Brent Huffman, who travelled to Afghanistan to film the desperate efforts by archaeologists to document the ancient city of Mes Aynak before it turns into a Chinese-funded open-cast copper mine, wrote today to point out these new artifacts, which were recently unearthed:
The unheard-of level of preservation on discoveries just like this is one of the many reasons why Mes Aynak provides such a unique insight into Buddhism and Afghanistan’s past. This historical treasure must be protected and preserved!
Mes Aynak (“little copper well” in Pashto) is a mountainous site in the Taliban-controlled Logar Province, Afghanistan, 25 miles southeast of Kabul near the Pakistan border. Mes Aynak contains the ancient remains of a 2,000-year-old … Read more »
I’m always very happy to encourage Buddhist creators, and Adam Kō Shin Tebbe‘s project to document the history of Zen in North America seems well worth supporting. Please head on over to his Kickstarter page and support this excellent documentary.
Zen in America is a multi-part series which will cover the history and practices of Zen in North America. Funding is the first major obstacle in getting any documentary off the ground and a detail every filmmaker wishes they could hop right over. The reality of fundraising is quite real, however, leaving many independent filmmakers like Tebbe to turn to sites like Kickstarter.com.
“Zen in America” tells its story through a patchwork of interviews … Read more »
As we get toward the end of our period of exploring mudita, or joyful appreciation, I wanted to share this clip from Luc Besson’s “Angel-A” (2005). “Angel-A” is about an angel, played by Danish actress Rie Rasmussen, who intervenes to rescue André (Jamel Debbouze), a self-loathing scam artist on the verge of killing himself, and teaches him to love himself.
“Look at your body, battered by the lack of love and trust. Don’t you see it deserves a little care from you? Don’t reject this injured body which has supported you so long, never complaining. Tell it that it’s important, that it has its place. Give it what it deserves.”
(“Regarde ton corps meurtri par … Read more »
We’ve had some great news from Brent Huffman, who ran a Kickstarter campaign, raising funds to finish a documentary on the Buddhas of Mes Aynak. Mes Aynak is an ancient Buddhist city in Afghanistan, which was scheduled to be destroyed about now in order to construct a copper mine that’s being built by the Chinese.
Here’s what Brent had to say:
… Read more »
Due to the success of our international campaign that reached out to the US including the Smithsonian and State Department, Thailand and other Asian countries, South American, Canada, Europe, etc., the Ministry of Mines in Afghanistan is FINALLY recognizing the importance of the ancient Buddhist site and is paying attention.
Archaeologists, who have been
Room to Breathe is a surprising story of transformation as struggling kids in a San Francisco public middle school are introduced to the practice of mindfulness. Topping the district in disciplinary suspensions, and with overcrowded classrooms creating a nearly impossible learning environment, overwhelmed administrators are left with stark choices. Do they repeat the cycle of forcing tuned-out children to listen, or experiment with a set of age-old inner practices that may provide them with the social, emotional, and attentional skills that they need to succeed?
Even just this brief extract of the film is powerfully moving. I can’t wait to see the whole thing.
Here’s … Read more »
Richard Schiffman, OpEdNews: There are two jobs that have become a lot more difficult in recent years. One is being a teacher, which was never easy at the best of times. But in an age of virtually unlimited opportunities for distraction and rapidly shrinking attention spans getting kids to focus on their schoolwork can be (with apologies to dentists) like pulling teeth.
I know: As a former school aide working with young children, it was often all that I could manage just to break up fights and keep the decibel level below that at an international airport. Any “education” that actually took place …
Stephen Pedersen, Chronicle Herald: What is uncommon about Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the king who is the subject of Johanna J. Lunn’s 72-minute documentary, An Uncommon King, is that he is a chogyal, an earth protector, a king of the dharma, a lineage holder, protector of the Shambhala teachings, which focus on secular meditation fostering enlightened society.
Those teachings and that story are part of Nova Scotia history, ever since the Sakyong’s father, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, moved his international headquarters from Colorado to Halifax.
It took Lunn three years to tell the story.
“About five years ago,” Lunn said in a recent interview, “a …
Pam Grady, SFGate: Twenty years after they made “Baraka,” filmmakers Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson are back with “Samsara,” with Fricke directing, Magidson producing and both men credited with concept, treatment and editing.
Shot in gorgeous 70mm over five years in 25 countries on five continents, like “Baraka” and 1983’s classic “Koyaanisqatsi,” where Fricke started his career as co-writer, co-editor and director of photography, “Samsara” is dazzling visual poetry that blends the sacred with the profane, the industrial with the natural. Fricke and Magidson recently sat down for a phone chat about their latest cinematic wonder.
Q: How do you find out about some …
Alexandra Marie Daniels, The WIP: When I set aside my dance career, my fascination for movement in time and space had not ended though my interests had shifted from the proscenium stage to film.
At the time, I asked my friend James, a film producer, to please make me a list of must see films.
The next morning I received an email with a list of five movies. The film Baraka was at the top of the list with a note that said “Watch this film on the big screen.”
It has been twenty years since filmmakers Mark Magidson and Ron Fricke created …