Dharma Films
A Cinematic Exploration of
Buddhist Psychology
presented by
The Arlington Center &
Institute For Meditation & Psychotherapy

2016-2017 Series At A Glance

October 1 Manakamana
November 12 45 Years
December 3 Court
January 7 Yangsi
February 4 The Lady In The Van
March 4 Fireworks Wednesday
April 1 Heart Of A Dog
May 6 Anomalisa

• all films presented at 7pm on the first Saturday of the month except November 12
• general admission at the door: $10/film, $60/series
• mental health professionals earning 2 CEs, $35/film at the door, $200/series (see details below)
• post-film discussions moderated by faculty of the Institute For Meditation & Psychotherapy and the Arlington Center
• free refreshments

Saturday, October 1, 7pm   
Directed by Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez, 2013
118 min
Discussant: Paul Fulton

What would it be like to see the world as if through a divine, equanimous eye - in this case, perhaps an avatar of the goddess Parvati? Manakamana is shot entirely inside a small Nepalese cable car that transports tourists and locals - not all of them human - over sparsely populated Himalayan foothills to an ancient, lofty Hindu temple. We go along for 11 trips, each a single unedited take, observing the unself-conscious passengers continually transform in ways both subtle and striking. Even though little seems to happen - we are certainly not being 'entertained' - each transit is a fresh opportunity to quietly abide, acquiring something of the camera's unblinking tranquility as the magic of the everyday reveals itself. Confined though the film's setting may seem at first, Manakamana's rigor and simplicity convey us directly into the heart of a world whose pace and outlook are vastly different than our own, and open out onto a universe of interdependence

45 Years
Saturday, November 12, 7pm   
With Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay
Directed by Andrew Haigh, 2015
97 min
Discussant: Jan Surrey

As William Faulkner wrote, "The past is never dead, it's not even past." 45 Years is the portrait of a long, childless marriage suddenly thrown into crisis. Kate is a retired schoolteacher, Geoff a factory manager, whose days are spent on long walks with their dog in the countryside, afternoon tea, music, lunch with friends, and books at bedtime. Just as they're planning a party to celebrate their 45th anniversary, an unexpected letter jolts them awake: the body of Geoff's former lover Katya, who vanished long ago in a mysterious mountaineering accident, has emerged from a melting glacier. Haunted in different ways, neither Kate nor Geoff can help but succumb to the power of memory, loss, and desire, as 45 Years wends its way inexorably toward a devastating final realization

Saturday, December 3, 7pm
With Vira Sathidar, Vivek Gomber, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Pradeep Joshi, Usha Bane
Directed by Chaitanya Tamhane, 2014
116 min
Discussant: Mitch Abblett

Though it turns on an odd and unfathomable mystery - who or what killed the young city worker in Mumbai? - the heart of the extraordinarily absorbing Court is its purported prime suspect, Narayan Kamble. Played by the charismatic Dalit activist Vira Sathidar, the soft-spoken elderly elementary school teacher has a surprising alter ego: a fiery troubadour whose electrifying ballads about social justice make him a lightning rod for a series of increasingly farfetched charges and drawn-out proceedings. While Kamble tumbles, Kafka-like, through the tortuous Indian justice system, the very different life trajectories of his idealistic attorney, uncompromising prosecutor, and pedestrian judge also unfurl, creating a marvelously dimensional, compassionate portrait of a society squirming as it is prodded to be wise and just

Saturday, January 7, 7pm   
With Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche, Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche
Directed by Mark Elliott, 2012
82 min
Discussant: Meghan Searl

Is it possible - or even conceivable - that a stubborn, mischievous 4 year old could be the yangsi or incarnation of one of Tibetan Buddhism's most important and beloved teachers? By a remarkably fortuitous turn of events, filmmaker Mark Elliott was able to be on hand shortly after little Jigme Lhundrup was identified with the late Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, beginning a 14-year cinematic chronicle of Jigme's evolution into a preternaturally compelling spiritual teacher. The stirring Yangsi lets us journey and grow along with the boy and his teachers, their delightful narrations including us in the rigorous but kindhearted training of a lama. We're also privy to their encounter with a rapidly changing 21st century, and to their tradition's flexible, compassionate response. With inspiring observations from Matthieu Ricard, Robert Thurman, and Jigme's family, as well as glimpses of the first Dilgo Khyentse himself, Yangsi celebrates the capacity inherent in us all for wisdom, tranquility, and goodness

The Lady In The Van
Saturday, February 4, 7pm 
With Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings
Directed by Nicholas Hytner, 2015
104 min
Discussant: Tom Pedulla

Once successful playwright and actor Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings) moves into a trendy London neighborhood in the 1970s, it won't be long before he encounters Mary Shepherd (Maggie Smith), a malodorous and irascible homeless woman with a fascinating backstory. Mary has managed to survive in the tony neighborhood, moving her van from curb to curb, by exploiting the residents' guilt as well as their generosity - but only up to a point. Before long, though, Mary will be parked in Bennett's driveway, a supposedly short stint that stretches to 15 years. During his eccentric tenant's stay, Bennett and we have ample chance to reflect on friendship and mortality as both Shepherd and the author's widowed mother confront illness, aging and death. Mary's extended tenure will also provide the real-life Bennett with almost daily lessons in compassion and become the grist for two plays, a book, and this terrifically engaging film

Fireworks Wednesday
Saturday, March 4, 7pm
With Taraneh Alidousti, Hedieh Tehrani, Hamid Farokh-Nejad
Directed by Asghar Farhadi, 2006
104 min
Discussant: Charles Styron

Asghar Farhadi's acclaimed Fireworks Wednesday unfolds over the course of a long day in the life of Rouhi, a young bride-to-be who works for a housekeeping agency. While attempting to perform her duties on a new assignment at a luxurious but chaotic Tehran apartment, she gets drawn into the volatile drama and deceptions of the affluent couple who live there, along with their neighbors. As day proceeds to night and fireworks for the Persian New Year, Rouhi's allegiance swings from one character to another, each shift edging her closer to the truth and challenging her romantic notions of married life. Indeed, by the film's gripping final revelation she may know more than any of the drama's central players. Like Farhadi's later films, including recent Dharma Film Series hits The Past, About Elly, and the Academy Award-winning A Separation, his masterful third feature is an utterly absorbing tale that turns on desire, dishonesty, and a clash of old and new

Heart Of A Dog
Saturday, April 1, 7pm
With Laurie Anderson
Directed by Laurie Anderson, 2015
76 min
Discussant: Susan Pollak

A reflection on love, loss, and death, performance artist Laurie Anderson's Heart of A Dog is as much a guided meditation as a movie. With her eccentric multimedia montage of original music, animation, home movies, stories, and thoughts about life after 9/11, Anderson is a wise guide through the difficult terrain of life, capped by the deaths of her husband Lou Reed as well as her beloved dog and frequent subject Lolabelle. Anderson offers solace and inspiration from art, music, and literature as well as lessons from her Buddhist teachers in this true dharma film

Saturday, May 6, 7pm
With David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan
Directed by Duke Johnson & Charlie Kaufman, 2015
90 min
Discussant: Chip Hartranft

How May I Help You Help Them? is the title of customer service industry guru Michael Stone's book, and the topic of his forthcoming keynote at a CS convention in Cincinnati. It is Michael, though, who seems to need help the most. Bored, barely capable of interpersonal connection, and beginning to perceive everyone around him as the same - even an old girlfriend the family man haltingly invites to the hotel bar for a drink - Stone's arrival becomes a stumble through the synthetic world he's helping to create. Isolated amidst his encounters with a parade of fitfully sincere service workers and monotone settings, he will truly connect with only one person and hear one authentic voice: that of the wounded but distinctively alive Lisa. Anomalisa is an increasingly surreal love story for adults, rendered in a unique style of stop-action puppet photography where the seams and joints are not only visible but somehow part of the point. Artificial though they appear, Michael and Lisa move each other deeply, and us as well - particularly when things become awkwardly, touchingly sexual. Winner of every major animated film award including an Oscar and Golden Globe, Anomalisa is a one-of-a-kind work of art - antic, entertaining, uncomfortable, and ultimately revelatory in its no-strings account of our human need to connect

Institute For Meditation & Psychotherapy
Buddhist Psychology Program

This CE program is intended for licensed psychotherapists who are interested in Buddhist psychology, meditation, or mindfulness.  The application of mindfulness and mindfulness-based psychotherapy is increasingly appreciated by the therapeutic community as an approach to reducing mental and emotional suffering.  A film addressing key elements of Buddhist psychology will be shown, followed by a presentation and discussion moderated by a faculty member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and Chip Hartranft, Director of the Arlington Center.  

Buddhist psychology and mindfulness practices were developed 2500 years ago to alleviate suffering, particularly related to challenges of daily life. These challenges are vividly portrayed through the medium of film and provide rich material for discussion. In this eight-session course, carefully-selected films elucidate basic concepts in the Buddhist approach to self-transformation and healing.  Participants will learn, from the Buddhist perspective, about the cause of suffering and how to alleviate it, the fluid nature of self, impermanence, connection, intention, the illusory nature of experience, and the possibility of happiness.  The film format is designed to provide both an intellectual and a visceral learning experience.  Participation in the entire series is recommended, but not required, for CE credit.

Psychologists: The Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. IMP maintains responsibility for the program and its content. This course offers 2 hours of credit per session.

Social Workers: Application for continuing education credit has been made to the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Credits pending.

Nurses: This course meets the specifications of the Board of Registration in Nursing (244 CMR) for 2 Contact Hours per session.

Licensed Mental Health Counselors: The Institute is recognized by the National Board for Certified Counselors to offer continuing education for National Certified Counselors. We adhere to NBCC Continuing Education Guidelines. Each session is approved for 2 contact hours, Provider #6048, and is applicable for Commonwealth of Massachusetts Counseling/Allied Mental Health and PDP accreditation.

Jeffrey Ansloos, PhD is Assistant Professor of International Mental Health and Trauma and a fellow of the Global Education Center at Lesley University.  His scholarship focuses on complex psychological trauma, violence prevention, critical and indigenous psychologies, and gender, race, and religion. He is a practitioner of yoga and meditation in the Ignatian tradition.

Paul Fulton, EdD is a clinical psychologist, founding member of IMP and director of the certificate program in mindfulness-based psychotherapy. Dr. Fulton has been teaching about psychology and meditation for many years and is a co-editor of the book, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy. Paul has been a student of Buddhist psychology for over 35 years.

Chris Germer, PhD is a clinical psychologist practicing in Arlington, a co-editor of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, and an Instructor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School.  He has over 29 years of experience in meditation and its use in psychotherapy.

Chip Hartranft, MS is the founding director of The Arlington Center, author of The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: A New Translation with Commentary (Shambhala), and teaches the history of Buddhist practice and thought in Lesley University's graduate program in mindfulness studies. His work bridges the traditions of yoga and Buddhist psychology.

Sara Lazar, PhD, is a neuroscientist in the Psychiatry Department at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School.

Bill Morgan, PsyD, a clinical psychologist practicing in Cambridge, has practiced Buddhist meditation for 32 years and leads meditation retreats.

Stephanie Morgan, LICSW, PsyD is in private practice in Manchester-by-the Sea, MA, and has practiced Buddhist meditation for 28 years.

Susan Morgan, MSN, RN, CS is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in private practice in Cambridge, MA.  She has practiced meditation in both Christian and Buddhist traditions for over 15 years

Tom Pedulla, LICSW is a clinical social worker in private practice in Arlington, Massachusetts. In addition to working with individual adults, he also leads Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy groups for people coping with depression and anxiety. A practitioner of meditation in the Vipassana tradition since 1987, Tom also serves on the board of directors at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center.

Susan M. Pollak, MTS, EdD, Director of Continuing Education, is a clinical psychologist. Dr. Pollak received a degree in Comparative Religion from Harvard Divinity School, her doctorate in Psychology from Harvard University, and her clinical training through Harvard Medical School. She has been a clinician and Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School for 20 years, specializing in the integration of meditation and psychotherapy. She has had a meditation and yoga practice since childhood.

Ron Siegel, PsyD is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Lincoln, MA, a member of the clinical faculty of Harvard Medical School for over 20 years, and a long-term student of mindfulness meditation. He is a coauthor of Back Sense: A Revolutionary Approach to Halting the Cycle of Chronic Back Pain and a co-editor of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy.

Charles Styron, PsyD is a consulting psychologist for Caritas Norwood Hospital, has a private practice, and has been a practitioner and teacher in the Shambala and Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist traditions for 27 years.  He is also a professional and executive coach.

Janet Surrey, PhD is a founding scholar of the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute and co-director of the Gender Relations Project at the Stone Center, Wellesley College and has authored influential books on relational psychotherapy.  She has been practicing meditation and psychotherapy for 27 years.

Christopher Willard, PsyD is a clinical psychologist. He works in private practice with adults and children and consulting about mental health issues in the workplace and in schools. He also continues to works at Tufts University where he completed his clinical training. Dr. Willard has been formally practicing meditation since 1999, with retreat practice in North America and Asia. He has taught mindfulness to developmentally disabled children, ex-cons, college students, and a wide range of professionals. Most recently, he is the author of Child's Mind, a book about teaching meditation to adolescents and children and is currently working on a book about mental health, mindfulness and positive psychology in the workplace.

This course will be taught at a level appropriate for post-graduate training of doctoral-level psychologists. The course will be limited to 50 clinicians. You can register at the door or in advance by contacting the Institute For Meditation & Psychotherapy.

Fee: CE participants $35 per film/$200 for the series. Sorry, fees for missed film evenings will not be refunded. Non-CE participants is $10 per film/$60 for the series

Location: Films are screened at the Arlington Center, 369 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02474. The Arlington Center is conveniently located a short 5 min. walk east from Arlington Center, on the Mass Ave bus line ~ directions

Special Needs: Please inform us before the program if you have special needs, so we can make the necessary accommodations

Please refrain from using scented products during the program