The Best 10 Documentaries About Zen Buddhism

Oct 18, 2023 | Best Of, Religion

Zen Buddhism is a deeply spiritual philosophy with a rich history and tradition of exploration. For those seeking greater insight into this fascinating field, there are several documentaries that offer thought-provoking and engaging perspectives on the teachings. From in-depth examinations of Buddhist monasteries to overviews of meditation practices, these films provide an immersive experience for those looking to engage deeper understanding of Zen Buddhism. Below are some of the best documentaries about the practice and its history. Enjoy! Explore the history, teachings, meditation practices and spiritual exploration that have defined Zen Buddhism for centuries with these fascinating documentaries.


1. Japan The Way of Zen : Zen Buddhism Documentary

Honshu, Japan is a place of unparalleled beauty and culture. From the venerated cities of Kyoto and Hiroshima to the bustling streets of Tokyo, this island nation offers a glimpse into its centuries-old traditions. Festivals are held with much enthusiasm as workers have been replaced by automation in factories. Yet, amidst all these changes lies an ancient wisdom, a harmony that balances the population density and brings a unique sense of peace to the land: Zen. Pierre Brouwers has explored every corner of Honshu, offering viewers an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of its inhabitants and experience their culture.


2. What is Zen Buddhism?

Explore the roots of Zen Buddhism and its deep-seated spiritual heritage with Pierre Brouwers’ journey to Honshu. Discover the schools unique teachings about meditation, liberation, koans, and Buddha-nature in this captivating video. From cities like Kyoto to tiny rural villages, you’ll explore the mysteries of Buddhist philosophy through a fresh perspective. Experience the beauty and power of this influential tradition alongside an experienced guide, and see how Zen Buddhism has shaped Japan’s cultural identity for centuries. It’s a journey sure to leave you with a deeper understanding of the power of faith. Don’t miss out on this amazing exploration into one of the world’s oldest religions!


3. History Documentary: Zen Buddhism Documentary 2016

Zen Buddhism is a spiritual belief system focused on finding inner peace – and there are many documentaries that explore this fascinating subject. From the history of Zen Buddhism to its teachings and practices, these documentaries offer an in-depth look at this ancient religion. Whether you’re interested in learning more about Zen or just want to gain a better understanding of it, these documentaries can provide valuable insight. From the History Channel’s study of Zen Buddhism to award-winning films such as “The Way of Zen,” these documentaries provide a comprehensive look at this fascinating religion. Explore its spiritual practices, learn about the history and culture that surrounds it, or just experience the beauty of Zen in action.


4. Zen Buddhism – The Land of the Disappearing Buddha – Japan

This unique documentary delves into the life of Buddha before his enlightenment. Filmed in Japan, this BBC documentary provides an in-depth look at Buddhism and its history, including ancient Zen Buddhist temples and monasteries that are slowly disappearing from the modern world. Follow along as we explore how a young prince left his palace to seek out answers to life’s biggest questions, eventually leading to the creation of Buddhism. Learn how Zen Buddhism has evolved over centuries and how it continues to play a vital role in modern life. We’ll discover the hidden temples and deep teachings that have been passed down generation after generation. Join us as we unravel the mysteries of one of the most influential faiths on Earth – The Land of the Disappearing Buddha


5. History of Zen Buddhism: Paradox and Tension

Realizing the inner power of Zen Buddhism can be a transformative experience. In this documentary, we’ll explore the origins and teachings of Zen, from its ancient history to its modern-day forms. We’ll also look at how the two primary schools of Zen developed and evolved over time, and what those differences are. Along our journey we’ll uncover some hidden stories about how Zen has been interpreted and practiced in different cultures around the world. We’ll also take a look at how Zen Buddhism has impacted today’s spiritual seekers, providing insight into finding peace and balance within oneself. Finally, we’ll explore the potential of what lies ahead for Zen Buddhism – its possible future directions and possibilities.


6. Unlock the Secrets of Zen Buddhism: Transform Your Life in 7 Days!

Seeking greater peace and tranquility in life? Look no further than the timeless teachings of Zen Buddhism. These ancient practices offer a way to achieve inner calm amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Join us on our journey into the world of Zen, discovering its key principles such as mindfulness and acceptance that are essential tools for managing stress, anxiety, and other challenges. This video offers a deep and insightful exploration into the philosophy of Zen Buddhism, as well as its rituals and teachings. Get ready to be inspired and embark on a journey towards greater inner peace! Watch now for an enlightening introduction into this incredible practice.


7. Zen Buddhism on Meditation Movie

Norman Fischer is a renowned American Soto Zen roshi, poet and Buddhist author. He practices in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki, and was appointed Dharma heir by Sojun Mel Weitsman in 1988. Norman has had a distinguished career as co-abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center from 1995 to 2000, during which time he wrote several books on Buddhism and poetry. His works have enlightened many on the power of Zen meditation and mindfulness, inspiring them to explore its depth and breadth. His teachings are characterized by his humor, insightfulness, and compassion. He is an inspiration for those looking to further their journey into the world of Zen Buddhism. With his guidance, readers can gain a greater understanding of this ancient practice which has been passed down for generations.


8. Secrets Of ROME Empire ☆ Zen Buddhism – Documentary Films

Take a journey back to a time when Rome was at its height and experience what it was like to be part of the greatest empire in history. Get a glimpse into the inner workings of their government and military tactics that led to their success throughout Europe. Feel what it was like to be an ordinary citizen living under the rule of a powerful leader.On this same journey, discover how Zen Buddhism began thousands of years ago in India before spreading through East Asia and Central Asia.


9. Buddhist Documentary HD 2017 – History Documentary Zen Buddhism

Although documentaries are thought of as having the power to present an unbiased representation of reality, they sometimes have a hidden agenda. For example, some may be crafted with the intention of discrediting a particular person or group. On The Documentary Feed (TDF), however, viewers can rest assured that all films presented are without prejudice and well worth watching. It’s important to remember that, regardless of a documentary’s ostensible truthfulness, it still remains capable of distorting the facts. Therefore, viewers should remain aware of this possibility and approach each film with a critical eye.


9. Japan The Way of Zen : Zen Buddhism Documentary

Zen Buddhism has been a significant part of Japanese culture for centuries. Now, with the help of Japan The Way of Zen documentary, get an insightful look into this ancient way of living and its values that still deeply resonate with modern-day individuals. Every viewer will find something valuable in this enriching exploration of Zen Buddhism, from finding inner peace to connecting more with their surroundings.The documentary takes viewers to different locations in Japan, where they can explore ancient temples, gardens and shrines, while providing a deep understanding of the teachings that have shaped this practice.


10. PHI 3811 Zen Buddhism Final Project Sumi-e Documentary

This captivating documentary takes a look at the ancient story of a Zen monk and his famous painting. It delves into how this age-old artistry has been modernized, combining elements of experimentation and practice. We follow the monk as he spends three months perfecting his craft, taking in the beauty of nature and playing with cats. When the client arrives after three months, the monk completes his masterpiece in mere minutes. Was it really just minutes of work or was the painting a representation of a lifetime of practice and devotion to Zen Buddhism? This film captures this unique story on film and brings it to life for a new generation. It’s an exploration into ancient artistry and modern techniques that is sure to captivate viewers.


11. The Way Of Zen By Alan Watts

Zen Buddhism is a state of mind where you are at peace with the universe and your own inner being. It encourages an acceptance of life’s essential but inconsequential nature, and Alan Watts helped to popularize such Eastern philosophy in the Western world. Through his writing and works, he provided clarity to this often complex concept – allowing people from all walks of life to comprehend its wisdom. The Way of Zen is a book written by Alan Watts which delves deep into understanding this philosophy and provides the reader with practical advice on how to live in harmony with the universe. It outlines various aspects of Zen Buddhism, such as meditation and mindfulness, to help readers develop a deeper understanding of their inner world and their own place within it.


Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B