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"A Perfect Day" is an independent film, a dramatization of a story about a day in the work and life of an NGO aid team in the Balkans in the 1990s.
It's very imaginative!, and probably very realistic. Also cinematically beautiful.
One wonders what their previous day brought. And what their next day will bring... .
But, one day at a time! For example, the one in this movie.
Below is a trailer (Michael ['michaeljc'], have you seen this 2016 film? Released a year ago today. I can recommend it).
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Joe - thanks. I will get to see it one way or another. Day before and after? - they are never the same. "Not happy?" we would say. "Wait, it will change" It always did, very rapidly. One location was always very different to the last. There is always a background flavour to every location. I called it the "dial tone" . In some places it could become overbearing. 60% of workers did not complete their mission at one of my stations.
During my 4th mission I took up intensive practice again. There was plenty of time to do this. Wow, what difference. I wished that I had been more intensive on earlier missions. I only just scraped through one - getting 4 hours sleep a night and having to cope with other highly stressed colleagues - including bosses.
I put a flyer out inviting others to Zazen. I got one response. We sat together every day. Much later she said " I would not have got through without this"
Head office sent a shrink in for a workshop. we all had a say. I said "All stress comes from within our own mind, including the cause" I got shouted down. Ha!
Yeah, although that may be treated in "101-courses" all around, it can't yet really be appreciated, there (w/o experience). Just a bit surprised that a shrink did not see the sense of it. Takes all kinds... .
Thanks! for that.
And, for the "Ha!".
I hope you get to see the movie (I first rented it, then bought a BluRay copy). Be great to hear your further reactions.
Michael, I like your notion of "dial tone", about an area. Well named.
I have told this story before here but I will tell it again. We were accommodated in groups of up to 6. One flat mate was into Yoga. We got to talk about Zazen and she said she would like to try. I warned her that it is a very serious discipline.
I gave her the position and asked that whatever else she must maintain it for 40 minutes. After our sit was over she stretched out her legs and after at least 5 minutes of silence said with rather a shocked tone "this goes direct to the point". She then went back to some yoga
Later we went to dinner. At one point she was gazing upwards and said "look at the moon". We never discussed Zen again and I don't know if she ever went back to it. I have always wondered why the difference to her normal practice?
Thanks for painting that interesting picture. It's a new story to me here.
The difference to her normal practice may be that she then, with you, sat with others, or another, and maybe had never done so before. As we know, this is what the Zen Buddhist school has always emphasized (mostly through silent acceptance of the fact that that's the way we practice when we come together: communally). Also, your instructing about "not moving", for the duration may have been another potent novelty.
I think the Zen Buddhist way is unique. But I've had exemplars in certain local Vipassana teachers in recent times, and instructions from them, which have not been too different. Oh, and if I may make an additional guess, I'd say that not all self-described yoga practitioners really have a meditation practice. Much yoga, commonly -- so much of it -- is physical yoga. Wonderful!, but much of it as taught popularly lately is not intensively informed or motivated by a spiritual-impetus, "mental"-practice, or a mind-involvement at all. It's for "the muscles".
As a yoga teacher myself since 1980, I teach differently; for one thing, I don't want to try to compete within the more popular approach. I emphasize the connective-tissue (lengthening, over time), and use of the breath, all for the deepening of relaxation in ...sitting. Then, rather spontaneous "yoga" asanas can arise directly and naturally from the body, as needed, and as the muscles desire. I'm regularly witness to this miracle. But shouldn't be surprised. Yet, I call it wonderful and miraculous, because it is.
Now I'm done with guessing. Good for you!, introducing a good 40-minute sit to your friend. I wonder if she's kept on, after seeing how it does indeed "get to the point".
Joe yes, she was clearly spooked by her experience - as I was when first introduced to Zazen. It took 6 months before I came back to it, sitting alone.
I think you are right about her Yoga practice being very light and kind of freestyle.
No, but I will check it out. I loved her performance in Another Earth and The Better Angels. Thanks!
I have not. But I just read about "OA" 's premise on Wikipedia, and it seems interesting and mysterious. tnx,
I'm curious to hear what you two or anyone thought about the ending of "the OA".
The first two episodes got me in a 'mode' for hours after, meaning after watching it I have zero interest in anything else which has no depth or meaning to me. (basically the same after reading a profound text or after zazen) it's not often that a film/series has that effect, the last time was after watching Interstellar.
Thanks Teresa I wasn't aware she was the same actress as in Another Earth and I didn't know about The better angels yet, will check it out.
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
You're welcome- And thanks for suggesting the OA, I'm on episode 5 -- also just re-watched Interstellar with my son since he hadn't seen it before-
Aha, I note that the YouTube account that contained the trailer for the movie "A Perfect Day" in the OP has been closed.
Thus, I provide a new source, embedded in the YouTube wrapper below:
Got to see tonight. Nice little movie. Slow, as I like them.
Some things were realistic e.g. the cars that were probably borrowed from a NGO. But, the security measures were not. No small operation goes flying around independently in the countryside like this in a conflict zone. Every job is planned in advance after security checks with friendly interlocutors in the field. Approval from all actors is gained in advance. Radio calls back to base are on a routine basis - some times on the half hour. One car never travels alone. The greater the risk the larger the convoy.
Expats never travel alone without a local staff member aboard. They are the field advisers. Without them you are stuffed. Expats don't drive the cars. You don't wonder into an empty building. You don't use the radio at a checkpoint. This is the stuff that keeps you alive.
And, lady expats are not as girly as shown in this movie. They are tough
I did enjoy it though. If I was younger and single ................ It can be adventure extraordinaire
Great! that you saw it. I agree with Teresa that it has a great soundtrack too.
Thanks for the more realistic insights about operational details when actually on-site, from your lived experience.
19 posts • Page 1 of 1
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