|The following article is from the Autumn, 1992 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.|
The Jewel Mountain, a fifty-eight minute film, presents the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism through an intimate and direct look at the daily life of one of its most inspired teachers. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991) was a principal holder of the Nyingma lineage, and was one of the greatest exemplars of the non-sectarian tradition in modern Tibetan Buddhism.
In a touching letter written in support of this project, His Holiness the Dalai Lama states, I believe that the unique cultural traditions of Tibet, which are presently under threat of extinction, should be preserved not simply because they form an ancient part of our world's culture, but because they have a role to play in the promotion of peace and harmonious living on the planet. In particular, Tibet's spiritual traditions have much to contribute to understanding the nature of the mind. A film about Khyentse Rinpoche, who exemplified them so well, will certainly increase awareness of the inestimable value of these traditions.
The Jewel Mountain is produced and directed by Vivian Kurz and Matthieu Ricard. Mr. Ricard, a noted photographer and translator, was a close personal attendant of Khyentse Rinpoche and was given permission to film all aspects of his life and activities. The film was shot in Bhutan, India, France, Nepal, America and Tibet over a seven-year period. A highlight of the The Jewel Mountain is Rinpoche's return trip to Eastern Tibet where he is given a spectacular welcome by thousands of Tibetans on horseback. At Khyentse Rinpoche's beautiful monastery in Baudha, Nepal, we are shown colorful dances and ceremonies, and scenes of intimacy and humor as Khyentse Rinpoche talks with other great teachersJamgon Kontrul Rinpoche, Tulku Orgyen Rinpoche, Tenga Rinpoche and Tulku Pema Wangyal Rinpoche. The film also moves to the West where Khyentse Rinpoche meets Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
Throughout the film, Khyentse Rinpoche with his magnificent warm compassion, his brillant sun-like smile, and his river-like wisdom speech is an amazing visual presence, the jewel mountain of the film's tide. Khyentse Rinpoche is one of my most important teachers, says His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in a touching and candid moment in the film. He is always very gentle and humble, and shows his deep experience. This is something very remarkable.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and a variey of narrators, including Khyentse Rinpoche's wife, his grandson and Dharma heir Ramjam Rinpoche, and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, recount anecdotes about Khyentse Rinpoche's life. They provide the informative narration which explains the inner meanings and practical applications of the powerful images on screen.
The Jewel Mountain is produced by Shechen Films, a division of Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling, a tax-exempt organization. All profits generated by The Jewel Mountain will be used to support and continue Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's work. The film is currently in the editing stage, and will be completed in 1993. It will be available both for international television broadcast and home video.
The Jewel Mountain is a rare document in which the rich and intricate tapestry of Tibetan Buddhism is shown on a personal and upclose level. For Rinpoche's students and for all thoseboth Buddhist and non-Buddhistwho never met him, this film, like the tradition that it reveals, conveys the energy and life of transmission. Thus it becomes in itself a part of the continuation of the lineage.
Contributions and inquiries about The Jewel Mountain or other projects of Khyentse Rinpoche may be addressed to Shechen Films c/o Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling, 2nd floor, 36 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011.