Beginning February 1, 2017, the Bodhi Manda Zen Center cordially invites you to a 13-week The Long Search series, “the most acclaimed religious philosophy series ever made.”
This series has served as the basis of successful religious philosophy courses around the world. An American Film Festival Red Ribbon winner, the series gives a balanced treatment of a force that is sadly neglected in most educations, the basic beliefs of the major religions in the world today. Ronald Eyre takes the viewer on a pilgrimage beginning in London and spanning 150,000 miles, including India, Japan, Israel, Rumania, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, the United States, Egypt, and South Africa.
The course covers a variety of religious topics, and as such it is not necessary to attend every week’s presentation (the episodes are free-standing). See below for schedule and further description. Donations gratefully accepted.
29 March, “Religion in Indonesia: The Way of the Ancestors” There are almost 200 million people scattered across the world who belong to tribal religions that are local, exclusive and frequently animist – i.e., they believe that inanimate objects and natural phenomena possess a soul. Though no single group can be chosen as typical, this episode is devoted to primal religion- that of the Torajas who live in a mountain fortress on an Indonesian island.
5 April, “Buddhism: The land of disappearing Buddha-Japan” If the Buddha of India met the Buddha of Japan, would they recognize each other? To find out, this probram talks to the staff in a Tokyo restaurant who keep regular Zen meditation schedule as part of their job, then on to the classical Zen calligraphy, sword fighting, archery and tea ceremony.
12 April, “African Religions: Zulu Zion” The Zulu Independent Churches in South Africa. When Christian missionaries took the Gospel to Africa they also tried to suppress African religion and subvert African culture with their own. But since World War I, and with increasing vigor in the last 20 years, Africans have been rediscovering their lost religious identity and have been forming independent churches with their own festivals, prophets and rituals and greater or lesser devotion to Christ.
19 April, “Taoism: A question of balance-China” In our search for Chinese religious experience, we go to Taiwan. A whole pantheon of gods both local and imported from the mainland are worshiped in thousands of Buddhist and Taoist temples. Several strands make up the religious life of the village: a Confucian respect for past and the ancestors, the cosmic pattern of the Tao that permeates all levels of existence and manifests itself through oracles, the local gods who dispense justice and favors, and the hungry ghosts of the dead who have to be placated.
26 April, “Alternative lifestyles in California: West meet East” The spiritual impulse of the time steps beyond the boundaries of religious tradition – so wrote Theodore Roszak, spokeman for the counter-culture. In San Francisco Bay area, religious ideas and lifestyles of East and West mingle and people brought up in a largely Christian cultural climate look East to Taoism and Hinduism for inspiration.
3 May, “Reflections on the Long Search” In this episode the presenter, Ronald Eyre asks himself some questions. It is not a film in which he hands out diplomas to believers of the religion that pleased him best. The search, for him, began long before this series got off the ground and will continue long into the future. There are no winners and no losers. There is an element of personal stocktaking, however, and before doing so, Eyre reveals his own background, the mental furniture that he of necessity packs whenever he goes on search.