Incredibly rare footage of Mahasi Sayadaw, who revitalized a style of Vipassana mediation in Burma during the 1970s, influencing well over one million people in Southeast Asia. This footage also shows footage of Sayadaw's main disciple U Silanada, and some of the first Westerners to bring Theravadin Buddhism to the the West including Jack Kornfield, Alan Clements, Joseph Goldstein, and the Indian Anagarika Munindra. This is an essential link in the transmission of the history as Asian thought into Western culture, and ultimately the American arts. Also included is the opening of a meditation retreat at Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts with Mahasi Sayadaw and his monks, hosted by Jack Kornfield. This includes opening instructions, and actual meditation interviews with Sayadaw.

Ubon Rachathani

This is a short film made for the Open University series Man’s Religious Quest in 1977 and is set at the main monastery for Ajahn Chah: Wat Pah Pong in Ubon Rachathani, Thailand.

The main interest in the film is that it has recordings of Ajahn Chah himself answering questions on the nature of the monastic life and the teaching of the Buddha.

We also get glimpses of a very young Ajahn Liem (now head of that group of monasteries), identified as a very well respected young monk in the film, and Ajahn Anan, one of the leading meditation teachers in the school (walking behind Ajahn Chah on piṇḍapāta).

We also see an interview with a young monk from England, but I have been unable to identify him by name, and apparently he disrobed soon after returning to England.

The film looks at the daily life of the monks, shows them on piṇḍapāta, in the dānasāla, doing walking and sitting meditation, and going about their daily life and work.

Santeri (26) decides to become a monk in Thailand and to give up everything he has in Finland. His sister and the director of the documentary Anja Ahola, wants to understand her brother’s great decision to leave behind his possessions, friends and family and to become an ascetic Buddhist monk for the rest of his life.

This is a documentary about the early days of the opening of the Cittaviveka, or Chithurst Buddhist Monastery, in West Sussex, England, which was begun in 1979 under the auspices of Ajahn Chah. The film opens with a group of monks walking on piṇḍapāta through the English countryside and a gathering of lay and monastics, presumably inside the mansion.

We also see the sometimes hostile, sometimes friendly, sometimes indifferent reactions of the local population to the monastics who have moved in there; to try to ease fears and get understanding the monks have an open day and arrange meetings to discuss matters with the locals.

In the film we see Ajahn Chah, who explains some Dhamma principles, a young Ajahn Sumedho, Ajahn Sucitto, who eventually took over thre running of Chithurst, and a lay woman who became Ajahn Candasirī. Now, as we know, nearly 40 years after the events, the monastery and the monks are as much a part of the community as anyone else who lives there, and they have done so by being true to their calling of living a quiet and simple life.

This is a very interesting documentary set in Thailand at Wat Bowonniwet and Wat Pa Nanachat where they interview the monks about their lifestyles and their thoughts on being Western monks in Thai culture.

However, it takes on extra significance given the fact that the film was made in 1979 and we see some very famous monks near the beginning of their career, including Ajahn Brahm, Ajahn Amaro and Ajahn Jayasāro.

The film maker, from RTV in Eire, first met some western monks in Bangkok at Wat Bowonniwet where he is told that there is a monastery full of Western monks in the North-East, and is intrigued enough to go and see for himself.

Along the way he interviews the then Abbot Ajahn Pabhākaro (who later disrobed, but still occasionally teaches meditation), a young Ajahn Brahm (around five Rains), and back in Bangkok is a white robed Shaun, who was to become Ajahn Jayasāro.

The film is quite good, letting the monks explain things themselves for the most part, and is only marred towards the end when then interviewer professes his faith in Jesus, and when his ideas are contradicted by Shaun, he brings both the interview and the film to a sudden close.

This exquisite documentary explores the world of forest-dwelling Theravadan monks at Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in Redwood Valley, California. Abhayagiri (“Fearless Mountain” in Pali) is a community of monks who follow the precepts originally set down by Buddha. An inspirational film that captures the heart of inquiry as well as the beauty and simplicity of a Buddhist lifestyle.

Film about Buddhist monk, Ven. Dhammanando, who decides to disrobe and get married after sixteen years of monkhood, and then after four years becomes ordained again. Filmed for over ten years.

In the borderlands of Thailand's Golden Triangle, a rugged region known for its drug smuggling and impoverished hill tribes, one monk devotes himself to the welfare of the region's children. 'Buddha's Lost Children' gives the term "grassroots Buddhism" new meaning, and in the end it's the children's journey we share, - their transformation from neglected village boys to self-confident novices.