Journey with Robert Thurman in Bhutan: Buddhist Teachings and Meditations in the Land of the Thunder Dragon is not a travelogue, but a pilgrimage in the truest sense of the word, as defined by Lama Anagarika Govinda in The Way of the White Clouds:
A pilgrimage distinguishes itself from an ordinary journey by the fact that it does not pursue a fixed aim or a limited purpose, but that it carries its meaning in itself, by relying on an inner urge which operates on two planes, on the physical as well as on the spiritual plane. It is a movement not only in the outer, but equally in the inner space, a movement whose spontaneity is that of the nature of all life, i.e. of all that grows continually beyond its momentary form, a movement that always starts from an invisible inner core.
Although Buddhism is often studied as religion, what excites us is the scientific method it applies to studying the nature of reality. How accessible it is, and how effective it can make you in your own life. How modern science is now coming to the same understandings expressed in the earliest Buddhist texts and teachings.
The problems the whole world is facing today — collapse of the environment, economies, social injustice and inequality — are all deeply interconnected and cannot be resolved at the same level of thinking that got us into them. But a shift in consciousness changes us from the inside out, and in so doing, the world.
Bhutan’s framework of Gross National Happiness is a bold step for developing in alignment with what truly matters that has inspired a wellspring of Genuine Progress Indicator initiatives around the world. What would it take to realize these goals?
We hope that the film will spark conversations about what we’re told is real, what we think about ourselves and what we think is important in the world. We hope it will provide insight into Buddhist teachings, build bridges of understanding with Bhutan, and inspire a deeper understanding of happiness for individual and society that ultimately leaves you feeling happier for having watched it.