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On the West Coast Road

I’m here in Los Angeles staying at the home of Johanna Demetrakas, who is the director of a documentary on Chögyam Trungpa, to be entitled Crazy Wisdom. Johanna has been working on this film for at least the last ten years, and from time to time, I get together with her to see the progress. The movie will be finished this year.

Johanna just received word this week that the film has made the first cut in a major documentary fund competition. This is going to be an extraordinary movie. Johanna has conducted more than forty-five in depth interviews in North America, England, Tibet and India with senior students of Chögyam Trungpa, other Buddhist teachers and scholars, and many other fascinating human beings. She has unearthed a treasure trove of candid film footage. I can’t tell you what she’s doing with all this–I’m sworn to secrecy, unless you send a large bribe. However, you can see the trailer for the movie and learn more at www.crazywisdomthemovie.com

The cinematographer for most of the interviews is Pablo Bryant, a talented actor turned camera person–and he has an extraordinary eye and ability to make people look great. I say this after seeing footage of myself, which I was dreading. Pablo is the son of Johanna and Baird Bryant, who passed away a few months ago. Baird and Johanna worked together in the film industry for many years. He was a great cinematographer and a close student and friend of Trungpa Rinpoche.

After a long, cold winter in Nova Scotia, I’m being subjected to sun, beautiful foliage and Mexican food. I think I can take it.

Other news of all things Chögyam Trungpa: Yeachin Tsai wrote to say that Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chögyam Trungpa by Diana Mukpo, Rinpoche’s widow, will be published in Chinese in Taiwan tomorrow. Yeachin, who has been involved in translating several of Sakyong Mipham’s books as well as several by Chögyam Trungpa, reviewed the Chinese translation of Diana Mukpo’s memoir for accuracy.

Today I’m on my way into the California desert, mainly for a family birthday celebration. But while there, I may have further dharma encounters to report. And I’ll probably be subjected to swimming pool torture. If I don’t return to Nova Scotia, you’ll know that I’m being held captive.