Updated: Was “The Dharma Bum” the first Western Buddhist monk?


Update – Wednesday, March 18, 11:35am: For more information, filmmaker Ian Lawton has published a second video on the project. Watch that video, above. There's not much to say that isn't said in this video, which is surely one of the most compelling crowdfunding videos we've seen—and a great pitch for a movie we want to see. If you want to support the project, visit [...]

Help fund a film about pioneering Buddhist teacher Ruth Denison

Ruth Denison Indiegogo Documentary Women Feminism Buddhism Lion's Roar

The makers of a new feature-length documentary about Ruth Denison, one of the first women to teach Buddhism in the West, are asking for help to bring their film to theaters. At 92, Ruth has taught Vipassana meditation for more than forty years. After growing up in the horrors of Nazi Germany and Soviet work camps, she came to the United States in 1957, where her circle [...]

Benedict Cumberbatch talks meditation and “Doctor Strange”


As a comic-book nut with a bit of a spiritual bent, I was intrigued when, last year, Marvel announced plans to release a film featuring Doctor Strange, the comics company's famed "master of the mystic arts." But who would play the very-strange-indeed "Doctor"? A follow-up announcement told us it would be none other than Benedict Cumberbatch, star of Sherlock -- and, seemingly, [...]

Watch: “Hector” (aka Simon Pegg) goes to Tibet

simon pegg hector tibet happiness

If a good-natured, fun-loving film is your cuppa tea, you know Simon Pegg; think Hot Fuzz, Paul, Shaun of the Dead, and so on. Pegg's latest star turn is in the title role of Hector and the Search for Happiness, in which he plays a psychiatrist who's trotting the globe in search of, yes, happiness. Over at IndieWire, they've got an exclusive, newly released trailer for the [...]

North American premiere of “Embrace”

As part of the Lens on Tibet film series, the new film Embrace (directed by Dan Smyer Yu and Pema Tashi) will have have its premier this Thursday, after a screening of Tantric Yogi. Following the narratives of a father and son, Embrace documents the complex interconnection of human communities, gods, buddhadharma, and natural landscape while shining light on the ngakpa [...]

Just days left to help make “The Dalai Lama Film” a reality

Word from the people looking to make Kickstart The Dalai Lama Film (see trailer above or more info below) is that they're "now 90% funded on with 11 days to go -- but, as you know, Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing enterprise." Meaning, they need your help, and need it now. Watch, and contribute to the Kickstarter campaign here. [...]

Michael Imperioli crowned cook-off king, gifts winnings to Buddhist charity

Last month, actor Michael Imperioli opened up to Entertainment Weekly about the benefit he’d received over the past couple of years from the advice of Tibetan Buddhist teacher Garchen Rinpoche (see the Sun post here). Now it seems Garchen Rinpoche has been the beneficiary, thanks to Imperioli’s improvisatory panache in the kitchen. Beginning in March, Imperioli was a [...]

Michael Imperioli, star of the new film The M Word, talks Buddhism and meditation

In a new interview for Entertainment Weekly, actor/director Michael Imperioli (seen here with Buddhist teacher Garchen Rinpoche), publicizing his new film The M Word, talks about his practice of meditation and Buddhism. Says Michael: “I was going through a very difficult personal issue in my life a couple of years ago, and I spoke to a Buddhist teacher and he just said to me, [...]

(UPDATE: Free online screenings offered) Ahead of North American premiere of “Vara”, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche talks movie-making, rock music, film violence, and more

UPDATE: The Tribeca Film Festival is offering free online screenings of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche's new film, Vara: A Blessing, as one of four features selected for a web-based audience competition. From Monday night at 8:45pm EDT to Wednesday at 3pm, the first 1500 people to log on can watch the entire film (U.S. residents only), with a chance halfway through to give it a [...]

Trailer: “The Fourth Noble Truth” is a very Buddhist love story

Can you think of an instance when the Buddha’s fundamental teachings formed the framework for a commercial film, right down to the title? That time has come, and those attending the 17th Annual Sonoma Film Festival will be the first to get a look at The Fourth Noble Truth at its world premiere April 3, with a second screening April 5 (and you can get a look at the [...]