“This film is a riveting, poignant and beautiful window into the flowering of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. Please watch and listen — it touches the place in us that longs to realize the truth and live from our awakened heart.”
- Tara Brach, Buddhist teacher and author, “Radical Acceptance”.
“When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels, the Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the face of the earth.”
~ 8th century – Guru Padmasambhava
In 1959, the Chinese invasion of Tibet threw open the doors to the mysterious realm of Tibetan Buddhism and suddenly this rich, ancient tradition was propelled into the modern world. Half a century later, Padmasambhava’s prophecy has come true and the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism are found in every corner of the earth.
WHEN THE IRON BIRD FLIES takes us on an up-close and personal journey following the astounding path of one of the world’s great spiritual traditions from the caves of Tibet to the mainstream of Western culture. Along the way, the film tackles the provocative exchanges between Buddhist practitioners and scholars and Western scientists, psychologists, and educators now at the heart of the emergence of a genuine Western tradition of Buddhism.
And the film investigates the question: “In these increasingly challenging times, can these age-old teachings help us find genuine happiness and create a saner, more compassionate 21st century world?”
Through candid interviews with contemporary teachers and practitioners, rare archival footage, and striking images of modern life that illuminate and make accessible the Buddha’s core teachings, the film creates a vivid and entertaining portrait of the world of Tibetan Buddhism, as it is manifesting in America and the West.
“It is with deep pleasure that we watch this glorious documentary unfold with its affirmation of the efforts of Tibetan teachers to make this religion relevant to the needs and concerns of Westerners. When the Iron Bird Flies is a creative and wide-ranging guide to the spread of a rich spiritual tradition. It’s an invaluable resource to newcomers and seasoned devotees of Tibetan Buddhism.” - from a review in Spirituality and Practice
APPEARANCES BY: ANAM THUBTEN • B. ALAN WALLACE • CHOKYI NYIMA RINPOCHE • HH DALAI LAMA • DZIGAR KONGTRUL RINPOCHE • DZONGSAR KHYENTSE RINPOCHE • E. GENE SMITH • ELIZABETH MATTIS-NAMGYAL • FLEET MAULL • GESHE KELSANG WANGMO • JETSUN KHANDRO RINPOCHE • MATTHIEU RICARD • PHAKCHOK RINPOCHE • REGINALD RAY • DR. RICHARD DAVIDSON • RICHARD GERE • TSOKNYI RINPOCHE • LAMA TSULTRIM ALLIONE and others…