No Impact Man

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

No Impact Man

Postby Nibbida » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:24 pm

I just saw a film last weekend called No Impact Man. It's about a journalist from New York and his family who decide to live for a year trying to have no net environmental impact. He goes to some extremes which seem ascetic from a modern Western point of view, but it's an interesting experiment nonetheless.

What struck me is how much Buddhist themes keep popping up. Admittedly, I see the Dhamma everywhere I look now, since it's about fundamentally human issues and not "Buddhist" ones. But this movie, more than others, seemed to pique my notice.

For example, reducing environmental impact inevitably involves abandoning the obsessive consumerist pursuits, which they do. Initially, it's like going through detox. The wife, self-admittedly, is struggling especially, and at one point says "It's like the wanting part of me is dying" (a.k.a. craving, clinging, nidanas) At a later point in the film when she has more perspective on the project, she mentions how "consumption for the sake of consumption" leads to a kind of "coma" (i.e. ignorance).

What's also interesting is that after the detox, they actually find life to be much more satisfying. They get out of their home (since there's no television, internet, etc.) and the days "feel like they last forever." Even the name "No Impact Man" is a restatement of ahimsa.

If you're at all interested, check it out:

movie: http://tiny.cc/NIM
blog: http://noimpactman.typepad.com/blog/
book: http://us.macmillan.com/noimpactman

:anjali:

P.S. I'm not "No Impact Man" in disguise. I just liked the movie.
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

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Re: No Impact Man

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:41 pm

my wife is into this, i however cant get interested enough to watch
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: No Impact Man

Postby Ben » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:53 pm

Thanks Nibbida for the links.
I'll check them out.
metta

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Re: No Impact Man

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:03 am

Hi, Ben,
I just saw a very short review of the book, in The Weekend Australian. The author was described as smugly holier-than-thou, and the book as fairly ordinary.
It might still be OK, though - the reviewer is right-wing even by the Australian's standards, as I know from his other writing.

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Re: No Impact Man

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:11 am

Thanks Kim
Unfortunately due to our easter revelry, we missed the weekend Australian. I'll have a look at the Australian website and see if the review is posted there.
Thanks for the heads up!
kind regards

Ben
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global Relief
UNHCR Syria Emergency Relief AppealTyphoon Haiyan Relief AppealKiva: (person to person micro-finance)

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: No Impact Man

Postby Nibbida » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:45 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:Hi, Ben,
I just saw a very short review of the book, in The Weekend Australian. The author was described as smugly holier-than-thou, and the book as fairly ordinary.
It might still be OK, though - the reviewer is right-wing even by the Australian's standards, as I know from his other writing.

:juggling:
Kim


Hi Kim,

I'd give the movie a look. I can only speak for myself, but I didn't detect holier-than-thou-ness (if that's a word). I woulnd't enjoy it much if it did. To the contrary, he seemed rather humble in what he was doing, recognizing that he was going to impractical extremes temporarily for the purpose of the experiment rather than acting as if he could live indefinitely in a state of environmental perfection.

Incidentally, the film is available for instant view online with Netflix, if you have that.

Marcello
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

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Re: No Impact Man

Postby Dhammakid » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:28 am

Hello everyone,
I've seen the film and I thought it was very good. A timely and relevant film for current times. I'd recommend it to anyone. I also heard them speak at a film festival and found them very nice and humble. Just my thoughts though.

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