Bodhidharma‘s Shoe (2008)

About the Film

Bodhidharma's Shoe is a personal account of a seven day intensive Zen retreat or "Sesshin" at Bodhi Manda Zen Center. The filmmaker intercuts video of the retreat with drawings of traditional Japanese Zen monastic life by Giei Sato that were published in the book "Unsui: A Diary of Zen Monastic Life" (University of Hawaii Press).

Bodhi Manda Zen Center is located in Jemez Springs, New Mexico. The teacher was Joshu Sasaki Roshi (April 1, 1907 – July 27, 2014) who was born in Japan and came to the United States to teach in 1962. At the time of the filming, Bodhi Manda was one of the most traditional Rinzai Zen centers in the United States. Other American Zen centers have adapted and changed (using English in the chanting, for example) but the core practices of Zen centers are similar.

Filmmaker Tom Davenport is the founder of He began his Zen practice in the late 1960s and is a senior member of the Pig Shed (aka "Delaplane") Zen Group in Northern Virginia. Bodhidharma is the legendary Buddhist monk who brought Zen (Ch'an) practice from India to China in the 5th Century.


For licensing, film rights and permissions, contact Tom Davenport, the distributor Davenport Films, or Folkstreams.