The Dharma Bum Documentary

2014 December 28
by Tanya McGinnity


Many thanks to Ian Lawton who sent along some information on a film that he’s seeking funding for on

The documentary, The Dharma Bum claims that a “freethinking atheist alcoholic Irish hobo” is the first Western Buddhist monk, thus shattering the belief that it’s a polite, quiet and meek person who wears this crown. Beyond this, the contribution of this wild man to challenge colonialism and his dedication to activism are also worth celebrating.

“A migrant worker from Dublin, Dhammaloka was an autodidact, atheist and temperance campaigner who became known throughout colonial Asia as an implacable critic of Christian missionaries and a tireless transnational organizer of Asian Buddhists from Burma to Japan and from Singapore to Siam.”


As a former angry drunken Irish lass who too has discovered Buddhism, this film has a special place in my heart! Please help Ian out in his wish to tell this story. Drop by the website to drop a few coins in the coffers.


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