At the Thus Have I Seen Buddhist Film Festival
Sun 23 Sep | 5.15pm
Theodore Martland, 2012, USA, 60 min
English with English subtitles, PG
His motivation was clear—to find the cure to his dissatisfaction—but when director Theodore Martland set out on his journey to India to live in a Buddhist monastery, camera in hand, he had no idea what he would discover as he struggled to understand his own mind. Using the camera as a tool to unravel the truth about the Self, WANDERING MIND is an experiment with the mind and film, as we witness the step-by-step realizations of a novice meditation practitioner.
The film features teachings from numerous meditation masters, including one of the best known and most respected Zen masters in the world today, poet, and peace and human rights activist, Thich Nhat Hanh. Produced after Dhamma Dana, WANDERING MIND is a continuation of Martland’s journey to seek life’s answers in Buddhism, together with fellow youths from the west, all in India for the same purpose.
This film will be screened with Dhamma Dana, by the same director.
Studying philosophy at the University of Richmond, Martland produced and directed two documentary films, which brought him deep into Burmese and Indian Buddhist culture. He also attended Uppsala University in Sweden, through which he studied international media and communication in London. A Massachusetts native, he currently resides in Los Angeles pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. After his travels and documentary filmmaking experience, Martland is looking forward to writing and directing more fictional work.
When I was 20 years old, just before I was to leave for India to study Buddhism, I read Suzuki Roshi’s “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” and was struck by the evocative message: “The purpose of studying Buddhism is not to study Buddhism but to study ourselves.” In one sense, the film is about the awareness of self and perspective. In another sense, the film is about my experience beginning meditation in the Buddhist world’s most sacred pilgrimage destination. WANDERING MIND is like a souvenir, a film that I found in the bottom of my rucksack after a long, enlightening journey.