Today, I saw the documentary Free the Mind, which observes the impact of mindfulness and body awareness practices on one traumatized child and a couple of soldiers with PTSD. As an experience, the film was very touching. As a film it was understated, and seems to leave us wanting more– glad, but just barely. Kind of like life, the life that the Buddhists have cultivated so many subtle technologies to navigate with equanimity. It is inspiring, a great gift, that these tools are reaching this culture’s warriors, whether they be soldiers shocked to their shredded senses by war or small children born raw into strafing motherlessness.
Having studied, practiced and even taught the tools and techniques demonstrated, and scientifically tested for efficacy, in the film, and having also experienced my own forms of PTSD and ADD, I found myself filling in a lot of gaps with my own experience, both of their suffering and the practices, which, as presented in the film, must remain plenty mysterious to many viewers.
In that way, it was impressionistic, almost. Leaving after-images on the retina-like membrane of the emotional body, evoking resonances like a recent, not quite recollected dream. But the quietude of the film and the subdued resolution of each main story, leave the heart, finally, at peace, buoyed some by the ocean of humanity to which the viewer is a bit more aware of belonging.