Halfway through Walk With Me (2017), a new documentary on the mindfulness movement from directors Max Pugh and Marc James Francis, viewers may realize the film title is a sort of double entendre. Largely filmed on location at Plum Village, a monastic refuge in rural France, the film gently captures monks and nuns of all nationalities, who have taken vows of chastity and poverty, to walk with renowned Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. The 90-year-old monk suffered a stroke in 2014, limiting his ability to speak, so instead of a talking-head documentary, we find one that's remarkably silent -- in the first half, the audience must adjust to the slow tempo of monastic life alongside the initiated monks on screen.

This leads to the title's second meaning: Walk With Me is actually an invitation to the viewer to participate in mindfulness, at least for the film's 88 minutes. The filmmakers are astute in realizing the slow pacing is difficult, even for the most sympathetic viewer, and eases us in by mirroring our impatience in a young monk looking around, scratching his freshly shaved head, and yawning as his more seasoned peers stand in peaceful repose for ... well, for a very long time.

To get us appropriately in the mood to view a film all about appreciating the small beauties in life, Benedict Cumberbatch lends his silky baritone to voiceovers of passages from Thich Nhat Hanh's journals, written just years after his exile (the young monk was a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War).

By the time the film reaches its final moments - a rather sedating image of the sun setting over a mountain top - even the most uninitiated viewer is likely more than ready to just sit and take in the scene, suggesting Walk With Me is not just a film but a sort of immersive art experience.

There are a few drawbacks to directors Max Pugh and Marc James Francis's approach, however. If you're unfamiliar with the mindfulness movement, you're unlikely to leave knowing much more due to the film's avoidance of exposition, electing to take an observational approach instead. It's a bit like being dragged by a significant other to see an orchestra without much classical music knowledge. You might find yourself feeling relaxed and transported, but that doesn't help you understand the historical context the composer was writing in. Perhaps some viewers will take the initiative to research on their own, but surely others will leave frustrated.

Additionally, the lack of context provokes some unanswerable questions within the film itself. A particularly moving scene shows an African-American nun leading her elderly father in meditation, causing him to weep and cry, "Praise the Lord." And while clearly their beliefs are different, she lets him enjoy his moment without any sort of corrective action. This sect seems disinterested in discouraging folks from blending mindfulness practices with their own beliefs. And, in any case, since when do monks and nuns travel?

Ultimately, the filmmakers had to choose their intention -- and that was to immerse not explain. At the former, they're as successful as one could hope in transporting a virtual audience to the chimes and trees of Plum Village. As Thich Nhat Hanh veers toward his 91st year, it serves as a gentle celebration of a life well walked.