‘The Dhyani Buddha Akshobhya’, Tibetan thangka, late 13th century. PD

In all my lives, never separated from perfect gurus,

May I enjoy the magnificent teachings.

By completing the qualities of the stages and paths,

May I quickly attain the state of Vajradhara Buddha.

The Foundation of All Good Qualities ~Lama Tsongkhapa. Discussion

I discovered this beautiful verse in the movie Unmistaken Child.

I watched this movie after it was shared as a recommendation in the Bhagavad Gita class I am taking. 

The movie is about how the souls of great beings like the Dalai Lama, the Rinpoches, and other great beings and saints go on to reincarnate in another human body after their earthly departures so that they can continue to do service to the world. 

When they reincarnate, they have to be identified, and there is a process for this. There are certain ways they can be known. For instance, as small children of one or two, they can recognize their favorite mala that they used to chant on when they were in their previous human form. They remember details about their life, like their morning routines, and do parts of them even as small children. These are among the initial signs that that particular individual soul has come into that new body. 

The movie was so beautifully shot, among the mountains and hills of Nepal and India.

It inspires a subtle form of appreciation that you don’t get from watching action movies, or rom coms that instead set off an entire different set of reactions from the nervous system.

But beyond the abundance of natural beauty that invites the viewer into the majesty and divinity of the natural world, I noticed and loved two things about the film: 

  1. The devotion and complete surrender in the young monk who had attended to the deceased, then reincarnated Rinpoche. These are such beautiful qualities that I think are hard to appreciate when we are caught up in day to day life, and routine mundane thinking. We can appreciate these qualities more with regular times set apart for timelessness, wonder, appreciation, mind-heart-body-spirit expansion, inspiration, and pushing the boundaries or receiving the greatness that is beyond what we understand ourselves to be. These latter activities attune us to the wonder, beauty, mystery, and goodness of life…. And help us understand qualities like devotion and surrender. Not to say one needs to have these qualities or one is less in any way for not having them.
  1. The concept of thinking about time in terms of lifetimes. Someone in my class shared this quotation recently : one canst hardly pluck a flower without the trembling of a star. Thinking about that level of interconnectedness in terms of time rather than space or distance, that what I do in this life impacts the next, or even impacts the ones before. And that my being is continuous and that it is a separate and a wholly distinct feature from my body, and that it goes on after this body ends, and it even has potentially more capacity after it ends.  I was struck by the monk’s continuity of service and affection, from when his Rinpoche was a very old man to when he reincarnated as a small child. The monk’s life stayed continuous in linear time, getting older in consecutive years, consecutive clock-time, and continuity in consciousness and identity, while his Rinpoche started a completely new life, with a new body and new ego identity. These are such beautiful and mind-expanding concepts to consider and feel into. 

Have you seen this film or other beautiful films with similar qualities? Share your recommendations in the comments 🙂

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