Yesterday Spiritual Life Center in Sacramento California was host to a preview screening of a beautiful and thought-provoking film: Dalai Lama Awakening - Your Transformation is Now. It is the newest documentary created, directed and promoted by award recipient Khashyar Darvich, who personally attended the screening and spent an additional hour with the audience in a Q&A session.
Sacramento was among more than 114 screening sites world-wide, selected prior to the premiere of this film on March 2, 2014. Note that date because you will want to mark it on your calendar. The trailer alone will entice your curiosity. The next screening scheduled, per the website, is in Ojai California on October 24-25. If you have friends or family in that area, be sure to let them know.
This is the second documentary Darvich has pulled together from over 500 hours of film during a 14 year period. To say it is the focus of his life's work may not be stretching too far. A third documentary - scheduled for a premiere in July of 2014 - will also be created from the editing of the first two films and it is entitled: Dalai Lama Sunshine - Your Light can Change the World.
It all begins in the millennium with a small group of thinkers who decided that a visit to the Dalai Lama would insure their ideas would be accepted world wide. All they needed to do was come together and form a consensus - a synthesis - a focus - that would compel the world to take notice and act accordingly. If they could only get the Dalai Lama's endorsement - and surely that would be a simple matter of presenting their intellectual arguments - movement would happen and changes would commence on a global scale.
The plan was to have twenty renowned and knowledgeable ones gather together over a period of - say - a week. To pool their thoughts and bring together a treatise that a spokesman from the group would present to his Holiness.
As the film reveals, the twenty chosen could not travel across the world without at least a companion to share the experience - and with forty people plus four group leaders - it was a difficult problem to find a place to accommodate the week-long discussions and there would still be the expense of traveling to see the Dalai Lama.
Did it occur to the group leaders that in actually invited themselves to stay in the Dalai Lama's own home for their week-long discussions, they might be perpetrating the faux pas of the century?
And for such an auspicious trip, surely more than one "spokesman" could be presented to his Holiness.... in fact, perhaps an audience with the great man could include a opportunity to have a very small dialog for each one who wished to speak.
Got the picture yet? You can almost forget about synthesis! - although most of them did attempt to rein in their personal egos long enough to express the fact that maybe this was not a possibility, after all.
The film reflects the long and uncomfortable trip by train through India, then by rickety bus into Tibet. Darvich's compassion and humanity is apparent as the lens scans the areas through which the group travels, stopping to allow us to notice the beauty of a single scene as well as the disquiet shown on the face of a native whose countenance is held in view a little longer than would be comfortable.
Without spoiling the film for your own viewing, allow me to say only that the Dalai Lama has moments in which he must laugh and smile at the attempts of some of the individuals in the group to make themselves understood - or to bring about the endorsement of their own ideas. His Holiness's joy and love for all sentient being brings the sparkle to his eye and the lovely smile on his face.
It may be that he is loving the experience of simply being among a group of people who are striving to be serious and attempting to change the atmosphere in the gathering to become very studious and intellectual... when he knows that the most important thing in the world is to have humanity and joy.... as he so ably says it in the film.
You will recognize many faces of world-renowned scientists and leaders - you may even be awed by the number of brilliant thinkers that have gathered together to pursue their lofty goal..... then, again, you may notice that Barbara Marx Hubbard remains quietly within the heated discussions, with her hands folded on her lap, and her eyes closed. To this practiced eye, she is meditating and holding on to the sacred space of silence within.