Tenzin Namdul

Cohort: 2013


  • Doctor in Tibetan Medicine, Tibetan Medical Institute, Dharamsala, India
  • Graduate Public Health Certificate in Core Concepts, University of Minnesota
  • BA, Anthropology, University of Minnesota


My main research interest is the examination of death and dying from the perspective of Tibetan medicine and Buddhist philosophy. I want to understand the underlying sociocultural impact of the way that Tibetans recognize what constitutes a “good death” and the psychological effect of applying this concept of “good death” in the day-to-day life of Tibetans.

This particular interest in Tibetan medicine and Buddhist perspective of death and dying gives rise to a series of conceptual questions to my academic quest: 1) Why do Tibetans believe that meditation on death is the key to health in their day-to-day life? 2) What is the relation between the temporalities of the meditated death and the temporalities of the day-to-day life? 3) How might the traditional Tibetan perception of the relevance between medicine, on the one hand, and philosophy, poetry, and discourses on the other, guide us in understanding these two ‘temporalities’?

I would also like to conduct interview-based ethnographic research to explore the conception of “good death” among contemporary Tibetans in exile and to examine whether there are any differences compared to a traditional Buddhist view on death.

Advisor: Dr. Shore