Bellingen-based Buddhists host Majestic Cinemas’ screening of award-winning documentary Return to Gandhi Road

Sawtell Majestic Cinema showed Return to Gandhi Road, hosted by Bellingen-based Buddhists Tricia and Stephen Abell.


TRICIA and Stephen Abell, who run a Bellingen-based, informal Buddhist meditation and retreat centre, have recently hosted screenings of the award-winning documentary film Return to Gandhi Road at the Majestic Cinemas in Nambucca and Sawtell.

Through close connections with two sons of the film’s central character – Kangyur Rinpoche, one of the 20th century’s foremost Buddhist teachers – Tricia and Stephen first learned of the film being made.

“The documentary follows the journey of New Zealander Kim Hegan’s spiritual search in the early 1970s to India, and meeting this remarkable Tibetan Buddhist teacher and family man,” Stephen told News Of The Area.

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“It shows the workings of the lamas (teachers) who are living examples of how the Buddhist teachings have developed within them, enabling them to offer us techniques to live a compassionate life, to do no harm to any living being, do good for living beings and learn to know your own mind,” said Stephen.

We see the remote landscape across which Kangyur Rinpoche and his family escaped from the Chinese occupation into India.

Their journey’s primary intention was to preserve precious and rare Buddhist texts – the words of the Buddha – from sure destruction – using some 68 yaks to do the job.

Once in India with his family, they set up an orphanage cum school and monastery, still operating in Darjeeling.

This is where Kim travels for an emotional reconnection with Tulku Pema Wangyal Rinpoche, Kangyur Rinpoche’s eldest son.

Interviews with several eminent Tibetan lamas closely associated with Kangyur Rinpoche show some of the faces of Buddhist teachers which Tricia and Stephen have brought to the Bellingen area since 1979.

The basic message of the film is how Kangyur Rinpoche stands as an extraordinary example of how Buddhist teachers, since 600 BCE, have helped people lead compassionate lives.

Return to Gandhi Road is directed by Yeshe Hegan, daughter of Kim Hegan.

The film will soon be available online.

For information about local Buddhist events, email Stephen on [email protected].



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