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Today through August 15

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Your Online Pass Includes:

  • Seven New Wisdom Talks with Robert Thurman, Sharon Salzberg, Jan Willis, Joanna Macy, Roshi Joan Halifax, Lama Tsultrim Allione, and Qalvy Grainzvolt
  • Plus Favorites from BuddhaFest 2020: Matthieu Ricard, Tara Brach, Stephen Batchelor, Andrew Holecek, and Rick Hanson
  • Thirteen Buddhist Films 
  • Encore Musical Performance from BuddhaFest 2019 by Drukmo Gyal Dakini of Tibet
  • Encore Concert Performance of The Tibetan Book of the Dead from BuddhaFest 2018 featuring acclaimed Tibetan singer-songwriter Tenzin Choegyal with narration by Lama Surya Das

Exclusive Bonus Offer:

During checkout you have the opportunity to SAVE 68% on Sharon Salzberg's NEW 4- hour pre-recorded workshop, "Compassionate Action: The Fierce Heart in Challenging Times."

Watch anytime now until August 15.

This offer is only available when you buy a BuddhaFest pass.

Watch Everything AT YOUR CONVENIENCE 24 Hours/Day
Until August 15

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BuddhaFest Presented in Partnership with

THIS YEAR'S FILMS

This year’s films were selected by the International Buddhist Film Festival from two important new contributors to Buddhist cinema.

From Bhutan, the last Buddhist kingdom, we have a selection of six films from the Beskop Bhutan online collection assembled by noted filmmaker Dechen Roder (Honeygiver Among the Dogs, IBFF2018). And from the US, there are seven titles from the On the Buddha’s Path series of films about socially engaged Buddhism produced by Tzu Chi USA, including stories with Joan Halifax, Fleet Maull, Matthieu Ricard, and others.

VISIONS FROM BUDDHIST BHUTAN

In the Realm of the Gods

Director: Pema Tshering
20 min., in Dzongka with English subtitles


A young man works as a ritual dancer for religious ceremonies and performances. Though his daughter is impressed with his skills and vocation, he struggles to make ends meet. He must come to terms with dancing like a god but living like a pauper.

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Heart in the Mandala

Director: Dechen Roder
38 min., in Dzongka with English subtitles

When an orphaned cabaret bar dancer enters a romance with an older businessman, she begins to imagine a happier future for herself and her handicapped brother. The film explores human choice, and the interconnectedness of love, tradition, and karma.

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Monk in the Forest

Director: Karma Wangchuk
11 min., in Dzongka with English subtitles

A lone monk lost in a forest meets himself as his inner fear takes on a new external manifestation. This is an impressionistic immersion, like a prayer.

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Price of Knowledge

Director: Ugyen Wangdi
36 min., in Dzongka with English subtitles

Narrated by 11 year-old schoolboy Sherab Dorji who walks three hours to school every day. In the early morning he meets the other children of his village at a chorten, a Buddhist shrine. From there, they walk to school together singing. The road leads across a mountain and through the woods. The difficulties of rural life are beautifully seen and composed in this poignant work.

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The Container

Director: Jamyang Dorji
15 min., in Dzongka with English subtitles

Inspired by true events, this is a story of a mother’s devotion to her child, as she travels a great distance from her poor, remote community to get some medicine from a small hospital for her very ill baby. The kindness of a lama is key.

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Lo Sum Choe Sum

Director: Dechen Roder
20 min., in Dzongka with English subtitles

The traditional 3 Year, 3 Month Retreat or Lo Sum Choe Sum is practiced by Buddhist monks, nuns, and other devout practitioners. By cutting oneself off from the world, and delving into the inner mind, the practitioner is supposed to be transformed by the retreat. Can Lhamo, a young, wounded girl facing the harsh gaze of the world, find her own form of retreat and redemption?

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COMPASSION IN ACTION: ON THE BUDDHA'S PATH

Karuna

Director: Héctor Muniente
57 min., English

This documentary takes us on a vivid journey from the foothills of the Himalaya in Nepal to Bodh Gaya in India. It traces the path of compassion in action as practiced by Karuna-Shechen, a non-profit co-founded by Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, and Tibetan Buddhist Master Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche. We meet several women who share their stories of lives transformed through the organization’s assistance, and discover how compassionate aid must intertwine with wisdom, which in Ricard’s view, means supporting women’s empowerment and advocating voluntary simplicity.

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Second Chances

Director: Ida Eva Zielinska
10 min., English


The onslaught of challenges recently released inmates face trying to reintegrate into society is daunting, and close to half end up back in prison within five years. In St. Louis, Missouri, thanks to a far-seeing nonprofit, ex-offenders are getting a second chance. Led by Rev. Karlene Kalen McAllister, an ordained Buddhist priest and former chaplain with the Missouri Department of Corrections, its compassionate charity and comprehensive outreach through Laughing Bear Bakery is turning lives around, giving birth to self-esteem and a renewed place in the world for people yearning to start over.

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Compassionate Chaplaincy

Director: Ida Eva Zielinska
10 min., English


Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D., the well-known Zen priest, teacher, and scholar, heads the visionary Upaya Buddhist Chaplaincy program at the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Each student of the program has a calling to relieve suffering.

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From Trials to Freedom

Director: Ida Eva Zielinska
14 min., English


Early on his Buddhist path, Fleet Maull lived a double life through drug trafficking that led to a conviction and 14 years in prison. His fall from grace and discovery of the great suffering in prison sparked intense meditation practice and a drive to serve others. He founded a nonprofit support network, now known as the Prison Mindfulness Institute, from his cell. Nearly 20 years since his release, Fleet continues to strive to relieve the suffering of those housed or working within the correctional system. His personal transformation brings an authenticity that engenders trust in prisoners and correction officers, so embracing the mindfulness tools he teaches becomes increasingly possible.

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The Peace Inside

Director: Daniel Ferrara
32 min., English

For A-Peng, a young man recently arrived in the United States from China and not speaking a word of English, a poor choice of friends led to a lengthy prison sentence. Unable to cope with this shocking turn of events, he aims to end his life. A fateful intervention puts Judy, a Buddhist volunteer in his path. The true story of a friendship that spans twenty years and continues.

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Finding Liberation In Trauma

Director: Ida Eva Zielinska
10 min., English


Justin von Bujdoss, a Buddhist teacher, volunteer, and chaplain, has chosen to bring relief through meditation and a non-judgmental compassionate presence to places where violence, death, fear, sadness, and grief are confronted. Currently Staff Chaplain at Rikers Island, he serves the spiritual needs of correctional officers there. He often takes students to practice in cemeteries, a longstanding Buddhist tradition.

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Ripples from Compassionate Hearts

Director: Ida Eva Zielinska
12 min., English

Anna Cox is a psychotherapist, and she founded the non-profit Compassion Works for All, the only Buddhist prison outreach organization in Arkansas. It works to offer “freedom from real and imagined prisons through compassion.” Anna’s vision inspired many to join the mission, and even after she retired, they continue to carry the torch, their compassionate service reaching deeply into the state’s correctional system.

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SEVEN NEW WISDOM TALKS

The Problems with Guru-Disciple Relationships in Modern Buddhist Movements

Featuring Robert Thurman

Many good Gurus/Lamas/Roshis/Masters are teaching many good students. Occasionally there are misunderstandings between the teacher and student, or flawed teachers who domineer students instead of serving them, or flawed students who worship teachers instead of understanding the teachings.

Buddha taught The Four Reliances: rely on teaching not teacher, on meanings not words, on definitive not interpretable meanings, and on experiential wisdom not on superficial knowledge.

Pandemic, Policing, and Possibilities: Can Buddhism Be of Help?

Featuring Jan Willis

Jan Willis offers an analysis of our recent experiences with the Covid pandemic and the systemic racism that was laid bare as a result of it. She traces the outlines of US history, and offers us possible solutions as suggested by both Buddhist thought and by the ideals and vision of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Finding "Buddha Moments" Through Illness and Daily Living

Featuring Qalvy Grainzvolt

Stories of suffering abound in both Buddhist scripture and humanity’s narrative. During this pandemic, the in-between spaces of the suffering of illness and the ideal of wellness may be fertile soil for awakening “Buddha moments.”

Drawing from experience as a chaplain and psychotherapist, and from experiencing Covid-19 himself, Shinnyo-en priest Qalvy Grainzvolt explores research and Buddhist stories to suggest ways we can nourish seeds of awakening amidst the fluidity of wellness in our daily living.

Understanding Despair:
The Fabric that Connects Us

Featuring Joanna Macy

Joanna Macy discusses her ongoing journey in the field of despair and empowerment work. Her experience began as a fear of the deep concern she felt for her planet and for the world, and a belief that she needed to suppress these feelings.

As her work evolved, she developed a clear understanding that despair is not something to fear or hide, but a gift that provides us with the ability to confront injustices and lead others to transform their despair into compassionate action.

The Uncertainty of Our Times:
The Beauty of a Having a Beginner's Mind

Featuring Roshi Joan Halifax

Joan Halifax offers compelling guidance for exploring our grief and our losses in times of turmoil and injustice. While we are all faced with complexities during this period of uncertainty, there is a design for staying upright and allowing compassion to move us and shape us. Even in the midst of fear, we can offer skillful responses to the needs of others and embrace this experience as an opportunity for growth and self-honesty.

Feeding Your Demons

Featuring Lama Tsultrim Allione

Lama Tsultrim teaches an innovative technique for turning your inner enemies into friends. Feeding our demons rather than fighting them contradicts the conventional approach of fighting against whatever assails us. But it turns out to be a remarkably effective path to inner integration.

Our demons are within us, energies we experience every day, such as fear, illness, depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship difficulties, and addiction. Anything that drains our energy and blocks us from being completely awake is a demon. Join Lama Tsultrim as she shows us how we can turn these demons into friends.

True Liberation: Overcoming Our Inner and Outer Enemies

Featuring Sharon Salzberg

Whatever we regard as an enemy, whether within (in the shape of a habitual, painful mind state) or without (as someone for whom we steadily feel antipathy or fear), marks the edge between limited lovingkindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity and the potential boundlessness of these qualities.

Sharon explores inner and outer enemies, looking at the fear, anger and anguish generated by being stuck in a mode of "us" and "them", and focusing on the true liberation we are capable of.

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FAVORITE TALKS FROM PREVIOUS FESTIVALS

A Plea for the Animals

Featuring Matthieu Ricard

Matthieu Ricard discusses the relationship of humans to other living species, asserting that compassion and respect for all beings, including our fellow animals, is a moral obligation and the direction toward which any enlightened society must aspire. He calls for a change in the culture to eliminate unnecessary suffering, improve the quality of life for all sentient beings, and benefit the planet.

Evolving Compassion in Times of Crisis

Featuring Tara Brach

Tara Brach looks at how crisis triggers our survival brain, while it also provides an opportunity to evolve our consciousness. She offers RAIN (Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture) as a tool for shifting from react to respond…both in working with ourselves and others.

The Art of Solitude

Featuring Stephen Batchelor

Stephen Batchelor shares his experience venturing deeply into solitude while on sabbatical, a practice integral to meditative traditions. Meditation, spiritual practice, making art, and training himself to keep an open, questioning mind have all contributed to his ability to be simultaneously alone and at ease, staying openhearted and enjoying the inescapable solitude that is at the heart of human life.

Dreams of Light: The Profound Daytime Practice of Lucid Dreaming

Featuring Andrew Holecek

The Nocturnal Meditations are little known in the West, but they hold unparalleled opportunities for psychological and spiritual growth. This presentation will introduce you to these remarkable practices, and the daytime meditations that support them. Previously tucked under the blanket of secrecy, these leading edge “dark” meditations, now coming to light, can literally add years of consciousness to your life.

Finding Calm and Contentment in Turbulent Times

Featuring Rick Hanson

The deepest roots of happiness are in the living body. At the intersection of modern science and ancient wisdom – which could be called neurodharma – we can find very effective tools for resilient well-being. Join Dr. Rick Hanson for a practical and experiential exploration of brain-savvy ways to grow lasting happiness and inner peace.

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ENCORE MUSICAL PERFORMANCE
FROM BUDDHAFEST 2019

Tibetan Healing Mantras: A Musical Performance 

Featuring Drukmo Gyal Dakini

Drukmo Gyal Dakini brings to you a selection of mantras from the Buddhist and medical traditions of her homeland Tibet, combined with her pure voice and soaring melodies that guide the listener into a state of deep awareness and connection. Mantra healing is the practice of using sound and vibration as a healing medium. It is a powerful method for opening the heart, energy channels, and mind.

ENCORE CONCERT PERFORMANCE
FROM BUDDHAFEST 2018

A Concert Performance of The Tibetan Book of the Dead

Featuring acclaimed Tibetan singer-songwriter Tenzin Choegyal with narration by Lama Surya Das, accompanied by musicians performing with singing bowls, gongs and a cello.

Tenzin Choegyal’s international award-winning music has been described as “beautifully evocative,” “healing,” “mesmerizing,” “spine-tingling,” and “transcendent.”

His music reflects his nomadic roots and his love for his homeland, Tibet. His cantering rhythms, soaring vocals and exquisite flute solos have enchanted audiences around the globe.

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