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

2014-2015 Series At A Glance

October 4 Visitors
November 8 The Past
December 6 American Rimpoche & Buddha's Forgotten Nuns
January 3 Ida
February 7 Brad Warner's Hardcore Zen
March 7 Monk With A Camera
April 4 Her
May 2 Dying To Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary

• all films presented at 7pm on the first Saturday of the month except Nov 8
• 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 4, 7pm   
Directed by Godfrey Reggio with music by Philip Glass, 2013
87 min

What if it were possible to see ourselves and our world with new eyes, with which what ordinarily lies invisible within the familiar - a face, say - can bloom into focus? In their wordlessly stirring, visionary new film Visitors, Godfrey Reggio (The Qatsi Trilogy) and composer Philip Glass unspool a hypnotic cascade of stunning monochromatic images that reintroduce us to humanity and its creations, one distinctive visage after another. As our perspective expands from fabricated earthly skylines to an austere lunar landscape harkening to us in an echo of Kubrick’s 2001, the beings and world we think we are begin to grow alien. Whether in the steady erosion of our artifacts, or simply in the flicker of facial micro-expressions, no permanence is anywhere to be found. Nothing, it seems, is much more than a ‘visitor’, yet that very fact is what seems to bind us together. Visitors is one of the most transfixing, contemplative film journeys ever made, even as it patiently sits unmoving, in wait for the hidden to become visible

The Past
Saturday, November 8, 7pm   
Starring Bérénice Bejo, Tahar Rahim, Ali Mosaffa, Pauline Burlet
Directed by Asghar Farhadi, 2013
130 min

A psychological thriller, set with broken relationships, secrets and lies, The Past is a masterpiece of compassion, lack of judgment, and curiosity about the complexity and messiness of human life. Ahmad, an Iranian man, leaves his wife Marie to return to his country. When he returns a few years later to sign divorce papers after Marie has started a new relationship, he faces the harsh reality that the life he knew has changed forever. The newest film by the award-winning director of A Separation, Farhadi has been called a “sculptor of emotion and space.” Emotionally gripping and visually stunning, The Past is a meditation on the ways we get caught between love and hate, past and present, marriage and divorce, life and death

American Rimpoche & The Buddha's Forgotten Nuns
Saturday, December 6, 7pm

American Rimpoche
Featuring Gelek Rimpoche, Marianne Soeters, Philip Glass, Robert Thurman, Donald Lopez
Directed by Nikki Appino, with music by Philip Glass, 2013
60 min

Is there such a one as an ‘American rimpoche’? No US subject is more entitled to that honorific (‘precious one’) than Kyabje Gelek. Born in 1939 to the aristocracy in Lhasa, Tibet, and soon recognized as a tulku, or incarnate lama, Gelek was tutored by many of the Dalai Lama’s teachers and attained the highest degree, geshe, while still a teen. When the Chinese invaded Tibet in 1959, however, he fled along with the Dalai Lama to India, where he eventually disrobed, migrating across the continents toward his eventual home in Ann Arbor with the Jewel Heart Foundation. The American Rimpoche documents Gelek’s extraordinary journey from the Tibet of his youth, a fabled land sheltered from modernity, to contemporary life in the West, with a visual feast of never-before-seen family photographs that evoke both a time forever lost and a hardy, flexible spiritual tradition

The Buddha's Forgotten Nuns
Featuring Ajahn Thanasanti, Anandabodhi Bhikkuni, Ajahn Brahm, Ajahn Sujato, Ajahn Sucitto
Directed by Wiriya Sati and Katrina Lucas, 2013
34 min

Is Buddhism a religious movement based on equality? Or is it rooted in a male dominated culture found in most other world religions? The Buddha himself invited women to join his group of disciples as female monks – bhikkhunis – and allowed them to be ordained alongside men some 2500 years ago. What happened? The Buddha’s Forgotten Nuns reveals a little-known truth about the ancient Theravada order: women cannot be fully ordained like men. As with many women, director Wiriya Sati was raised a Buddhist but encountered walls of sexism within Theravada when she tried to advance in her practice. Wiriya spent the next 5 years traveling to monasteries in Thailand, the UK, the US and Australia to ask why women can’t ordain as bhikkunis in the Theravada tradition. She discovered new paths being forged for women in Australia, the US, and pockets around the world, and also met the men and women who are pulling down barriers and pushing for change in the monastic world. The Buddha’s Forgotten Nuns is an absorbing and deeply inspiring short film, alert to a growing consensus in the West but leaving us with the big question: will the bhikkhuni movement expand beyond a few independent-minded communities and gain momentum in still traditional male-oriented cultures?

Saturday, January 3, 7pm   
Starring Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik
Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013
82 min

A moving and intimate drama, both historical and personal, Ida follows a young novitiate nun in 1960’s Poland who's been raised as an orphan in a convent. On the verge of taking her vows, she finds out that she has a living relative and a dark family secret from the Nazi occupation. The traumas of the past, the legacy of the holocaust, and the weight of history all converge on a film that is personal, emotionally gripping, and deeply human

Brad Warner's Hardcore Zen
Saturday, February 7, 7pm 
Featuring Brad Warner, Markus Laitinen, Mary Stancavage, Nina Hartley, and assorted Suicide Girls
Directed by Pirooz Kalayeh, 2013
70 min

What exactly is ‘hardcore’ about the Zen of Buddhist priest, author, and punk bassist Brad Warner? Although sex, drugs, and rock ’n roll are all on the table, Hardcore Zen is really more about getting real. In this entertaining documentary profile, Warner comes off as something more, or perhaps less, than a typical Zen priest: diffident, gentle, and quirky to be sure, but utterly unafraid to speak truth to power (or even tussle with an implausibly aggressive dharma combatant). In between zafu fights, Warner manages to dispense some insightful, compassionate teaching; dash off a bit of punk headbanging; and act in some cheesy horror movies, all with the engaging air of a teacher with a light touch who cares enough to call BS on Buddhist excesses and self-aggrandizement

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

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. Man 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

Saturday, April 4, 7pm
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams
Directed by Spike Jonze, 2013
126 min

Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) lives alone in an ultra-modern hi-rise looking out upon an LA of the near future where everything is soft pastels and hushed orderliness. Recently divorced, he spends his days at work composing greeting cards for others but moves largely in isolation, save for the occasional elevator encounter with neighbors like former flame Amy (Amy Adams). When OS1, the ‘first artificially intelligent operating system’, becomes available for his ubiquitous cellphone and introduces him to ‘Samantha’ (Scarlett Johansson), his hunger for connection and her unquenchable thirst for knowledge make them soulmates before long, then ‘lovers’ with all that mightt entail. Her is a startlingly original and affecting love story as well as a parable about identity and the human predilection for projecting it upon the world - a need that appears to be growing in the digital age. Gently and memorably, Her points its befuddled characters, and us, toward something real

Dying To Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary
Saturday, May 2, 7pm
Featuring Timothy Leary, Baba Ram Dass, Andrew Weil, Joan Halifax, Tsultrim Allione, Huston Smith
Directed by Gay Dillingham, 2013
99 min

Dying to Know explores the relationship of two of the most famous and controversial figures of a generation. In the early 1960s Harvard psychology professors Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert began experimenting with psychedelics to better understand human consciousness. Leary became an infamous LSD guru, turning on, tuning in and dropping out, and eventually landing in prison after Nixon called him “the most dangerous man in America”.  Alpert travelled to Asia and became Ram Dass, a spiritual teacher who inspired a generation with Be Here Now and is still with us teaching compassion. Narrated by Robert Redford and containing rare interviews spanning 50 years, this intimate portrait challenges us to ponder the deepest questions about life, death and human existence

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