In late 2022,
Dr. Tenzin Namdul became the Director of the Tibetan Healing Initiative, and Dr. Miriam Cameron retired to a new position as a Senior Fellow at the Bakken Center.
His Holiness the 14th Dali Lama sent this letter to the Bakken Center for Dr. Cameron in celebration of her retirement.
During my visit to the University of Minnesota in 2011, I welcomed the planned establishment of the Tibetan Healing Initiative under the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota. In the years since then I am glad to learn that the Initiative has seen good collaborations between Medical practitioners and modern science and the Center has been providing interdisciplinary learning opportunities to students and researchers.
I am also pleased to know that the Initiative is expanding its program to integrative Tibetan medicine as part of the Integrative Health and Medicine.
I have always maintained that Tibetan medicine must be understood on its own terms, as well as in the context of objective scientific investigation. Research on Tibetan medicinal formulas have been showing interesting results with modern science playing an important role in validating and recognizing age-old knowledge and practices. Therefore, your initiative is timely as it can help enable a learning section of the community in benefitting from the Tibetan medical system.
I would like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude to Dr. Miriam Cameron for having contributed greatly to the success of the Tibetan Healing Initiative. Even though you are formally retiring this year, I do hope that you will continue to be devoted to the issue for the greater good of the society there.
With my prayers and good wishes,
The Dalai Lama
In 2011, the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing hosted a visit by His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. Below, you may read a blessing offered by His Holiness for the Center and the Tibetan Healing Initiative.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Tibetan medicine is one of the greatest legacies of Tibetan Buddhist civilization. It is a system that can contribute substantially to maintaining a healthy mind and a healthy body. Like the traditional Indian and Chinese systems, Tibetan medicine views health as a question of balance. A variety of circumstances such as diet, lifestyle, seasonal and mental conditions can disturb this natural balance, which gives rise to different kinds of disorders.
As an integrated system of health care Tibetan medicine has served the Tibetan people well for many centuries and I believe can still provide much benefit to humanity at large. The difficulty we face in bringing this about is one of communication, for, like other scientific systems, Tibetan medicine must be understood in its own terms, as well as in the context of objective investigation.
Therefore, I welcome the establishment of the Tibetan Healing Initiative under the auspices of the Center for Spirituality & Healing, University of Minnesota. Working in collaboration with the Men-Tsee-Kang, the Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute here in Dharamsala, this represents a tremendously valuable opportunity to advance the study, research and practice of Tibetan medicine involving physicians and scholars who have undergone traditional training as well as being exposed to a modern scientific environment. I am confident that this initiative will be of great benefit to serious students of Tibetan medicine, and look forward to learning about the practical results of this admirable collaborative effort.
The Dalai Lama