Fundraiser in effect for “When The Iron Bird Flies” project

A while back I reviewed a great documentary about the Nuns of Tsonkyi Nangchen called “Blessings”. The same production group has been diligently working on another project called “When The Iron Bird Flies”.

WHEN THE IRON BIRD FLIES: Tibetan Buddhism Arrives in the West is the first feature length documentary to take a comprehensive look at the impact Tibetan Buddhism is having on Western culture. The film creates a vivid portrait of the world of Tibetan Buddhism as it is manifesting in the West–from the personal experiences and insights of teachers and practitioners to the wide-ranging dialogues taking place between Buddhist teachings and the worlds of science, psychology, and the arts. – excerpt taken from Kickstarter fundraising site

In order to fully fund the project, they are hoping to raise about $30,000. They are in the final stages of editing and the money will be used to cover those expenses. They are almost a third of the way to their goal.

Can you help?

If you can contribute please visit their Kickstarter page at You can also see a teaser of the film at the page. Any donation level is accepted and appreciated!

Film Review: Crazy Wisdom

“Crazy Wisdom”
A film by Johanna Demetrakas

“Any perception can connect us to reality properly and fully. What we see doesn’t have to be pretty, particularly; we can appreciate anything that exists. There is some principle of magic in everything, some living quality. Something living, something real, is taking place in everything.”

I have been looking forward to seeing this for some time. I have to admit, I have not read a ton of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, but what I have read, and know about him, he was quite the audacious and in your face type of guy. His form of wisdom, appropriately dubbed crazy wisdom, broke many of the molds that westerners thought Buddhism was.

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DVD Review: Fire Under The Snow

“Fire Under The Snow”
A Film by Makoto Sasa

“I stood still, without answering. Paljor took out his electric baton and shoved it into my mouth and then thrust it down my throat. I lost consciousness. When I woke up, I found myself lying in a pool of vomit and urine, I had lost twenty of my teeth.” ~Palden Gyatso

It is amazing what some people can endure. It would be easy to give in to interrogation, to say the words your captors are forcing you to say. But when you believe in something, when you believe in the truth, it’s hard to break that down. It is especially difficult when what you believe in is your culture, your way of life. Knowing in your heart that all this has been stolen from you, and may never be given back, yet you don’t back down.

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“When The Iron Bird Flies”… can you help?

Ed. Note: Fellow Buddho-bloggers, please repost the following message. Let’s see what we can do to help make this project happen. Oh, and if you haven’t seen “Blessings” yes I highly recommend it.

Chariot Productions and the Pundarika Foundation are now in production on WHEN THE IRON BIRD FLIES: A Spiritual Collaboration Between East and West. While BLESSINGS offered a rarely seen view into the lives and practices of yoginis in remote hermitages in the mountains of Tibet, WHEN THE IRON BIRD FLIES will offer an exhilarating look at the evolution of these same spiritual teachings as they are propelled into modern western culture. This groundbreaking feature documentary will trace the path of one of the world’s oldest religions into the 21st century and show how this new collaboration between East and West is creating a new western Tibetan Buddhism – and permeating myriad aspects of contemporary culture at the same time.

We all have a part to play in the story of Buddhism in the West. Join us on our WHEN THE IRON BIRD FLIES Facebook page for up to date photo, text and video information on the film’s progress. In order to bring this project to fruition, we also need donations of any amount from as many sources as possible.  Even contributions of  $25-$50 can go a long way when we all take part. Further details can be found on theIRON BIRD fundraising page.

We hope that you will be a part of theIRON BIRD story.

Warm regards,

The Iron Bird Team

DVD Review: Blessings

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.

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DVD Review: Unmistaken Child

Unmistaken Child
Oscilloscope Labs | PBS Video

I have been looking forward to watching this for some time, and am appreciative to PBS for sending it. It will be airing as part of their Independent Lens Series and will make it’s broadcast premiere April 7, 2010 on PBS (Check broadcast listings)

The film follows Tenzin Zopa, a shy and mild mannered monk, on his search for his teachers rebirth. Since a young age, Tenzin had been a close follower of the renowned teacher Geshe Lama Konchog. Tenzin is lost after GLK’s passing, having spent most of his life with him, a sense of loneliness is left. His emotional state is veritably shattered, he breaks down. Tenzin is unsure whether or not he has the ability to find the rebirth, but knows how important it is and sets off on his quest.

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DVD Review: Dhamma Dana

Dhamma Dana
Low Pressure Films/ Theodore Martland

Dhamma Dana is an extraordinary look into a culture that is hidden under a governmental shroud. Rarely are we giving a glimpse into such a serene lifestyle.

Theravada Buddhism, which is on of the two main branches of Buddhism, is considered the “Doctrine of the Elders” drawing it’s teachings straight from the Tipitaka which is believed to be one of the oldest teachings of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. Burma, or as it’s know now Myanmar, is traditionally a Theravada practicing country. Nearly 90% of the country practices Theravada Buddhism, including (believe it or not) the tyrannical ruling junta of the country.

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