This interesting documentary shows the transition period for a young man living in Finland, before he moves to Thailand to ordain as a Buddhist monk. It shows his relationships with his sisters, and how everyone works through understanding and accepting his decision to leave.
Reincarnation is an interesting topic in the west in that it’s often not really covered, going against most western beliefs. For many who are new to Buddhism or even those who have been exploring it for many years, reinarnation is a topic that isn’t always easy to understand. I found some interesting documentaries that others might find interesting, who are “poking” around in this topic
View on Reincarnation Historically
This documentary covers where reincarnation sits historically in cultures, which surprisingly converged with the Greek philosophers like Socrates, Pythogoreas and Aristotle
Remembering Past Lives
A documentary that covers people who say they can remember their past lives, with researches that present arguments to try argue against them
Currently a documentary is being produced, based on Thich Nhat Hanh’s book: Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children.
The film is described on their website as follows:
Children, parents, couples and educators can use the techniques and practices in the film and on the Bonus DVD (Songs, Lesson Plans, Practical Exercises) to build more harmony, love and appreciation within themselves, their families and within the classroom.
In order to have funds to complete the film and to have the resources to distribute it, there is currently a fundraising campaign. If you’re interested in donating towards the completion of the film or in general want to learn more, you can click here, and watch the video below.
Milarepa is one of Tibet’s most celebrated Yogi’s. He was well known for enduring very strict austeries, like mediting with barely any clothes in ice freezing caves and only ocassionally eating nettles to sustain himself. Due to his determination, he was able to attain englightenment in one lifetime.
This documentary with Nubpa Rinpoche covers a pilgrimage to the meditation sites that Jetsun Milarepa performed his practices and provides insight into this great yogi.
While Buddhism today is mainly seen in East Asian and South East Asian countries, Buddhism originated in India. While Buddhism has made a resurgence in India in the past couple decades, Buddhism had for the most part left in India for many years. This interesting excerpt from “The Story of India” explains how Buddhism began in India, and the place it now takes in modern India.
One of my favorite documentaries, Yogis of Tibet documents the lives of various yogis from the Drikung Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism. In an attempt by the filmmakers to show elite practitioners who are decreasing in size, it’s a inspiring documentary about these practitioners and those they’ve influenced.
This classic Tibetan Buddhist documentary chronicles the life of the 16th Gyalwa Karmpa. The Karmpa is the oldest lineage of “tulkus” or reincarnated Lamas. His name means the one who manifests enlightened activity. He is regarded as an emanation of Chenrezig, the Buddha of compassion. Continue reading »
Here is an interesting video about living a mindful life. It deals mainly with the beautiful Thai Forest Tradition of Theravada.
The topic is about mindfulness, an important foundational practice of buddhism. Ajahn Chah makes an apperance in this short documentary, who was a teacher to many influential western teachers of buddhism. He speaks about happiness and buddhist practice that help’s life not be so confusing. This is a classic film on mindfulness. Continue reading »
Doing Time, Doing Vipassana is a classic documentary made from within an overcrowded prison in India. To help rehabilitate the prison population instead of merely “housing” them, they started doing 10 day silent sit vipassana courses within the prison walls. Continue reading »
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The Tibetan Book of the Dead has made been an interesting appearance in popular culture over the past couple years. I think many people fear death because of not understanding it. People want to know what happens after death, so a book like the Tibetan Book of the Dead naturally becomes a source of curiosity. The Tibetan Book of the Dead is well known for describing in detail the sometimes pleasant and other times horrifying visions that are described during the transition time between death and the next life, know as the bardo. Continue reading »
I think a good question to often ask, is who was the Buddha?
A couple years ago, the BBC did a documentary on the Life of the Buddha. I liked watching this, explaining how the historical Shakyamuni Buddha went from being a prince to an ascetic spiritual wanderer. Continue reading »
A while ago I saw a documentary called the Dhamma Brothers, where prisoners within a maximum security prison do a 10 day silent vipassana retreat. I’m personally fascinated with stories of prisoners stories practicing dharma. I think in prison, its a very violent and difficult place to cultivate love and compassion and at the same time, its an very helpful in a way because someone doesn’t have anywhere else to run and has to eventually work on their mind. Continue reading »
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. Continue reading »
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This is one of my favorite buddhist documentaries of all time.
It involves Tenzin Zopa (now Geshe Zopa, the spiritual center director of Lozang Dragpa Center, Malaysia), the attendent and pupil of Lama Konchog. Lama Konchog was a well known teacher and yogi who used to meditate in caves for years, engaging in very strict ascetic practices like not eating any food and drinking only water, and not sleeping so he could meditate day and night to attain enlightenment. Continue reading »