Sunday, February 2, 2020

Alan Clements: "Spiritually Incorrect" (video)

Alan Clements (, 1/20/20); Dhr. Seven, Ellie Askew (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Spiritually Incorrect (trailer)
( The documentary Spiritually Incorrect features the former Western Burmese Buddhist monk Alan Clements ( Due for release in 2020, it is directed by Peter Charles Downey with music by Sacred Earth (

Western monks are treated like royalty in Burma.
The question is, Who's Alan Clements? If only they made a movie about this author, social activist, war journalist, stand up artist, and former Buddhist monk. He was one of the first Westerners to go from America to Burma to ordain since the very first Westerner to become a Theravada Buddhist monk -- Irishman Laurence Carroll or U Dhammaloka (The Dharma Bum).
Who's Alan Clements?
Aung San Suu Kyi (Clements)
Alan Clements dropped out of the University of Virginia, went East, and became one of the first Westerners to ordain as a Buddhist monk in Burma, where he lived at Mahasi Sayadaw's Mindfulness Meditation Center, Rangoon, for nearly five years.

He trained in the practice and teaching of mindfulness insight (vipassana) meditation and Buddhist psychology (Abhidharma), under the guidance of his preceptor Mahasi Sayadaw and his successor Sayadaw U Pandita.

In 1984 he was forced to leave the monastery by Burma’s military authorities with no reason given. So Clements returned to the West and was invited to lecture widely on the “wisdom of mindfulness.”

In addition to leading numerous mindfulness-based meditation retreats and trainings throughout the U.S., Australia, and Canada. This included assisting in a three-month mindfulness teacher training with Sayadaw U Pandita at Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts.

A Future to Believe In
In 1988 he integrated his classical Buddhist training and his political awareness of global human rights, environmental sanity, democracy, and the preciousness of everyday freedom. His efforts working on behalf of oppressed peoples has led a former director of Amnesty International to call Clements “one of the most important and compelling voices of our times.”

As an investigative journalist he has lived in some of the world's most volatile areas. In the jungles of Burma in 1990, he was one of the first eyewitnesses to document the mass oppression of ethnic minorities by Burma’s military, which resulted in his first book, Burma: The Next Killing Fields?, which includes a foreword by the Dalai Lama. More

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