Saturday, April 26, 2008

DVD Review

Earth Rising, Heaven Descending

The first disk, I approached with a reverential view—these were the sacred origins, albeit on DVD, of Bante, and his spiritual journey, which I have read about in his memiors.

It’s a cheap form of pilgrimage to watch a DVD, but that was the air of it. I do the prostration practice, mostly on retreat. Watching this DVD is a form of taking refuge in the refuge tree of the Western Buddhist Order.

I’m sure there’s all kinds of backstory in the first video, but I watched it alone. Someone said that the guy who lead tours has died. One of the fellows on the trip I knew through Jalaka. I think last I read he was off for the 4 month ordination retreat in Spain. He’s dissolved his Facebook identity in anticipation. I wish him well.

When I saw the second disk of Earth Rising Heaven Descending, I felt very sad about the paltry existence of the FWBO in America. Compared to Bante’s spiritual energy and commitment—I can’t but help but be embarrassed. Maybe his experiences are so strong that they could reach out that far.

Some friends are in this video, and it’s cool to see them in video. In a way the video is so unflattering about America, that I’m glad I’m not in it. I missed out for some reason on getting together with the gang in NYC for the shoot. I have a feeling one of my sons were born or something like that. Anyway, watching the video with my private preceptor was useful because he could fill in some of the gaps in the video. It’s an interesting video, not without it’s quirks.

I won’t repeat some of the gossip I’ve heard about other’s reactions to disk 2, but some have taken offense to the portrayal. I’ve also heard some were offended before seeing it, and then they were not after seeing it. As stated above, my dominant feeling was that of embarrassment and hope. I hope the order can grow in America.

I haven’t seen the other DVDs listed on the web site, I’m curious about those now.

No comments: