Ursi's Eso Garden
Your Competent Esoteric Guide
Monday, 19. May 2008
A Passion for Mongolia
Here you will find information on Mongolian traditions and culture, religion and much more: Mongoluls - A passion for Mongolia.
At BluePeak you can find a wide variety of images on Mongolia and other countries in the world. The Mongolia section features a virtual tour that takes you from the crowded capital to the pristine nature of the scarsely populated countryside.
Sunday, 27. April 2008
Yogis of Tibet
A yogi, according to this film, is "an individual who has spent years in isolated retreat practicing 'secret,' self-transforming physical and mental exercises. And through these techniques [they] have developed extraordinary control over both mind and body."
The yogis are Tibet's most revered holy men and women, who have developed very specific methods of meditation as a means to enlightenment, yet they are finding themselves pushed into the public sphere in an unprecedented manner.
Yogis are a product of Tibet's unique history. The film does a good job of presenting Tibet's history over the last two millennia very succinctly, and yet with a level of great detail. Its interesting to both those who do and those who do not know about Buddhism.
Very interesting segments are the interviews with the yogis themselves, who illustrate their world-view with eloquent serenity. They emphasize the mind's control over the body.
In one fascinating clip (around 40 min. after start), a younger yogi demonstrates important yoga positions that you will not find in your average health center yoga class. (Never filmed before, which is alone worth all the movie!)
The film includes impressive archived film footage, and interviews with H.E. Choje Togden Rinpoche, H.E. Garchen Rinpoche, Ven Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche, H.E. Chetsang Rinpoche, and H.H. the Dalai Lama.
During the Chinese takeover, one million Tibetans were killed; many of them were yogis. Had Tibetans not been forced into exile, the story of the yogis might never have come to light.
Perhaps this profound historical, spiritual and educational film will someday be the last remnant of these amazing practitioners.
Enjoy this wonderful documentary, directed by Phil and Jo Borack.
JEHM Films, 2002
Duration: 77 minutes
Yogis of Tibet Official Website
Filming The Yogis of Tibet by Jo Borack (Executive Producer)
Wednesday, 12. March 2008
What is Freedom?
my teachings have but one taste, that of freedom."
But what is freedom? What does it really mean?
A short film by Alan Clements, duration 6 minutes.
Visionary author, artist, and human rights activist Alan Clements was the first American to ordain as a Buddhist monk in Burma where he lived in meditative silence for the better part of a decade.
Then, without warning or reason, the military dictatorship ruling Burma gave him 24 hours to get out of the country. Clements disrobed as a monk and became a maverick activist working for human rights and freedom in some of the most volatile areas of the world.
For further information visit World Dharma.
Sunday, 24. February 2008
Earth pilgrim: A year on Dartmoor
This unique BBC 2 Natural World documentary reflects on our connection to our natural environment.
This exquisitely photographed film is a spiritual journey into the ethereal landscape of Dartmoor with Resurgence Satish Kumar, the world-renowned ecologist, former Jain monk and pilgrim for peace.
Through changing seasons, Satish walks the moor and explores ancient woods and rivers, which are home to a wealth of wildlife including red deer, emperor moths, starling roosts, kestrels and foxes. His meditations on the natural world are lyrical, uplifting and timely. He offers a very Indian perspective through the changing seasons.
Duration: 50 minutes.
Press coverage of Earth Pilgrim:
Soul man by The Guardian.
Satish Kumar has spent much of his life walking the Earth to spiritually connect with nature; now he wants environmentalists and all of us to forget gloomy predictions and follow in his footsteps. John Vidal reports.
Meet the Pilgrim Father by The Metro.
As an Indian Jain monk, I always had a reverential view of nature. But coming to the West, I learnt a bit more Western philosophy and science, and tried to see a balance between the two. There is a value in an analytical, scientific, empirical, evidence-based understanding but there is also a value in human intuition and human spirit. If you can put those two together, then the meaning and the matter become one.
Pilgrim Father full version (pdf)
Day-by-day Celebration of Nature and Peace by Western Morning News.
Practising what you preach isn't always the easiest path to follow, but when it involves walking hand in hand with nature, rejecting the fear and resentment of the average modern existence, and working towards a peaceful world, it could start to sound more appealing than daunting.
Thursday, 17. January 2008
The Zen Mind - An Introduction
This is a clip from The Zen Mind documentary, filmed in Japan 2006. It serves as a nice overview of zen - a topic very few people can fully understand.
More at Empty Mind Films, an independent documentary film studio specializing in the martial arts and the philosophy and culture of Asia and in particular the countries of Japan and China.
Sunday, 11. November 2007
Tibet: A Buddhist Trilogy
Tibet: A Buddhist Trilogy takes you on an intimate journey deep into the heart of an ancient Buddhist world. Four years in the making and hailed as a cinematic masterpiece in 1979, writer/director Graham Coleman's three-part feature has been unseen for over 20 years.
In 2005 the film has been reworked into a single presentation, complete with digital restoration of the original material and new commentary.
Part One: The Dalai Lama, the Monasteries and the People is filmed in the Dalai Lama's residence in Dharamsala and in Sera monastery and explores the ways in which the inner knowledge of Tibetan Buddhist culture is developed and refined and communicated out to the lay community.
Part Two: Radiating the Fruit of the Truth reveals the essence of the mystical philosophy of Tibetan Buddhism. The film follows the lamas of the Sakya monastery in Boudha, Nepal as they prepare to perform an ancient protective ritual associated with Tara known as a "Beautiful Ornament".
Part Three: The Field of the Senses is set in the majestic mountain landscape of Ladakh. It follows the monks and farmers through a day, ending with an unflinching depiction of the monastery's moving ritual response to a death in the community. As in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the departed is guided through the dream-like intermediate state between death and birth.
Commentary read by Thubten Jinpa. Written and directed by Graham Coleman, produced and photographed by David Lascelles. In Tibetan language with English commentary and subtitles.
Duration: 134 minutes.
Monday, 10. September 2007
A Day in the Life of a Trappist Monk
Monastic communities, both of men and women, offer the opportunity of freedom, refuge, education and stability.
The most important part in every persons calling is the values that are present in each person already. What kind of person do you want to be as you grow up?
A Day in the Life of a Trappist Monk (all English or French)
A very well designed website with supreme content!
Category: Monks & Ascets |
Thursday, 05. April 2007
Kathmandu’s Slice of Tibet
Images of Boudhanath, one of the largest stupas in South Asia.
Boudha near Kathmandu is famously known as Little Tibet. It is one of the top tourist spots in the world, located around five kilometers northeast of Nepal's capital city on the old road from Tibet.
Stupa of Boudhanath
Boudha gets its name from Boudhanath, one of the largest stupas in South Asia and a UNESCO world heritage site. White and looming 36 meters in height, Boudhanath has become a focal point for tourists and Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal.
The main stupa is surrounded by a path which is now itself surrounded by a tight circle of buildings. The area surrounding the stupa is fast urbanizing and numerous modern gompas (Buddhist temples) have been constructed, which has put a great pressure on conservation efforts.
A woman spins a prayer wheel.
The general belief is that the stupa was constructed in the 5th century CE, however there is no definite proof.
Boudha Stupa stands upon a three layered pedestal, having the shape of a Mandala, and we can easily go up to the dome by taking a flight of stairs.
A ring of 108 images of Amitabha surrounds the base of the dome. A brick wall containing five groups of prayer wheels encircles the dome and there are several chaityas.
Wednesday, 10. January 2007
Sadhus, Holy Men of India
The Indian concept of holiness is quite different from that in the West. It is not necessarily (though often) associated with the "good." In fact, some all-India saints, such as Ramakrishna or Chaitanya, would be considered lunatics in the West. There is a long tradition of 'divine madness' in Hinduism.
But since time immemorial shortcuts have been available for people wanting to become enlightened in this life rather than the next.
Those who follow the fast track, mostly men, are the sadhus, the 'holy men' of India.
For thousands of years they have been around. Once they must have been more numerous, but even today there are still four to five million sadhus, constituting about half a percent of the total population.
Certainly, not all sadhus are enlightened. But believers regard them all as holy anyway, if only because of their radical commitment. And successful sadhus are even worshipped as 'gods on earth'.
Believers only have to 'behold' a sadhu -- as a kind of living idol -- to receive a spark of his spiritual energy. They give donations to the sadhus -- regarded as offerings to the gods -- and get their blessing in return. Thus, since time immemorial, has Indian society been organised to support the holy men, for they are not supposed to work.
But in India too, the times they are a'changing.
It is the musical instrument with which Vishnu produces the primordial sound of Creation, and it is only used by Vaishnavas. This concludes the preliminary rituals, and now the Baba can sit in meditation.
And indeed, the khareshwari starts resembling a tree, his swollen feet look like roots, with a firm grip on the ground.
The austerity of standing is performed by Ramanandis, Nagas, Naths and Udasin.
Sadhus, Holy Men of India by Dolf Hartsuiker.
Author of the book Sadhus: India's Mystic Holy Men
Friday, 15. December 2006
Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno Forest Monastery
Deep in the heart of the Kanchanaburi province in Western Thailand there lies a Buddhist temple with a difference. For not only is this temple home to monks who spend their time in prayer and meditation, over the last 7 years it has become a sanctuary for tigers: The Tiger Temple.
Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno Forest Monastery (Tiger Temple)
Andrew Barron, director of an Animal Planet documentary on the Tiger Temple, tells us more about the Abbot who runs the sanctuary and why he does it. Another Interview by The Asian Journal.
Walking With Tigers - A site created by Tiger Temple Friends.
at the Kanchanaburi Tiger Temple in Thailand:
Compassion ... nurtures the world
So Ferocious you are,
King of the forest;
As a killer, you are merciless;
It has become legendary;
Your fierceness and cruelty,
Everyone is well aware;
How ruthless a tiger is;
But with a heart of love and care;
I tend for you, gently and bit by bit;
Soften and cooled down;
Even a tiger, you also somehow;
Sense and feel the tenderness;
In the Law of Karma, it may be seen;
That animals are not always mean;
All living things are to be pround;
Not to be caged, nor to be bound;
In a lifetime, thereus nothing to bind;
Nothing but a generous mind;
Out of compassion, we' ll nurture the World;
Comfort every heart and soul;
By the great power of Dhamma;
All creatures will be brought closer;
And learn to love each other;
May the loving kindness;
Extended to all beings;
Under the same sufferings;
Bring peace and serenity;
To our world eternally;
Composed in Thai by Mr.Chuchart Krutjaikra,
Translated by Ms.Sunanta Wattanakongtong
Sunday, 20. August 2006
Tantra of Gyuto Sacred Rituals of Tibet
Tantra of Gyuto is an account of the Tibetan Buddhist ceremonies by monks of the Gyuto Tantric College. Through ritual and mantric power, the Gyuto monks use sound to effect a specific change in the individual and his environment. By their sheer inherent potency and disciplined execution, these concentrated essential energies bring about direct spiritual phenomena.
It is only this exceptional time, an age of massive world change, that the lamas have reversed their traditional practice of secrecy and allowed certain chants to be heard. These rituals were filmed by authorization of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who introduces the ceremonies.
The film includes extremely rare historical footage from the 1920's to the 1950's.
This streaming video takes 51 minutes.
A film by Sheldon Rochlin and Mark Elliot, Video, Mystic Fire Video
Sunday, 18. June 2006
The Boy and the King
This is an animated story of Obaid, a boy who tries to teach his people to worship Allah alone, but is opposed by a powerful and arrogant king. While Obaid is the apprentice of an evil sorcerer, he learns about the oneness of God from a pious monk. The boy struggles to teach this truth to others, but his wicked king tries desperately to kill him.
The story is taken from an authentic narration of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) which explains the reference to The People of the Ditch (Ashab-ul-Ukhdood) in Surah Burooj (Quran 85:4).
This streaming video takes 1 hour 28 minutes.
Produced by Ella Film, Turkey. English Version by Astrolabe Pictures, USA.
Monday, 27. March 2006
Footsteps to Buddha
Sunday, 26. February 2006
Chuang Yen Monastery Tour
See for yourself how beautiful it is ...
This streaming video takes 29 minutes 20 seconds.
Produced by Amolak Sehgal.
Monday, 06. February 2006
The Monkey King & Other Chinese Myths
he learned all the magic tricks and gongfu from a master Taoist, being able to transform himself into seventy-two different images such as a tree, a bird, a beast of prey or a bug as small as a mosquito so as to sneak into an enemy's belly to fight him inside or out.
The Monkey King (English)
With beautiful Chinese paintings.