MON 24 SEP | 7:00pm
Mandarin with English subtitles
Directed by Edward Burger
One Mind is a rare cinematic portrait of life inside one of China’s most austere and revered Chan Buddhism communities. The monks at Zhenru Chan Monastery continue to uphold a strict monastic code established over 1,400 years ago by the founding patriarchs of Chan Buddhism in China. In harmony with the land that sustains them, the monks operate an organic farm, grow tea, and harvest bamboo to fuel their kitchen fires. At the heart of this community, a group of cloistered meditators sit in silence for 8 hours every day. One Mind offers an intimate glimpse into a thriving Buddhist monastery in modern China.
Edward Burger grew up in a small Ohio town, spending his days in forests and fields. His favourite toy was a microscope. He would trade it in for a camera much later in life. He studied religion at The College of Wooster, and Buddhism with Antioch University in Bodh Gaya, India. After graduation, Edward moved to China, learnt to read and write Mandarin and sought out a Buddhist master living in the remote Zhongnan Mountain region in central China. He studied Buddhist meditation and philosophy in one of China’s most vital Chan monasteries. In the earlier years, Edward was working occasionally as a film-set interpreter, before he eventually began making his own documentary films about the Buddhist communities with which he had become so familiar.
The monks at Zhenru are not typical Chinese Buddhist monks; they are a subset of the population respected for their utter dedication to spiritual cultivation in every aspect of their
Over the past century, many old traditions and cultures have been lost, leaving an empty space in the hearts of many Chinese people. Most believe that these traditions are lost or are corrupted. The potential for such communities such as Zhenru Monastery to be wellsprings of hope and healing is enormous. Therefore, it is important to let the world know these traditions not only exist, but are in the process of revitalisation in China.