Bhutan Expands Focus on Gross National Happiness

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Every year women ranging from professionals to housewives get together as volunteers in Thimphu, Bhutan, to raise funds for a nunnery in a valley far from the city. They collect donations, organize monsoon balls, sell lottery tickets, and write about the life and hardships faced by the nuns who reside there. Thanks to their diligent efforts, conditions in the nunnery have improved in recent years: A new housing facility has been built, and the nuns are provided with warm clothes and proper food.

Viewed through different lenses, the women’s work appears either as a Buddhist act known as jimba or a secular act of public service. Reflecting on these alternate names for a common work inspires hope for a new approach to mobilizing human resources to meet the needs of a suffering humanity, not only in Bhutan but throughout the world.

Milarepa – The Mystic Saint of Tibet Now on Screen

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

Milarepa depicts the humble beginnings of the man who was to become Tibet’s greatest saint. A true story based on centuries-old oral traditions, a youthful Milarepa is propelled into a world of sorrow and betrayal after his father’s sudden death. Destitute and hopeless, he sets out to learn black magic – and exact revenge on his enemies – encountering magicians, demons, an enigmatic teacher and unexpected mystical power along the way. But it is in confrontation with the consequences of his anger that he learns the most.

Photographed in the stunning Lahaul-Spiti region of Northern India, Milarepa offers a provocative parallel to the cycle of violence and retribution we see consuming today’s world.