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DVD Review: Blessings

May 8, 2010

Blessings: The Tsonkyi Nangchen Nuns of Tibet
Chariot Videos

“Blessings” is a truly enlightening journey into an extraordinary world not as well known as the rest of the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition. A group of Western woman travel to various nunneries tucked away in the mountains of Tibet, not only to record an esoteric, spiritual culture, but to learn what it means to push forward, no matter who you are.

During the Chinese invasion and brutal takeover of Tibet, many of the nunneries filmed in this documentary were completely destroyed. Countless nuns were killed, placed in work camps or retreated to caves to hide and practice. After coming out of hiding, nuns began rebuilding, brick by brick– by themselves.

It is/was believed in the Tibetan culture that to be born a woman is/was to be born into one of the lower realms. It took a great master, Padmasambhava, to begin breaking that idea down though. When he came to Tibet to begin transmitting the Dharma he took a consort who is known as Yeshe Tsogyal. Tsogyal to this day is believed to be a rebirth of the Buddha’s own mother, and so she, during her lifetime, achieved Buddha-hood herself. Padmasambhava at one point said to her “The basis for realizing enlightenment is a human body. Male or female, there is no great difference. But if she develops the mind bent on enlightenment the woman’s body is better”

It took a revolutionary man, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, to realize Padmasambhava’s teachings. Today the Tsoknyi Nangchen nuns continue to practice the Dharma and rebuild what they can.

“Blessings” is a true gem of a documentary and beyond question, an inspiration. Tap into an unseen world and come to terms with the fact we truly are all the same. Whether a man or woman, a monk or nun, it doesn’t matter. The Dharma is there for us all and we can all attain the realization of our own buddha-nature buried deep inside.

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