© 2016 N.E. Chekurova

2016 – №1 (11)

Key words: Himalayas, magical-mystic experience, ceremonies, rituals, Himalayan healers, fortune tellers, lamo, amchi, shaman, shamanism school, Matho monastery.

Thanks to a happy coincidence of circumstances and my work (more than twenty years of traveling through the Himalayas, the countries of South and South-East Asia), I have gathered extensive data on amazing people and unusual ceremonies, where the boundaries between the real and the beyond are blurred. This experience can be tentatively defined as magico-mystical, as these components were present in the prophetic and healing rituals which I happened to witness. This kind of experience, which I think is truly priceless, deserves to be shared.

In my essay, I would like to dwell on the description of my meetings with Himalayan healers: the lamo prophetess and the traditional Tibetan medicine doctor amchi in Ladakh, as well as with shamans, or rather, with a female shaman in Nepal. Despite the differences in methods and especially the rituals used by them to diagnose the causes of the disease and prescribe the treatment, the commonality of the “philosophy of healing” could be observed. However, while in Ladakh lamo and amchi are still popular among the locals, people in Nepal have a very commercialized interest in the development and preservation of shamanic traditions, including the use of modern web-technologies and “schools of shamanism.”

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