This coming September and October, I'm really honored to be able to go with Roshi Joan Halifax to serve in the Nomads Clinic in the high mountain communities of Nepal. Roshi Joan Halifax has been bringing medical support to the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau since 1980. Each year, she organizes a group of Nepali and Western clinicians, support staff, pack animals, donated supplies and all the food for the group for 5 weeks with two major objectives. One, to bring medical support and training to the most remote regions of the high mountains only accessible by trekking and two, a cultural exchange, pilgrimage and contemplative practice in one of the major crucibles of spirituality in the world.
I have been on other medical service trips in the past but none this well-organized and cover such remote regions. Just the physical aspect of trekking hundreds of miles in high altitude (average altitude of 13,000 ft with 5 x 17,000 ft passes) is exciting but practicing medicine within the context of a spiritual pilgrimage is more than a dream come true!
I'm really looking forward to practicing the art of medicine, centered around compassion and genuine human connection without the usual context and pressures of the Western medical culture. As I prepare for the trip, both mentally and physically, I will continue to post updates and I also plan on recording some video blogs while there and posting them when I return (I will have no internet access). So stay tuned!
If you are looking for a worthwhile cause to support, this is it! Please donate to the Nomads Clinic!
To read more about the clinic, here's an article about it in the New Yorker.