1. Awake - The Life of Yogananda (2014)
This spiritually warming and heartfelt documentary follows the life of Paramahansa Yogananda from his time in India, where he met his Guru Sri Yukteswar, to his journey to America beginning in the 1920's in New York City, and then on to Los Angeles.
A lot of people are unaware both how revolutionary the arrival of Kriya Yoga was in America, and how welcomed Yoganada was by the general public. This doc is masterfully done, embracing the grace and tranquility of Yogananda himself.
Give yourself an uplifting 90 minutes on Netflix and stream this documentary now.
For more information please visit http://www.awaketheyoganandamovie.com/
2. Five People you Meet In Heaven (2004)
An adaptation of Mitch Albom's beloved book by the same time, The Five People you Meet in Heaven is a wonderfully captured and faithful reproduction. Since it is a two part series you get an opportunity to really watch the protagonist Eddie (Jon Voight) experience his life. The Five People he meets entails a star-studded cast including Jeff Daniels (pictured above), Michael Imperioli, and Ellen Burstyn.
Voight captures the heart of the audience as he travels through his life lessons, such as interconnectedness, sacrifice and forgiveness. Also Steven Graym (who plays Young Eddie) brings a nostalgic charisma to the screen that evokes a sense of a days of yesteryear. So pop some popcorn, grab a box of tissues and watch this ruminative soul-series one part at a time by clicking here.
For more information please visit: http://www.mitchalbom.com/books/five-people-you-meet-in-heaven/
3. I AM (2010)
This Hero's Journey-esque documentary follows the personal life crisis of well-known comedic filmmaker Tom Shadyac, who brought us gigglers such as Patch Adams, Bruce Almight and Ace Ventur Pet Detective. At the onset of this film Shadyac has what Kierkegaard described as The Long Dark Night of the Soul, he had a huge house, a ton of toys, and all the friends money could buy - but he wasn't happy.
This piece explores Shadyac's quest for happiness and examines the efficacy of the materialistic goals common to modern society. Expect delightful cameos from the spiritual and cultural educators of all types such as Desmond Tutu, Noam Chomsky, Dean Radin (Director of Institute of Noetic Sciences) Lynne McTaggart author of The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe (an awesome book I highly recommend reading), Jim Carrey and The Dalai Lama.
This film sustains a high vibration including archival footage from Mahatma Gandhi, JFK, MLK and Mother Theresa. So if you feel pondering the big life questions, give I AM, a whirl by clicking here.
For more information please visit: http://www.iamthedoc.com/
4. Radio Free Albemuth (2010)
This sci-fi movie is based on a novel by Philip K. Dick of the same name, alternatively titled V.A.L.I.S. (Vast Active Living Intelligence System), and is directed by John Alan Simon. This movie is a bit of a spiritual outlier, and although it runs a titch long and isn't star-studded with actors, it carries a deep and profound lesson within it.
This film follows the life of Berkeley Record store clerk Nick Brady (Jonathan Scarfe) who has a dream that leads him to quite his job and move to Los Angeles. The power of this film isn't so much in the cinematography or the acting (though both are up to par), it lies in the meaning behind the conversations that occur on screen. This movie shows us first hand what it can feel like to give up everything and chase a wild dream, literally.
The works of Philip K. Dick in general, all deserve special consideration, to date, he is the most screen-optioned novelist, ever. That definitely speaks to the quality of his tactics, although they are often considered unorthodox. RFA allows for a bigger perspective on life and encourages us to seek the meaning of our dreams in the real world. Also, the movie is sprinkled with spiritually initiated references, many believe that K. Dick (for certain Philip himself), did actually have conversations with an active intelligence he termed, V.A.L.I.S., and guised in the form of a novel.
Come for the sci-fy, stay for the spirituality by clicking here.
For more information please visit: http://radiofreealbemuth.com/
5. Neurons to Nirvana (2013)
This scientific enquiry into the therapeutic role of psychedelics by Canadian Filmmaker Oliver Hockenhull is the most current and vetted source for information on this matter. Neurons to Nirvana (produced by Elevate's Micki Willis) explores the prejudices, benefits and issue of decriminalization for psychedelic therapy and its role in relieving aliments ranging from cancer to PTSD.
This piece is 1:08 minutes long and includes interviews from researchers such as Dennis McKenna and Ralph Metzner and archival footage from the likes of William S. Burroughs and Aldous Huxley. N2N is a must watch for any earnest scientist or spiritualist seeking an informed opinion about the pharmacological role of psychedelics in Western medicine. The film was in part, successfully crowdfunded on Kickstarter ($35K).
Get your scientific worldview straight by watching this documentary here.
For more information please visit: http://neuronstonirvana.com
6. Aluna (2012)
Aluna follows the rituals and the natural theory of the Kogi Tribe of Colombia. In particular it focuses on the Mamas (Shamans) of the tribe, who spend the first 18 years of their life in complete darkness.
The mountainous region of the Sierra Nevadas de Santa Marta in Colombia that the Kogis live upon, is geographically and atmospherically unique, boasting climates that mirror the diverse types of life systems on earth.
For this reason, Kogi elders believe their tribe to be guardians of a microcosmic center of the gaian life force and mind. Because of the increased necessity of ecological awareness and human cooperation, and as a result of the Mamas' visions of many within modern society becoming illuminated, the Kogi have decided to speak out to 'Little Brother', which is the name they affectionately use for modern people.
This movie touches the pulse of the body and discusses the importance of leigh lines throughout natural architecture, the destruction of non-native flora upon habitat, and role of shamanic guidance in communal life. It is a gem of profound wisdom shared by the Kogi people.
Tap into the gain mind here.
For more information please visit: http://alunathemovie.com
6. Breath of the Gods (2012)
Walk back in time to some of the earliest known sources for the practice of Asanas in India. Learn about the practice of Yoga as a spiritual pursuit, the development of Vinyasa, (the wedding of breath and movement) and the philosophies of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, largely considered The Father of Modern Yoga.
Though clipped and chipped upon by many cinematic connoisseurs, to the yogic practitioner, the extended sequences and lingering dialogues begin to feel like an Upanishadic dialogue. As the scenes march on and the grainy dusty India persists from frame to frame, one becomes ensconced in a new frame of mind. Something akin to how a Sat Guru answers a simple question by diving into a long seemingly diversionary yet perfectly analogous story that ultimately illustrates a simple, profound and elegant truth.
This is also just good background fodder, perhaps something to play while doing your own Asanas, or otherwise engaging in divine practices.
Sink into the stretch here.
For more information please visit: http://breathofthegods.com
BONUS - Unmistaken Child (2008)
Okay, so this one's not on Netflix, but Unmistaken Child by director Nati Baratz, starring The Dalai Lama and Lama Konchog, is as authentic as they get when it comes to Spiritual Documentaries. Follow Konchog and several other Buddhist monks and learn the ways of reincarnation as they journey through the vast lands of the Himalayas looking for the next reincarnated Lama.
This piece provides an intimate view into the doctrine of reincarnation and allows one to see various spiritual nuances pertaining to the practice that simply haven't been known to the majority of Westerners who have heard of reincarnation.
Check out the trailer and consider purchasing this delightful DVD for your home collection by visiting this link. Or, you can watch Part 1 on Daily Motion Here, and Part II on Daily Motion here. [No guarantee].
For more information please visit: http://www.unmistakenchild.com
My hope is that one or all of these documentaries assists you in your spiritual path.
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