Go see Yanghsi at the Ruben Museum. The movie is playing Dec. 8th., and 15th and more. See press release below, starting in bold type.
I'm not expert on Tibetan Culture, but I respect it greatly and hope for a free Tibet. I've read a lot of books about Tibetan culture (1, 2).
The movie covers many years, and as a human being, it's cool to see the evolution of a human being. At one point he discovers the sunglasses, like all the Tibetans seem to like.
I feel ambivalent about the Tibetan tradition. On the one hand it looks like an ideal spiritual setting. There is a great investment in the spiritual life. It seems to counteract the materialism of western society.
On the other hand, it seems like the old boys network, the tradition of patriarch and plutocracy, a kind of royalty, where you are born into goodness. I know anyone can be good, and I prefer a meritocracy. I'm sure that there are some aspects of that, and I'm not inside, so I can't really say what it's like, but that's my fear.
I have memorized the Heart Sutra, and other things, but I wish to memorize more texts of Buddhism. They seems to educate the younger generation is a an amazing advantage It's interesting to see a young child taught so much Dharma at such an early age. I feel jealousy. He goofs off, they miss their parents because they are taken away at a young age.
I thought about the monastic tradition. I've always thought "neither monastic nor lay", because in the west we resist this idea that the lay can't get enlightened, and the lay can just support the monastics. But the idea that they pick a kid and then invest all kinds of resources in him to become a leader is quite sweet to me. He is very very lucky from my point of view. You can see him straining to learn to live up to expectations, which is what we all do, but his circumstances are quite unique. His expectations are special, maybe like those of Lebron James in our society. While in America we worship athletes a movie stars, the Tibetan culture in exile (Bhutan in this case), worships Buddhist spirituality.
I have 2 sons who are 7 and 9. I'm going to show them Little Buddha and Yanghsi over the winter holiday.
The footage of the English teacher was very interesting. Apparently they made fun of her and her methods but they admitted they worked. Seeing him shoot a basketball (I can tell he's not the best basketball player) they chose to show where he made the shot. There's lots of ritual, but they don't show him meditating, but I bet he meditated a lot.
You don't have to be a Nyingma to appreciate this movie. Dilgo Khyentse Ringpoch is on the TBC refuge tree. Kulananda has an essay on the refuge tree. I have read The Hundred Verses of Advice: Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on What Matters Most (Shambhala Pocket Classics). It is a great book. There is more I want to read. Check out the wikipedia article for all his publications. Here is the talk by Sangharakshita about him. I feel like Yanghsi is too young to really lead. Towards the end they show his first public teaching. He seems casual and informal, repeating the formulas.
Here is their press release:
You can see the move Brilliant Moon, about the previous reincarnation:
Brilliant Moon: Glimpses of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Part 1 from Alexander Mescheryakov on Vimeo.
Brilliant Moon: Glimpses of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Part 2 from Alexander Mescheryakov on Vimeo.
And if all that's not enough for you, then follow the Ruben on Facebook.