India 2004 Part 10


Today we went to the bank with Tenzin’s uncle, it took so long to get out of there. It was almost an hour. Then when we were done we went to the doctor’s because I have a cold and her Uncle, Pema Dorjee’s back hurt. When I went into the doctor’s office I sat down on the chair and the old monk he was a little round too, he put three fingers on my wrists, listening to my pulse on each arm while the other man asked what my symptoms were.  I was in and out within three or four minutes. It was actually quite fascinating how he didn’t use any of the medical equipment, doctors in the states use. I went and got my medicine, it cost 65 rupees. (45 rupees equals 1$) So it was probably $1.33 for my medical treatment. I received 4 bags of medicine. I have to take 2 1/2 an hour before breakfast, 2 big and 4 small pills 1/2 hour after lunch, 1 pill at 4 p.m., and then 2 big pills and 4 small pills 1/2 hour after dinner. Although I have to admit I was feeling better after I took some of the medicine.

The doctor also told me I should not have cold drinks (i.e. soda), fried food, onions or garlic, unless I wanted my cold to get worse. Later we went to the temple where we saw monks making sand mandalas, they were really pretty looking, unfortunately we didn’t get to see the finished project. Tenzin and I interviewed a monk and we asked him questions like why did he enter the monastery, where was he born, and the other stuff. We also asked him about his long pinky nail on each finger. It’s to clean his ears with. I thought that it was funny.

That night Tenzin and I sat with Dolkar and Dolma that night and watched as people passed by beneath the balcony. They are both girls that work at the inn, and they still go to school but they have a 13 day holiday. We talked about school and some other things it was nice and relaxing. Well that is what I thought anyway. Tomorrow is our last day in Dharamsala. I think that is going to be sad leaving, even though I find it ironic. I wasn’t sad leaving home.

I actually still have the original prescription from the doctor and I think I finally threw out the remainder of the medicine two years ago when I returned home. The experience with the doctor is something that has stayed with me over the last decade as a different approach to medicine and health.

It has made me appreciate the wisdom in older medicine traditions and that that knowledge and method of diagnosis is also beneficial for many people so we would be fools to dismiss it. There are times when modern medicine may be more practical, but I still believe we should preserve and value medical systems that have been in practice for thousands of years as there is a lot of wisdom to be shared.

I really love the sand mandalas and I think mandalas in general are beautiful. What is interesting to me and a good lesson is that the sand mandalas take a long time to make, but are destroyed once completed to show impermanence.

As for the monk with a long fingernail, looking back now I don’t know if he was joking or telling the truth, haha. And that is okay!

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