Tricycle | BuddhaFest Online Film Festival

When the Iron Bird Flies


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Running June 25 - July 8

In 1959, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama escaped the Chinese invasion of Tibet. With his departure, and the exodus of many of the major teachers of all the sects of Tibetan Buddhism, the buddhadharma—as it was practiced in virtual seclusion for centuries in the Land of Snow—was suddenly thrust out into the world. Fifty years later there are Tibetan Buddhist meditation centers in every major city in the western world, two 3-year retreat centers in France alone, and the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, has 92,000 followers on Twitter.

When the Iron Bird Flies traces the astounding path of one of the world’s great spiritual traditions, from the caves of Tibet to the mainstream of western culture, and asks: In these incredibly chaotic, modern times, can these age old teachings help us find genuine happiness—and create a saner, more compassionate 21st century world?

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smnicc's picture

A moving connection with our Western sangha...for those of us who less frequently have access to our Teachers, this was a wonderful view. Thank you so much for this Dharma gift!

hlienpham's picture

Thank you for the wonderful and inspiring film.

zenja's picture

What a fantastic Film,..........what a great film festival its been,thank you so much

andreapucci's picture

Thank you to Victress Hitchcock and Pundarika Foundation for a film which reaches into the profound depth of our being and reminds us of our capacity to end suffering. I so enjoyed hearing the words of everyone who appeared in this film, and may their message reach far and wide and benefit many.

monkglenn's picture

It is a great gift that we have received through and from Tibet and the teachers and teachings. Waking up at some point, too, perhaps for us could happen, but that we are united in the main principles is encouraging. Interesting movie.

yakimayogi's picture

I loved Blessings: The Tsoknyi Nangchen Nuns of Tibet - watched it over and over.. When the Iron Bird Flies did not connect with me.

worthmoremusic's picture

I really loved this film.....infinite thanks to Tricycle for sharing this with your members and to Victress Hitchcock for two truly wonderfully insightful films; Blessings: The Tsoknyi Nangchen Nuns of Tibet and When the Iron Bird Flies...


diamondsontheinside's picture

Fantastic film but unfortunately it is not streaming smoothly...we have had to stop and refresh over 15 times and after this next try 45 minutes in
, I will probably give up...this is the second film this has happened with...different computers, both very new...

franzwsm's picture

yes we are indeed fortunate that Buddhism has come to the rest of the world, and that includes being able to see this film
Thank you for organising it.

unystrom's picture

This was by far my favourite film so far, I appreciated it's honesty. Thank you.

bethsummerl's picture

I'm weeping. An awake world is so tantalizingly possible. May the wisdom of Buddha, the existence of places like Tricycle, and the power of the west's gift, the internet, be the cause. Soon.

Caron Miller's picture

Thank you for a very informative and lovely film.'s picture

The iron bird brought the west invaluable practices and a philosophy that have made my life richer. A big strength in this presentation is hearing from the many western practitioners whose lives are richer as well. The world and the west needed to be graced by this truth, at this time, and in this way. The movie keeps one engaged in personal stories, while it reinforces the basic tenets of traditional Buddhist wisdom. I'm so glad (writing as a woman) that it exposed the weakness of misogynistic thinking within the ranks, presenting examples of how important and integral a female voice is in spreading the dharma. While there is neuroplasticity there is also religioplasticity. I can't help but think of Ken Wilber's work on integral spirituality as I watch this film; a religion naturally develops and evolves with the acculturation of its membership. Truth remains truth, however. Like the setting sun into the ocean, Tibetan Buddhist wisdom blends into the diamond of absolute truth.