Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Film and language class to enlighten on Tibet

Tibetan language class to boost study along with film screening

Express Staff Writer

The documentary film “Blessings,” which explores the world of the Tsoknyi Nangchen nuns of Tibet, will be shown as a benefit for the Tsoknyi Nangchen Nuns endowment fund. Photo by

A special weekend of Tibetan interests will come together in Ketchum with a film screening of the documentary "Blessings" and a weekend of Tibetan language study with Lama David Curtis. The screening is a benefit for the Tsoknyi Nangchen Nuns endowment fund and will show at the Best Western Kentwood Lodge on Saturday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m. Admission is by donation.

"Blessings" was shown at the 2009 Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival. The film follows Tibetan Buddhist teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche III in the summer of 2005 as he led a group of Western women students to Nangchen, a remote nomadic region of eastern Tibet. The group went to Nangchen to meet the Tsoknyi Nangchen nuns, 3,000 women who practice ancient yoga traditions.

Narrated by Richard Gere, "Blessings" is a feature-length film about a meeting of East and West and is an inspiration to those seeking a spiritual path through the challenges of the 21st century.

Event organizers Mary Ann Chubb and Cally Huttar are Dharma teachers in the Wood River Valley and suggest learning the Tibetan language to further ones Dharma practice.

"Learning the Tibetan language is like doing a meditation practice, using concentration and employing visualization," Chubb said. "The best way to learn is to bring your body speech and mind."

Blue Lotus Dharma and the Wood River Sangha will host a Level I Tibetan language class seminar at 300 Main St. in Ketchum, above Starbucks, on Friday, Jan. 22 through Sunday, Jan. 24. The class will be taught by Curtis, who comes from the Tibetan Language Institute in Hamilton, Mont. Cost for the class is $150 plus materials and partial attendance is possible.

Chubb said Level I involves learning the alphabet and seeing the characters. She said Curtis breaks the language down into 30 consonants.

Chubb said the Tibetan Language Institute will organize a follow-up teleconference call after the seminar to help people keep on track, review and ask questions.

"David teaches all over the world and this will be his first time teaching in Ketchum," Chubb said. "He has a proven method and it's supposed to be easy to pick up, but you have to practice."

For details on registration, call (406) 961-5131 or visit

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