An ongoing multimedia
project about Buddhism
in modern times through
the lens of lay practitioners.

Explore Buddhism
through it's the three pillars :
the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
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Discover the richness and diversity
of Buddhist practices
that is transforming
ordinary people like you.
Home2022-01-09T14:22:26+00:00

About

This is a work in progress multimedia project exploring the diversity of Buddhist lay practice in a complex modern life. Eventually, the project will culminate in a book and a series of short films. Meanwhile, I am looking for practitioners throughout the US to add their voice to this project. 

Project Scope 

The project is divided into 9 primary themes with supporting sub themes around traditional Buddhist concepts such as the 3 Jewels and the 3 Vehicles. The 3 Jewels focuses on how the role of the teacher (Buddha), teachings/practices (Dharma) and community (Sangha) is relevant in the modern world. The  3 stages breaks down the challenges/themes typically encountered by practitioners in the beginning, middle and the end of the journey. Lastly, the 3 vehicles highlights the practitioners and teachers in the 3 broad categories of lineages as they have manifested in modern world. 

As a photographer, my desire to incorporate visual narrative as compelling personal stories is the primary driver for this project. It is not meant to be authoritative but as an invitation to witness the transformative power of a spiritual practice in a world full of suffering and conflict. 

The Buddha

The issue of relying on a teacher in the spiritual path is not always clear with the complexity of fallible humans and over abundance of teachers. Learn how practitioners from navigate the issue and what teachers think about the subject. 

The Dharma

It is said that the Buddha had 84,000 teachings and practices to reflect the complexity of being human. The project focuses what how these teachings are assimilated and integrated in everyday life of lay practitioners. 

The Sangha

In a world of many religious traditions, being a buddhist in the west can be a lonely experience. Hence the importance of the community as a critical foundation in the practice. 

The Beginning

From cultural obstacles to personal karma, finding the dharma and building a practice is no small feat. The gateway into the dharma is more diverse in the modern world but challenges at this stage are no less diverse. 

The Middle

As the journey unfolds, themes of how we integrate and deepen the practice become paramount in fully living the practice. The richness of the journey through other practices and retreats are mainstays that are still relevant in today’s world.  

The End

As the practitioner’s journey matures, manners such as death/enlightenment come to bare. How does the promise of the path really play and what is possible for a lay practitioner in today’s busy world?

Theravada 

Traditionally, this vehicle was align closest to Buddha’s original teachings and in the modern world, it has manifest into Insight/Vipassana schools. Many people encounter the practices from this tradition in non secular environments that stripe down the more religious aspects. 

Mahayana

The vehicle of Mahayana is composed of a diverse set of lineages such as Zen, Won and Chan schools of Buddhism. The origins of these lineages may be from the East but they are becoming more accessible in the west as more people are exposed to the diversity of the dharma. 

Vajrayana 

Even though Vajrayana is predominately associated with  Tibetan Buddhism, the diversity of the different lineages within Tibetan Buddhism can be confusing at times. Fundamentally, they share many of the same practices and teachings but differ on emphasis and nomenclature.

Notes

Being a long term project, I will share project updates, visual stories and how my own practice/understanding of Buddhism informs the project. 

508, 2021

Year of Impermanence

The importance of a consistent contemplation practice became an experiential realization in the past year. I vaguely recall reading a passage from 'Words of My Perfect Teacher' in the past year about the how critical the teaching on impermanence is. When [...]

2307, 2021

Drupchen Visual Journey

I stumbled on this video piece while researching Drupchen and it is a beautiful example of the kind of work I would like to make in the future. I had the chance to attend a Drupchen retreat at Pema Osel Ling [...]

3105, 2021

Tattooed Buddha Interview

The good folks over at The Tattooed Buddha did an interview on the project. I did a media outreach earlier in the year and they were the only ones that responded so back to drawing board. My main intention on doing [...]

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