Question: Do you lamas go to movies? I heard the Dalai Lama doesn’t but was shown “Little Buddha” by Bertolucci at its Paris premiere.
Lama Surya Das: Word travels slow up here in Tibet. But I wanna give a shout out to femme filmmeditations of recent years including “Rust & Bone” and the original Swedish version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, and “Silver Linings Playbook”, were both very fine; but I genuinely appreciated the samurai bodhisattva-warrior spirit of the heroines in R & B and TGWTDT, who served their own inner integrity without fail and bent over for no one and nothing, even in the face of gravest harm and danger. (Like “Lincoln” in this regard.) In this awakened femme category I also place “Whale Rider”, “Juno”, and—let’s stretch– the original “The Karate Kid” with Ralph Macchio. There’s nothing like a little Cinema Samadhi to relax and focus the heart- mind and spirit, body, energy and soul!
I actually have my own Lama Rating System for filmmeditation, based on how many z’s I produce during the course of a film. If I don’t sleep at all, it’s a no-Z, the top rating—and so on. Lots of zzz’s for… oh, never mind. Back into the great silence.
If these abovementioned films aren’t spiritual enough for the likes of thee, check out “Kundun” by Scorsese, about the Dalai Lama’s early life in Tibet and roots of compassion; or for even more fun, “Kung Fu Panda” with the voice Jack Black. And—here’s a scoop!– if you’re a fan of either golf or the ancient yet timeless Indian classic holy tale Bhagavad Gita (Song of God), look into Robert Redford’s “The Legend of Bagger Vance” about Rannulph Junuh and his mysterious, magical & dark-hued Krishna-like caddy (played by the wise and insouciant Will Smith.)
Have you seen anything good lately? Your own suggestions would be most welcome, at http://askthelama.com.
Remember what Yogi B. said in his Diamond Suture: “Life is like a movie, a sitcom, a ball game.”