This is a very interesting short film from the BBC faith series Believe it or Not shot mainly at Chithurst Buddhist Monastery in 1985, and featuring Anagarika Alan’s ordination as Ven Vipassi under the guidance of Ajahn Sumedho.
What makes it stand out, besides its historical value, are the reflections by both Alan and Ajahn offer on the Buddhist life and its meaning in England, and the very tentatove way they were approaching their life in the West, which is of course so very different from living in a supportive Buddhist society.
We first see Alan as he is preparing for his ordination, and see the monks engaged in piṇḍapāta and the dāna ceremony, and then there is the ordination and the brief instructions given to the ordainees. Later we find that Ven Vipassi has moved to the new Amaravati monastery and is helping with the work there.
Alan eventually disrobed around 2003 and went back to lay life.
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