OPEN MIND MEDIA

Informs. Inspires. Instills Compassion.

Director Paul MacGowan filming a scene for Wandering... but not Lost with Lama Tashi at a cave where he and Mingyur Rinpoche did retreat in the Himalayas.

Open Mind Media (OMM) is a a full-service media production company dedicated to producing films and multimedia that increase understanding, cooperation, and compassion among people worldwide.

OMM began as Vanguard Productions over 25 years ago, under the leadership of filmmaker Paul MacGowan. After meeting Mingyur Rinpoche in 2010, Paul decided to dedicate his film work to sharing Rinpoche's life story, vision, and meditation teachings. Thus A Joyful Mind was born, and in 2015 Paul decided to change the name of his production company to Open Mind Media to reflect this new direction.

In addition to creating A Joyful Mind, OMM partners with Tergar International and Tergar Asia to film and share Mingyur Rinpoche's meditation teachings. Currently, OMM is also working on producing its next feature-length documentary, Wandering... But Not Lost, which tells the story of Mingyur Rinpoche's four and a half year wandering retreat.

OMM relies on support from donors like you to make it's work possible. All donations are fully tax-deductible as a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Director Paul MacGowan's Story

I first met Mingyur Rinpoche in 2010 when a friend asked me to help film teachings during the 30-day retreat in Minnesota.  I had been in the video business almost 25 years at that time and they needed some help.  Within minutes of meeting Rinpoche I felt that he was my teacher, and after a few days, I wanted to make a documentary based on his life. 

 

A Joyful Mind turned into something other than a biography of Rinpoche but it was inspired by his teachings.  I was a long-time practitioner and Buddhist but Rinpoche’s teachings took me to the next level of understanding and practice.  Through Rinpoche the path was explained to me in a way that was so accessible, practical, and with humor, in a way that I knew that I was going in the right direction.


During the journey to finish A Joyful Mind, it became clear to me that I wanted to bring the focus of my video production work and my practice life together and therefore made plans to move to Kathmandu.  I was in Kiev, Ukraine, putting the finishing touches on the film when I received the thrilling news that Rinpoche had returned from his retreat.  Already en route to Asia at the time, I had purchased my tickets months before to fly to Delhi. Serendipitously, Rinpoche and I arrived in Delhi in the same day!  I told him that I had changed my life so that I could devote my time to filming his teachings and thrilled when he welcomed my help.


Over the following days while traveling together, Rinpoche told fascinating stories of his wandering retreat and I started wondering if this could be my next film.  Then someone told me that he’d been asked if they could write a book about his retreat and he said, “Maybe in ten years.”  My heart dropped but I thought, "Oh well, at least I’ll be working with him filming his teachings."

 

Then one day I just decided to ask him anyway.  I thought I could make a fairly simple film and asked him if I could film him talking about his experiences and give teachings based on those experiences.  Then I would go to some of the places he went and film there so people would know what it was like.  And he said, “Good idea… and I could go to a couple of places with you too.” That’s all I needed to hear and I’ve been working on that ever since.

 

Of course the film has become more complex as Rinpoche has shared more detailed information of his retreat.  In the meantime I’ve also been working on other jobs for Rinpoche, Tergar International and Tergar Asia, traveling with Rinpoche, and filming and editing his teachings, and very happy and grateful to be a part of it all. Changing my company name to Open Mind Media, LLC reflects this new direction.