Buddhas, Yaks & Medicine
Trip Start Apr 22, 2001
16Trip End May 07, 2001
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Where I stayed
0930 hrs - departed for Drepung Monastery, set on a hill. First visited an outdoor toilet, which did not (practically) differentiate male and female. Visited different chapels of monastery and involved constant ascending. Saw the past, present and future Buddhas and 8 Bodhisatva's and Maitreya Buddha, 16 Immortals, past Dalai Lamas, Rinpoche. The great kitchen had the biggest stove and pots as it had to feed 700 to 7000 mouths at a go! Weather was warm and sunny with a few beggars outside.
1240 hrs - drove back to town for lunch near Jokhang, at one of the "best" local restaurants with no tourists
After that visited Sera, a smaller monastery from the same era as Drepung. Sera was known for its daily "debate" sessions among its monks, every afternoon, which fascinated everyone.
After that, visited a medicine centre near Jokhang. Taken on tour by a doctor specializing in acupuncture.
Types of Diagnosis
- Examination (blood, urine)
Types of Treatments
4. Physical (massage, acupuncture)
Learnt about the Tibetan version of Evolution of Human Embryo,
Starts as "Fish", then "Turtle" (12 or 17 weeks), then "Pig" (36 weeks), before Birth
Mother = Lake
Cord = Stream
Baby = Plot
Toured the acupuncture room (uses electric current on lower back) and pharmacy (most drugs now factory-made to supply Tibet.)
Back in hotel, there were signs of rain and a short power failure. Had tea and chatted with 24-yr old male staff. He was from Sichuan and had been in Lhasa 3 years; says development is slow (maybe compared to outside?) and bureaucratic. For dinner, we walked south to a corner shop for beef noodles at 5 yuan. Light drizzle when we finished and saw fresh snow on the surrounding hills.