A new film by

Open Mind Media



In June of 2011 Mingyur Rinpoche left his monastery in India during the night to go on a three-year wandering retreat as masters in his lineage have done for hundreds of years. He came back four and a half years later. This is his story.

This film is currently in production. Filming has been completed and it is now in the editing phase. We hope to have it completed this year, 2019.

Please enjoy the preview and short clips below, and stay tuned for additional updates by checking back here and following our Facebook page.



This film is currently in production, and we need your help to bring it to fruition. Current production costs include additional filming in two remote valleys in Nepal in Fall 2018 and film editing. Our goal is to complete this film in the next year.

Thank you for helping us share this story.

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Updated February 14, 2019:

We were all really excited when Rinpoche returned from his 4½ year wandering retreat in November 2015.  In the previous months I had put most my belongings in a storage locker and headed to Kiev, Ukraine to finish my other film, A Joyful Mind.  No one knew when Rinpoche would return so after Kiev I was going to go to Kathmandu and wait for him. I was still in Ukraine when we received word of his return and a group of us went to Delhi to meet with him.  Everyone was very happy to see him. He had lost a lot of weight, was darker from the sun and had long hair and although dramatic were only the most obvious indications of his long and difficult journey. 


I traveled with him over the next several weeks in India first to meet his teacher Tai Situ Rinpoche in Himachal Pradesh then on to Nepal.  His family had already flown to Bodh Gaya, where he resurfaced, to meet with him there.  At first making a film about his retreat was not on my mind at all.  I had just finished A Joyful Mind, which took me 6 years, so working on another film right away wasn’t on my radar.  That is until the stories started flowing and I became very inspired by all that Rinpoche went through.  Then when he told about his near death experience in Kushinagar, I strongly felt that this would make a great film.  As I started to gain enthusiasm at the prospect, I heard from someone that he was approached about writing a book on his retreat and his reply was, “maybe in ten years”.  My heart sank but I was still happy that he was alive and healthy, and that I would be filming teachings with him anyway.   Then a few days later I decided to ask him if I could make a film on his retreat regardless, fully expecting him to decline. I explained what I had in mind and when he replied “Good idea!”  I was pleasantly shocked and immediately began working on it.  Of course his new book will be out soon but that is about the Bardos and is focused on the first 3 weeks of his retreat.


Now it’s over three years later and I’ve been living in Kathmandu, having made numerous trips to India and around Nepal, and spent months in the villages, cities and mountains of both countries to film where Rinpoche spent his time.  Sometimes it wasn’t easy to know exactly where he was. A lot of time had passed and those details weren’t really so important to Rinpoche. He was much more focused on experience than on dates and locations.  One thing I can say for sure is that I have even more respect for Rinpoche and am even more inspired by his journey after visiting some of these places and finding them challenging, hearing his stories, and learning about how he spent his time there.


I’m eager to share these experiences with you.


This website will be updated often with stories and photos from the making of the film of Rinpoche’s retreat as I have time to post them.  The editing is going really well so I have to tear myself away from it to focus on anything else. 

A partial list of where I’ve filmed:



Bodh Gaya, Gaya train station, Varanasi, Kushinagar, Shravasti, Tso Pema, Ayodhaya, Srinigar, Jammu, Ladakh (Leh and Nubra Valley).



Kathmandu, Dolpo, Lapchi, Langtang, Yolmo