Driving Question: How can I acquire deep knowledge on Buddhist philosophies and their perspectives on the self and the world by working with monks and creating an original short film?
Project Description: My film introduces the Korean tradition of Zen Buddhism and its view on how to live a good life.
What were your goals for this project? My goal was to gain deep level of understanding on Buddhism, living it, and sharing it with others. I achieved all of these as I spent significant amount of time studying the text of Buddhism, living as Buddhist at a temple, and filming what I have learned to share with the world.
What were your learning takeaways? I’ve learned that suffering comes from trying to perceive impermanent thing as permanent and unchangeable. This includes my sense of self, my life, values, things I cherish at the moment… etc These are not something solid. They are very much fluid, temporary concepts and consists of myriads of components which forms and alters them. Accepting that, and staying thoroughly present, instead of trying so hard to extend the lifespan of these fleeting concepts, will lead to a more fulfilling life.
What are you most proud of? Experiencing even for a short amount of time, the freedom of not needing anything. Happiness to just be.