Buddhist Film Festival Europe @EYE Amsterdam: 27, 28 & 29 september

Posted on sep 1, 2019

Every year the BFFE takes place in the beautiful Eye Filmmuseum, under the direction of Babeth M. VanLoo. During this 14th Buddhist Film Festival, Buddhist values, art and culture are again brought together through film. To be together around films, panel discussions with experts and the integration of altruistic values in our society are central. This years theme is IDENTITY.

“Yes, our films will address that in a diversity of approach and genre, from workshops on the Wisdom of Medicine or the Intelligence of Trees, a quest for Reincarnation (‘Who was I? Who am I? Who will I be?’), to a memorial homage for Bernie Glassman; with a special event and films on Tibet, the magical world of Bhutan, the unknown tradition of passionate music monks of China, East meets West, a window into the shamanist and Buddhist art of Buryatia, on a trekking path of the Buddha in India, Art in Focus, and the wisdom of Zen and Buddhist teachers that can help us live our lives in contentment.”- bffe.eu 

nothing remarkable

Posted on jun 21, 2019

… things are conceived just as they are perceived. They are not even named. If I look at a cup, I give it a Chinese name while you English call it ‘cup’. … Actually, for all of us, the subject of these concepts simply sits here in total clarity on the table. We know what it is; we know its name. In Silent Illumination naming is of no concern.

To see things in this way in meditation is very valuable. Sitting together here we can discriminate men from women, Chinese from British, maybe even Welsh from English, older from younger. Such discriminations normally come along with some sort of judgement or valuation. Labels, names and so on are the roots of prejudice.

Categorisation usually generates inequalities in values with preferences and aversions, however subtle, drifting across the mind. Whenever such inequalities have taken hold, buddha-nature becomes invisible. When truly realised, buddha-nature is indivisible.
Of course, this is no simple matter and, furthermore, to consider a thief to be one’s father might engender a lot of trouble in the everyday world. Nonetheless, in the perspective of Silent Illumination, the basis of mind is seen to lack duality; dualistic functioning is a secondary, not a fundamental condition. We need to contemplate the practical significance of this.

‘Without any signs whatsoever, it illumines without any grasping, yet it still goes on knowing.’ The practitioner in Silent Illumination is not concerned with meaning and therefore grasps at nothing. He may see a bird fly through tbe sky. He does not deny that the bird has flown from one tree to another, yet this is not a focus of his concern. ‘As the Tibetans say, this is like ‘writing on water’. You move your finger across the water yet nothing remains. The thing has happened; now it has passed by. In silence, the practitioner knows buddha-nature, but there is no trace of this in his mind, no grasping, no discarding. There is brightness, silence, illumination. Rising from the cushion, he drinks a cup of tea, nothing remarkable; he just gets on with whatever needs to be done.

Master Sheng-Yen


Buddhist Film Festival Europe @EYE Amsterdam: 28,29 & 30 september

Posted on sep 8, 2018

The theme for BFFE 2018 will be ‘Radical Presence’.

Angel Kyodo Williams will visit the festival and there will be a special focus on women. Check for updates about the opening film, the program and the special event on the website of BFFE 2018!

In the 13th Buddhist Film Festival Europe, under the direction of Babeth M. VanLoo, Buddhism, film, art and culture are brought together. This heart-warming meeting of people who are inspired by a careful selection of spiritual films, panels and art, will take place again this year in the beautiful space of the film museum EYE. Nothing gives more energy than feeling connected to a community of inspiring filmmakers and film-lovers in such a perfect location.

The Buddhist Film Festival Europe (BFFE) is a unique showcase for films and projects, panels and art that highlights the Buddhist culture of training in non-violence and altruism. For more than ten years, we have contributed with films and speakers to the growth of mindfulness, aiming at the creation of a more compassionate society.

The BFFE desperately needs your support to keep organising this special festival over and over again without a structural subsidy.

Join the BFFE membership community @ BFFE.eu/engage

zen en de kunst van compassie

Posted on jul 11, 2018

India is het land waar Boeddha vandaan komt, maar het boeddhisme is er al eeuwenlang zo goed als verdwenen. In het zuiden van India heeft de Jezuïet en zenmeester Ama Samy een meditatiecentrum (Bodhi Sangha) gesticht, waar westerlingen en Indiërs samen de stilte zoeken. We proberen te achterhalen hoe Ama Samy christendom en boeddhisme in zich verenigt, zonder water bij de wijn te doen en zonder er een soep van te maken. Hij leefde een tijdje als bedelmonnik en vertrok na lang soebatten bij zijn meerderen naar Japan om bij Yamada Koun, een zenmeester in Kamakura, in de leer te gaan.

documentaire kijken

Zonder zich bewust te zijn trad hij in de voetsporen van de bekendste boeddhistische monnik uit de geschiedenis: Bodhidharma. Deze mythische figuur verliet India in de vijfde eeuw om in China het boeddhisme te onderwijzen. Ama Samy heeft zenboeddhisme naar India teruggebracht. In zijn centrum heeft hij voor iedereen dezelfde vraag: hoe kunnen we de wijsheid van zen combineren met het christelijke uitgangspunt van compassie? Het is de grote vraag niet alleen voor de bezoekers van het centrum, maar voor een wereld waarin intolerantie steeds meer de boventoon lijkt te voeren. Een documentaire van Pat van Boeckel uit 2016. – npo.nl


Posted on jun 16, 2018

“The Dharma does not rise up alone – it can’t emerge without reliance on the world. If I take up the challenge of speaking, I must surely borrow the light and the dark, the form and the emptiness of the mountains and hills and the great earth, the call of the magpies and the cries of the crows. The water flows and the flowers blossom, brilliantly preaching without ceasing. In this way there is no restraint.”

Ziyong Chengru (17th ct.)


niet zuinig

Posted on mei 3, 2018

Het valt ons … moeilijk iets voor 100% te doen, vooral wanneer er anderen bij betrokken zijn. Meestal zijn we bang om fouten te maken. Sta ik er goed op? Mogen ze me? Beledig ik iemand? … Het staat ons tegen om onze krachten voor 100% in te zetten, omdat dit betekent onze referentiepunten en daarmee ook ons ‘zelf’ los te laten.

Meester Linji [Rinzai] zei: ‘Wees gewoon autonoom!’ Dat wil zeggen geef alles op, neem een standpunt in zonder je boven of tegenover anderen te plaatsen, breng jezelf volledig onbevangen tot uitdrukking … Hierbij moet ik aan de achtste zenregel denken, die ons vermaant niet zuinig te zijn. We zijn zuinig wanneer we delen van onszelf terughouden, omdat we denken dat we onszelf moeten beschermen wanneer mijn leven op het spel staat, … mijn reputatie, mijn populariteit of gewoon alleen maar mijn gevoel gelijk te hebben.

Nancy Mujo Baker


niets verwachten

Posted on apr 17, 2018

Master Obaku, the teacher of Master Rinzai, was famous for his frequent admonition to his students, “Don’t expect anything from the Three Treasures.” Time after time he was heard to say this. One day, however, Master Obaku was observed in the act of bowing, and was challenged about his practice.

“You always tell your students not to expect anything from the Three Treasures,” said the questioner, “and yet you have been making deep bows.” In fact, he had been bowing so frequently and for so long that a large callous had formed on his forehead at the point where it touched the hard floor. When asked how he explained this, Master Obaku replied, “I don’t expect. I just bow.”

This is the state of being one with the Three Treasures. Let us just make gassho. Let us just bow.

Taizan Maezumi Roshi



Posted on apr 12, 2018

May the goddess of speech enable us to attain all possible eloquence,
she who wears on her locks a young moon,
who shines with exquisite lustre,
who sits reclined on a white lotus,
and from the crimson cusp of whose hands pours,
radiance on the implements of writing, and books produced by her favour.

On Saraswati, Sarada Tilaka


even afkoelen

Posted on apr 11, 2018

Everyone is looking for someone to blame, and therefore aggression and neurosis keep expanding. Instead, pause and look at what’s happening with you. When you hold on so tightly to your view of what they did, you get hooked. Your own self-righteousness causes you to get all worked up and to suffer. So work on cooling that reactivity rather than escalating it. This approach reduces suffering – yours and everyone else’s.

Pema Chödrön