A wonderful project that brings the finite workings and beauty of a Chinese Zen (Chan) monastery – Zhenru Monastery.
ONE MIND is a documentary film that will engage audiences with the living practice of a traditional Zen (Chan) monastic community in Southern China. Eschewing talking-head interviews and the authority of a narrative voice, audiences can expect a 90-minute immersion into the textures and sounds of a natural life, subtly expressing a motivation toward the spacious wisdom and compassion born of an enlightened awareness of unity and interdependence. In ONE MIND myths will be dismissed, as audiences can see that robust spiritual communities committed to strict adherence to tradition are thriving, whilst remaining somewhat hidden, at the core of China’s spiritual landscape.
Weathering the traumatic and rapidly shifting tides of history over the past century, the disciples of China’s great Zen Master, Empty Cloud have emerged at the heart of the revitalization of Zen Buddhism in China. Zhenru Monastery, the place where Master Empty Cloud lived and died, is considered one of China’s most respected and austere communities carrying forth a lineage over 1200 years old. In harmony with the land that sustains them, the monks at Zhenru Monastery farm, grow tea, and maintain a daily liturgy and strict meditation schedule. At the heart of this community is a group of cloistered meditators. Respected for their utter dedication to an internal art of cultivation, they are supported as the wellspring of wisdom and profound compassion from which the community draws its strength.