The End of Suffering: a film to save the world
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“The End of Suffering” -a documentary film to save the world.
Our world is undeniably filled with suffering. The seemingly disparate problems we face can seem insurmountable. Yet these problems share common roots. They can be traced back to our fundamental disconnection from our own highest nature as well as our disconnection from and exploitation of other beings and the natural world.
The world is on fire, but we can put the fire out through realizing our interconnection with all life and living in harmony with the truth of interbeing. The Buddha said “I teach suffering and the end of suffering.” This is a film about suffering and the end of suffering.
I need to raise enough money to get the project started. That’s why I’m reaching out to my compassionate friends who share my love for all beings and deep longing to do whatever we can to help alleviate suffering and transform the world.
To try to make a seemingly insurmountable subject (suffering) coherent, I’m going to use the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths as a framework for explaining the problem and the solution. Our world is experiencing devastation and destruction on just about every front, from the environmental crisis to terrorism, extreme poverty, hunger, the refugee crisis, violence, despair, loneliness, discrimination, exploitation, and the brutal abuse of non-human animals. This is the Buddha’s First Noble Truth: the truth that the world is filled with suffering.
All of these seemingly disparate problems, and others, have a common root that can be traced back to our disconnection from our own highest nature of compassion, kindness and interconnection as well as our disconnection from and exploitation of other beings (human and non-human) and the natural world. This is the Buddha’s Second Noble Truth: the truth of the cause of suffering.
The good news is that once we understand the true root causes of suffering, we can change our view and we can change our ways, and in doing so we can end both our own personal suffering and that of others. This is the Buddha’s Third Noble Truth: the truth of the end of suffering.
The only possible solution to these interrelated global problems, the one that can save us before it’s too late, the one that can help us create a world based on altruism and compassion for others, is to recognize our interconnection with other beings and the natural world, to embrace our highest and truest nature of compassion, mercy, and brotherhood, and to answer love’s call to care about the beings at the edge of the light. This is the Buddha’s Fourth Noble Truth: the path that leads to the end of suffering.
We’re going to shoot the film in several locations, including a vegan monastery in Batesville, MS, and a farmed animal sanctuary in Poolesville, MD. Several wonderful teachers of compassion and compassionate activists have agreed to participate in this film including Dr. Will Tuttle, author of The World Peace Diet, the venerable Tashi Nyima, a fully ordained Buddhist monk and Board Member of Dharma Voices for Animals, Bruce Friedrich, former Vice-president of PETA and currently Executive Director of the Good Food Institute, and Terry Cummings, Director of Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary, as well as many other voices from across the spectrum of secular science, spirituality and religion, who will all discuss the almost universally recognized truth that we have the capacity to be compassionate and that our happiness and survival depend on it.
What I’m Asking For and Why
I’ve started this crowdfunding campaign to make a theater quality documentary to spread a message of universal compassion and sustainability to as wide an audience as possible. This film feels like the most natural extension of everything my life has been about. It is a distillation of everything I’ve learned about suffering and the causes of suffering as well as the path that releases us from suffering. In order to make the high quality film I want to make, one that will have the impact such an important message should have, I will need to raise quite a lot of money. I plan to apply for grants that I hope will cover the bulk of this. But most grant organizations want to see previous work. So the catch 22 I’m in now is that as a first-time filmmaker, I have no work-product to show potential grantors to get funded to make the work product they want to see before they’ll fund me! So this is where you all come in. I need to raise enough money to put together about 10 minutes of the film and prove to potential funders that this project is worth supporting. These funds will cover a high quality camera, a talented and experienced Editor, Sound Engineer, and some (budget!) travel to a vegan monastery in Batesville, MS practicing in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh and to Poolesville, MD to film the people who run Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary and the animals they have saved.
What You Get
One of the major themes of the film is that real happiness comes from helping others. Every one of you who contributes to the film or supports it any way can help bring light and love to those beings whom we’ve excluded from our circle of compassion and help create a world where Earth and all her children are treated with respect and kindness, and also, you get a bunch of cool swag! 🙂 You can see all this in the side bar, but some of the ways I’m planning to thank you all are with tons of gratitude and eternal love as well as with things like the e-cookbook Annie Oliverio and I put together, my new book “Lotus of the Heart”, t-shirts, retreats at one of the monasteries featured in the film, and the opportunity to appear in some of the film’s sanctuary scenes. At all levels the rewards are pretty awesome and all involve excellent and incalculable karmic benefits!
The reason I want to make a film is that I have personally been so affected by documentaries I have seen. To me, nothing is more impactful and powerful than a well crafted, emotionally authentic film that raises awareness and offers tools for real change. We cannot have compassion, we cannot help others or ourselves if we aren’t aware of the problems we face, or the solutions which are available. My hope with this film is to help raise awareness about the true causes of our suffering, about the intersectionality of the major problems we face today, as well as the path that can lead us out of suffering. My hope is that this film will help us understand that our well being is inextricably linked with the well-being of others, both human and non-human, as well as the planet, and that it will offer the inspiration and provide a blueprint to help us live in a way that reduces suffering and increases compassion and happiness for humans and non-humans.
This is the same message I try to convey in everything I do from the book I have scheduled to come out any day now (Lotus of the Heart: Living Yoga for Personal Wellness and Global Survival”) to the vegan cooking and educational classes I’ve been giving for the last 5 years, the yoga that I teach and the amazingly wonderful non-profit I run with a group of truly peaceful warriors in Mobile, AL. To get this message out to a much larger audience, it’s time to turn it into a film! And for that, I need the help and support of the global community of compassionate humans who share my vision of a more compassionate world for all beings.
Risks & Challenges
There are no real risks. Though it will certainly be a challenge to raise all the funds I need. I’ve decide to go with Indigogo because with this platform I keep any money we raise even if we don’t hit the goal. That way, we can start filming right away working with whatever I have. I will use whatever we raise to fund as much of this project as I can, whether that’s hiring a cinematographer for one hour or making the whole dang thing!
Other Ways You Can Help
If you can’t help financially with this campaign, you can do so much to help make this project successful by spreading the word! That’s how crowdfunding works. It’s really all about community. Crowdfunding is one of the ways we can come together to do things collectively that we couldn’t do alone. The Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, believed by many to be a living Buddha, says the Buddha of the future won’t be an individual but a community. I can’t do anything without the support of this community, so whether you can make a financial contribution or not, if you believe in the message of this film, please help me get the word out to everyone who’d want to be a part of this, to everyone who believes in living our lives in harmony with the planet and all other beings, who believes in living a life of non-violence, who is or wants to be part of the grass-roots movement to create an alternative to the the status quo based on domination and exploitation, who is or wants to be a part of ushering in a world where none are excluded from the circle of compassion, a world where all lives matter, where not one is left out of the light.
A bit about me, a.k.a., bio:
Tracey Winter Glover, JD, RYT 200, is the Co-Founder and Director of the 501(c)(3) non-profit Awakening Respect and Compassion for All Sentient Beings (“ARC”), based in Mobile, Alabama. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan in 1998, Tracey spent two years as a humane rescue and cruelty officer with the Humane Society of Huron Valley, before returning to the University of Michigan to study law. While in law school, Tracey focused on refugee and asylum law as well as Constitutional law. She was chosen as a Michigan Fellow in Refugee and Asylum Law based at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and was the recipient of the prestigious Book Award in Fourteenth Amendment Law. She spent eight years practicing law in both the public and private sectors in Washington DC, before landing in Mobile, Alabama where in 2011, she started a small business, The Pure Vegan, through which she offers a vegan meal delivery service, cooking classes, and vegan educational seminars to both public, private, and corporate groups. Tracey also teaches yoga and meditation through her Shanti Warrior School of Living Yoga. She has published many articles in the popular media relating to animal rights, yoga, and veganism. She is the author of the book “Lotus of the Heart; Living Yoga for Personal Wellness and Global Survival” to be released in March, 2016 through Lantern Books.
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by being kind and compassionate
you find your soul.
all your questions are
and at last,
you are whole.
Karen Lyons Kalmenson