This is an interesting documentary of a young american director, who at 19, bought a book of Chinese Buddhist poems from a bookstore in Portland for 2 dollars. He was so inspired by this, that he eventually later in life ended up in China studying with a Chinese Zen Buddhist monk who stays in a forest hermitage on a mountainside.
This documentary shows his time with his extroadinary master and the precious advice he gives to his student, as well as interesting glimpses of the other hermits on the mountain. Some are in the beginning of their retreat, some hermits have been on the mountainside for years, and one is supposedly on the last leg of his journey to enlightenment. I’ve noticed people who are attained tend to be very humble and hide their good qualities, so it’s possible that some have already arrived at the destination but don’t say anything outright.
I personally find it interesting and inspiring to learn about the daily lives of commited reununciates, not necessarily just because they gave up on everything, but the determination with which they bring to their practice. Here’s an interesting quote from the film:
If you see through this world and let go of it, that’s wisdom.
If you see through this world, and don’t let go, that’s just “talking Zen.”