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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exquisitely beautiful and spiritually alive experience.
I am still arriving back from this incredible journey. The 3 dvds let filmmaker John Bush reveal this epic journey over 4.5 hours while visiting the most amazing temples, villages, caves, mountains and rivers in so many different places in Asia. I was particularly moved by the Burma and Tibet segments as there is so much difficulty there, while the people are so beautiful...
Published on October 22, 2007 by carolyn muir

versus
19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty and not informative
These DVDs are a tour of south east Asian Buddhist temples---some still in use, others not. The second DVD deals mostly with Hindu groups in Indonesia. That really confused me. If one knows nothing of Buddhism, don't expect to learn much from these DVDs. There are, however, some little tib bits of Buddhist practice scattered in the narration.
Published on October 20, 2007 by Miksle


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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exquisitely beautiful and spiritually alive experience., October 22, 2007
This review is from: Journey Into Buddhism Trilogy (Dharma River, • Prajna Earth, • Vajra Sky Over Tibet) (DVD)
I am still arriving back from this incredible journey. The 3 dvds let filmmaker John Bush reveal this epic journey over 4.5 hours while visiting the most amazing temples, villages, caves, mountains and rivers in so many different places in Asia. I was particularly moved by the Burma and Tibet segments as there is so much difficulty there, while the people are so beautiful and their cause is so just.

These are not the usual talking heads type documentaries but more intuitive,spontaneous and revealing. We follow the camera into rare and seldom seen places and hear the legends and spiritual significance of each place. I was particularly impressed by the music which seemed very well suited to each scene and added to the dramatic structure. David Hykes' harmonic chants are hypnotic. There is a huge amount of the local music that is extraordinary and which I have never heard before. Each dvd has two viewing choices - with a narrator and with just music and sound. I look forward to this one.

While I know something about Buddhism I was relieved that the films do not have any sectarian biases - you do not have to be a Buddhist to "get" what John Bush is offering here. He presents it all in an informed but universal way that is quite engaging. There is something noble in seeing the grandeur and simplicity of these Asian venues dedicated to nothing but the discovery of wisdom & compassion.

The voiceover narration works fine - I would have preferred to hear the people speak sometimes, but I guess it would have to be translated anyway.
All in all it is a remarkable way to see so much of spiritual Asia in a short amount of time. I truly recommend this set.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A transformative journey into a rare and luminous world, April 21, 2008
By 
This review is from: Journey Into Buddhism Trilogy (Dharma River, • Prajna Earth, • Vajra Sky Over Tibet) (DVD)
Do not miss this experience. I really did not know what to expect with this collection and came away completely in awe. There is so much going on here: travel to extraordinary lands, Buddhist teachings, a hypnotic soundtrack of chant and Asian music and an informed respect for the spiritual cultures we are seeing.

The cinematography is world class and gets into very intimate and privileged places within these many sacred places. The 3 dvds offer penetrating journeys into the spiritual realms of Thailand, Laos. Burma, Cambodia, Bali, Java and traditional Tibet. The narration is minimal, poetic and at times mildly academic. The words do have a real feeling of allegory and while describing exotic cultures still felt deeply personal to me and my life.

The filmmaker, John Bush, shows no religious bias and the dvds are excellent for Buddhists, travelers or anyone simply interested in discovering these worlds seldom seen. I highly recommend this collection. They stand repeated viewing and have enough depth to keep revealing more.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Journey to Exotic Places, January 1, 2008
This review is from: Journey Into Buddhism Trilogy (Dharma River, • Prajna Earth, • Vajra Sky Over Tibet) (DVD)
There are many beautiful places and people to enjoy here. I bought this to transport me from my living room to exotic lands to experience different cultures and customs. This set delivers. Although it primarily shows Buddhist temples, monks and other related sites, there is no philosophy being preached here, it is a simple journey through gorgeous lands. Don't worry about any religious overtones, there are none. Some of the tribal people are so colorfully dressed and ornamented, I never would have guessed that is what they wear.

The films do suffer from technical difficulties - jerky and inappropriate camera movement (Photography 101 Never use Zoom), segments better left on the cutting room floor (for example the first film had to show us the boatman taking us upriver, but the 8 or 9 seconds were badly done as the boatman eludes us), better editing probably could have fixed most of the problems I saw, there were minor sound problems, and the change in narrators is uncomfortable. I enjoyed the last narration best as it included the film maker and guests who had something to add to the narration. Generally I don't think the narration is that strong, it's kind of an ordinary monotone overview, nothing particularly entertaining or educational. It doesn't add much to a scene to say "the morning sun shines over the river" when you show the morning sun shining over a river. There were many questions that filled my mind as the camera went from place to place, but unfortunately they weren't answered.

The package is marked "letterboxed", but that's only partially correct: the first two discs are 4:3 or "full" screen format, only the last is widescreen format.

I really appreciate the ability to turn off narration, which I did after the first viewing, now I only listen to the music and marvel at the sights presented. The music is varied and adds much, it is especially effective in surround sound. The bonus video of Vajra Realm did not impress me and seems a meandering and pointless addition.

Overall the package is nicely done and should interest any armchair traveler who wants to see Buddhist temples and ceremonies of Southeast Asia, Laos, Thailand, Burma, Bali, Cambodia, Java, and Central Tibet. Some of the temples are truly amazing in size and detail, and the lands surrounding can be breathtaking.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Description...Wow, June 6, 2010
This review is from: Journey Into Buddhism Trilogy (Dharma River, • Prajna Earth, • Vajra Sky Over Tibet) (DVD)
I like the first line of the description. "For anyone interested in alternative spiritual traditions" Alternative Spiritual Traditions? Buddhism pre-dates Christianity by 600 years and has the SECOND largest following. I suppose the reviewer had better things to do when it came to knowing anything about religions and just assumes his is "the only true religion". Wow, what balls.

I give the film 5-stars, I give the idiot reviewer a minus 5 for insulting maybe a billion people.
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty and not informative, October 20, 2007
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This review is from: Journey Into Buddhism Trilogy (Dharma River, • Prajna Earth, • Vajra Sky Over Tibet) (DVD)
These DVDs are a tour of south east Asian Buddhist temples---some still in use, others not. The second DVD deals mostly with Hindu groups in Indonesia. That really confused me. If one knows nothing of Buddhism, don't expect to learn much from these DVDs. There are, however, some little tib bits of Buddhist practice scattered in the narration.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Studies Tibet without packaging it., December 9, 2010
This review is from: Journey Into Buddhism Trilogy (Dharma River, • Prajna Earth, • Vajra Sky Over Tibet) (DVD)
I've watched each movie in the Trilogy more than once, and will watch each one again in the future. The narrative is a work of art all in itself, as is the cinematography. Each time I view them together, it's a new experience. The director is a student of Tibetan culture who makes no pretense or even an attempt at mastery. Something that took thousands of years to develop cannot be undone in one or two generations. Nor can it be packaged for Western consumption. The Trilogy is simple, and sublime. I liken it to playing a jazz instrument among musicians who make no judgment about my level of expertise or readiness.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entrance into Shangra La WOW, March 27, 2010
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This review is from: Journey Into Buddhism Trilogy (Dharma River, • Prajna Earth, • Vajra Sky Over Tibet) (DVD)
This series is an excellent overview of the various types of Buddhism with wonderful video of the various areas. Is awsome
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful images, forgetable naration., February 15, 2008
This review is from: Journey Into Buddhism Trilogy (Dharma River, • Prajna Earth, • Vajra Sky Over Tibet) (DVD)
The point of these DVD's are the images of sacred sites - which are 5-star. The naration is forgetable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just beautiful scenes but informative spiritually as well as otherwise, June 27, 2014
This review is from: Journey Into Buddhism Trilogy (Dharma River, • Prajna Earth, • Vajra Sky Over Tibet) (DVD)
Exceptional in everyway. Good definition and beautiful scenes, Lots of variety. Very relaxing. Great Value. Definitely a keeper. Strongly recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound!, January 14, 2014
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This review is from: Journey Into Buddhism Trilogy (Dharma River, • Prajna Earth, • Vajra Sky Over Tibet) (DVD)
The Journey into Buddhism Trilogy is very profound. I would highly recommend it to anyone seeking more knowledge on the history of Buddhism. It soothes the soul!
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