Chija Lama is a practicing lama and healer trained in the indigenous Tamang tradition of medicine in Nuwakot, Nepal. The established tradition draws some elements and techniques from the Tibetan Bön religion and Buddhism. Chija Lama has been learning and developing his knowledge and skill in preparing amulets since a young age.
He chooses healing mantras specific to the individual, then freehand carves the mantra, represented by certain symbols, figures and mandalas, into a woodblock. A layer of dark soot is applied to the carved block which is then pressed onto a parchment of Lokta paper. The paper gets folded, encased with thread and given to the individual in need.
Throughout this process, Chija Lama has to play many parts; he is both healer and artist, doctor and confidante, monk and gentle friend. He prescribes certain rituals and chanting meditation routines to accompany the ‘buti’ (rung nga), or healing amulet. Over the years, Chija Lama’s amulets have become highly prized, blessed possessions, recognising his vast knowledge and experience.