- Tea, Zen and The Art of Life Management: The founder of Samovar Tea in a panel discussion with Leo Babauta, author of the blog Zen Habits, Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, and Susan O’Connell, VP of the San Francisco Zen Center. This is a long video, so you may want to watch bits and pieces over several sessions. The dynamics of the panel can be at odd at times – the hyperactive and demonstrative Ferris, in contrast to the calm demeanor of Susan O’Connell – but overall they really pulled it off well.
- Living Goddess (a documentary set in Nepal): Just when I thought I was familiar with Nepalese culture, I come across a film on aspects of Nepal I knew nothing about (and have a hard time comprehending). This documentary follow 3 (pre-pubescent young women) Kumari’s who represent Devi. Nepalese have a tradition of worshipping Kumari’s, who are believed to be the reincarnation of Dunga (until they menstruate, at which point Dunga is believed to vacate their bodies). The documentary takes place during a period of intense street protests against the monarchy. Be warned, the scenes involving animal sacrifice to commemorate Dasain can be horrific to outside observers.
- Raga Unveiled (from the makers of Yoga Unveiled): If you’re a fan of Indian Classical music, this 4-hour series from 2009 provides a detailed introduction to its key components. I was amazed by the complexity of the Tabla, particularly the vocabulary that accompanies the popular Indian percussion instrument.
- The Whoop: In this episode of Heart and Soul, a self-described white, Jewish journalist looks into a preaching/oratorical style common in African American churches. You might be surprised to know that there is a lot of technique that goes into the Whoop. Full audio below: