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Exploring Consciousness

What does it mean to be human?

Thought-provoking films, books and people, featuring humanity’s spiritual search,
from ancient wisdom traditions to the latest neuroscience research.

Founded in 1996, Exploring Consciousness has screened movies mostly at the Labia Theatre in Cape Town, but also countrywide in filmfests with Cinema Nouveau and other venues.

Themes are universal and include philosophy and spirituality, mysticism, health and healing, death and dying, psychology, relationships, ecology, ethical business, personal and global transformation. Material is sourced from all over the world, featuring leading spiritual teachers, scientists and physicists.

Exploring Consciousness also offers speakers who introduce films and thus anchor these universal challenges in books, videos, seminars and workshops.

Acknowledgments

Exploring Consciousness wishes to extend their deep gratitude to the support of:

Wine courtesy of Bevan Newton Johnson

VidiVox Film Club (Rodney and Ebeline Anderson)

Green Renaissance Films (Michael Raimondo)

Next Showing

10 Questions for the Dalai Lama

Date: Monday 20 September

Programme
Time:
5.30pm Light refreshments

6.00pm Trailer of Mission: JOY (Arch Tutu & Dalai Lama)

6.15pm Chat and Q&A with Choden, Tibetan Buddhist monk

6.30pm Movie: 10 Questions for the Dalai Lama

Venue: The municipal auditorium, Hermanus

 

Choden is a Buddhist monk originally from South Africa where he trained as a lawyer and where he learned meditation under the guidance of Rob Nairn. He is now involved in developing secular mindfulness and compassion programmes drawing upon the wisdom and methods of the Buddhist tradition, as well as contemporary insights from psychology and neuroscience. He is an honorary fellow of the University of Aberdeen and teaches on their Postgraduate Study Programme in Mindfulness (MSc) that is the first of its kind to include compassion in its curriculum. He has published several books, including  Mindful Compassion with Paul Gilbert: this explores the interface between Buddhist and evolutionary approaches to compassion training.

Trailer (6 minutes)

Mission: JOY
is a film that shares the humour and wisdom of two of the world’s most beloved icons, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

These two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates have united for one final mission: to show the world how to live with joy, even in troubled times. And they know what they are talking about. They have both lived through extreme hardship, and continued to live with joy despite their circumstances.

mission joy

10 Questions for the Dalai Lama

spiritual movies, exploring consciousness

A tapestry, an exploration: poignant, luscious, brilliant, wise and relevant.

Produced by Rick Ray and Sharon Ray. Original evocative musical score by Peter Kater, 2006

Running time  85 minutes

If you had only one hour, what would you ask . . .       

How do you reconcile a commitment to non-violence when faced with violence? Why do the poor often seem happier than the rich? Must a society lose its traditions in order to move into the future? These are some of the questions posed to His Holiness the Dalai Lama by filmmaker and explorer Rick Ray.

Ray examines some of the fundamental questions of our time by weaving together observations from his own journeys throughout India and the Middle East, and the wisdom of an extraordinary spiritual leader. This is the story of the Dalai Lama, as told and filmed by Rick Ray during a private visit to his monastery in Dharamsala, India over the course of several months. Also included is rare historical footage as well as footage supplied by individuals who at great personal risk, filmed with hidden cameras within Tibet., “10 Questions for The Dalai Lama” conveys more than history and more than answers

Most poignant is the reply to: What would become of the Dalai Lama? “As a Buddhist monk I wish to go to a remote area, like a wounded animal. All my time and energy I will concentrate on spiritual matters.” Cinematographer, writer and director Rick Ray has travelled the world to capture images of its peoples and cultures. He has produced 12 films on regions as diverse as Israel, Bali, Borneo, Lebanon, Ethiopia and Syria. Soundtrack for the film 10 Questions for the Dalai Lama was composed by Grammy nominated pianist and composer Peter Kater. Tibetan bowls, cello, piano, strings and flutes are fused to evoke the vast plateaus, majestic mountains and spiritual mystery that are experienced in the film. With guest appearances by chanting Tibetan monk and teacher, Tulku Orgyen, Tibetan flutist Nawang Khechog, and Native American flautist R. Carlos Nakai, Peter Kater has created a soundtrack that is the perfect partner to the film’s beautiful imagery. Brought to you by Exploring Consciousness

Soundtrack for the film 10 Questions for the Dalai Lama was composed by Grammy nominated pianist and composer Peter Kater. Tibetan bowls, cello, piano, strings and flutes are fused to evoke the vast plateaus, majestic mountains and spiritual mystery that are experienced in the film. With guest appearances by chanting Tibetan monk and teacher, Tulku Orgyen, Tibetan flutist Nawang Khechog, and Native American flautist R. Carlos Nakai, Peter Kater has created a soundtrack that is the perfect partner to the film’s beautiful imagery.

Coming Soon

Previously Screened

spiritual movies, exploring consciousness
Father Bede Griffiths

 

This extraordinary 60-minute profile of a Christian mystic was produced and directed by John Swindells, an Australian filmmaker. Father Bede talks about his education at Oxford where he developed an interest in philosophy and literature, his experiment with communal living in the English countryside, his decision to become a priest, and his attempt to create a meeting place for East and West at an ashram in southern India. Various members of this community comment on Father Bede’s teachings, spiritual practices, and impact upon their lives.

Three deeply moving mystical experiences animated this holy man’s spiritual journey. Father Bede’s introduction to cosmic religion came from a mystical experience while walking in a field at sunset. The second epiphany occurred during a long night of prayer when he realized the need to break with his rational mind and to be open to darkness. A final vision accompanied a stroke. He experienced union with God whose presence was felt as a loving mother.