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Akong - A Remarkable Life

Director Chico Dall’Inha, producer Jorg Wagner, cinematographer Gerry McCulloch, executive producer Vin Harris. 2017.



Akong - A Remarkable Life

Director Chico Dall’Inha, producer Jorg Wagner, cinematographer Gerry McCulloch, executive producer Vin Harris. 2017.


Screening again on Sunday 15 October at 12 noon.



or call the Labia on 021 424 5927.


The screening is co-hosted by ROKPA Circle of Nourishment charity in Cape Town - providing social relief to vulnerable mothers in partnership with Mowbray Maternity Hospital. Please bring along something for their 'stork bundles': a baby blanket, beanie, clothing, any baby needs.

All proceeds to the Akong Memorial Foundation.

Running time: 96 minutes

'Only the impossible is worth doing.'

The Refugee from Tibet who became a Refuge for thousands of people.

Akong Rinpoche founded the first Tibetan monastic complex in the West in 1967 together with Chogyam Trungpa - at Samye Ling in Scotland.
Akong was the first Tibetan lama who visited and founded centres in Africa. He was teasingly known as 'the African lama'.

Do view the trailer at Akong trailer


AR sitting on the grass - Drolma Lhakang-By Lea Wyler .jpg

Akong near Drolma Lhakang his monastery and nunnery in East Tibet
(Photo by Lea Wyler)

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Akong in shrine room of Drolma Lakhang
(Photo by Lea Wyler)

Akong – a Remarkable Life is, above all else, a film about compassion. Almost three and a half years since Akong Rinpoche’s senseless murder in Chengdu, China, his message of compassion-in-action needs to be heard more than ever.

Against a backdrop of stunning Himalayan photography, the film charts Akong Rinpoche’s perilous escape from Chinese-invaded Tibet, in 1959; to becoming a refugee, first in India, then in the UK. The film features his incredible life’s work, centred on the establishment and development of Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Scotland and of the many Buddhist Meditation Centres in Europe and Africa that have emanated from it. It charts an important period of history, from the political occupation in Tibet to social revolution in the West. It holds a spotlight to the many inspirational qualities that Akong Rinpoche embodied and the vast achievements beyond Samye Ling for which he was responsible, including his teaching, charity work, pioneering Tara Rokpa Therapy and the establishment of ROKPA International to name just some of the more notable.

Akong: A Remarkable Life is a story told by many of the people who knew him best. The sheer diversity of participants demonstrates the way that Akong Rinpoche’s embodiment of spiritual truth resonated through many walks of life and radiated in manifold directions. Among many others featured in the film are the Indian actor Kabir Bedi; the writer Mick Brown; and the politician Lord David Steele. It includes unseen footage of Akong Rinpoche himself and features appearances by great living Tibetan Masters, such as His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, OgyenTrinley Dorje, the 12th Gyaltsab Rinpoche, the 12th Tai Situpa, as well as other influential teachers in the West such as Akong Rinpoche's brother, Lama Yeshe, Ringu Tulku and Chime Rinpoche.

The life of Akong Rinpoche – together with this beautiful film documenting that life – is a clear, kind call to action. It is an encouragement to everyone to engage in compassionate action in the world, wherever help is needed, in whatever capacity circumstances require and in whatever ways are suited to the unique qualities of the giver, something Akong was able to recognise and nurture in people so insightfully.

Akong Rinpoche was the patron of Exploring Consciousness for many years, always encouraging a wide open approach to all spiritual paths.

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