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

2015-2016 Series At A Glance

October 3 Monk With A Camera
November 7 The Overnighters
December 5 A Late Quartet
January 2 Locke
February 6 About Elly
March 5 Ex Machina
April 9 When The Iron Bird Flies
May 7 Inside Out

• all films presented at 7pm on the first Saturday of the month except April 9
• 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

Monk With A Camera
Saturday, October 3, 7pm   
Featuring Nicholas Vreeland, Dalai Lama, Khyongla Rinpoche, John Avedon
Directed by Tina Mascara & Guido Santi, 2014
90 min

Discussants: Bill & Susan Morgan

In 2012, the Dalai Lama chose Geshe Thupten Lhundup to become abbot of Rato Dratsang, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in India. What made this appointment historic was the fact that the new abbot was the first Westerner in Tibetan Buddhist history to attain such a lofty, highly regarded position. Even more remarkable, he had been born Nicholas Vreeland, son of a US Ambassador, grandson of legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, and himself a photographer trained by Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. Indeed, if the events in this film hadn’t actually happened, they’d be deemed too fantastic and implausible for fiction. Following a youthful meeting with the exiled Khyongla Rato Rinpoche, now living in New Jersey (!), Nicky abandoned his hedonistic life and budding career in photography, heading to India for 13 long years of arduous study and austerity. Then in one of life’s beautiful twists, Nicky went back to the worldly pursuit of photography in order to raise money to help his fellow monks rebuild their monastery. Monk With A Camera is an exhilarating, one-of-a-kind film about a modern-day prince whose unique path from privilege to renunciation to artistic success charts a new course for the dharma

The Overnighters
Saturday, November 7, 7pm   
Featuring Jay Reinke, Keegan Edwards
Directed by Jesse Moss
Discussant: Jeffrey Ansloos

An award-winning documentary, The Overnighters is an intimate portrait of job-seekers desperately chasing the broken American Dream in the tiny oil boom town of Williston, North Dakota. With the town lacking the infrastructure to house the overflow of migrants, a local pastor starts the controversial "overnighters" program, allowing down-and-out workers a place to sleep at the church. His well-meaning project immediately runs into resistance with his community, forcing the clergyman to make challenging decisions with profound consequences. This moving documentary highlights the promise and limits of re-invention, redemption, and compassion, as well as the tension between the moral imperative to “love thy neighbor” and the resistance that one small community feels when confronted by a surging river of desperate, job-seeking strangers

A Late Quartet
Saturday, December 5, 7pm
Starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener & Christopher Walken
Directed by Yaron Zilberman
105 min
Discussant: Tom Pedulla

When the cellist (Christopher Walken) of a world-renowned string quartet is diagnosed with a serious and terminal illness, the devastating news sets off a series of aftershocks that disrupt the dynamics of the group and bring long-simmering relationship issues to the surface. As they prepare for their farewell concert, the group’s second violinist (Hoffman) announces that he’s tired of playing such a subordinate role, both literally and figuratively, in his life. His marriage to Keener, who plays viola in the group, also undergoes a crisis, which is complicated by the disturbing discovery that their young daughter has been having an affair with the group’s first violinist. With strong performances by an ensemble cast of gifted actors, this powerful film is infused with a kind of intelligence and subtlety that is rare in American cinema. It also features the immortal String Quartet No. 14, Op. 131 by Beethoven, a late work by the great maestro, which provides a sublime backdrop to interpersonal dramas unfolding between the players

Saturday, January 2, 7pm   
Starring Tom Hardy
Directed by Steven Knight
85 min
Discussant: Charles Styron

Ivan Locke (Hardy) has a family that he adores and a career that is on the verge of making him famous, but a single ethical slip threatens to bring all of it down around him. On the eve of his greatest professional challenge, Ivan receives a phone call that sets in motion a series of events that will unravel his family, his job, and his sense of who he is. All taking place over the course of a 90-minute drive, Locke is an exploration of how one decision can lead to the complete collapse of a life. Or does it? That’s the question that the central character is attempting to answer with mindfulness and equanimity in this surprisingly riveting film. Locke is a unique film of a man fighting to salvage all that is important to him

About Elly
Saturday, February 6, 7pm 
Starring Golshifteh Farahani, Taraneh Alidoosti, Shahab Hosseini
Directed by Asgar Farhadi
119 min
Discussant: Nayla Khoury

About Elly is a psychological mystery by the Academy Award winning writer and director of A Separation and The Past. College friends reunite for a weekend at the Caspian Sea. Good intentions combine with bad judgment as trivial white lies, which start as the group arrives, play out with dramatic consequences when Elly suddenly vanishes. Her disappearance reveals a series of deceptions and revelations both surprising and profound. Farhadi is one of the greatest contemporary creators of adult psychological drama, developing themes that are compelling and universal

Ex Machina
Saturday, March 5, 7pm
Starring Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac
Directed by Alex Garland, 2015
108 min
Discussant: Chip Hartranft

Why has reclusive computer genius Nathan invited callow company programmer Caleb to spend a week at his fabulous but isolated compound in the Pacific wilderness? And more to the point, who or what are the two beautiful women who share this hermetic abode? This last question will come to obsess Caleb, who’s been enlisted to administer the Turing Test to the alluring cyborg Ava: can she answer his questions in a manner indistinguishable from human intelligence? And is that the true reason Nathan has brought him here? Ex Machina is a stunning thriller unlike any other, whose chilly atmosphere and off-kilter inter-‘personal’ dynamics are rendered as seamlessly and with the same stunning detail as Ava’s see-through torso and mesh bodice. Even more enthralling are the implications of her tutelage by the unsettled but resolute Caleb, as personality and identity appear to crystallize. How, we might ask ourselves, are hers different than our own?

When The Iron Bird Flies
Saturday, April 9, 7pm
With a virtual Who’s Who of contemporary western Tibetan Buddhism
Directed by Victress Hitchcock
96 min
Discussant: Meghan Searle

Entering the path of the Dharma can happen for innumerable reasons, but staying put and growing with it requires openness and inquisitiveness, and it almost always benefits greatly from a strong connection with a particular teacher. There are myriad ways to talk about the Dharma—all of which make sense—but the eventual sine qua non of explanation and practice is an understanding of the Four Noble Truths. All Dharma teaching in a sense is ultimately a paraphrasing of these basic principles no matter how elegant and sophisticated the teaching may be. When The Iron Bird Flies provides a glimpse into the world of Tibetan Buddhism as it has taken root in North America, and it also provides a very accessible introduction to The Four Noble Truths

Inside Out
Saturday, May 7, 7pm
With the voices of Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling
Directed by Pete Docter
102 min
Discussant: Susan Pollak

Childhood is never easy. This ingenious Pixar film takes us inside the head of eleven-year-old Riley who is uprooted from her happy home in the Midwest when her father takes a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley has different “parts”—Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness—that are often in conflict. As Riley struggles to adjust to her new home, school, and classmates, turmoil ensues. While enjoyable and fun, Inside Out reveals a deep understanding of the complexity of human emotions

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