The Gift of Dhamma (festival Title) – Documentary – 30 minutes
Winner of the 2009 Queens International Film Festival in New York City: Best Domestic Documentary.
Myanmar (Burma) is home to one of the most peaceful spiritual traditions in the world: Theravada Buddhism. In the Theravada tradition, which is followed by 90% of Burmese people, peace and freedom are not pursued externally. Instead the Theravada Buddhists find freedom within themselves. Originating from the Buddha’s 2500 year-old teachings, the path to inner liberation is propagated by the Sangha: the community of ordained monks and nuns. Over 5% of Burmese people are members of the Sangha. In order to materially survive, the Sangha relies on Sangha Dana: the offerings given by lay devotees. It is by the merit of Sangha Dana that the order of monks and nuns can continue to recompense the generosity with Dhamma Dana: the sacred gift of the Buddha’s teachings.
Filmed entirely in Myanmar, Dhamma Dana delves deep into the Golden Land’s monastic tradition and reveals how the Burmese Buddhists find inner freedom. The film presents the Dhamma with a serene rhythm; documenting a powerfully peaceful ancient tradition that few experience first hand.
Dr Molini, a Burmese nun and avid social worker, provides the experience and guiding light to tell the story of how the Burmese preserve and propagate their unique tradition. In Dhamma Dana, she illuminates the heartwarming effort of a people who transcend the influence of modern times in order to uphold the ancient tradition of Theravada Buddhism.