The Yogis of Tibet
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A Yogi is a person who, through years of isolation and self-transforming exercises, has developed extraordinary control over mind and body. The Tibetan yogis featured in this film took unprecedented risks. Once vowed to secrecy to maintain the purity of their practice, they agreed to be interviewed in order to preserve for posterity their vanishing culture. This documentary presents footage never seen before and not likely to be seen anywhere ever again. 77 minutes. DVD only.
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Top Customer Reviews
Paradoxically, and as the film points out, it is because Tibet has been occupied, that Tibetan monks are now found all over the West, teaching and spreading the message and practice of spirituality to a hungry and wanting audience. Who says that their true culture is being destroyed...!!!
Destroy this temple and a new one will spring up elsewhere...!
After a detailed description of Tibetan religious history from Padmasambava's religious revolution and the introduction of Buddhism in Tibet with the integration of the Bon religion, there are beautiful scenes of the retreats and caves utilized by yogis for meditation. A series of interviews with the Dalai Lama (by the way he is very humoristic affriming he would never want to be a yogi !) and yogis from Tibet and abroad explain the nature of yogi practice and exercises, meditation tecqniques and the deep transformation of the mystic's life after the three year, three months and three day retreat.
There is an impressive section on the meditation with physical exercise of a young yogi never filmed before, which is alone worth all the movie.
I looked for this movie after having read many things true or false on Tibetan yogis. It must be remembered that many Europeans heard of Tibetan yogis from the false monk Lobsang Rampa that with "The Third Eye" described apparently incredible feats performed by yogis. I must say that I have not been deluded because this work is accurate, gripping and illuminating.
Mystical experiences are common to many religions and methods to acheive a meditation state are usually consistent (fasting, elimination of external stimuli, isolation, etc) among various beliefs. The uniqueness of Tibetan yogi practice resides I think in the systematic and structured approach to this discipline that can be achieved after years of serious training. One of the points the movie wants to make is that this kind of religiosity is at danger of disappearing now that Tibetan monks live out of their mountains and isolated monasteries and partake in modern world in the United States and other Western countries. However, this ancient practice still has much to teach modern man.
Another important aspect consists in the compassionate approach that is absolutely necessary to undertake this kind of meditation and the great importance given to mind-body interaction, that consents to obtain a perfect control over even the autonomous nervous system. Voluntary emanation of heat has been scientifically demonstrated in some cases.
For a filmographic description of a yogi retreat see "Samsara", even if in this case the consequences are far from what is expected.
The movie is never didactic even if the instructive intent is evident throughout. In conclusion, a lively and instructive mind opener documentary.
The film begins with the stock introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, praising the Tibetan people for their culture of peace and compassion and protesting their treatment at the hands of the Chinese government. It leaves the usual storyline behind, though, when it explores the teachings and practices of the yogis, those rare individuals whose commitment to awakening is so strong that they live in caves, charnel grounds, or in other forms of "extreme retreat" for years or even decades. The viewer is given a look at some of those practices that have been hidden (for good reason---some of the energies worked with can be dangerous without the guidance of someone who's been there and done that) and gets to meet some interesting characters.
My only complaint about the film is that the producers of the DVD failed to take advantage of the digital technology to create chapters. The viewer must fast-forward through the movie to get to a particular scene. Other than this drawback, though, the DVD is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the esoteric side of Tibetan Buddhism.
Thank god these Tibetans are still alive here today.
It would be a sad moment in change if they had been completely eradicated from the earth. May they live long and prosper, for all of our well being.