From the ATMA Board President:
As we know, Tibetan Medicine is one of the oldest unbroken lineages of healing science in the world. Thanks to the many generations of illustrious physicians before us, the tradition of Tibetan medicine flourished for many centuries, and is greatly diffused in Tibet and neighboring regions.
Now, many people around the world are discovering the benefits of the Tibetan Healing Science. Particularly here in the United States, there is much research into the healing arts of many traditional cultures; many people here are well-educated and deeply interested in health and healing in general. However, in America today, the practice of Tibetan medicine is quite young, and has little in the way of legal protection or precedent. This can lead to unfortunate circumstances. For example, today we may some highly qualified Tibetan physicians, who are unable to offer their skillful practice with legal protection. Also, we may find an unqualified person claiming to practice authentic Tibetan medicine. For these reasons, we formed the American Tibetan Medical Association(ATMA). Our aim is to continue the ancient lineage, protect the authentic practice, and establish the legal protection of traditional Tibetan medicine here in the United States of America.
Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo
From Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche,
Honarary Chief Advisor
An Open Letter from Tsegyalgar East
To all professors, doctors, ladies and gentlemen, interested or having sympathy for the people of Tibet, their culture, history and so on,
I humbly ask you.
I am a Tibetan who grew up and received all my Tibetan education in Tibet, but due to circumstances, I have passed almost all of my life in the Western world. Even so, I feel a great responsibility to protect Tibetan culture and history and keep it alive in this world.
Tibet is a very valuable and precious culture and the knowledge, basically called Rigpa’I Nenga (Tib Rig pa’I gnas lnga), or “Five Knowledges”, is about the Arts, Healing, Language, Logic and the Inner Knowledge. But you know and can easily see how weak the condition of Tibet and its cultural heritage is. For that reason, we founded the Shang Shung Institute, first in Italy, near the Oriental University where I worked for nearly thirty years, and then we developed it in the USA, as well as some other places.
The Shang Shung Institute of the USA is primarily concentrated on the study and development of Healing Knowledge. We have a Tibetan Doctor, Dr. Phuntsok Wangmo, who is stably living at the Institute and has already been teaching Tibetan medical courses there for three years. The first group of students has arrived at their fourth year.
Also related to the Tibetan Medicine course at Shang Shung Institute, USA, Dr. Phuntshok Wangmo, together with four other Tibetan Doctors living in the USA, and with the collaboration of Shang Shung Institute, the Dzogchen Community of Tsegyalgar East, and the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations at Amherst College, organized an open Conference of an association called “ATMA”, American Tibetan Medical Association.
On the 13th of June 2008, there was an open conference of the Association “ATMA” at Amherst College, Amherst Massachusetts, and it was understood that Tibetan Medicine is something very important for the future, and that the knowledge of Tibetan Healing remains and develops purely.
We know very well that in the Western world, many superficial things are developing under the name of Tibetan knowledge. These kinds of activities destroy so much of the real precious knowledge we have, so therefore it is very important that for the survival and continuation of the precious and living, authentic healing knowledge of Tibet, this knowledge is protected in the best way. For that reason, I wish very much that all of you help and protect this knowledge as much as possible. We hope the authentic culture and its knowledge will not be only for Tibetans, but all sentient beings, and particularly all human beings will enjoy its benefit.
With many Tashi Delegs
NN. (Chögyal Namkhai Norbu)