Friday, February 27, 2015

Homeschool History, Religion, and Culture Studies (Part 11): Tibetan Buddhism

As part of our Homeschool History, Religion, and Culture studies, we spent the last couple of months studying Tibetan Buddhism. We are already familiar with Buddhism and the story of the Buddha (see the three movies we made about Buddha's life) and a few years ago we went on a retreat with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, where I got to ask him a question! Last summer, we learned about Zen Buddhism, stayed for a week at the famous Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery, and made a movie about the Zen master Dogen

We were excited to learn about Tibetan Buddhism because we were going on a trip to Dharamsala in India, home to his Holiness the Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetan Government. 

As you can see (above), we made a movie of the Heart of Wisdom sutra, which is one of the most central scriptures in Tibetan Buddhism. Two really friendly monks agreed to take part in the movie and to chant the famous mantra that ends the sutra: Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha. They also invited us to their monastery where we drunk Tibetan tea, which is made with butter and salt! Make sure to watch the outtakes from the movie below.

Here are some of the books we read from and movies/documentaries we watched about Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, and Tibetan history and culture:


The 14th Dalai Lama: A Manga Biography, Tetsu Seiwai
The Art of Happiness, His Holiness the Dalai Lama
From Here to Enlightenment: An Introduction to Tsong-Kha-Pa's Classic Text The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Guy Newland
Introduction to Emptiness: As Taught in Tsong-Kha-Pa's Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path, Guy Newland
Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama, His Holiness the Dalai Lama
The Essence of the Heart Sutra, His Holiness the Dalai Lama
The Heart of Understanding: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra, Thich Nhat Hanh 


Kundun (Scorsese, 1997)
Seven Years in Tibet (Annaud, 1997)
The Sun Behind the Clouds (Sarim and Sonan, 2010)
10 Questions for the Dalai Lama (Ray 2006)
From Nomad to Nobody (Buckley, 2011)
Dalai Lama in Sun Valley (2005)
Various talks and lectures on His Holiness the Dalai Lama's website