April 2013 marks the beginning of the tenth year of Spiritual Cinema Circle! This month, we celebrate the way that great stories can connect us to the world.
The Last Brickmaker in America, our feature for April, stars the legendary actor Sidney Poitier as a man who has been making bricks by hand for more than 50 years and who proves to be a profound example of how to build life “brick by brick.”
I know that the moment you read this title, “Finding the Goodness in Life,” some of you cringed. Why? Because there is a lot going on at this point in time that would not be considered “good.” But what if, in everything, goodness existed?
I once had a client who was contemplating suicide. They did not see any reason for living and could find nothing in their life that was worthwhile. Every week, I prayed that this person would continue to show up and work with me.
Many of us long for a life of happiness and peace, but we don’t believe we can have it. The great paradox is that our lack of faith in love and miracles is what blocks us from receiving love and miracles.
If we want to live a miraculous life, we must raise the volume on the loving voice within us and turn down the volume on our fear.
Chinese Take-Away (Un Cuento Chino) is the feature film for subscribers in the U.S. and Canada. Directed by Ricardo Darin, this film from Argentina is a powerful story about two men from completely different worlds who, in the most unlikely ways, help each other heal their broken hearts and spirits. Film critic Roger Ebert awarded it his top rating.
Awaken, this month’s feature film for international subscribers, is a mind-bending and heart-opening time-travel love story where two lovers meet and change each other’s lives in a completely unique environment.
The Camera is a haunting, wordless short film that reminds us of the power of love and the magic of memories.
In Tick Tock Time Emporium, a girl who desperately wants more time with her mother enters a strange shop where time is actually for sale.
Pioneer focuses on a mysterious, haunting bedtime story that a father tells his son. This powerful short film was voted the Best Narrative Short at the South by Southwest Film Festival.
Astral City on GaiamTV.com poses the answer to this question in an extremely unique and bold way, using the notion of spiritualism. With spiritualism, spirits of the dead have the ability and inclination to communicate with the living. Anyone may receive spirit messages, but formal communication sessions are held by mediums, who provide information about the afterlife.
If you’re ready for a wild, mind-opening and thought-provoking ride that’s based on a true story, Astral City is your ticket. Here are the highlights:
A Bird of the Air is our February feature. Filmed in New Mexico, it tells the story of a solitary man (Jackson Hurst) whose life is altered by both a stray parrot and a woman (Rachel Nichols) who inspire him to ask questions about his past — and his future. A Bird of the Air was directed by Margaret Whitton and written by Roger Towne, best known as the writer of The Natural, which starred Robert Redford.
Shuffle is a complex and engrossing film about the choices we make as our lives unfold. In the spirit of both Memento and It’s a Wonderful Life, we encounter a man who suddenly begins to experience the events of his life out of sequence, as he slowly realizes that his biggest challenge is also his most dazzling opportunity. Shuffle stars T.J. Thyne (from Bones) and was written and directed by Kurt Kuenne, the same team behind the delightful short Validation.
Baby Monitor and Lobster are both from filmmaker Jocelyn Jansons, our in-studio guest on this month’s DVD program. The first is powerful short about overcoming the past, while the second is a humorous look at the existence of the soul.
Washed Up Love, set in Ireland, is a lighthearted story about a woman who meets a younger man when he literally washes ashore, causing her to question the path of her life.
It all starts with a simple discussion. The next thing you know, you’re off to the Amazon rainforest in South America, drinking tea made from a psychoactive plant and taking part in an ancient ceremony intended to heal and open the realms of consciousness.
That’s what happened to filmmaker Michael Wiese as he was searching for a cure after being confronted with a serious disease. Michael realized the universe was co-conspiring to aid in his mission, and soon he, his wife and his translator were off, embarking on a mysterious and deeply personal adventure.
The Shaman and Ayahuasca on GaiamTV.com follows these three on a thought-provoking journey, providing unique personal perspectives, majestic and stunning visuals of Peruvian surroundings, and wisdom from a famed shaman. It also piques the viewer’s curiosity: What does this psychoactive elixir taste like? How does it feel to be whisked away to other realms and connected to the cosmos? How does it feel to return to reality? Here are a few of the most intriguing and eye-opening moments from this fascinating documentary:
I first met Elena Brower this October when we both presented at the Ojai Yoga Crib, although we’d been acquainted through email for about a year prior. Elena walked into the faculty dinner and seemed to carry a piece of the sun in her essence.
Now I know that might sound a bit “woo-woo,” and if you’ve been reading my blog for the past five years, you know that I am a straight shooter and tend to refrain from sharing heavy doses of mystical or esoteric phenomenon with my readers. But I tell you, I can also recognize a galvanizer when I see one, and I was immediately drawn to Elena’s intense stare, clarity of tone and poetic spirit. She’s awesome! And I am happy to now call her my friend.
So when I found out she was about to publish her very first book Art of Attention, a yoga workbook designed to inspire your yoga practice, contemplation and creativity, which she wrote with co-author Erica Jago, I wanted to have a heart-to-heart interview: teacher-to-teacher, innovator-to-innovator and woman-to-woman. Here is the result of that conversation: