent of the clinic is quite low, the overall costs to maintain the clinic and run it continuously will be € 6.000,- per year (€ 500,- per month).

This amount covers salaries, administration of the clinic and a part of the institute's overhead costs.

We are very grateful for any donation towards this project.

B-Project Medical Aid for Students

In April 2008 we gave admission to the 5th batch of 15 new students for the Menpa Kachupa degree. The 11 students of the 4th. batch have entered their 4th year of study in the meanwhile. So in total there are 26 students studying at the institute at the moment. According to the tradition the students will get free medical care when needed. In case the patient does not respond positively to Tibetan medicine then they have to go for allopathic treatment. The institute will cover the initial costs. This does not include big expenses such as operations. To cover the cost for general medical care we think of an amount of € 2.500,- per year.

We are very grateful for any donation towards this project.

B-Project: New Car

The Chagpori Institute covers an area of ± 80 Km. To ferry Chagpori's personnel, provide the clinics with medicines and transport the raw materials we need a new jeep. At the moment we have an old jeep which needs a lot of maintenance. This is expensive and gives too much trouble and is unreliable during travel.

The estimate for a new jeep will be € 15.000,-

We will be very grateful as this will assure us of a smooth and reliable transport.

B-Project: Museum display items

We are very happy that since 2006 we started with a small museum in our campus in Takdah. For the museum we are looking for donations in kind, such as old Tibetan medical instruments, as well as donations to improve our collection of museum display items.

We will be very grateful if you could help us in this project.

B-Project: Free medicine

To enable us to give free medicines to poor and under privileged patients we would like to ask donations towards this project.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Third Anniversary of the Ven. Trogawa Rinpoche's Death

The following account is from Emchi Shakya Dorje's website:

"The great healer Ven.Dr.Trogawa Rinpoche left the world on May 11, 2005. He had not been ill apart from a hip injury. He spent the last months of his life in spiritual retreat, first at a temple in Siliguri, Bengal, and then at the monastery of Choten Gonpa in Gangtok, Sikkim. In his last days he was surrounded by close desciples and by other lamas. As is often the case with Buddhist masters, his remains did not deteriorate after his passing. He is deeply mourned by his many students and spiritual desciples, and by his many patients. All who knew him remember his deep kindness and compassion, his infinite wisdom, his deep understanding of healing. His legacy lives on in Chagpori, in the work of his students, in the healing he carried out and in the spiritual lives of all he touched."

This morning I am reminded of Dr. Trogawa who died on May 11, 2005. On that day just as I was preparing to attend my graduation for my MFA degree at New England College, I received an email from France regarding his passing. I've met many famous and important Tibetan lamas over the years but he remains so special in my heart as a manifestation of great and unbounded compassion.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Historic Tibetan Medicine Symposium at Amherst College, June 13-15, 2008

Tibetan Medicine in America 2008
June 13th -15th at Amherst College

A historic symposium featuring keynote speaker Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, speakers from the American Tibetan Medical Association and Tibetan doctors from around the world.

Regarded as science, art and philosophy, Tibetan medicine is an ancient form of holistic heath care indigenous to the Tibetan people that integrates the core Buddhist principles of altruism, karma and ethics. Originating from early indigenous Tibetan society, traditional Tibetan medicine evolved into a synthesis of thousands of years of accumulated empirical knowledge from China, Persia, India and Greece. It has been practiced continuously in Tibet for over 4,000 years.

All symposium sessions are free and open to the public, and will be held at Amherst College, in Pruyne Hall, Fayerweather. Sponsored by the International Shang Shung Institute, American Tibetan Medical Association, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, Amherst College, the Dean’s Office; the Hamilton Fund; the President’s Office; and the Tagliabue Fund, Amherst College.

About the symposium
Opening day will feature a key note lecture by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, the internationally renowned Tibetan scholar and the founder of the International Shang Shung Institute for Tibetan Studies with locations in Austria, Italy and the United States. Since 2005, the USA branch has offered the only 4-year Traditional Tibetan Medicine Program in the West and the first-of-its-kind English-language curriculum that mirrors traditional training found only at advanced medical schools in Tibet and India.

On Saturday the following speakers will lecture: Dr. Yang Ga, an assistant professor of Tibetan medicine at the Tibetan Medical College in Lhasa who is currently in a Harvard PhD program, will talk on the history of Tibetan medical knowledge, one of humanity's oldest continuously practiced healing systems.

Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen, a doctoral student at the UCLA School of Public Health, ordained Tibetan Buddhist monk, and board member of the American Tibetan Medical Association, will introduce the basic medical theory underlying Tibetan Medicine that a naturally balanced being is better health.

Dr. Tenzin Darje, professor at the Lhasa Medical School in Tibet, and Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo, director of the Shang Shung Institute's 4-year Tibetan Medicine program and president of the American Tibetan Medical Association, will give a talk to introduce the ancient healing system's prevention approach in present-day clinical practice with an emphasis on balancing the Western diet and lifestyle.

Dr. Tenzin Dapka, a Tibetan medical professor and publisher, and Dr. Chimed Rabten, a professor at Sichuan State Tibetan College in China, chief physician at the school's affiliated medical center and board member of the American Tibetan Medical Association, will discuss the current situation for Tibetan medicine in Tibet, where it has been practiced continuously for 4,000 years, and India, which is now home to the largest school of Tibetan medicine outside of its Himalayan homeland.

Dr. Choyang Phuntsog, a former faculty member and pharmacy director at the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute in Dharamsala, India and member of the American Tibetan Medical Association, and Tashi Rabten, a graduate from the Tibetan Medical School in Lhasa and founder of the Tibetan Green Health Center in New York, will talk about the current situation for Tibetan medicine in America focusing on legality, licensing, standards and preservation through practice.

Speaker Schedule

Pruyne Hall, Fayerweather, Amherst College

4:30 Welcoming remarks by Professor Paola Zamperini, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, Amherst College
Opening remarks, Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo
Keynote lecture by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

Pruyne Hall, Fayerweather.

9 - 10:30 AM | Dr. Yang Ga The Historic Roots of Medical Knowledge in Tibet
10:45 AM - 12:15 PM | Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen Understanding the Basis of the Tibetan Healing Science
2 - 3:30 PM | Dr. Tenzin Darje and Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo Preventative Measures and Practical Applications of Tibetan Medicine
3:45 – 5:00 PM | Dr.Tenzin Dakpa and Dr. Chimed Rabtan Modern Day Study and Practice of Tibetan Medicine in Tibet and India

Pruyne Hall, Fayerweather.

9 - 10:30 AM | Dr. Chodying Phuntsog and Tashi Rabten Tibetan Medicine in America
10:45 AM - Noon |Concluding Remarks
Dr. Yang Ga, Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen, Dr. Tenzin Darje, Dr. Chodying Phuntsog and Tashi Rabten

Moderators: Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo and Professor Paola Zamperini, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, Amherst College

About ATMA
The American Tibetan Medical Association (ATMA) is exclusively dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Tibetan Medicine and has no political affiliations or involvement. It is a national organization representing the Tibetan Medical profession in The United States of America, and its mission is to preserve, protect, improve and promote the philosophy, knowledge, science and practice of Tibetan Medicine for the benefit of humanity.

About The Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, Amherst College
Asian Languages and Civilizations promotes an interdisciplinary exploration of the histories and cultures of the peoples of Asia. Through a systematic study of the languages, societies, and cultures of the major civilizations that stretch from the Arab World to Japan, this department aims at expanding knowledge and challenging presuppositions about this large and vital part of the world. Students in this discipline learn about cultural difference and its social and political implications, both within Asia and between Asia and the West.

About The International Shang Shung Institute
The International Shang Shung Institute was founded in Italy in 1989 by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, and inaugurated in 1990 by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Its aim is to deepen the knowledge and understanding of Tibetan cultural traditions in order to ensure their survival and preservation. The International Institute currently has three main branches, located in Italy, Austria, and the USA, which work together as one to promote all initiatives to this end.

The American branch, founded at Tsegyalgar in 1994 by Chögyal Namkai Norbu, currently offers the only full-time, four-year Traditional Tibetan Medicine certification program in the West. The program follows a recent revival of Traditional Tibetan Medicine in the East and marks one of the most significant advances for its preservation and practice in the West.

The innovative program is attracting a new generation o medical students interested in the integration of ancient healing systems with modern medicine. The institute is currently on the path of becoming the first fully accredited school of Traditional Tibetan Medicine in the West

For more information contact the Shang Shung Institute at (413) 369 - 4928 , email:, Web:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New Year Greeting: Year of the Earth Rat

Best Wishes and Good Health!

Year of the Earth Rat

What comes to mind is a certain
brawn, a radiant boldness
that defies the boundaries of can’t do
or won’t make it happen.
I’ve seen you look askance,
your single eye focused
in the strutting through garbage and refuse--
All the heaps of discouragements
that hinder others but excite your passion
for excellence and a worthy prosperity.
Let's move mountains,
scale globes of gold,
defy the house rules
to blaze a path towards realization
arising from such unlikely origins
as the lowly earth rat
who never says No.

Jacqueline Gens
Brattleboro, VT

Visit Shakya Dorje's Gallery of Photos

For other photos fo Dr. Trogawa Rinpoche and Chagpori, visit Emchi, Shakya Dorje's webpages by clicking on the title above.