2011 Films & Talks


80 min    

Opening Night Film

Film ticket includes the full Opening Night program

"THE TRANSFORMATIONAL MOVEMENT HAS A GREAT FRIEND IN TOM SHADYAC. He delivers esoteric knowledge to a popular audience, expressing the intersection of ancient wisdom and modern consciousness in a way both entertaining and enlightening. I AM IS A SPARK OF LIGHT AND A WORK OF LOVE"

            -Marianne Williamson

Watching I AM is, for many, a transformative experience.  The film’s great emphasis is on what we can do to make things better.  In spirit, this film embraces Buddhist teachings, illustrating how the principles of cooperation, compassion and generosity are universal, and how they resonate at the core of our humanity...(more)

Thursday, June 16     7:30pm     Spectrum Theater    



86 min

East Coast Premiere 

Director Johanna Demetrakas will be present for a discussion          and Q & A following the film         

Allen Ginsberg considered him his guru; Thomas Merton wanted to write a book with him; Pema Chodron was his student and Joni Mitchell wrote a song about him. This film will surely challenge anyone’s assumptions about what constitutes a proper dharma teacher... (more)

Friday, June 17     9pm     Spectrum Theater    



99 min

World Premiere 

Director Christina Lundberg will be present for a discussion and       Q & A following the film  

What’s love got to do with it?  Everything.  What kind of person would you become if you had been imprisoned for 20 years?  As this film shows, you can become a highly awakened master who radiates love and compassion...(more)

Film ticket also includes a talk and meditation with Tara Brach.

Saturday, June 18     12:30pm      Spectrum Theater   



103 min

From the World Cup to the mythical mountain kingdom of Bhutan, Words of My Perfect Teacher follows three students on a quest they hope will lead to wisdom. The catch is their teacher -- who confounds their expectations at every turn...(more)

Saturday, June 18     7pm      Spectrum Theater   



110 min

East Coast Premiere

Un Buda is the brilliant feature film debut of director Diego Rafecas, a Zen teacher in Argentina. The film follows two brothers who were orphaned as children when their parents were taken by the military during the “Dirty Wars” of the 1970s in Argentina. Tomas (Agustin Markert) is now a drifting and withdrawn young man who experiments with ascetic practices and has an instinctive compassion for others...(more)

Saturday, June 18     9pm     Spectrum Theater    




CAVE IN THE SNOW is followed by a 1-hour lunch break, then Ruth King's talk & meditation. One ticket covers both the film and Ruth's talk.

We like this film because it not only makes us cheer on Tenzin Palmo's cause, but it's also very revealing about a subject we knew little about. It was intriguing to see how even those who dedicate their lives to cultvating compassion and wisdom can still be held in a spell of judgment by deep-seated gender biases in their cultures.  

This film is made from the best-selling book documenting the life of Tenzin Palmo, the daughter of an East London fishmonger who left everything she knew behind to pursue her spiritual path. (more)

 Sunday, June 19     11am     Spectrum Theater 



80 min.


The film is preceded by a Hugh Byrne talk and meditation on inner peace, as well as a discussion on HH the Dalai Lama's upcoming    11-day Kalachakra for World Peace right here in Washington, DC

This film by Werner Herzog (Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Grizzly Man) is a mesmerizing look at the 2002 Kalachakra ceremony performed in Bodh Gaya, India. It was here, some 2,600 years ago, where Siddartha found truth and became known as the Buddha, "the enlightened one."  

The center of the Kalachakra celebration — on both the physical and spiritual planes — is the building and viewing of the sand mandala, a dazzlingly complex circular diagram painstakingly laid out by a team of monks who... (more)

Film ticket also includes Hugh Byrne's teaching & meditation and a discussion about the upcoming Kalachakra.

Sunday, June 19     3:00pm     Spectrum Theater  




78 min.

Winner of two bronze Telly Awards for Overall Documentary and Spiritual/Religious Documentary 

Filmmaker Matt Flickstein will be present for a discussion and        Q & A following the film

Only in recent times has it been possible to make the world’s vast spiritual teachings available to a global audience, and to create a dialogue between its most revered teachers. Now, for the first time, many of them appear together in one film, their comments woven together in a provocative tapestry of wisdom and promise.

In this groundbreaking film, contemporary mystics share their common vision of our human essence, and they invite us to see beyond our illusionary separateness. If we do, they say, there is no problem we cannot solve. Ultimately, their voices lead and exhort us to hear... (more)

Film ticket also includes a talk and meditation by NY Times bestselling author and leading American meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg.

Sunday, June 19     7pm     Spectrum Theater    



Lama Tsony: Licking Honey Off A Razor Blade

90 min.  


Lama Tsony speaks to us about the film and the concept of Crazy Wisdom. Drawing inspiration from the film's subject, the great teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Lama Tsony shows us the value and necessity of seeking freedom from "the system" and traditions that may no longer serve our current conditions. Rather than revolution for the sake of revolution, Lama Tsony is teaching evolution for the sake of the world.  (more)

Friday, June 17     7pm     Spectrum Theater    

Rudy Bauer: Becoming Aware of Awareness

90 min.    

Rudy Bauer guides us in the fascinating practice of becoming aware of the field of awareness. As we more fully inhabit this field of awareness, we more fully experience our own true nature -- our Buddha nature -- and we can experience the benefits of true peace. (more)

Saturday, June 18     10am     Spectrum Theater   



Tara Brach: Love--The Ultimate Medicine


 180 min.

Love--The Ultimate Medicine

Einstein writes that "the most important decision any of us can ever make is that this world is a friendly place."  Is this true?  What allows us to trust in the power and presence of love?  In this talk, Tara Brach explores the trance that obscures our intrinsic belonging, and the practices that reveal our shining, beautiful hearts.

Garchen Rinpoche of FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL BEINGS serves as an inspiration as Tara Brach explores how we deepen our love for ourselves and others. We then present the World Premiere of FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL BEINGS. Director Christina Lundberg will be with us to share her experiences in making the film, and she'll take questions from the audience.

Saturday, June 18     12:30pm     Spectrum Theater    


Roshi Enkyo O'Hara: A Thousand Hands and Eyes

90 min.

There is a Zen koan that asks, "What does the Boddhisattva Avalokitesvara, the embodiment of compassion, do with all those hands and eyes?" 

That question points us to the heart of the matter: what do we do with all that we have, how do we fully engage in our life -- which is also the life of the world? How can our Buddhist teachings and practices lead us naturally to a life that actively engages the world around us? Roshi will offer a dharma teaching, exercises and meditations as methods of inquiring into what stops us from more active engagement.  (more)

Saturday, June 18     4pm     Spectrum Theater    


Ruth King: Emotional Wisdom--Healing Heart and Mind

90 min. 

Ruth's talk is preceded at 11 am by the film CAVE IN THE SNOW and a 1-hour lunch break. One ticket covers both the film and Ruth's talk.

"Ruth King has articulated the painful history, patterns and traps of a raging heart, and offers the skillful means for liberation in their very midst. This is revolutionary work.”

              -Jack Kornfield

If you haven’t spent time with Ruth King, you should!  As a facilitator, coach, consultant, and scholar of indigenous wisdom, Ruth helps provide us with a unique understanding of what it means to be emotionally wise.  With the skill of a shaman, she weaves together influences from depth psychology, mindfulness principles, neurobiology and genealogy, as she helps us enhance our own emotional awareness and moral consciousness.  One of the most profound aspects of this session will be how she helps us work with rage as a powerful healing force in our lives. (more)

Sunday, June 19     1pm     Spectrum Theater   


Hugh Byrne: Agents of Peace

135 min.

Ticket includes Hugh's talk & meditation, a discussion on the upcoming Kaklchakra, and the film WHEEL OF TIME.

 An amazing thing is happening in DC.  This July, HH the Dalai Lama will be performing a rare public initiation called The Kalachakra for World Peace.  It's an 11-day spiritual conclave that revolves around the creation of a sacred sand mandala which embodies a multi-dimensional realm of being.  

HH the Dalai Lama performs this incredible initiation as a way to sow the seeds of enlightenment on a mass scale, in order to "turn the wheel" -- recalibrate and move forward to a new time.

In the spirit of Kalachakra, Hugh Byrne will speak to us about cultivating inner peace so that we can act as agents of peace in a new and changing world.  A representative from Kalachakra will also be present to speak about the event's significance for those who attend -- and for the world. BuddhaFest then helps set the stage for the upcoming Kalachakra by presenting the riveting film WHEEL OF TIME from acclaimed director Werner Herzog (Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Grizzly Man). (more)

Ticket includes Hugh's talk & meditation, a discussion on the upcoming Kaklchakra, and the film WHEEL OF TIME.

Sunday, June 19    3pm      Spectrum Theater       


Closing Session: Talk & Meditation with Sharon Salzberg,

Film WITH ONE VOICE, Discussion and Q&A With Filmmaker

165 min.

NY Times best-selling author and leading American meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg joins us for the closing session of BuddhaFest.  Sharon leads a meditation and talk on our shared experience as human beings in search of real happiness.  The evening includes a screening of the powerful and moving film WITH ONE VOICE.  Contemporary mystics and teachers share their common vision of our human essence in this groundbreaking documentary that received two prestigious Telly Awards.

Filmmaker Matt Flickstein will be with us to share the incredible spiritual journey that led him to make this film, and he'll answer questions from the audience. We'll then have an opportunity to enjoy refreshments and connect one last time with community as BuddhaFest 2011 comes to a close.

Ticket includes Sharon's talk & meditation, the film WITH ONE VOICE, discussion and Q&A with filmmaker Matt Flickstein, and refreshments to follow.

Sunday, June 19     7pm     Spectrum Theater