Top Ten Movies for Buddhists

Finally I’ve finished my movie reviews!  I’ve been wanting to post this for awhile.  There are so many movies that demonstrate correct view and other spiritual principles in a fun way.  Here are some of my favorites.  Click on the links to see my full description!

Groundhog Day – spiritual concepts:  samsara and cyclic life

Matrix – spiritual concepts:  we create our reality, the world is a projection of our mind

Inception – spiritual concept:  the world is a projection of our mind

Ushpizin – spiritual concepts: prayer changes things, we create our own reality, consider the uses of adversity

Milarepa – spiritual concepts: overcoming obstacles, purification of negativities, anyone can become enlightened

What the Bleep Do We Know – spiritual concepts: conditioned responses and the physiology behind them, deceptive reality

The Truman Show – spiritual concept: deceptive reality

Kumare – spiritual concepts: intention is the most important aspect of spiritual growth. belief in the teacher is powerful, we all have the answers within us

Seven Pounds – spiritual concept:  bodhichitta

V for Vendetta – spiritual concepts: destruction of self, Kali/Ekajati, cessation of fear

Seven Pounds

Seven Pounds movie with Will SmithSeven Pounds is another movie in my top ten list of Buddhist theme movies.  This movie brings to mind the activities of a bodhisattva.  A bodhisattva is defined as someone that has bodhichitta.  And bodhichitta is the wish to become totally enlightened for the benefit of all sentient beings.  One of the activities of a bodhisattva is the perfecting generosity. Generosity is perfected when one gives without self-concern at all.

Although Will Smith is not motivated by bodhichitta, his role in this movie reminds me of the following quote from Master Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life.

To begin with, Buddha, the Guide, encourages us to practice giving such things as food.

Later, when we become used to this, we can gradually learn to give our own flesh.

This may seem a little startling, but there are many stories of bodhisattva’s being asked to give of themselves and they do so without hesitation.  Indeed, one story of Buddha’s past lives has him coming upon a starving tiger and her cubs.  He sacrificed himself in order to save their lives.  Since the mother was too weak to eat,  he first cut himself and fed her his blood so that she would become stronger. Then he offered her his entire body and his life.  It is said that the cubs reincarnated and became his first disciples after his enlightenment.

In the movie, Will Smith gives up “seven pounds” of body parts in order to save people in need.  It is an interesting movie to stimulate thought regarding the practice of extreme generosity.