Sogyal Rinpoche is one of the most important teachers of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. He was born in the Tibetan province of Kham as the eldest son of an ancient and wealthy family widely famous for having generously support for all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. As a young child, Sogyal Rinpoche was cared for by perhaps the greatest Tibetan master of the 20th century, Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, who recognized him as an incarnation of Tertön Sogyal, one of the teachers of the 13th Dalai Lama.
During the latter part of the 1950s, Jamyang Khyentse led his closest followers, including Sogyal Rinpoche's family, on a three year pilgrimage throughout Tibet, finally settling in the tiny kingdom. The political turmoil in Tibet made it impossible for them to return home. In Sikkim Sogyal Rinpoche continued his education, both Buddhist and secular, later at Cambridge University. In 1973 he served the Dalai Lama during his first visit to Europe, and throughout the seventies served various Buddhist masters. In 1992 he published The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Immediately it became an international best seller.
Ancient Wisdom for the Modern World offers an unprecedented insight into the life and work of this great master. In this film, we hear from Rinpoche about his early life and influences, how he made the transition from a feudal society into to the modern world, and what essence of Buddha's teachings really is. We also hear from his family and friends, like the actor John Cleese, as well as some of his students, who describe how he has changed their understanding of life and death.