Torma Film Begins Post-Production in Chiang Mai, Thailand

The Torma Film project is pleased to announce it has entered the post-production phase. We were lucky to be introduced to editor, producer and post-production supervisor, Georg Peter Muller from Living Films in Chiang Mai, Thailand ( Georg is one of the firm’s founding partners and has been living and working in Thailand for 25 years.

Tsechu film (Lama Dance at Ralang)

On 10th May, 2014 H.E. Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche presided over the
GARCHEN TSECHU CHENMO, (Sacred Ritual Lama Dance with full Costumes and Masks),
 with Tulkus, Lamas, Monks and Nuns from Densa Palchen Chosling Monastery performing. [Check out the torma at 3:47]

At Densa Palchen Chosling Monastery, Ralang, South Sikkim, India



Large shalzes created for the Grand Puja of the Thirteen Mandalas of Marpa’s Tradition

These large shalzes were created for the Grand Puja of the Thirteen Mandalas of the Marpa Tradition, held at Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche’s monastery, Ralang Palchen Chosling, in March 2014. Wax butter gyens mounted on shalze-shaped wooden boards over six feet tall, comprise an elaborate offering to the Buddha and Lord Marpa, as depicted in the huge thangkas adorning the front of the monastery. (Photos courtesy of Jamyang Chenmo)

The Four Major Tormas for the 31st Kagyu Monlam


By the 8th of December, sixty torma makers have arrived in Bodhgaya from over thirteen monasteries in India and Nepal. They will work until December 20th to make all the tormas (sculpted offerings) needed for the Monlam this year. Five of them are master artists who have been coming for years. Another twenty are making the simpler tormas and decorations of fruits and flowers, while the remaining thirty-five have come to apprentice. In the future, they will be able to assist at the Monlam and, returning to their monasteries, they will share with thousands this beautiful tradition that the Karmapa has revived and inspired into a newly refined and expressive art form. (photos by Filip Wolak)

via Kagyu Monlam Chenmo 2014 News: The Four Major Tormas for the 31st Kagyu Monlam.

Slideshow and report on the tormas of the 30th Kagyu Monlam — at

karma wangchuk painting

Karma Wangchuk paints flourishes on Tseringma’s staff for the 30th Kagyu Monlam.

The torma artists are the unsung heroes of the Kagyu Monlam. Every year they labor long hours in relative obscurity, tucked away in a private space far removed from Tergar Monastery and the bustle of other pre-Monlam preparations and activities. This year there were 64 monks and nuns working from dawn to dusk on the butter sculptures and offering tormas (Tib. shalzes) for the 30th Kagyu Monlam.

(cont.) Kagyu Monlam News –The great display of offerings : tormas of the 30th Kagyu Monlam.


On the 40th anniversary of the famous ‘Blue Marble’ photograph taken of Earth from space, Planetary Collective presents a short film documenting astronauts’ life-changing stories of seeing the Earth from the outside – a perspective-altering experience often described as the Overview Effect.

The Overview Effect, first described by author Frank White in 1987, is an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it. Common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.

via OVERVIEW on Vimeo.

Burma VJ Director Anders Ostergaard is in Bodhgaya

burma vj snip

Anders Ostergaard, the director of the 2008 Danish documentary film Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country has been spotted in Bodhgaya these days. Burma VJ won a lot of awards and was even nominated for an Oscar. [from Wikipedia: It follows the September 2007 protests against the military regime in Burma. The "VJ" in the title stands for "video journalists." Some of it was filmed on hand-held cameras. The footage was smuggled out of the country, physically or over the Internet. The DVD includes a message from Buddhist actor Richard Gere comparing the situation in Burma to that in Tibet.] While watching Burma VJ, I was also struck by the similarities between the oppression of Burma and the situation in Tibet today. I think it’s important that stories like this are told. Since this film was made, things have gotten a little bit better in Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi has been permitted  to travel and media restrictions have relaxed a little bit, but in truth, an extremely dark cloud of oppression still looms.

The film may be viewed in its entirety on Youtube:

Karmapa Inspects the Tormas

The Karmapa made a surprise visit to the Bhutanese Temple on November 28 to inspect the progress of the torma artists.

The following tormas are in various stages of completion:

Gyu Gon torma made by torma master, Lama Sangye

Ekajati torma made by Lama Sangye

Gakyil Gyens

Buddha descending from Tushita Heaven, torma by Karma Wangchuk

Milarepa Torma

A pretty flower gyen


Shalze Gyens

Karmapa leaving the torma-making site.