Crazy Wisdom: The Life and Times of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

The arrival of Tibetan Buddhism in America through the story of Chogyam Trungpa, who was renowned for translating ancient concepts for Westerners and shattered notions about how an enlightened teacher should behave.
Crazy Wisdom: The Life and Times of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche is rated 3.0 out of 5 by 2.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Crazy Wisdom A very complete explanation of an event that introduced the West to a religion of the East.
Date published: 2021-08-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from elevating a sociopath Unfortunately, Westerners don't always choose their teachers wisely and assume that someone who is from Tibet is a qualified teacher of Vajrayana Buddhism. Chogyam was never ordained as a lama and had absolutely no authority from the Dalai Lama to present himself as a Tibetan Buddhist leader. He was a cult leader whose abuses, cover-ups and fawning apologists bring to mind the sexual abuse scandals of the Catholic Church. Since Chogyam's regent infected multiple followers with HIV without disclosing to them his infection, the abusive practices at shambhala resulted in death as well as human suffering. There are also accounts of Chogyam torturing animals. The Dalai Lama has warned practitioners that in Tibet, before committing to become a disciple, a buddhist might observe even an officially ordained teacher for 12 years to insure that the teacher always adheres to ethical standards. When Westerners put their own basic understanding of morality aside for a charlatan, the situation is ripe for a cult to emerge and people get hurt and sometimes killed.
Date published: 2021-07-27
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Overview

The arrival of Tibetan Buddhism in America through the story of Chogyam Trungpa, who was renowned for translating ancient concepts for Westerners and shattered notions about how an enlightened teacher should behave.

About

Johanna Demetrakas
Johanna Demetrakas

With her first documentary, Womanhouse, about a ground-breaking feminist art installation, Demetrakas won the AFI Independent Filmmakers Grant, a place in the Whitney Museum's New American Filmmaker Series, and international recognition at festivals such as the Venice Biennale, Paris, and New York. Her second art doc, Right Out of History: The Making of Judy Chicago's Dinner Party, was broadcast on PBS and the BBC after acclaim at the London and Berlin Film Festivals. Her art documentaries have been in many museum shows, including the major exhibit, "Los Angeles 1955 - 1985," at the Pompidou Museum in Paris, 2006. The Pompidou recently bought a print of Womanhouse for their permanent collection. Since winning the Discovery Program Award and making the dramatic short Homesick in 1989 (Sundance, Houston Fest winner, Showtime broadcast), Demetrakas has turned her energies to writing and directing dramatic fiction as well as documentaries. Her credits include LA Law, Doogie Howser, MD, and the Lifetime television feature Out of Line, starring Jennifer Beals. In 2004, Demetrakas produced, directed, and edited a two-hour special Biography of Richard Gere for A&E. It was the first A&E Biography without a narrator. Well known for her editing prowess, her credits include The World According to Sesame Street and Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony. That epic documentary, edited by Demetrakas, won both the Audience and Freedom of Expression Awards at Sundance, 2002, as well as being nominated for five Emmys, including editing for Demetrakas. She Co-Directed and Edited Busrider's Union with the legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler. She has collaborated with Renee Tajima- Pena on several films, including My America, or Honk if You Love Buddha, the PBS special My Journey Home, and the P.O.V. film, Calavera Highway. Demetrakas has served on several awards juries including the Director's Guild of America, the IDA, The Student Academy Awards, and The Greek Film Festival. She taught writing and directing at Cal Arts and is now on the faculty at USC's School of Cinematic Arts.

By This Director

Crazy Wisdom: The Life and Times of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

01: Crazy Wisdom: The Life and Times of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

The arrival of Tibetan Buddhism in America through the story of Chogyam Trungpa, who was renowned for translating ancient concepts for Westerners and shattered notions about how an enlightened teacher should behave.

88 min