Saturday, July 16, 2011

According to the Pali Tipitaka[31] and the Āgamas of other early Buddhist schools, the Four Noble Truths were the first teaching of Gautama Buddha after attaining Nirvana. They are sometimes considered to contain the essence of the Buddha's teachings:
  1. Life as we know it ultimately is or leads to suffering/uneasiness (dukkha) in one way or another.
  2. Suffering is caused by craving. This is often expressed as a deluded clinging to a certain sense of existence, to selfhood, or to the things or phenomena that we consider the cause of happiness or unhappiness. Craving also has its negative aspect, i.e. one craves that a certain state of affairs not exist.
  3. Suffering ends when craving ends. This is achieved by eliminating delusion, thereby reaching a liberated state of Enlightenment (bodhi);
  4. Reaching this liberated state is achieved by following the path laid out by the Buddha.
For westerners, it is often difficult to understand some of the teachings in Buddhism. The basic values of western society concerning attachment, accumulation, and individuality clash with the tenants of Buddhist philosophy. Movies can relate a teaching into the context of everyday life. Dealing with pain, loss, desire and attachment are common themes in Buddhist movies.
In general, movies about Buddhism will either focus on historical events and people, or the applied teachings in an individual’s life. Both types are helpful in understanding Buddhist teachings.

Kundun –Gives an account of the 14th Dalai Lama, his childhood, and the invasion by China which forced his decision to leave Tibet.
Little Buddha – Aside from dealing with a present day situation, the movie also gives a good primer into the life of Buddha.
Milarepa – One of the historical figures in Tibetan Buddhism, this is the first of a two-part movie series.
Samsara – Dealing with desire is one of the fundamental teachings in Buddhism. This movie deals with the subject of desire very well. Beautifully filmed and acted.

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