Tenzin Namdul, TMD, PhD

Assistant Professor | Director, Tibetan Healing Initiative Program
A man in a jacket and striped shirt.


Office Phone
Mailing Address

Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing
MMC 505 420 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States


Postdoctoral Fellow, TRACT TL1 Scholar, Clinical & Translational Science Institute, University of Minnesota  

PhD, Medical Anthropology, Emory University

TMD, Men-Tsee-Khang Tibetan Medical & Astro-Science School, Dharamsala, India

MA, Cultural Anthropology, Emory University

Graduate Certificate, Public Health Core Concepts, University of Minnesota

BA, Anthropology, University of Minnesota   

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Areas of Interest

Aging, integrative health, death and dying, end-of-life care, contemplative practice, cognitive resilience, Tibetan Buddhism, and Tibetan Medicine


Dr. Tenzin Namdul is a medical anthropologist and a Tibetan Medicine doctor, driven to understand mind-body relationship in studying aging and memory through the lens of biocultural and Tibetan medical paradigms. He incorporates his wide array of training into translational science to examine how cultural values and practices shape the ways in which individuals age and die and care for others who are dying. For his doctoral research, Dr. Namdul examines how Tibetan medical doctors, Buddhist practitioners, and lay people’s perspectives about death and dying translate into their care for dying individuals and their own dying process. Specifically, he explores the Tibetan Buddhist contemplative practice called tukdam—a meditation an adept practitioner indulges in after a clinical death—through ethnographic study and shows how it informs and shapes both the sociomoral fabric of life and the sense of wellbeing at the time of dying among Tibetan refugees in southern India.

Dr. Namdul’s current research investigates factors associated with cognitive and physical resilience and how they influence aging and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias among Tibetan Buddhist monks in southern India.

Awards & Recognition

  • TRACT TL1 Scholar, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of Minnesota (2020-2022)
  • Mind & Life Summer Research Institute Fellow (2018)
  • Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship (2017)
  • Wenner-Gren Ph.D. Dissertation Fieldwork Grant (2016)
  • Dalai Lama Trust Graduate Scholar (2013-15)
  • Emory Graduate Diversity Fellow, Laney Graduate School, Emory University (2013-18)


Research Summary/Interests

Death and Dying, Aging, End-of-life Care, Mental Health, Tibetan Medicine, Buddhist Studies, Ritual, Integrative Health, Consciousness.

Selected Publications:

  • Namdul, T. (Manuscript submitted). Death and Happiness: Exploring the Temporalities of the Meditated Death and Everyday Life in Tibetan Buddhist Practice of Tukdam. Cultural, Mind & Psychiatry Special Issue.
  • Tidwell, T., Namdul, T…Craig, S. (Manuscript in progress). Effect of Tibetan Botanical Formulas on Symptom Length and Reduction Among Ambulatory Patients with SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Retrospective Cohort Study.
  • Namdul, T. (Manuscript submitted). Doctor-Patient Relationship in End-of-Life: Exploring Personalized Care in Tibetan Medical Practice among Tibetan Refugees in southern India. Cross-Cultural Gerontology.  
  • Cameron, M.E. and Namdul, T. (2022). Systems of Care: Tibetan Medicine. In R. Lindquist, M.F. Tracy, & M. Snyder. Complementary and Alternative Therapies in Nursing, 9th Edition, 70-88. NY: Springer Publishing Company.
  • Romano, M.R., Díaz-Almeyda, E., Namdul, T., Lhundup, Y. (2021). Dialogue-based learning: A framework for inclusive science education and applied ethics. Frontiers. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcomm.2021.731839
  • Namdul, T. (2021). Re-Examining Death: Doors to Resilience and Wellbeing in Tibetan Buddhist Practice. Religions 12, no.7:522. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070522 
  • Namdul, T., MacLehose, R., & Buchwald, D. (2021). 95818 Physical and Cognitive Resilience and Alzheimer’s Disease in a Tibetan Buddhist Monastic Community. Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, 5(S1), 128-129. doi:10.1017/cts.2021.729   
  • Cameron, M.E., and Namdul, T. (2020). Tibetan Medicine and You: A Path to Wellbeing, Better Health, and Joy. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Group Inc. [Book]
  • Cameron, M.E, Torkelson, C., Haddow, S., Namdul, T., Prasek, A., & Gross, C.R. (2012). Tibetan Medicine and Integrative Health: Validity Testing and Refinement of the Constitutional Self-Assessment Tool and Lifestyle Guidelines Tool. EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing, Vol. 8, 3: 158-171. DOI: 10.1016/j.explore.2012.02.002



Traditional Tibetan Medicine: Ethics, Spirituality, and Healing

Tibetan Medicine, Ayurveda, and Yoga in India

Living Well and Dying Well: Optimizing Care for People who are Dying