When the Iron Bird Flies

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  • 98 Minutes
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'When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels, the Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the face of the earth." - Guru Padmasambhava of Tibet, 8th Century


In 1959, the Chinese invasion of Tibet threw opened the doors to the mysterious realm of Tibetan Buddhism and suddenly this rich, ancient tradition was propelled into the modern world. Half a century later, Padmasambhava's prophecy has come true and the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism are found in every corner of the earth.

Now, the key question is - “In these increasingly challenging times, can these profound teachings help us find genuine happiness and create a saner, more compassionate 21st century world?”

When the Iron Bird Flies takes on the daring task of understanding the many ways that these ancient teachings are meeting modern Western minds and hearts. The film is breathtaking in its historical scope and provocative in its exploration of the groundbreaking meeting of East and West that is at the heart of this new Buddhism.

Through candid interviews with contemporary teachers and practitioners, rare archival footage, and striking images of modern life that illuminate and make accessible the Buddha's core teachings, the film creates a vivid and entertaining portrait of the world of Tibetan Buddhism in the West.

“When the Iron Bird Flies is a creative and wide-ranging guide to the spread of a rich spiritual tradition. It’s an invaluable resource to newcomers and seasoned devotees of Tibetan Buddhism.” – from a review in Spirituality and Practice

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1+ hours of video, instant streaming, yours forever! This is a gift rental for a friend. This is a gift rental just for . They will receive their copy via email.

1+ hours of video, watch as much as you want for 3 days. This is a gift rental for a friend. This is a gift rental just for . They will receive their copy via email.

When the Iron Bird Flies

'When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels, the Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the face of the earth." - Guru Padmasambhava of Tibet, 8th Century


In 1959, the Chinese invasion of Tibet threw opened the doors to the mysterious realm of Tibetan Buddhism and suddenly this rich, ancient tradition was propelled into the modern world. Half a century later, Padmasambhava's prophecy has come true and the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism are found in every corner of the earth.

Now, the key question is - “In these increasingly challenging times, can these profound teachings help us find genuine happiness and create a saner, more compassionate 21st century world?”

When the Iron Bird Flies takes on the daring task of understanding the many ways that these ancient teachings are meeting modern Western minds and hearts. The film is breathtaking in its historical scope and provocative in its exploration of the groundbreaking meeting of East and West that is at the heart of this new Buddhism.

Through candid interviews with contemporary teachers and practitioners, rare archival footage, and striking images of modern life that illuminate and make accessible the Buddha's core teachings, the film creates a vivid and entertaining portrait of the world of Tibetan Buddhism in the West.

“When the Iron Bird Flies is a creative and wide-ranging guide to the spread of a rich spiritual tradition. It’s an invaluable resource to newcomers and seasoned devotees of Tibetan Buddhism.” – from a review in Spirituality and Practice

2 Videos

  • When The Iron Bird Flies

    1h 36m · Downloadable

  • When The Iron Bird Flies (Trailer)

    2m 20s · Downloadable