In 1959, the Chinese invasion of Tibet threw open the doors to the mysterious realm of Tibetan Buddhism and suddenly this rich, ancient tradition was propelled into the modern world. Half a century later, Padmasambhava's prophecy has come true and the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism are found in every corner of the earth.
When The Iron Bird Flies takes us on an up-close and personal journey following the astounding path of one of the world's great spiritual traditions from the caves of Tibet to the mainstream of Western culture. Along the way, the film tackles the provocative exchanges between Buddhist practitioners and scholars and Western scientists, psychologists, and educators now at the heart of the emergence of a genuine Western tradition of Buddhism.
And the film investigates the question: "In these increasingly challenging times, can these age-old teachings help us find genuine happiness and create a saner, more compassionate 21st century world?"
Through candid interviews with contemporary teachers and practitioners, rare archival footage, and striking images of modern life that illuminate and make accessible the Buddha's core teachings, the film creates a vivid and entertaining portrait of the world of Tibetan Buddhism, as it is manifesting in America and the West.
Includes 90 extraordinary minutes of extra scenes with Buddhist teachers including HH the 17th Karmapa, HE Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche, B. Alan Wallace, Mingyur Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Lama Tsultrim Allione, Yogi Achos, Anam Thubten and many more. An invaluable primer of Buddhist thought.
"It is with deep pleasure that we watch this glorious documentary unfold with its affirmation of the efforts of Tibetan teachers to make this religion relevant to the needs and concerns of Westerners. When the Iron Bird Flies is a creative and wide-ranging guide to the spread of a rich spiritual tradition. It's an invaluable resource to newcomers and seasoned devotees of Tibetan Buddhism.When the Iron Bird Flies: Tibetan Buddhism Arrives in the West pr__ovides a rich and robust overview of the resilience and flourishing powers of this religion." - from a review in Spirituality and Practice.
"The film is a vivid and engaging account of the movement of the Buddhadharma - the teachings and practices of Buddhism - to the West.... (it) presents this many faceted subject in a lively, fascinating and beautiful blend of profound teachings, great teachers, and the personal experiences of a widely varied range of western students. Viewers will come away with the discovery that they have learned a great deal. But even more, their hearts will have opened and perhaps melted by the uplifting gift of genuine spirituality" - from a review in Light of Consciousness magazine.
"This film is a riveting, poignant and beautiful window into the flowering of Tibetan Buddhism in the West" -Tara Brach, author Radical Acceptance.
The photography is dazzling, the portraits extraordinary, the flow natural and engaging. An excellent Facilitator's Guide supports classroom discussion of the central themes. This film lifts Tibetan Buddhism out of mere historical exoticism, making it direct and relevant." - Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies, Naropa University, author of Dakini's Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism.
"When the Iron Bird Flies offers a lively, gripping and down-to-earth introduction to the most basic of human truths: the ways in which our minds are never lastingly satisfied and our existential uneasiness -- and how we can finally find peace. I highly recommend it." - Daniel Goleman, author "Emotional Intelligence".
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