Dharma Films
A Cinematic Exploration of
Buddhist Psychology
presented by
The Arlington Center &
Institute For Meditation & Psychotherapy

2017-18 Series At A Glance

October 7 Golden Kingdom
November 4 Beatriz at Dinner
December 2 Ghost Story
January 6 In Pursuit of Silence
February 3 Heal the Living
March 10 Paths of the Soul
April 14 The Salesman
May 5 Paterson

• all films presented at 7pm on the first Saturday of the month except March 10 & April 14
• general admission at the door: $10/film, $60/series
• mental health professionals earning 2 CEs, $35/film at the door, $200/series (see details below)
• post-film discussions moderated by faculty of the Institute For Meditation & Psychotherapy and the Arlington Center
• free refreshments

Golden Kingdom
Saturday, October 7, 7pm   
With Shine Htet Zaw, Ko Yin Saw Ri, Ko Yin Than Maung
Directed by Brian Perkins, 2015
104 min
Discussant: Bill Morgan, PsyD

Four young monks are left to manage on their own when the abbot of a remote Myanmar monastery (U Zaw Ti Ka, himself a real-life Buddhist sayadaw) is abruptly summoned to a distant city. Their daily routines disrupted, they soon encounter challenges that test their monastic aspiration—to ‘live blamelessly and at ease’—and require the most enterprising of the four neophytes to go forth on a perilous quest. Both meditative and suspenseful, Golden Kingdom unfolds with an enthralling, near-documentary realism, even as it ventures into mystical realms of the dharma and Burmese folk culture

Beatriz at Dinner
Saturday, November 4, 7pm   
Starring Salma Hayek, John Lithgow, Connie Britton
Directed by Miguel Arteta, 2017
83 min
Discussant: Charles Styron, PsyD

This provocative film has been dubbed both a Trump-era comedy and a drama, and it certainly has elements of each. Beatriz (Salma Hayek) is an immigrant from a poor town in Mexico and has a career as a compassionate, multifaceted, new age health practitioner in Los Angeles. Doug Strutt (John Lithgow) is a self-satisfied real estate developer and a billionaire. When these two end up at a dinner party together through a coincidence, sparks are kindled slowly and eventually fly. A genuine collision of their two worlds ensues while the remaining five dinner guests observe without a clue how to intervene constructively. It is as though a large crevasse opens up beneath their feet, and they are loathe to acknowledge it while simultaneously fearing they may fall into it. The crevasse is the divide between world views, vastly different languages, and divergent ethical perspectives

A Ghost Story
Saturday, December 2, 7pm
Starring Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara
Directed by David Lowery, 2017
92 min
Discussant: Tom Pedulla, LICSW

After death sunders a struggling young Texas couple (Casey Affleck & Rooney Mara), a spectral figure arrives like a sentinel to quietly stand watch, transfixed, over the life he once lived and the home to which he clung. In this eerie, beguiling film, everything—people, places, culture—is in flux around the mostly unseen, motionless phantom, for whom the boundaries of past and future have dissolved away. A Ghost Story is a haunting meditation on the web of attachments spun from the slender threads of human connection and desire, spanning the limitless frontiers of time and even mortality

In Pursuit of Silence
Saturday, January 6, 7pm   
Directed by Patrick Shen, 2015
81 min
Discussant: Jan Surrey, PhD

Silence is the resting place of everything essential. So begins this essential journey into the heart of quietude, illuminating its power to clarify the mind and heal the heart. Touching down in some of the world’s quietest locales, including the -9.4 decibel anechoic chamber in Minnesota’s Orfield Labs, the film also delves into the loudest, whose cacophonies cause untold physical and psychological harm. Brimming with vivid images and timeless wisdom, In Pursuit of Silence fascinates, informs, relaxes, and nourishes—a refreshing cinematic meditation

Heal the Living
Saturday, February 3, 7pm 
Starring Tahar Rahim, Emmanuelle Seigner, Anne Dorval
Directed by Katell Quillévére, 2016
103 min
Discussant: Paul Fulton, EdD

A dreamy young surfer’s catastrophic early morning accident shatters a family, yet somehow bestows the gift of life and hope to others in this keenly felt, much acclaimed film by Katell Quillévéré. Heal the Living goes to the heart of a life: its terrifying fragility matched by the strength of its pulsing connections. At once elegant and raw, this remarkable film powerfully imparts the dharma of memento mori…et vitae

Paths of the Soul
Saturday, March 10, 7pm
With Yang Pei, Nyima Zadui, Tsewang Dolkar, Tsring Chodron, Seba Jiangcuo, Renqing Wangyal, Dawa Tashi, Jiangcuo Wangdui, Rigzin Jigme, Mu Qu, Gyatso, Dingzi Dengda, Suolang Nima
Directed by Zhang Yang, 2015
115 min
Discussant: Meghan Searl, PsyD

Paths of the Soul follows a hardy group of Buddhist villagers journeying in all kinds of weather for 750 miles across the Tibetan plateau for seven months on a pilgrimage to Lhasa - a good definition of demanding. Their mode of travel? Doing full prostrations—literally diving onto the ground while sliding forward on thick wooden blocks that protect the hands and full aprons of animal skin that protect the torso—underscores the definition. Each prostration entails three preliminary claps of the hands—signs of taking refuge in the 'Three Jewels' of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha while one simultaneously and silently speaks words of refuge to oneself. The entire journey, therefore, is made largely without talking during the actual periods of travel. And yet, this film depicts a journey that is unparalleled in its ordinariness. These are ordinary Tibetans doing what their forebears have ordinarily done for generations. And for what? The explicit goal of such pilgrimages in the Tibetan Buddhist canon is to pray for the well-being and happiness of others. There is a destination (or destinations) for the journey, but the real destination is the inner sanctum in which one gives oneself over to the practice of journeying itself. Paths of the Soul is a different and absorbing kind of road movie: an extraordinary glimpse into a way of being in the world at once unfamiliar and deeply inspiring

The Salesman
Saturday, April 14, 7pm
Starring Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoost
Directed by Asgar Farhadi, 2016
125 min
Discussant: Susan Pollak, EdD

Winner of an Oscar for best foreign film in 2017, Asgar Farhadi’s The Salesman is part thriller and part psychological drama. Returning to the theme of the complexities of marriage, this film has echoes of both Alfred Hitchcock and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. The protagonists Emad and Rana are amateur actors playing Willy and Linda Loman in a production of Miller’s signature play. In this play within a film, Farhadi examines how anger and damaged self-esteem can threaten to destroy what we most want to protect. Set in Tehran, this movie is a compassionate exposition of the common ground of shared human experience, transcending cultural and geographic boundaries

Saturday, May 5, 7pm
Starring Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani
Directed by Jim Jarmusch, 2016
115 min
Discussant: Chris Willard, PsyD

This meticulously composed movie tracks the daily life of Paterson (Adam Driver), a bus driver in the city of Paterson, New Jersey. Like a Zen Master, he has a simple routine. He drives the same route every day, observing the city, people, and nature as life drifts by his windshield. After work he walks his dog, stops in a bar and has exactly one beer, and goes home to his wife. Finding glimpses of beauty in the mundane he writes poetry, drawing from snippets of conversation, observation of objects, and the world around him. A meditation on the disappointments and victories of daily life, Paterson is filled with poetry, and is itself a work of art, helping us look more closely at the world around us in each moment

Institute For Meditation & Psychotherapy
Buddhist Psychology Program

This CE program is intended for licensed psychotherapists who are interested in Buddhist psychology, meditation, or mindfulness.  The application of mindfulness and mindfulness-based psychotherapy is increasingly appreciated by the therapeutic community as an approach to reducing mental and emotional suffering.  A film addressing key elements of Buddhist psychology will be shown, followed by a presentation and discussion moderated by a faculty member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and Chip Hartranft, Director of the Arlington Center.  

Buddhist psychology and mindfulness practices were developed 2500 years ago to alleviate suffering, particularly related to challenges of daily life. These challenges are vividly portrayed through the medium of film and provide rich material for discussion. In this eight-session course, carefully-selected films elucidate basic concepts in the Buddhist approach to self-transformation and healing.  Participants will learn, from the Buddhist perspective, about the cause of suffering and how to alleviate it, the fluid nature of self, impermanence, connection, intention, the illusory nature of experience, and the possibility of happiness.  The film format is designed to provide both an intellectual and a visceral learning experience.  Participation in the entire series is recommended, but not required, for CE credit.

Psychologists: The Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. IMP maintains responsibility for the program and its content. This course offers 2 hours of credit per session.

Social Workers: Application for continuing education credit has been made to the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Credits pending.

Nurses: This course meets the specifications of the Board of Registration in Nursing (244 CMR) for 2 Contact Hours per session.

Licensed Mental Health Counselors: The Institute is recognized by the National Board for Certified Counselors to offer continuing education for National Certified Counselors. We adhere to NBCC Continuing Education Guidelines. Each session is approved for 2 contact hours, Provider #6048, and is applicable for Commonwealth of Massachusetts Counseling/Allied Mental Health and PDP accreditation.

Jeffrey Ansloos, PhD is Assistant Professor of International Mental Health and Trauma and a fellow of the Global Education Center at Lesley University.  His scholarship focuses on complex psychological trauma, violence prevention, critical and indigenous psychologies, and gender, race, and religion. He is a practitioner of yoga and meditation in the Ignatian tradition.

Paul Fulton, EdD is a clinical psychologist, founding member of IMP and director of the certificate program in mindfulness-based psychotherapy. Dr. Fulton has been teaching about psychology and meditation for many years and is a co-editor of the book, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy. Paul has been a student of Buddhist psychology for over 35 years.

Chris Germer, PhD is a clinical psychologist practicing in Arlington, a co-editor of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, and an Instructor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School.  He has over 29 years of experience in meditation and its use in psychotherapy.

Chip Hartranft, MS is the founding director of The Arlington Center, author of The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: A New Translation with Commentary (Shambhala), and teaches the history of Buddhist practice and thought in Lesley University's graduate program in mindfulness studies. His work bridges the traditions of yoga and Buddhist psychology.

Sara Lazar, PhD, is a neuroscientist in the Psychiatry Department at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School.

Bill Morgan, PsyD, a clinical psychologist practicing in Cambridge, has practiced Buddhist meditation for 32 years and leads meditation retreats.

Stephanie Morgan, LICSW, PsyD is in private practice in Manchester-by-the Sea, MA, and has practiced Buddhist meditation for 28 years.

Susan Morgan, MSN, RN, CS is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in private practice in Cambridge, MA.  She has practiced meditation in both Christian and Buddhist traditions for over 15 years

Tom Pedulla, LICSW is a clinical social worker in private practice in Arlington, Massachusetts. In addition to working with individual adults, he also leads Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy groups for people coping with depression and anxiety. A practitioner of meditation in the Vipassana tradition since 1987, Tom also serves on the board of directors at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center.

Susan M. Pollak, MTS, EdD, Director of Continuing Education, is a clinical psychologist. Dr. Pollak received a degree in Comparative Religion from Harvard Divinity School, her doctorate in Psychology from Harvard University, and her clinical training through Harvard Medical School. She has been a clinician and Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School for 20 years, specializing in the integration of meditation and psychotherapy. She has had a meditation and yoga practice since childhood.

Ron Siegel, PsyD is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Lincoln, MA, a member of the clinical faculty of Harvard Medical School for over 20 years, and a long-term student of mindfulness meditation. He is a coauthor of Back Sense: A Revolutionary Approach to Halting the Cycle of Chronic Back Pain and a co-editor of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy.

Charles Styron, PsyD is a consulting psychologist for Caritas Norwood Hospital, has a private practice, and has been a practitioner and teacher in the Shambala and Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist traditions for 27 years.  He is also a professional and executive coach.

Janet Surrey, PhD is a founding scholar of the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute and co-director of the Gender Relations Project at the Stone Center, Wellesley College and has authored influential books on relational psychotherapy.  She has been practicing meditation and psychotherapy for 27 years.

Christopher Willard, PsyD is a clinical psychologist. He works in private practice with adults and children and consulting about mental health issues in the workplace and in schools. He also continues to works at Tufts University where he completed his clinical training. Dr. Willard has been formally practicing meditation since 1999, with retreat practice in North America and Asia. He has taught mindfulness to developmentally disabled children, ex-cons, college students, and a wide range of professionals. Most recently, he is the author of Child's Mind, a book about teaching meditation to adolescents and children and is currently working on a book about mental health, mindfulness and positive psychology in the workplace.

This course will be taught at a level appropriate for post-graduate training of doctoral-level psychologists. The course will be limited to 50 clinicians. You can register at the door or in advance by contacting the Institute For Meditation & Psychotherapy.

Fee: CE participants $35 per film/$200 for the series. Sorry, fees for missed film evenings will not be refunded. Non-CE participants is $10 per film/$60 for the series

Location: Films are screened at the Arlington Center, 369 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02474. The Arlington Center is conveniently located a short 5 min. walk east from Arlington Center, on the Mass Ave bus line ~ directions

Special Needs: Please inform us before the program if you have special needs, so we can make the necessary accommodations

Please refrain from using scented products during the program