Procházka Miroslav: Mongolian monk
It was not in Tibet since I have a problem with Tibet: I wrote several articles about the political situation in Tibet and therefore had difficulties obtaining a visa for China. Thus I never visited Tibet proper and perhaps that is just as well, because China turned Tibet into a tourist attraction and thus a giant source of foreign currency, but all educated people left it for other countries. I have been in all countries around that had been influenced by Tibet, such as Mongolia; I visited Mongolia.
I went to Buriatsk, where there was a big institute for research into classical Tibetan medicine, because at that time the USSR realised they cannot keep up with the West technologically and that they will never catch up. Equally sensible, they realised that within their territory they possess quite a number of interesting traditional techniques and they started to look into them. Thus the Soviet Academy of Sciences established a research centre in Ulan-Ude, where precisely they researched traditional Tibetan medicine. Interestingly, the only European language into which any traditional Tibetan medical texts – at least the most important ones – is Russian. Thus to my surprise, today I make good use of Russian and am quite happy about it!
When I went to Buriatsk to have a look at the atlas of Tibetan medicine, of which only two examples exist today and one is in Ula-Ude, I found among other things, that in a monastery about 70km away there lives a monk who uses manipulation therapy. And since they do indeed have a system of manipulation and mobilisation, as we have already seen in Mongolia, I was very interested and wished to pay the monk a visit. As it was an excursion for the whole day, I was given a driver, Slava, a Zhiguli car and off we went through the Taiga.
And when we arrived, we found a real, classical Tibetan monk, with slanting eyes, yellow skin, shaved head, purple robe and he was delighted that a white gentleman from the Academy of Sciences came to see him. He started showing off saying he can do manipulations – he can do excellent manipulations – he can do marvellous manipulations! Then he started showing his skills on patients and the gestures looked familiar, when he finally said the famous phrase, one that should be set in stone: “I can do excellent manipulations because I was lucky enough to spend three days with Professor Lewit when he came to Moscow.” And I nearly fell over, because there was this Tibetan monk telling me with a keen light in slanted eyes that the biggest guru in his buddhist life was Professor Karel Lewit, Praha 2, Italská 35, Železniční Poliklinika.
MUDr. Miroslav Procházka is Head of the Rehabilitation therapy department of the Praha-Jarov Health establishment.
Miroslav Procházka: specialista na rehabilitaci. In: Tandem [rozhlasový pořad]. Moderátor Jan Rosák. Region – Praha a střední Čechy, 14.4.2011 11:04)