An invaluable guide to the basic principles of traditional Tibetan medicine, this book conveys practical understanding of the three most essential aspects of human existence.
author: Chögyal Namkhai Norbu
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Availability date: 07/25/2019
Translated from Tibetan by Elio Guarisco
Birth, Life and Death meets two needs, often considered separate or mutually contradictory: on the one hand our natural tendency to seek health and well-being in everyday life and, on the other, our ever greater yearning for authentic and unconditioned spiritual knowledge that can give us the means to deal with the problems of birth, life and death in a profound though concrete way.
The book has four major sections. In the first part, "Introduction to Tibetan Medicine," the author enlarges on the fundamental characteristics of the human organism, based on the nature of its various physical components and their interactions, as seen by this ancient medical tradition.
The "Birth" section offers the particular knowledge of the Tibetan medical tradition on such topics as the function of the elements in fetal development, the secondary causes that determine the gender of the child, and the seven possible constitutions of the child and what portends for his or her future health needs.
In the "Life" section the Author explains how each individual by cultivating a profound understanding of the three doors of human existence - body, voice or energy and mind - can realize physical, mental and spiritual health. The Author makes clear that maintaining a constant flow of presence and awareness in each moment, an indipensable condition for practitioners on any spiritual path, enables us to relax our tensions, and live serenely in good health.
The last section, "Death," initially considers the nature of death and our attitudes toward it. What follows, however, is a kind of guide on the passage through the four "intermediate states" we will experience after leaving our human body. For each of these states the author outlines the essential instruction that enables a person to attain liberation at that time. Finally, the profound knowledge contained in the Bardo Thodrol, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, is explained.
BIRTH, LIFE AND DEATH 13 Introduction to the Principles of Tibetan Medicine 15 The Nature of the Humours and the Organic Components of the Body 17 Types of Humours 19 The Six Main Characteristics of the Wind Humour 20 The Seven Main Characteristics of the Bile Humour 21 The Seven Main Characteristics of the Phlegm Humour 22 Organic Components 28 BIRTH 31 The Causes of Conception 33 The Fertile Period 34 Signs of Pregnancy 34 The Formation of the Fetus in the Womb 35 Functions of the Elements in the Fetus 37 Secondary Causes for the Gender of the Fetus 38 The Stages of Intrauterine Development 39 The Nature of the Fetal Development 41 Diet and Behavior of the Pregnant Woman 44 Monitoring the Course of the Pregnancy 47 Calculation of the Duration of Pregnancy 48 Signs Indicating the Male or Female Gender of the Child 49 How to Prepare for Childbirth 50 How to Assist Childbirth 51 How to Attend to the Newborn Baby 53 LIFE 55 Living in Good Health 57 The Nature of the Three Doors of the Individual 57 The Nature of the Body and the Maintenance of its Life 59 The Development of the Metabolic Heat of the Organic Components that Sustain Life 60 The Nature of the Humours and Organic Components 62 How Disturbances of the Humours and Organic Components Arise 62 The Secondary Causes of Disturbances of the Humours and Organic Components 64 The Meaning of Accumulation, Manifestation and Pacification 68 How the Three Periods of Life are Related to the Humours and their Disturbing Factors 68 How the Seasons are Related to the Humours and their Disturbing Factors 69 The Meaning of Lack, Excess and Conflict 73 The Contact of the Senses with Objects 74 Behavior of Body, Voice and Mind 75 Critical Illnesses 81 How to Observe a Correct Daily Behavior 82 Harmful Food Combinations 83 Beneficial and Harmful Aspects of Foods 84 Eating the Right Amount 99 Aspects of Correct Behavior 100 The Properties and Qualities of Tastes 105 The Nature of the Six Tastes 106 The Eight Qualities 107 The Seventeen Curative Properties of Foods 108 The Continuity of Correct Presence and Awareness 111 The Need to Diminish Selfishness 115 The Need to Free Ourselves of Worries 116 The Nature of Dream 117 The Need to Be Content with Our Lot 118 The Fundamental Nature of Mind 119 Self-perfected Primordial Potentiality 120 Instant Presence 122 The Principle of Primordial Total Perfection or Ati Dzogpa Chenpo 125 DEATH 129 The Nature of Death 131 The Certainty of Death 131 No Certainty as to the Moment of Death 132 No Certainty as to the Secondary Causes of Death 133 The Fear of Death is Useless 134 The Moment of Death 134 The Intermediate State between Birth and Death 136 The Intermediate State of the Moment of Death 138 The Intermediate State of the Real Condition 144 Instant Presence which Enters into Light 146 Light which Enters into Instant Presence 147 The Vision of Self-perfection that is the Final Realization 149 The Intermediate State of Existence 153 Index of Tibetan Terms 161 Selected Bibliography 165
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