Tom Kenyon
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The Blue Medicine Buddha

The Blue Medicine Buddha©2019 Tom Kenyon All Rights Reserved

Note: A link to the sound meditation appears at the bottom of the page.
The Blue Medicine Buddha is a tutelary deity often engaged in Tibetan Buddhist meditations.

The digital thangka above is a somewhat non-traditional representation that I created based on my several decades of working with this extraordinary and compassionate being. Perhaps the most unusual feature of the image is in the lower portion of the figure’s torso. This area is filled with Wish Fulfilling Gems, which have magical properties in that they can rapidly transform consciousness giving you access to enlightened realms of being. These celestial jewels are forged through the power of this Buddha’s inner fire or tummo. In his right hand, this Buddha holds a bowl with the Elixirs of Healing and Immortality. In this context, healing refers to a purified state of body/speech and mind in which one clearly perceives the cosmos as a magical display of energy and light within the infinite expanse of Mind. Within this expanded state of awareness, the vicissitudes of life and the ever constantly changing terrain of duality (samsara) is unable to confine you to the lesser realms of being. Immortality refers to a state of being that has transcended existence and has entered into a different type of relationship with the phenomena of samsara. The state of trans-existence is a fundamental characteristic of all Buddhas (Enlightened Beings). The Blue Medicine Buddha has attained all the attributes of Enlightenment, and out of his infinite compassion for all sentient beings he freely imparts emanations of healing light and energy to those who wish to receive them. 

The Blue Medicine Buddha has a long tradition stretching throughout much of Asia and the Middle East. A partial text relating to this Buddha was discovered in Afghanistan that traces back to at least the 7th century C.E.

This being is associated with the semi-precious stone Lapis Lazuli, and his color is said to be that of lapis.

There are many meditation forms as well as various mantras associated with this being. The form I am presenting here was imparted to me by a senior lama (Rinpoche) from the Gelugpa lineage on my 30th birthday as part of a group empowerment. 

I have worked with this meditation and the mantra for over four decades now, and I can personally attest to the gentle healing grace that this being imparts. 

The mantra used in this meditation was freely given by the Rinpoche to even non-Buddhists so it is not bound by vows of secrecy as some mantras are. 

The Mantra

The mantra used in this particular sound meditation consists of three bijas, or seed mantras—OM AH HUM. 

In this meditation, OM is associated with the head center and the color white. 

AH is associated with the throat chakra and the color red. Finally, the sound HUM is associated with the heart chakra and the color lapis (i.e., the color of the Buddha’s headdress in the thangka.

These sounds and colors are used during meditation to purify three energy centers in the body. OM is believed to purify the body of negativity. AH is believed to purify the throat chakra and to assist in the arising of Enlightened Speech, while the sound HUM is used to purify the heart-mind. 

The Sound Field

The sound meditation begins with the striking of a large 5 metal Tibetan bowl and is intermittently struck throughout the meditation. At a symbolic level, the striking of the bowl represents the infinite expansiveness of Mind as viewed from the perspective of Emptiness.

From the standpoint of highest Tibetan Buddhist tantra, all things and all phenomena are essentially empty—a temporary magical display of light and energy that sometimes morphs into matter and back again from matter into energy and light—finally returning to the vast space of Emptiness (the Primordial Ground).  

This aspect of all-pervasive space is referred to in many Buddhist texts by the term Prajnaparimata (the Mother of All Buddhas). Thus, at a symbolic level, the striking of the bowl is a non-verbal calling to the Mother of All Buddhas (which is an aspect of your own intrinsic nature) to ignite in you your own Enlightenment. May this be so. 

From a psycho-acoustic perspective, the striking of the bowl in a slow rhythmic manner creates a sonic drone sound that activates the RAS (Reticular Activating System) in the brain stem. The RAS responds to this type of continuous sound in several ways, one of the most notable being an increase of alpha activity in the neocortex, which can result in a relaxed state of body and mind. For some individuals the complex weaving of the various sounds and repetition of the mantra may slow brain wave activity even further, which can generate increased theta activity in the neocortex. If this occurs, there can be a shifting of attention from the external sensory world to the inner sensory world—in other words, you could begin to experience The Blue Medicine Buddha as vividly real. 

I would like to make one final observation about the neuropsychological effects of this sound meditation from the perspective of Buddhist tantra. It is believed that the vibratory essence of The Blue Medicine Buddha is held within his mantra—OM AH HUM. By repeating or listening to the repetition of the mantra, you open yourself to receive the subtle energy emanations from this Buddha. And from the standpoint of the tantric meditation arts, this is viewed as one of the fundamental reasons for the non-ordinary and even extraordinary phenomena that can arise around this sound meditation. 

Throughout the sound meditation, there are other vocal sounds including variations of the mantra (OM AH HUM) as well as pure tones without the mantra, which are often tones sung by Protector Deities (both female and male known as dakinis and dakas) who protect The Buddha Field (or the energetic realm) of The Blue Medicine Buddha.

The Meditation

There are many different meditation forms associated with this tutelary deity, and every lineage that engages The Blue Medicine Buddha has its own favorite meditation practice including various mantras as well as dogmas about the best way to engage the emanations.

For our purposes, I will present four ways of working with this sound field beginning with the simplest and ending with the most complex. 

Note: I strongly suggest you listen to this sound meditation with stereo headphones or ear buds. 

The Simple Form

This way of working with the sound field is essentially a form of passive listening. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position, and with your eyes closed simply listen to the sounds. When your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to the sounds. By focusing on the sounds, you enter their vibratory realm and they can, in and of themselves, carry you into relaxed and healing states of body and mind. Don’t try to make anything happen. Just relax into the sound field. 

The Mantra Meditation

In this practice you either focus on the sounds of the mantra that permeate the sonic space of the sound meditation or you silently repeat the mantra to yourself while listening. When you hear (or repeat) the sound OM, rest your awareness in your head. When you hear (or repeat) the sound AH, move your awareness to your throat. And when you hear (or repeat) the sound HUM, rest your awareness in your heart chakra (center of your chest). Finally, a second variation of working with the mantra is to rest your awareness in all three areas (i.e., head center, throat chakra and heart chakra) simultaneously—allowing all the sounds you hear in the sound scape to reverberate all three centers. 

The Light Emanations Meditation

As you listen to the sound field, imagine that The Blue Medicine Buddha is sitting in front of you. Imagine this in whatever ways feel most natural to you. Allow yourself to receive the emanations of light that flow to you from the Buddha’s head, throat and heart centers. Allow yourself to sense the color of the light emanations in whatever ways feel natural to you. The sound OM will send white light into your head from this Buddha. The sound AH will send red light into your throat chakra. And the sound HUM will carry lapis colored light into your heart chakra. If you allow the emanations to enter your own head, throat and heart chakras deeply, you can easily be transported to other realms of awareness. And you can have profound concourse with this Buddha as well as his entourage of dakinis and dakas. 

When the sound meditation ends, imagine that this Buddha and his entourage (if they appeared) all fade into space and disappear. 

The Seven Level Meditation

This is the core meditation that was given by the Rinpoche I mentioned earlier. It is much more complex than the other three forms. It may interest those of you who are already familiar with Buddhist meditation and/or those of you who are advanced psychonauts.  

When the sound meditation starts, imagine that there are seven (7) Blue Medicine Buddhas hovering in a straight line above your head. In the course of the meditation, you will allow the top Buddha to descend into the body of the Buddha below him. This intensifies the tantric energies and makes the meditation more potent. Then you repeat the descent allowing the top-most Buddha to descend into the body of the Buddha below him. Finally, the seventh Buddha, which is right above your head, descends into your physical body. 

From a tantric perspective, your body is now temporarily the body of The Blue Medicine Buddha. This unusual state of body and mind may last for a few seconds or a few minutes. Rest your awareness in your body and allow yourself to feel the movement of subtle healing and transformational energies within you. 

Take a few minutes to rest before moving into outer activities. 

Dedication of Merit

Tibetan Buddhism is sometimes referred to as The Northern School to differentiate it from other forms of Buddhism, most of which are focused solely on the Enlightenment of the individual. 

Tibetan Buddhism, on the other hand, is focused on not only the Enlightenment of the individual but also upon the Enlightenment of all sentient beings. As a result, most Tibetan Buddhist meditations begin, and or end, with dedicating any merit gained by engaging the meditation to the eventual Enlightenment of all sentient beings. 

Nothing is lost for yourself by dedicating merit to another being or to all sentient beings. In point of fact, from the Tibetan Buddhist perspective by dedicating merit you enter the direct stream of the Mahayana view, and the positive effects of the merit that you offer to other sentient beings also benefits you in numerous ways—not the least of which is the generation and strengthening of compassion within you for other beings. This is, in fact, one of the attributes of all Enlightened beings (i.e., Buddhas).

You can certainly practice this meditation solely for yourself without dedicating merit to other beings. But if you wish to experiment with what it feels like to dedicate merit, here is a simple intention (prayer). If you are a Mahayana Buddhist and have received a form of dedicating merit from your lama then I would encourage you to use what he or she imparted to you. 

A simple form of offering merit to other sentient beings:

May the merits of this meditation extend to all sentient beings. May all beings be happy. May all beings be free. 

The Origins of this Meditation 

The sound field that forms the foundation track for this sound meditation was recorded live at a meditation Intensive called Entering the Buddha Fields on Orcas Island, Washington. The second track that weaves in and out of the foundation track was recorded at The Nomad Studio, which was temporarily located in southern California in the spring of 2020. 

The foundation track appears in its original form in both the workshop CD set, Entering the Buddha Fields and also in the single CD, Songs of the Dharma

Click here to read more about the set of workshop recordings from Entering the Buddha Fields or go to the online Store at

Click here to read more about the single CD, Songs of the Dharma, or go to the online Store at

Click here to listen to and/or download The Blue Medicine Buddha Sound Meditation.










May the lotus of Enlightenment open and blossom for all beings who desire refuge from the snares of samsara. 

May all beings find comfort and healing in the Buddha Fields of their own innate nature. 

Homage to all the Enlightened Ones from all traditions—both known and unknown—who work tirelessly for the liberation of those sentient beings who desire to be free. 

May those who truly strive for Enlightenment be blessed in their endeavors, and may the harvest of their attainments benefit all beings in all realms and in all times.