Tenzin Namdul

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Emory U.

Grant number

Gr. 9385

Approve Date

October 17, 2016

Project Title

Namdul, Tenzin, Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'A Desirable Death: Tibetan Medical Approaches to Death and Dying among Tibetan Refugee, South India,' supervised by Dr. Bradd Shore

Preliminary abstract: The proposed research focuses on death and dying among Tibetan refugees in India as a culturally orchestrated process involving Tibetan doctors, Tibetan Buddhist monks and family members of the dying person. In Tibetan culture, death is generally seen as a process of transition from one life to another through reincarnation, or a prospect for experienced practitioners to emerge into full enlightenment. While Tibetan doctors assist in promoting a peaceful and desirable death through herbal remedies and counseling, the Tibetan Buddhist monks have the task of aiding the smooth spiritual transition between two lives. This synergistic effect of Tibetan medicine and Buddhist philosophy, and the collaboration between Tibetan doctors, Buddhist monks, and family members in facilitating a desirable death motivates the central questions of this research: 1) How do Tibetan doctors, Buddhist monks, and family members collaborate in preparing a person to die peacefully? and 2) How do these actors understand and negotiate their roles in taking care of a dying person? Participant observation and interviews will be done at Men-Tsee-Khang Tibetan Medical Clinics and Drepung Monastic School in Mundgod, Karnataka State, south India.