Larry Rosenberg: Long Path Home

by Marty Ostrow

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There’s a consciousness revolution going on in America today – an explosion of meditation practice or “mindfulness” that’s being applied to virtually every aspect of living. How did this astonishing circumstance come about?

Larry Rosenberg: Long Path Home, tells the dynamic story of 84-year-old teacher/author Larry Rosenberg’s remarkable quest for self-discovery and how it gave rise to the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center, one of the most vital meditation practice communities in North America. Founded by Larry in 1985, CIMC became a pioneering urban refuge devoted to applying the contemplative practice of insight meditation to the challenging complexities of daily life in our troubled world. IMG_6772 CIMC Sign(Known as vipassanameaning, to see things as they truly arethis form of meditation has been practiced for over 2600 years.) He is one of the people most responsible for introducing ancient Buddhist meditation practice to modern Western life.

With exquisite penetration and unique humor, Larry describes his unusual personal journey; from humble Jewish beginnings in Brooklyn, through post-WWII Army years in occupied Germany, to a prestigious career in the academic world as a PhD professor in social psychology. But, during the counter-culture years, success did not prevent his eventual departure from the academy for a voyage to better know himself and achieve inner-peace.1101030804_400

Larry recounts his many-year intensive search for meaning with several spiritual masters and in diverse monasteries and retreat centers across Asia and America. As self-insight grew ever more clear by practicing meditation, Larry became convinced that Americans needed a non-residential contemplative urban center for lay practitioners, where Buddhist meditation would be offered to help people effectively face the challenge of relationships in the midst of chaotic daily life. And in 1985, the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center was born.

Through Larry’s dedication, CIMC became an open, secular setting for people to discover that — by looking within — contemplation and daily life activity can effectively be brought together.

As we witness Larry’s gripping vipassana teaching — dynamic emotional and intellectual encounters with students — we come to understand how vipassana meditation truly works and why Larry’s recognized as one of the world’s most revered insight meditation teachers. About to enter his 85th year in December, Larry reflects on the more than 40 years he’s been sharing the Buddha’s wisdom about suffering and the end of suffering, to help countless people on their individual paths to self-discovery, inner-peace and liberation.

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To donate by check:  Please make your donation payable to the “The Center for Independent Documentary” and put “Larry Rosenberg: Long Path Home” in the memo line.  Please mail your check to:  The Center for Independent Documentary   1300 Soldiers Field Road, Suite #4  Boston MA  02135

 

Statement from filmmaker Marty Ostrow

For more than three decades I’ve been making far-reaching, award-winning documentary films for Public Television, cable and independent projects (please see bio below).  I have also been a longtime member and practitioner of meditation at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center.

I first knew Larry Rosenberg in the late 1960s, when I was a sociology undergrad at Brandeis University and he was one of my professors, teaching social-psychology. Following graduation, I lost track of him, only to reconnect decades later when I stumbled my way into CIMC and discovered Larry in a dramatically different role, as one of the world’s most respected dharma teachers and instructors of vipassana – insight meditation. Learning of Larry’s extraordinary life journey in the years since Brandeis, taking courses with him, reading his books, hearing his talks, seeing his powerful work with students – all inspired my desire to make a film that would tell his story.

Although through the years Larry had touched so many lives in critically beneficial ways, I was shocked to learn that no one had ever documented his remarkable life journey. And so, aware of his advancing age, I felt an urgency to create a meaningful film that would honor him – and could be seen world over for many years to come.

Despite zero funding, in 2015 I committed myself to this labor of love.

Through the generous support of a few individual donors, I was able to gather enough funding to turn what began as a 14-hour talking-head interview, into a succinct 37-minute documentary profile. Now nearing completion, the film will provide a lasting tribute to Larry and his teachings, capturing his indelible spirit, compassion and clarity of mind. It will offer a heartfelt portrait for those fortunate enough to know him and a meaningful introduction for anyone meeting him and CIMC for the first time.

Currently in its completion stage, we still need an additional $10,000 to take the project across the finish line. This will pay for final editing, music and photo licenses, graphics, audio-mix and color correction, as well as a number of other things that are normal to the end of any film production.

It’s my hope that the CIMC community, along with many others will step forward to help support this lasting tribute to Larry. Your support will enable us to complete the film this summer in order that it be ready for public screening in December, for Larry’s 85th Birthday.

With much metta and great appreciation for your consideration,

Marty

 

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Filmmaker Biography

MARTY OSTROW has been a producer, writer and director for public, commercial and cable television for more than 25 years. His most recent work is the groundbreaking 90-minute documentary, RENEWAL, the first film to tell the stories of America’s growing religious-environmental movement. The award winning film is being widely used across the country to inspire grassroots environmental action among diverse religious communities.

Marty’s other award-winning films include the acclaimed 90-minute documentary “America and the Holocaust: Deceit and Indifference,” for the PBS series The American Experience. He received the Writers Guild Annual Outstanding Achievement Award as well as an Emmy Nomination for writing this show.

In addition to history, Marty has made many films about science, for NOVA, PBS’s Discover the World of Science, and the Discovery Channel. He was the producer of two hours in the trailblazing documentary series Race to Save the Planet, the first large-scale PBS effort to bring environmental issues to national consciousness.

Marty’s work is known for the intimate portrait style he brings to his subjects. During eight seasons, he produced a series of more than thirty short films on the arts for the WGBH series Greater Boston Arts and Art Close Up. Three of these films received Emmy Awards while many others were nominated. Marty’s films have been seen in festivals around the world.

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