This is a keeper. Not only does it include a full Medicine Buddha practice but the author incorporates a great many fine explanations for symbols, practices, ideas, etc. as well as enlightening Question and Answer sections with the chapters. The practices include the shortest of the three main practices. The other two are Sutra practices, but this one is a combination of Sutra and Tantra, so it is shorter. Also included (pages 100-101) are two even shorter (extremely short in truth) practices for when one cannot perform the full practice. In addition (pages 61-2), the author includes a specific, on-the-spot practice of Karma Chakme (author of the fabulous "Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen" - see my list of that name) which reminds me of Pema Chödrön's on-the-spot Tonglen practice. Indeed, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche addresses the relationship between Medicine Buddha practice and Tonglen on pages 123-4.
His pithy and clarifying explanations include:
p. 11: the 8 Medicine Buddhas including the main one (Menla)
p. 11: supremely effective in the removal of illness; combination of tantra & sutra therefore "since it is connected with the sutras, it is acceptable to do the practice without the empowerment"
pp. 24-5: impartiality 1st; & the 4 Immeasurables; apply to specific context of physical healing
pp. 43-4: explains the meaning of the 8 major signs of a Buddha, 7 types of royalty
p. 47: Medicine Buddha mantra -Om Sarva Tathagata Abikekate Samaya Shriye Hung.
p. 49: Reasons for offerings and the parts of the sadhana
p. 63: the purpose of yidam (meditation entities) practices
pp. 65-7: Name of the primary Medicine Buddha = Bhaishajyai Guru = teacher of medicine or Mengyi Lama or Menla for short; also, benefits for animals of this practice; can also use the Mani of Chenrezig
pp. 105-117 [also see the Appendix on pages 179-82]: Medicine Buddha's 12 aspirations
pp. 122-3: types of Bodhichitta: king, ferryman, shepherd and on practitioners being realistic
pp. 127-133: 5 Buddha families & Mudras & offerings
p. 137: balancing practice with serving others
p. 152: Medicine Buddha practice can be freely taught
p. 159: "this practice is not really the worship of an external deity., It is primarily a way of gaining access to your won inherent or innate wisdom."
p. 160: the siddhis (psychic accomplishments
pp. 160-2: maras (obstacles)
These are listed here because, unfortunately, there is no subject index in the book.
The author is quite practical and realistic in a way intelligible to the Western practitioner:
p. 49: "buddhas and bodhisattvas are not pleased by praise nor displeased by its absence. One performs the praises to remind oneself, the practitioner, of the qualities of the deities."
pp. 105-117 & 179-82 (Appendix): the 12 aspirations are more than healing; 3=prosperity; 7th=poverty
Since Thrangu Rinpoche asserts several times that these practices can be openly shared, here is the very practical Karma Chakme (or Chagme) practice from pages 61-2:
"In his book "Mountain Dharma: Instructions for Retreat," Karma Chakme Rinpoche recommends the following visualization for the actual alleviation of sickness. You can visualize yourself as the Medicine Buddha if you wish, but the main focus is to actually visualize a small form of the Medicine Buddha, no larger than four finger-widths in height, in the actual part of your body that is afflicted. So if it is an illness or pain in the head, visualize a small Medicine Buddha in the head; if it is in the hand, visualize a small Medicine Buddha in the hand...Visualize the Medicine Buddha in that place, and think that from this small but vivid form of the Medicine Buddha rays of light are emitted. These rays of light are not simply light, which is dry, but liquid light having a quality of ambrosia. This luminous ambrosia or liquid light actually cleanses and removes the sickness and pain-whatever it is. You can do this not only for yourself, by visualizing the Medicine Buddha in the appropriate part of your own body, but you can do it for others as well by visualizing the Medicine Buddha in the appropriate part of their body or bodies. The radiation of rays of light of ambrosia and so on is the same. This can be applied not only to physical sickness but to mental problems as well. If you want to get rid of a particular type of anxiety or stress or depression or fear or any other kind of unpleasant mental experience, you can visualize the Medicine Buddha seated above the top of your head and think in the same way as before that luminous ambrosia or liquid light emerges from his body, filling your body and cleansing you of any problem, whatever it is. You might think that all of this sounds a bit childish, but in fact, it actually works, and you will find that out if you try it." In the spirit of scientific enquiry, I suggest you try it out empirically!