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Life of Mahatma Gandhi

This is the abridged version (2hrs 15min) of a 5hrs 10min documentary biography of Mohandas Mahatma Gandhi. All events and principles of Gandhi's life and thought are viewed as integrated parts of his truth-intoxicated life depicting permanent and universal values.


The purpose of the film is to tell the present and the future generations "that such a man as Gandhi in flesh and blood walked upon this earth", to acquaint them with his life and work and to spread his message of peace and universal brotherhood to the war-weary and fear-stricken world. The film brings together a mass of visual record not only of 78-year life of Gandhi but also of an important period of India's history.


The aim of the film being education and not entertainment, there is no attempt at dramatization of those exciting times. The story is told with an eye to truthful documentation of the main events within the limits of available documentary visual material.



Confucius: Words of Wisdom

Confucius Words of Wisdom Biography A& E Television Networks, 1996, Available at Amazon.com and other online bookstores.



Zen Buddhism - The Land of the Disappearing Buddha (BBC 1977)

While this video was filmed in 1977,  the content is very relevant still today.  This program offers an interesting insight into Buddhism in Japan,  particularly Zen Buddhism explained by both monastic, and lay practitioners.


Zen: Principles and Practices

This film offers a rare, in depth look inside a Japanese Zen monastery.  This documentary was filmed on location, utilizing natural lighting. Some of the scenes may appear briefly darkened.


Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China during the 6th century as Chán. From China, Zen spread south to Vietnam, to Korea and east to Japan

 

The word Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Middle Chinese word (dʑjen) (Modern Mandarin: Chán), which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna which can be approximately translated as "absorption" or "meditative state".

 

Zen emphasizes the attainment of enlightenment and the personal expression of direct insight in the Buddhist teachings. As such, it de-emphasizes mere knowledge of sutras and doctrine and favors direct understanding through zazen and interaction with an accomplished teacher.

 

The teachings of Zen include various sources of Mahāyāna thought, especially Yogācāra, the Tathāgatagarbha Sutras and Huayan. The Prajñāpāramitā literature and, to a lesser extent, Madhyamaka have also been influential.

 

Zen meditation

Central to Zen-practice is dhyana or meditation. The Zen tradition holds that in meditation practice, notions of doctrine and teachings necessitate the creation of various notions and appearances (Skt. saṃjñā; Ch. , xiāng) that obscure the transcendent wisdom of each being's Buddha-nature. This process of rediscovery goes under various terms such as "introspection", "a backward step", "turning-about" or "turning the eye inward".

 

Zazen

Sitting meditation is called zazen (Jp.: 坐禅, lit. "seated meditation"), and in Chinese it is called zuòchán (坐禅), both simply meaning "sitting dhyāna". During this sitting meditation, practitioners usually assume a position such as the lotus position, half-lotus, Burmese, or seiza postures, using the dhyāna mudrā. To regulate the mind, awareness is directed towards counting or watching the breath or put in the energy center below the navel (see also anapanasati).  Often, a square or round cushion placed on a padded mat is used to sit on; in some other cases, a chair may be used.

 



Opening Dao ~ is a short secular documentary film on Taoism, and martial arts filmed in China in 2009. Scholars, top martial artists and monks explain the principles of  "the way", a treasure of wisdom that survived thousands of years. The film highlights the interconnectedness between the philosophy and the natural world and how its principles manifest in certain martial arts and meditative arts.

The film contains exclusive interviews with Prof. Chad Hansen and Prof. Chris Fraser from the University of Hong Kong, Dr Wang Daoke from Wudang Taoist Association, Master Yuan Xiu Gang (Wudang Gong Fu Academy) and martial arts performances from Master Heng Wei (Tang Long Kung Fu), Master Yongxing Guan and the students of the Wudang Taoist Kung Fu Academy in Wudang Shan, China.

The documentary also features a master narrative of the Dao De Ching by Edward Petherbridge, former leading actor of the Royal Shakespeare Company. 


Life Arts Media:

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