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

2013-2014 Series At A Glance

October 5 Samsara
November 2 Stories We Tell
December 7 Happy
January 4 David Wants To Fly
February 1 The Queen Of Versailles
March 1 Free The Mind
April 5 The Way
May 3 Kumaré

• all films presented at 7pm on the first Saturday of the month
• general admission at the door: $10/film, $60/series
• mental health professionals earning 3 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 5, 7pm   
Featuring Balinese Tari Legong Dancers, Ni Made Megahadi Pratiwi, Puti Sri Candra Dewi
Directed by Ron Fricke, 2011
102 min

Samsara means wandering on, as perceptions and actions set one flowing through states of existence. The latest stunning film by Ron Fricke (Baraka), Samsara casts an unblinking eye on the planetary cycles of life, beginning with the primordial flow of lava and sweeping wordlessly into the realm of human culture and spirituality in all their beauty and horror. With one unforgettable image after another - each breathtaking in its grandeur, whether trained on wisdom or folly - Samsara transports one to the thronging Hajj at Mecca, or swoops past sublime Indonesian temples, and into desert canyons or the vast spaces of industry. Along the way, the most majestic of human aspirations are revealed, along with our most intractable conflicts and dilemmas, leaving us with the unspoken question: what world are we creating within and around ourselves?

Stories We Tell
Saturday, November 2, 7pm   
Featuring Sarah Polley, Diane Elizabeth MacMillan, Michael Polley
Directed by Sarah Polley, 2012
148 min

In this multi-layered, unconventional, genre-bending film, writer Sarah Polley illuminates that the truth depends on who is telling it. In the role of detective, she investigates the secrets held by a complex family. As she interviews each character, she discovers fresh but contradictory answers to the same questions, exploring the elusive ideas of memory and truth. Profound and deeply personal, this film is an inquiry into the theme of how our stories shape who we are

Saturday, December 7, 7pm
Featuring Anne Bechsgaard, Gregory Berns, Roy Blanchard, Marci Shimoff, Richard Davidson, Ed Diener, Sonja Lyubomirsky, & Michael Pritchard
Directed by Roko Belic, 2011
75 min

The desire for happiness is universal, and "The Pursuit of Happiness" is even enshrined in our Constitution. How to be happy is another matter, however, and many common assumptions about what leads to its attainment are actually false. After one has enough for basic necessities, for example, more money does not generally lead to greater life satisfaction. Neither does fame or status or even the absence of misfortune. While pointing out various investments of energy that do not lead to happiness, this short documentary film also undertakes to uncover several of the central human endeavors that do—personal growth, relationships, and community feeling. Actual footage from different cultures as well as testimony from a number of expert researchers inform this uplifting, informative, and genuinely useful film

David Wants To Fly
Saturday, January 4, 7pm   
Featuring David Lynch, Donovan, Judith Bourque, Raja Emanuel, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Directed by David Sieveking, 2010
96 min

When German filmmaker David Sieveking tracks down his idol, David Lynch, the famous director encourages him to take up Transcendental Meditation (TM)—a challenge the inexperienced but astute younger man takes up with gusto. After all, he wants to fly—not only operate at the rarified altitudes of his cinematic hero, but actually fly, as promised by the TM movement and its aging founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. David’s efforts may estrange him from his unsympathetic girlfriend, but they spark a romantic urge to capture the TM organization on film as it staggers in the wake of the Maharishi’s death and the revelations about his less-than-saintly behavior. Sieveking’s documentarian instincts and good humor somehow earn him entree into TM’s inner sanctums and power struggles, bringing us along to far-flung locales not only in India but also the comparably exotic Fairfield, Iowa, home of Maharishi University. David Wants To Fly is a fascinating film that allows one to be a fly on the wall, witnessing the poignant spectacle of spiritual aspiration falling prey to rigid ideologies, institutional bullying, and an undue devotion to the bottom line

The Queen Of Versailles
Saturday, February 1, 7pm 
Featuring Jacqueline Siegel, David Siegel, Virginia Nebab
Directed by Lauren Greenfield, 2012
100 min

Greed, hatred, and delusion abound in this documentary tale of a timeshare king, his trophy wife, and their attempt to build the world's largest home as the real estate bubble bursts. This award-winning documentary offers a glimpse into the psychological effects of wealth on a family, inviting viewers to experience both compassion and schadenfreude as it survives sudden changes while navigating the shifting economy

Free The Mind
Saturday, March 1, 7pm
Featuring Richie Davidson, Travis Leanna
Directed by Phie Ambo, 2012
80 min

We can actually be happier people. We can suffer less if we take responsibility for our own mind. With this uplifting declaration, Free The Mind sets out to explore the pioneering work of one of the world's leading neuroscientists, Richie Davidson. His 1992 encounter with the Dalai Lama inspired him to create the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin to study how mindfulness, compassion, and kindness are cultivated through meditation, ultimately changing brain structure and transforming suffering. This poignant and compelling film by Danish director Phie Ambo follows Davidson as he works with two new groups of patients: returning veterans haunted by their experiences of war, and children diagnosed with ADHD. What happens as they begin to train their minds in the skills of mindfulness and compassion bodes well for anyone seeking freedom from suffering

The Way
Saturday, April 5, 7pm
Starring Martin Sheen, Deborah Kara Unger, Yorick van Wageningen, & James Nesbitt
Directed by Emilio Estevez, 2010
121 min

The Way is a story about a father (ophthamologist, Martin Sheen) who finds himself reluctantly following in his son's footsteps. He sets out to complete the 500-mile Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across Spain for his son after finding out about his son’s accidental death at the very beginning of the journey in the Pyrenees. The father originally goes to Spain to deal with his son's body but subsequently decides to embark on the journey himself for his 'son's sake.' He is told by the Spanish prefect of police, however, that one can only undertake such a journey 'for oneself.' Not really believing the prefect, Sheen begins the long walk and gradually gathers a coterie of three unlikely companions despite his initial resolve to travel alone. The viewer begins to realize, furthermore, that the relatively simple story has a universal theme, paralleling the life of everyone in some way. It is populated by exaggerated expectations, for example, and haunted by unresolved personal conflicts. The uncovering of Sheen's repressed anger is the thread along which the odyssey unfolds, and although no earth-shattering revelations occur at the end of the journey, each character emerges gently transformed and more fully human. It is an unusually realistic story from this point of view and unexpectedly gripping

Saturday, May 3, 7pm
Featuring Vikram Gandhi
Directed by Vikram Gandhi, 2011
84 min

Having grown up in a devout Hindu family in NJ, filmmaker Vikram Gandhi is chagrined to encounter rampant hypocrisy among the gurus he encounters on a spiritual quest to Mother India. Hoping to document the sort of blind faith he found among their followers, he devises an outrageous experiment: he’ll transform himself into ‘Kumaré’—an Indian holy man espousing bogus philosophy and practices—and settle in the American southwest to develop a following. In part to soften the backlash he might eventually suffer from his disciples, his philosophy comes to revolve around the ideas that he is a ‘fake,” that the guru is never who one might think he is, and that each of us must find the teacher within. As predicted, Gandhi soon develops a sizeable community of adoring devotees. Unexpectedly, however, they begin to convert his formulaic advice into meaningful personal change. To Gandhi’s surprise and growing embarrassment, he finds himself ensnared in the actual role of ‘Kumaré’ and yet somehow liberated from the spiritual malaise that had dogged him earlier in his twenties. By turns hilarious, thrilling, provocative, and deeply moving, this prize-winning film asks some of the most difficult questions that face the spiritual seeker: how much do we really need others to guide us toward our own truth? And, do the ends justify the means?

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 3 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 3 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 3 contact hours, Provider #6048, and is applicable for Commonwealth of Massachusetts Counseling/Allied Mental Health and PDP accreditation.

Paul Fulton, EdD is Director of Mental Health Programs for Tufts Health Plan, a co-editor of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, and 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 27 years of experience in meditation and its use in psychotherapy.

Chip Hartranft is the founding director of The Arlington Center and author of The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: A New Translation with Commentary (Shambhala).  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