When The Iron Bird Flies

This is one of my favorite quotes of all times:

When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels, the Tibetan people will
be scattered like ants across the face of the earth.

~ Guru Padmasambhava of Tibet, 8th Century

I first saw this quote at the Museum of Asian Art about 20 years ago. I was astonished and had one of those moments when everything seemed right with the world.

It was a special exhibit of Tibetan art from places I can’t remember. There were Tibetan monks doing sand paintings.

Now there is a movie about it.

In 1959, the Chinese invasion of Tibet threw open the doors to the mysterious realm of Tibetan Buddhism and suddenly this rich, ancient tradition was propelled into the modern world. Half a century later, Padmasambhava’s prophecy has come true and the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism are found in every corner of the earth.

WHEN THE IRON BIRD FLIES takes us on an up-close and personal journey following the astounding path of one of the world’s great spiritual traditions from the caves of Tibet to the mainstream of Western culture. Along the way, the film tackles the provocative exchanges between Buddhist practitioners and scholars and Western scientists, psychologists, and educators now at the heart of the emergence of a genuine Western tradition of Buddhism.

And the film investigates the question: “In these increasingly challenging times, can these age-old teachings help us find genuine happiness and create a saner, more compassionate 21st century world?”

Through candid interviews with contemporary teachers and practitioners, rare archival footage, and striking images of modern life that illuminate and make accessible the Buddha’s core teachings, the film creates a vivid and entertaining portrait of the world of Tibetan Buddhism, as it is manifesting in America and the West.

[From the trailer description]

There is a five minute pre-release preview here.

I’m looking forward to seeing the whole movie.

What do you think of this astonishing prediction? Is there another one that you heard that has as much impact? What is it?

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