We didn’t really know what to expect. The loss of Akong Rinpoche four years ago had touched some people very close, some people only had heard of it. Some people came to the evening only knowing the name of the documentary movie Akong-A Remarkable Life. We enjoyed a buffet dinner prior to the movie, and all the proceeds from that as well as the film evening were given to the Akong Memorial Foundation which continues Rinpoche’s legacy.
We settled into the Centre’s lounge, and the next one and half hours we were simply captivated by the scenes, stories and the feeling that came through screen. Actually, that feeling started already when the director of the movie, Chico Dall’inha said a few words introducing the film. It was the sense of warmth, like the light of the sun after the dark that touches your heart and tells that everything is ok. There was something that came through beyond words. Rinpoche’s presence?
Whether it was due to the blessing of Rinpoche, or due to the excessive heating in the room, after the movie the lounge was filled with people whose faces were glowing. We were asking a few questions from Chico, who kindly told about the making of the film; how it had taken a long time before Rinpoche finally agreed that this film could be made. Rinpoche had said that the time was not right – until the day came when the time was right. Perhaps they have a wider view, bird eye perspective of time. So now the story could be told.
Chico brought Rinpoche’s life story to us in a very honest and deeply touching way. It also sounded that it was a process for Chico himself since he was a student of Rinpoche’s. What a great offering to one’s teacher to bring his amazing life story to so many people now and in the future. This story will inspire and encourage them in their efforts to work for the benefit of all beings, in every way they can.
The film was a fantastic tribute to the remarkable life of Akong Rinpoche, but is also was a life story of a bodhisattva. It was like one of those books you pick up from a library and read in awe about a life of some great master. In this case the life story was not long time gone, it was here, among us, witnessed by so many of us, and it touched also us. That’s why also his death touched so many of us and left much pain in our hearts to deal with. This is where the application of the teachings becomes important: forgiveness, loving-kindness and compassion. It was good that Rinpoche’s death was not overriding his life, not in actuality or in this film.
As a tribute this film makes one bow down to the perseverance, patience, compassion, wisdom and practical application of the higher ideals of Buddhist teachings. As a life story it is inspiring to see what happens when one’s mind is completely turned toward Dharma: relatively looking after others in every way one can, and ultimately wanting to bring them to a complete state of freedom from all suffering.
Written by: Pauliina Kossi