13 SEPTEMBER 2002: SHELDON
FROM THE MYSTIC
Sheldon Rochlin, filmmaker,
publisher, producer and founder of Mystic Fire Video, left his body on
June 24th 2002 of pneumonia in New York City. He was 63. The arc of his
life and creativity covered an extraordinary and diverse ground. He touched
From 1960 to 1970 he was
part of the New York independent and experimental film scene and traveled
to Europe where he completed his first films Vali-The Witch of Positano
and Dope, which are considered underground classics. In 1968 he filmed
two historic cultural events of the time: The Living Theatres performance
of Paradise Now at the Sportspalast in Berlin and Electric Bath, his documentary
of The Bath Festival in England.
Mr. Rochlin then traveled
to India where he resided at the Sri Aurobindo ashram where he met the
Mother and documented her last Darsham. He recorded the Breaking of the
Ground at Auroville and established a video archival project there. He
traveled then to Dharamsala where he met His Holiness The IVth Dalai Lama
and arranged the first trip out of India of the Gyuto Monks with whom he
traveled and filmed Tantra of Gyuto: Sacred Rituals of Tibet. His other
films of that period include: Tibetan Medicine in which he documents the
insights and practice of Tibet’s first woman doctor, Lopsang Dolma and
Nepal Land of the Gods.
In 1977 he joined forces
with Maxine Harris with whom he established Mystic Fire Video. Their filmic
collaborations include: Hymn to the Mystic Fire; Secret Egypt; Signals
Through the Flames, Metamorphosis, the Essential Teachings of the Buddha
by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Sukhavati Place of Bliss with Joseph
Campbell. Mystic Fire Video continues to produce, publish and distribute.
He was currently finishing
an in-depth documentary of the Kalachakra ceremony documenting the Dalai
Lama who performs the foundational liturgy of the Tantric teachings which
are his mandate to preserve; and Coincidencia Oppositirum, a work of alchemy
with Terence McKenna.
He is survived by his wife,
Maxine Harris, his step-children, Rhana, Branwyn, and Morgan Harris, and
Ptolemy Mann; and his sister Bernice Brown.