when the iron bird flies prophecy

I felt honoured and excited but also apprehensive when Walter and Victress asked me if I would review “When the Iron Bird Flies” for the Chronicles. I felt my review would most certainly be biased because I am a second generation Buddhist born into Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s Sangha in 1974, so the subject of this film is very close to me. The film also uses some of my music, but I’m not trying to “sell” this film to anyone. I want to give an honest review and the more I think about it and talk with friends, I feel maybe my perspective could be interesting or even helpful to some, as I’ve had my entire life to ponder the subject matter of this film.

“When The Iron Bird Flies: Tibetan Buddhism Arrives In The West” looks at Tibetan Buddhism in the Western world. The title of the film is from Padmasambhava’s famous eighth century prophecy “When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels, the Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the earth.” It is a very vast and deep subject to cover over the course of an hour and a half film but it is accomplished wonderfully.

The film tells inspiring, personal and very heartfelt stories of a number of different Westerners with very different backgrounds who have all embarked on the path of Buddhism and each path is as unique as the travelers themselves. The film features interviews with a variety of contemporary Buddhist teachers in the West, including Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Matthieu Ricard, Reggie Ray, Lama Tsultrim Allione, and many, many others, as well as archival footage and stills of both students and teachers such as Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Lama Thubten Yeshe and of course, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

Intertwined within these stories and interviews is the ever present Dharma. Along with the teachings that are actually given in small snippets from these many teachers, the film gives simple and straightforward explanations and examples of the four noble truths and other glimpses of what the Buddhist teachings are and how they are so relevant and applicable to the modern world.

Not only does the film show us, in a very poetic way, how precious our sanity is and how Dharma is a gift that can remind us of our basic sanity and help us cultivate it in a fast paced and hectic world, it also looks at the difficulties and the cultural barriers that we face, both as teachers and students. The so-called Western mind can certainly understand and realize the essence of Dharma. This has been established and the film demonstrates this. There are, however, cultural issues that can’t be ignored and the film bravely looks at some of these issues. Examples of these are the male chauvinistic views that Tibetan Culture can have, as well as some of the flashy, esoteric and religious aspects of Tibetan Buddhism that can sometimes hinder the Western practitioner. The film examines these issues and ultimately shows us that the West has quite a lot to offer in this meeting of cultures.

As much as this film does a fantastic job of showing us what Dharma in the West looks like at the moment, it really is just an introduction. This isn’t a fault of the filmmakers at all. It’s because this story is continuing to evolve. The film isn’t describing the placement of a bunch of ancient Tibetan relics in a museum. It’s an honest look at the living, breathing teachings of the Buddha, as they have been developed over many centuries in Tibet and are now just beginning to be integrated into an ever-changing and increasingly complex world.

It’s remarkable to think that Tibetan Buddhism has really only taken root here as recently as fifty years ago. “When The Iron Bird Flies” is a documentary about Tibetan Buddhism in the West, not Buddhism in general or Zen Buddhism (which has a slightly longer history here). Buddhism was transmitted to Tibet some 1500 years ago where it was practiced and developed with very little contact with the outside world — until now. The modern world, with the internet and all its other means of communication and information sharing has certainly sped up this transmission of knowledge and wisdom, but at the same time, these same technologies are incredible distractions and forms of pointless entertainment. We are in a very interesting place where Buddhism seems to be flourishing in the West but what “American Buddhism” will look like remains unclear. I don’t think we know or can pretend to know. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, let alone hundreds of years from now. Trungpa Rinpoche warned us of the dangers of spiritual materialism and examining this closely reveals that spiritual materialism may be just as rampant today as it was in the 70’s when Rinpoche was teaching a bunch of hippies who initially thrived on it. Today, we also see potential problems in the form of a watered-down Dharma, a Dharma that is reduced to a feel-good, self-help meditation without vision. Fortunately, some very qualified teachers are teaching Dharma. Authentic teachers are precious and rare but the ones we have are remarkable and seem to be fully capable and willing to work with us. No matter who we are and how we discovered Dharma, we can’t afford to take this life and the opportunity we have to study and practice Dharma for granted. This is what I feel when watching “When the Iron Bird Flies”, even for the fifth time.

I want to thank Victress for creating such a wonderful and inspiring film and for using my music in it. One of my biggest distractions from Dharma is music, so I feel somewhat validated that I’m not completely wasting my life with this obsession of mine. The recording sessions we had that ended up becoming some of the music in this film were done under the name “Loopsy Dazy” which include friends Eleanor Edgar and Glenn Austin who are both meditators and study Buddhism. The processes behind the recordings, the performances, and my Loopsy Dazy project in general, are based on and inspired by my limited understanding and interpretations of a lifetime of studying Trungpa Rinpoche’s teachings on Dharma Art. The performances are improvised, in-the-moment and honest. We made the music before ever seeing the film so I was absolutely delighted to find out that it was used for the Trungpa Rinpoche section as well as some of the Khandro Rinpoche sections, with whom I currently study. They are a shining light of clarity and a constant source of wisdom and inspiration for me.

“When The Iron Bird Flies” is a very insightful documentary and whether you are new to Buddhism or a seasoned practitioner, it will inspire and illuminate.

Whether you are a seasoned practitioner or new to Buddhism, “When the Iron Bird Flies” is an incredibly insightful documentary that will enlighten and inspire you.

It’s amazing to consider that Tibetan Buddhism has only become established in this area about 50 years ago. “When the Iron Bird Flies” is not a documentary about Zen Buddhism (which has a slightly longer history here) or Buddhism in general, but rather about Tibetan Buddhism in the West. About 1500 years ago, Buddhism was brought to Tibet, where it was practiced and developed with little to no interaction with the outside world until recently. The internet and other contemporary communication and information-sharing tools have undoubtedly accelerated the transfer of knowledge and wisdom, but they are also major sources of unnecessary entertainment and distraction. We live in an intriguing time where Buddhism appears to be thriving in the West, but it is still unclear what “American Buddhism” will look like. I don’t think we know or can pretend to know. We have no idea what the future holds, much less what will occur in hundreds of years. When we closely examine Trungpa Rinpoche’s warnings against spiritual materialism, we find that it may be just as prevalent today as it was in the 1970s when Rinpoche was training a group of hippies who initially prospered from it. These days, we also witness possible issues in the shape of a Dharma that has been watered down and reduced to a visionless, feel-good self-help meditation. Fortunately, some very qualified teachers are teaching Dharma. Genuine educators are valuable and in short supply, but the ones we do have are exceptional, appear to be highly competent, and are eager to collaborate with us. We must not undervalue this life and the chance we have to learn and apply Dharma, regardless of who we are or how we came to know it. Even after seeing “When the Iron Bird Flies” five times, I still feel this way.

The enduring Dharma is entwined with these tales and interviews. In addition to the teachings that are actually imparted in brief bursts from these numerous teachers, the movie provides clear and concise explanations and illustrations of the four noble truths, as well as additional glimpses into what the Buddhist teachings entail and how they are so pertinent to the contemporary world.

The movie looks at the challenges and cultural barriers that we face as teachers and students, in addition to poetically illustrating the value of our sanity and how Dharma is a gift that can help us maintain it in a chaotic and fast-paced world. The essence of Dharma is undoubtedly comprehended and realized by the so-called Western mind. This has been established and the film demonstrates this. But some cultural issues are unavoidable, and the movie bravely examines some of these issues. Some of these include the flashy, esoteric, and religious aspects of Tibetan Buddhism that can occasionally hinder the Western practitioner, as well as the male-chauvinistic views that can exist within Tibetan culture. After examining these concerns, the movie concludes by demonstrating that the West has a lot to offer in this mingling of cultures.

I would like to express my gratitude to Victress for utilizing my music in her amazing and motivational film. Music is one of my main ways to escape Dharma, so it’s encouraging to know that my obsession with it isn’t a complete waste of my life. The recordings we made, which became a portion of the soundtrack for this movie, were done under the moniker “Loopsy Dazy,” featuring friends Glenn Austin and Eleanor Edgar, who practice Buddhism and meditation. I studied Trungpa Rinpoche’s Dharma Art teachings for a lifetime, and my limited understanding and interpretations of them served as the basis and inspiration for the recordings, performances, and overall Loopsy Dazy project. The performances are improvised, in-the-moment and honest. I was ecstatic to learn that the music we composed was utilized for both the Trungpa Rinpoche and some of the Khandro Rinpoche portions of the movie, as I am currently studying with them. For me, they are a constant source of wisdom, inspiration, and a bright light of clarity.

We rented a gold-colored Cadillac for the occasion. I had the great good fortune to be the driver while His Holiness and an attendant monk rode in the front and rear, respectively. Traveling through Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, we arrived at Hopi Land early on the third day’s afternoon under clear, blue skies. We proceeded along a rough, level hill that rose sharply from the desert floor, following a dirt road. The road started to climb, and before long, we were circling Hopi Mesa One’s rocky, steep slopes. Ten minutes later, we arrived at the Hopi village at the top of the mesa, a collection of brick and stone homes huddled together atop a massive flat rock covered in mud plaster.

By nightfall, the Hopis and Navajos knew what had happened. Many of them congregated in the motel’s convention center, where His Holiness bestowed the Avalokitesvara empowerment. The Hopis and the Tibetans at the event struck many Westerners with their similarities; they appeared to be members of the same extended family. The following day, two local newspapers published front-page articles claiming that an “East Indian chief” who was known for creating rain had arrived to break the record of 75 days without rain. Chief Karmapa brings rain to bless Hopi land, according to one headline. ”).

It seemed like an hour’s ride from Hopi Mesa One when we finally arrived at the motel’s inner courtyard. I parked the car and turned off the engine. Staying in the driver’s seat, I observed as one of the monks who were accompanying His Holiness unlocked the car door and accompanied Him the roughly twenty-five feet to his motel room. An unearthly clap of thunder erupted overhead at the precise moment the room door closed, and several lightning bolts illuminated the pitch-black sky. Then it started to rain—a rain I had never experienced before. At Hopi Land that October afternoon, it was raining as hard as a waterfall, or as much as buckets could pour. (I went back twenty years later and followed our exact path from Mesa One to Mesa Two.) I had to make four separate trips because I was unable to believe that the trip, which I had estimated to take an hour, actually only took twelve minutes. It had only been twelve minutes from a crystal-clear blue sky to waterfall rain. ).

A prophecy made by Padmasambhava in the eighth century in Tibet states that the king will arrive in the land of the red man when the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels. A thousand years later, His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, journeyed to the Hopi Indian nation by car and aircraft.

His Holiness got out of the vehicle into the afternoon heat of one hundred degrees. Chief Ned, a short, slender, and worn man in his late seventies, greeted him. Despite all the struggles the Hopis had endured, a chief of honor, kindness, and presence stood before them. The chief replied, “Not so good,” when the Karmapa inquired about the state of affairs. ” There had been no rain for seventy-five consecutive days. Crop failure was causing severe hardship for his tribe as well as for others. The Karmapa listened intently, his face filled with compassion. He assured Chief Ned that he would take action and offer prayers for the Hopis people as a whole.


What did Padmasambhava predict?

Guru Rinpoche, also known as Padmasambhava, made several prophecies about the future of Buddhism and world events. Some of these include predictions about the spread of Buddhism, the degeneration of the dharma, and the arrival of Maitreya, the future Buddha.

What was the prophecy of the Buddha?

Prophecy at birth: child would either become great ruler and conquer, or an ascetic and “redeemer.” So his father, the ruler, raised Siddhartha in royalty and caste privilege, an opulent life, in a relatively small kingdom. His father kept the outside world of despair and suffering from him his son.

When iron birds fly?

“When The Iron Bird Flies” is a documentary about Tibetan Buddhism in the West, not Buddhism in general or Zen Buddhism (which has a slightly longer history here). Buddhism was transmitted to Tibet some 1500 years ago where it was practiced and developed with very little contact with the outside world — until now.

Was Padmasambhava real?

Guru Padmasambhava was known in Tibet as one of the founding fathers of Tibetan Buddhism, who appeared in Tibet in 749 A.D, and spent 54 years. Other two founders were Acharya Shanta Rakshita and prevalent King Thisong Deotsen.