The Yogis of Tibet, a rare documentary, released in 2002, produced by Phil and Jo Borack, narrated by Jeffrey Gibson and written by Barbara King.
Tibetan Buddhism secrets of the yogis in Tibet are revealed in this rare documentary The Yogis of Tibet: A Film for Posterity.
The Yogis of Tibet: A Film for Posterity synopsis:
Tibet, the land of snows, is cradled in the cloud of fable. It was a place unknown to the world beyond its mountain walls for nearly a millennium. Exotic tales abounded about these unearthly people on the vast plateau embraced by the mountains.
The yogis you will watch on this documentary, took unprecedented risks. Even though they once vowed extreme secrecy to maintain the purity of their practices, they agreed to these unique interviews and rare demonstrations to help preserve for posterity their vanishing culture.
As we find out in this movie, a yogi is “an individual who has spent years in isolated retreat practicing secret self-transforming physical and mental exercises and through these techniques has developed extraordinary control over both mind and body”.
“The yogi is superior to the ascetic; he is deemed superior even to those versed in sacred lore. The Yogi is superior even to those who perform an action with some motive. Therefore, Arjuna, do you become a Yogi.” – Bhagavad Gita quote.
The Buddhism that developed in Tibet was organized around meditation and other practices and rituals. At one point, there were 6,000 monasteries and one in every six males was a monk. The monastery monks not only perfected spiritual disciplines but studied science, philosophy, arts, and medicine.
During the Chinese takeover, one million Tibetans were killed; many of them were yogis. Realizing that their tradition and impact on the future is now limited, some of these spiritual masters decided to share a few of their secret beliefs and spiritual practices with the world. There are also interviews with many Tibetan yogis, especially from the Drikung Kagyu lineage.
These include the great master (the late) Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche, Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, Chenga Rinpoche, Choje Togden Rinpoche, Nubpa Rinpoche and Garchen Rinpoche.
In the last part of The Yogis of Tibet movie, the producer focuses on the spiritual practice of compassion, which is the essence of Tibetan Buddhism. The 14th Dalai Lama speaks about a Tibetan monk imprisoned by the Chinese who felt that the only danger he experienced during that time was the possibility of losing his compassion for the enemies.
This film includes scenes from a meditation retreat of two Tibetan yogis in the caves at Lapchi, a place made famous by Milarepa, considered one of Tibet’s greatest yogis.
“Life is short, and the time of death is uncertain; so apply yourselves to meditation. Avoid doing wrong, and acquire merit, to the best of your ability, even at the cost of life itself. In short, act so that you will have no cause to be ashamed of yourselves, and hold fast to this rule.” – Milarepa`s quote.
The first American to have been ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk, Robert Thurman has called Tibetan monks and yogis “supreme artists of life.”
“It is in the nature of cyclic existence that what has gathered will eventually disperse – parents, children, brothers, sisters, and friends. No matter how much friends like each other, eventually they must separate. Gurus and students, parents and children, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, and friends – no matter who they are – must eventually separate.” – Dalai Lama’s quote.