In The Mind Of All Beings: Tsogyal Latso Of Tibet
In the Minds of All Beings is a twenty-minute documentary that takes us to the eighth century birthplace of Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal, the founding mother of Tibetan Buddhism and the greatest enlightened woman in Tibet. Blending legend and history, the film recounts an ancient story and shows how the wisdom and blessings of Yeshe Tsogyal have continued to our present time.
Filmed during a pilgrimage in 2010, the narrative guides us on a pilgrimage of our own through the sacred landscape of Tsogyal Latso: a self-arisen visionary lake, healing springs with winter-blooming flowers and a vigorous life-force sandalwood tree which dates back to Tsogyal's birth.
The film introduces us to a small community of nuns who arrived there after the Cultural Revolution. They came to Tsogyal Latso to revitalize and care for this revered place of the sacred feminine and fulfill their deepest desire for spiritual practice.
In the Minds of All Beings: Tsogyal Latso of Tibet was created to increase public awareness about Yeshe Tsogyal, her sacred birthplace, and the inspiring accomplishments of a small community of nuns equipped only with faith. The film captures the charged and stark beauty of the landscape and the gentle, loving presence of this spiritual community.
The title leads us to the film's deep spiritual insight: Yeshe Tsogyal's wisdom is found in the minds of all beings and in the world around us.
It was an honour to be asked to collect video footage at Yeshe Tsogyal’s birthplace for Jnanasukha–and a great, unexpected experience to make the film. The original plan was to use the video for simple clips on the Jnanasukha website, but a filmmaker and a non-filmmaker’s ideas can be vastly different when talking about the same thing! I traveled to Hawaii to edit the film for over two months, and stayed with Lama Dechen Yeshe Wangmo so we could work closely on the project. The “clips” grew into a complete documentary film– the first to be made on Yeshe Tsogyal’s birthplace. Indeed, an honour!
At Tsogyal Latso, shooting video and gathering audio took place over two days before the pilgrimage moved on to our next location. We arrived on our first night of the three-week trip and camped for two nights. Needless too say, the pressure was on to familiarize myself with all the locations, sights and sounds. Many people were experiencing altitude sickness–I was fortunate to have avoided that. The nuns were super sweet and gracious, inviting me to share food and frequently curious about the camera. Our Tibetan support staff were so helpful. My roommate for the trip, Jean Crume, was incredibly generous with her assistance. That and her terrific humour were vital to my keeping all the footage and details in order. One morning, she had the lucky job of sitting inside the temple, minding the audio recording of the nuns chanting for an hour and half while I attended to other things.
As you’ll gather from watching the film, I interweave history, spirit and the present so they can be pondered and felt both separately and in combination, in keeping with our multifaceted way of experiencing time and life. I hope the existence of In the Minds of All Beings will increase awareness and support of Tsogyal Latso. May the energy of Yeshe Tsogyal coming through the film benefit all beings.
Sarah Abbott, website