When I first started studying Tibetan Medicine I was given a copy of the Gyushi. My spiritual teacher said ‘You may not be able to understand it but I want each student to have a copy and keep it respectfully in a high place.’ He also expressed the wish that we learn Tibetan language in order to access the teachings more directly and fully for ourselves. There was talk of us taking our final examinations in Tibetan. Very daunting but also quite a big motivation to work hard at studying!
Some years later I had Tibetan language tutorials from a fellow student whilst I was living in Oxford. He was brilliant and helpful and really encouraged me. After a few lessons I brought along the text and asked if we could translate a few lines together during each lesson. He looked at the book and turned the pages, frowning and concentrating. After a few minutes he said ‘I’m sorry I can’t. This is written in a very stylised and poetic way and contains such specialised knowledge that I wouldn’t be able to translate it.’ It was then that I realised the enormity of the task! Luckily the Tibetan medicine course I did went through large parts of the Gyushi with translation and explanation so I was very fortunate 🙏
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