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This scene from the edit of WHEN THE IRON BIRD FLIES: Tibetan Buddhism Arrives in the West was shot at an incredible Vajra Yogini temple in Sanku, Nepal, with Phakchok Rinpoche and a group of his close Western students.
We had planned on doing a short filming session with him and his students that morning in his room. When we arrived however, I asked him on a whim if he would be willing to take a trip to the Vajra Yogini temple (about an hour's drive away) with everyone instead. Typical to Phakchok Rinpoche's style, within an hour all of us were squeezed into a van, bumping down the pothole-filled roads of Katmandu, in a field trip kind of mood, happily on the way to the temple. Once we arrived there, Rinpoche gave us all a tour of the temple and many wonderful teachings. It certainly made for a much more interesting film shoot then sitting in a room!
This spontaneity, and the feeling that when you are with your teacher anything can happen is part of being on the path to enlightenment. I hope that everyone who sees this scene feels a little blast of that feeling, the possibility that anything can happen at any moment, including enlightenment.
Work-in-progress © Pundarika/Chariot Productions 2012.
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