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

2019-20 Series At A Glance

October 5 The Venerable W.
November 2 Everybody Knows
December 7 The World Before Your Feet
January 4 In A Better World
February 1 Silent Light
March 7 Three Identical Strangers
April 4 Zen For Nothing
May 2 Faces Places

• all films presented at 7pm on the first or second Saturday of the month
• 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

The Venerable W.
Saturday, October 5, 7pm   
With Ashin Wirathu, Aung San Suu Kyi, U Zanitar, Matthew Smith, Carlos SardiĖa Galache
Directed by Barbet Schroeder, 2017
99 min
Discussant: Charles Styron, PsyD

Hatred will never put an end to hatred. Only love can do that. This is the eternal law. A celebrated observation, attributed to the Buddha, helps to account for the high regard in which the West has long held Buddhism as a religion of peace, tolerance, and generosity. That its large religious community or sangha in Myanmar has played a decisive role in the persecution and ethnic cleansing of the 4% Muslim population who call themselves Rohingya is almost unthinkable. Even more shocking: the most prolific, strident voice to be heard on Myanmar's national stage, energetically preaching racial hatred and fanning the flames of division, belongs to a preternaturally calm monk who calls himself Wirathu, or simply W. In the local premiere of this award-winning non-fiction film, acclaimed Swiss director Barbet Schroeder follows the influential 51-year-old monk as he campaigns tirelessly to rid Myanmar of non-Buddhists, spouting absurd racist tropes, fear-mongering conspiracy theories, and 'fake news' to incite violence in western Rakhine state as the government of the once-idealized Aung San Suu Kyi stands by, watching. It is a graphic, unflinching depiction of an unfolding genocide, captured by cellphone cameras and citizen observers. The Venerable W. is a riveting and extraordinarily compelling testament: an examination of dharmas both true and hideously false. It is also a timely, dire warning how a society and its peaceful religious traditions can be hijacked by nationalist extremism, racial bigotry, and supremacist ideology

Everybody Knows
Saturday, November 2, 7pm   
Starring Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz
Directed by Asgar Farhadi, 2018
133 min
Discussant: Susan Pollak, EdD

A fascinating jigsaw puzzle of a psychological thriller, Laura (Cruz), travels to her home town in Spain for her sister’s wedding, bringing her children along. During the festivities, her daughter is abducted. This gripping, visually stunning film is a meditation on how the past and hidden secrets intrude upon the present. It is also a contemplation of the power of unhealed, festering wounds

The World Before Your Feet
Saturday, December 7, 7pm
With Matt Green
Directed by Jeremy Workman, 2018
95 min

Discussant: Charles Styron, PsyD

Is it possible to walk over 8,000 miles and yet never leave home? Every day for the past 6 years, the unique, ever-surprising streets of New York City have been revealing their secrets to the open mind and indefatigable feet of Matt Green. Proceeding along meticulously designed routes, Green has aimed not only to 'go forth', traversing every foot of the Big Apple, but to uncover some of the fabulous history lurking beneath contemporary surfaces. Green takes us along on this enlightening pilgrimage, his disarming friendliness and curiosity softening any distrust encountered and gradually becoming ours as well. The World Before Your Feet is an exhilarating journey into the present, where a deeply engaged life is being taken one mindful step at a time

In A Better World
Saturday, January 4, 7pm   
Starring Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Markus Rygaard
Directed by Susanne Bier, 2010
118 min
Discussant: Tom Pedulla, LICSW

As altruistic Danish physician Anton works in a Kenyan field hospital, struggling to repair the harms inflicted by a local warlord, his lonely young son Elias comes to rely on an intense new kid, Christian, to deal with the school bully back home. Though their parents strive to act virtuously in response to both the world's malevolence and their own marital afflictions, the volatile Christian ushers Elias down a different path—one with explosive repercussions that will extend far beyond their own community. Winner of the 2010 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film, In A Better World is a gripping, emotional masterpiece from director Susanne Bier (After The Wedding)—an indelible portrait of people trying to do the right thing in the face of inhumanity and loss

Silent Light
Saturday, February 1, 7pm 
Starring Cornelio Wall, Miriam Toews, Maria Pankratz
Directed by Carlos Reygadas, 2007
136 min
Discussant: Kate King, PsyD

As the sun slowly rises on a nearly wordless family breakfast, it quickly becomes clear that the marital bond has been rent by a love not only forbidden but nearly unspeakable within their tightly ordered Mennonite religious community in rural Mexico. Can it be that this irresistible love is an Eden—a gift both wholesome and divinely tendered to its earnest lovers—or no more than a diabolical temptation issuing from a darker source? As triangular tensions mount steadily toward a catharsis unlike any other in film, Silent Light attains to a timeless, transcendent spirituality, imbued with the magical powers of wisdom and compassion

Three Identical Strangers
Saturday, March 7, 7pm
With Eddy Galland, David Kellman, Robert Shafran
Directed by Tim Wardle, 2018
96 min
Discussant: Paul Fulton, EdD

Three identical triplets are separated at birth and adopted by three different families, only later to be reunited in their 20’s by a series of coincidences. Their astonishing, inspiring story gains universal attention complete with fame and celebrity, but what eventually unfolds is far from unilateral fortuitousness. The brothers’ most unlikely reunion results in the unearthing of an unconscionable series of events with dire repercussions. A desire to investigate a reasonable scientific hypothesis leads to a concatenation of morally indefensible actions

Zen For Nothing
Saturday, April 4, 7pm
With Sabine Timoteo, Muho Nöike
Directed by Werner Penzel, 2016
99 min

What is Zen good for? Nothing at all…or, if one comes to embody its iconoclastic teachings on the precious nature of the ordinary, everything! Zen For Nothing takes us along with Swiss actress, Sabine Timoteo, as she arrives with that end in mind at the steps of the venerable Antaiji, a monastery nestled among the rugged mountains of western Japan. Hoping to escape the confines of her modest European celebrity for a few months, Sabine (and we) fall into the contemplative rhythms and sublimity of the everyday—not just 'chopping wood and carrying water,’ but also poetry, music, lively conversation, and illuminating instructions passed down from Antaiji's most famous abbot, the late Kodo Sawaki. As the seasons change from fall to winter to spring, the shared pain and keen humor of this secluded community gradually emerge, along with the sheer humanity and profundity of its mission. As with 2007's Into Great Silence, just the cinematic experience alone of Zen For Nothing is a retreat—a nourishing meditative immersion in the dharma, awakening to life as it is

Faces Places
Saturday, May 2, 7pm
With Agnes Varda, JR
Directed by Agnes Varda, JR, 2017
94 min
Discussant: Doug Baker LICSW

Agnes Varda, one of France’s most revered filmmakers, and JR, muralist and professional photographer, take a journey through rural France together, photographing and talking with people as they travel the country. This unassuming masterpiece is a film unlike any other, both introspective and retrospective—a meditation on change and the passage of time that leaves the viewer grateful and inspired by an unlikely friendship and the fruits of its collaboration

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.

Douglas Baker, LICSW, RYT is a certified Kripalu Yoga teacher, and survivor of countless residential meditation and yoga retreats. He teaches yoga, meditation, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and other mind/body methodoligies for organizations and private clients. He also offeres mindfulness-based professional development and practice groups for clinicians. His book on walking meditation, Five-Minute Mindfulness: Walking, was released in 2017.

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 and the Barre Center For Buddhist 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