Search

A Bodhisattva In The Neighborhood


The movie about Fred Rogers is not what you think. It is about relationships. A Bodhisattva is a person who helps others find their true-self, their awakened self. The movie explores a teacher-student relationship and role-plays using the journalist Lloyd Vogel as the grown child of ignorance.


This role play in Soto Zen is called skillful means, whereby all discussions are meaningful. This emersion in the intimacy of feelings/awareness was the feature of the television show aimed at 2-5-year-olds (and beyond). However, it is the broader life-affirming day-to-day interactions and being a friend that is explored in the movie.


The skillful means used are conversations. We know this when it happens because we feel safe, heard, and appreciated, just as we are. Self-awareness becomes extra-awareness, Or we could say, we lose any sense of separateness from the other. The movie shows there is no distinction between children and adults in experiencing or feeling. Being sad, angry, and lashing out happens to all of us and requires other skillful means to address.