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CBD 2022: Embodied Flourishing in Tibetan Medicine: Cultivating Wellness in Connection, with Tawni Tidwell, PhD

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As we enter an age of crisis both externally and internally, a radically different approach to health and healing has become more important than ever. This talk will explore how Tibetan medicine sees our experiences of health, balance, and well-being as inextricably interdependent with the world around us and integrally mediated by our diets, lifestyles, and relationships. In order to help us regain balance amidst great change and uncertainty, we must discover our innate capacities of mind, body, and spirit. This requires a cultivated connection to our natural world as well as a deep familiarity with the nuances of our being. Lasting healing, even flourishing, is embodied—in our planet, our communities, and ourselves. This talk will present how a 2,000-year-old medical tradition that codeveloped with Buddhism in Tibet—a science of well-being alongside a science of mind—provides insights into contemporary global healthcare concerns. Drawing on examples from current studies, a Tibetan medical approach to COVID-19, chronic inflammatory conditions, and the microbiome will illustrate these perspectives. 

Tawni Tidwell, PhD, is a biocultural anthropologist and Tibetan medical doctor. She is currently a Numata Visiting Professor at the University of Vienna and a Research Fellow at the Center for Healthy Minds of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Tidwell’s research facilitates bridges across the Western scientific tradition and Tibetan medical tradition along with their attendant epistemologies and ontologies. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, where her work focused on pharmacological innovations in Tibetan medicine and training practices for medicine compounding. Her doctoral work detailed the entrainment process for learning Tibetan medical diagnostics of Tibetan medical conceptions of cancer and related metabolic disorders. She is currently the Principal Investigator for the Study on Examining Individual Differences in Contemplative Practice Response (ExamID-Biome) that assesses variation in meditation outcomes as it relates to gut microbiome profiles and Tibetan medical constitutional characteristics, and she is the Lead Scientist for the Field Study of the Physiology of Meditation Practitioners and the Tukdam Meditative State (FMed) guided by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in collaboration with Tibetan Buddhist monastic and Tibetan medical colleagues in India as well as the Russian Academy of Sciences. Her published works focus on diagnostic/treatment paradigms, pharmacological synergies, and modes of embodiment. She maintains a private clinical practice in Madison, Wisconsin.

Embodied Flourishing in Tibetan Medicine: Cultivating Wellness in Connection is part of the free Contemplation by Design Summit, Oct. 9 - 16 and Oct. 28 - Nov. 2, 2022.

The full Summit schedule is posted at: All events are FREE and online.

Registration is now open here: