• Awake: The Life of Yogananda

      Awake: The Life of Yogananda is an unconventional biography about the Hindu swami who brought yoga and meditation to the West in the 1920s. Paramahansa Yogananda authored the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi, which has sold millions of copies worldwide and is a go-to book for seekers, philosophers and yoga enthusiasts today (apparently, it was the only book that Steve Jobs had on his iPad). By personalizing his own quest for enlightenment and sharing his struggles along the path, Yogananda made ancient Vedic teachings accessible to a modern audience, attracting many followers and inspiring the millions who practice yoga today. Filmed over three years with the participation of 30 countries around the world, the documentary examines the world of yoga, modern and ancient, east and west, and explores why millions today have turned their attention inwards, bucking the limitations of the material world in pursuit of Self-realization.

    • When the Iron Bird Flies

      'When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels, the Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the face of the earth." - Guru Padmasambhava of Tibet, 8th Century


      In 1959, the Chinese invasion of Tibet threw opened the doors to the mysterious realm of Tibetan Buddhism and suddenly this rich, ancient tradition was propelled into the modern world. Half a century later, Padmasambhava's prophecy has come true and the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism are found in every corner of the earth.

      Now, the key question is - “In these increasingly challenging times, can these profound teachings help us find genuine happiness and create a saner, more compassionate 21st century world?”

      When the Iron Bird Flies takes on the daring task of understanding the many ways that these ancient teachings are meeting modern Western minds and hearts. The film is breathtaking in its historical scope and provocative in its exploration of the groundbreaking meeting of East and West that is at the heart of this new Buddhism.

      Through candid interviews with contemporary teachers and practitioners, rare archival footage, and striking images of modern life that illuminate and make accessible the Buddha's core teachings, the film creates a vivid and entertaining portrait of the world of Tibetan Buddhism in the West.

      “When the Iron Bird Flies is a creative and wide-ranging guide to the spread of a rich spiritual tradition. It’s an invaluable resource to newcomers and seasoned devotees of Tibetan Buddhism.” – from a review in Spirituality and Practice

    • Golden Kingdom

      Golden Kingdom is the first international feature film produced in Myanmar since its recent reopening.

      Golden Kingdom is a narrative feature film about four orphan boys, novice monks living in a Buddhist monastery in a remote part of Northeast Burma. The head monk departs on a long journey from which he may never return, leaving the boys alone in the middle of the forest. Once the boys are on their own, strange, magical occurrences begin to pass. Orphan Witazara realizes he must protect the three other boys throughout this series of bizarre events, which threaten to unravel the fabric of the young monks’ reality.

    • On Meditation (feature length edition)

      On Meditation is a compilation of portraits that explore the deeply personal practice of meditation in all its myriad forms. Practiced for thousands of years, meditation is at once profound and simple: the focused attempt to move beyond conditioned thinking into a deeper state of awareness. Yet, what does that path, one of the inner journey, which is above all a private, interior one really look like? On Meditation conveys first-hand experiences of those who have developed meaningful practices and are willing to share their experiences. From teachers to everyday people to celebrities, the subjects of On Meditation offer a rare glimpse into the private insights and rituals of its subjects.

      This is the feature length edition.

    • A Sinner in Mecca

      For a gay filmmaker, filming in Saudi Arabia presents two serious challenges: filming is forbidden and homosexuality is punishable by death. For filmmaker Parvez Sharma, however, these were risks he had to assume as he undertook the Hajj, a pilgrimage considered the greatest accomplishment and aspiration within Islam, his religion. On his journey Parvez aims to look beyond 21st-century Islam’s crises of religious extremism, commercialism and sectarian battles. He brings back the story of the religion like it has never been told before, having endured the biggest jihad there is: the struggle with the self.

    • Faith Connections

      The Kumbh Mela is one of the world's most extraordinary religious events, a mass Hindu pilgrimage to a sacred river. It attracts 100 million Hindus from around the world. In the miraculous documentary Faith Connections, filmmaker Pan Nalin travels to the Kumbh Mela, and encounters remarkable men of mind and meditation, some facing an inextricable dilemma: to embrace the world or to renounce it. Faith Connections explores diverse and deeply moving stories such as those of a young runaway kid, a Sadhu, a mother desperately looking for her lost son, a yogi who is raising an abandoned baby, and an ascetic who keeps his calm by smoking cannabis, all connected by one faith in a spectacular display of devotion.

    • Bikes vs Cars

      The bicycle, an amazing tool for change. Activists and cities all over the world are moving towards a new system. But will the economic powers allow it? Bikes vs Cars, a new film project from BANANAS!* and Big Boys Gone Bananas!* director Fredrik Gertten, looks into and investigates the daily global drama in traffic around the world.

    • Free the Mind

      In 1992 Professor Richard Davidson, one of the world's leading neuroscientists, met the Dalai Lama, who encouraged him to apply the same rigorous methods he used to study depression and anxiety to the study of compassion and kindness, those qualities cultivated by Tibetan meditation practice. The results of Davidson's studies at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, are portrayed in Free the Mind as they are applied to treating PTSD in returning Iraqi vets and children with ADHD. The film poses two fundamental questions: What really is consciousness, and how does it manifest in the brain and body? And is it possible to physically change the brain solely through mental practices?

    • Yangsi

      Yangsi documents the inspiring life of a young Tibetan boy who is recognized as the reincarnation of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, one of the most revered Tibetan Buddhist masters of the twentieth century. The boy becomes known as The Yangsi, "the one who has come again into existence."

      Narrated by Yangsi Rinpoche, the young teacher gives a first person account of his experience of growing up in, and coming to terms with, his unique inheritance. Beginning with his enthronement at age four before a crowd of fifteen thousand people, the film chronicles his upbringing with unprecedented access, capturing his education in Tibetan philosophy and ritual as well as his leisure time on the basketball court.

      At the age of eighteen he assumes the role of the teacher and embarks on a world tour to continue the work of his predecessor, depicting how Buddhism can be relevant in the modern world.

    • Kumare

      Kumaré is an enlightened guru from the East who builds a following of disciples in the West. But Kumaré is not real. He is an American filmmaker named Vikram Gandhi, who has transformed himself into Kumaré as the centerpiece of a social experiment designed to explore and test one of the world's most sacred taboos.

    • American Mystic

      Set against the rich, color-soaked backdrop of America's rural landscapes, Alex Mar's lyrical first work is a bold and artful documentary that braids together the stories of three young Americans who have chosen to sacrifice comforts in order to embrace the fringes of alternative religion. The subjects include Chuck, a Lakota Sioux sundancer in the badlands of South Dakota; Morpheus, a pagan priestess living off the grid in northern California!s old mining country; and Kublai, a Spiritualist medium in the former revivalist district of upstate New York. In the radical, separatist spirit of early America, each has extracted himself from the mainstream in order to live immersed in his faith and seize a different way of life. Mar takes a personal, visually lush approach, enveloping the viewer in the subjects experience of their controversial faiths through their own words, their rituals, and the sprawling, majestic imagery that makes up each of their worlds.

    • Monk with a Camera

      Nicholas Vreeland walked away from a worldly life of privilege to become a Tibetan Buddhist monk in 1972. Grandson of legendary Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland, and trained by Irving Penn to become a photographer, Nicholas' life changed drastically upon meeting a Tibetan master, one of the teachers of the Dalai Lama. Soon thereafter, he gave up his glamorous life to live in a monastery in India, where he studied Buddhism for fourteen years. In an ironic twist of fate, Nicholas went back to photography to help his fellow monks rebuild their monastery. Recently, the Dalai Lama appointed Nicholas as Abbot of the monastery, making him the first Westerner in Tibetan Buddhist history to attain such a highly regarded position. Monk With a Camera chronicles Nicky's journey from playboy to monk to artist.

    • More than Honey (English narration)

      Beekeepers, scientists and others discuss the world's declining bee population and what it may mean for modern society. Narrated by John Hurt.

    • Crazy Wisdom: The Life and Times of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

      Crazy Wisdom explores the arrival of Tibetan Buddhism in America through the story of Chogyam Trungpa, the brilliant "bad boy of Buddhism" who fled his homeland during the Chinese Communist invasion.

    • The Messenger

      For thousands of years, songbirds were regarded by mankind as messengers from the gods. Today, these creatures have woven inextricably into the fabric of our environment and are vanishing at an alarming rate. Under threat from climate change, pesticides and more, populations of hundreds of species have dipped dramatically. As scientists, activists and bird enthusiasts investigate this phenomenon, amazing secrets of the bird world come to light for the first time in the acclaimed and visually thrilling documentary The Messenger. Find out what's killing our songbirds, and what can be done about it. As in ancient times, songbirds may once again be carrying a message to humans - one that we ignore at our own peril.

    • Steak (R)evolution

      A global pursuit (with layovers in Japan, Argentina, Brazil, France, Spain, the U.S. and other countries) for the best steak in the world, STEAK (R)EVOLUTION features exclusive conversations with chefs, farmers, butchers, steakhouse owners, journalists and experts about the many variables that affect the quality of our meat.

     
     

    Alive Mind Cinema - Video on Demand Catalog

    Browse our full selection of fine films. Roll over the selections below to learn more about each title and watch a trailer. All titles available with Instant Streaming and HD Downloads!

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    • Awake: The Life of Yogananda

      Awake: The Life of Yogananda

      Awake: The Life of Yogananda is an unconventional biography about the Hindu swami who brought yoga and meditation to the West in the 1920s. Paramahansa Yogananda authored the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi, which has sold millions of copies worldwide and is a go-to book for seekers, philosophers and yoga enthusiasts today (apparently, it was the only book that Steve Jobs had on his iPad). By personalizing his own quest for enlightenment and sharing his struggles along the path, Yogananda made ancient Vedic teachings accessible to a modern audience, attracting many followers and inspiring the millions who practice yoga today. Filmed over three years with the participation of 30 countries around the world, the documentary examines the world of yoga, modern and ancient, east and west, and explores why millions today have turned their attention inwards, bucking the limitations of the material world in pursuit of Self-realization.

    • When the Iron Bird Flies

      When the Iron Bird Flies

      'When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels, the Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the face of the earth." - Guru Padmasambhava of Tibet, 8th Century


      In 1959, the Chinese invasion of Tibet threw opened the doors to the mysterious realm of Tibetan Buddhism and suddenly this rich, ancient tradition was propelled into the modern world. Half a century later, Padmasambhava's prophecy has come true and the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism are found in every corner of the earth.

      Now, the key question is - “In these increasingly challenging times, can these profound teachings help us find genuine happiness and create a saner, more compassionate 21st century world?”

      When the Iron Bird Flies takes on the daring task of understanding the many ways that these ancient teachings are meeting modern Western minds and hearts. The film is breathtaking in its historical scope and provocative in its exploration of the groundbreaking meeting of East and West that is at the heart of this new Buddhism.

      Through candid interviews with contemporary teachers and practitioners, rare archival footage, and striking images of modern life that illuminate and make accessible the Buddha's core teachings, the film creates a vivid and entertaining portrait of the world of Tibetan Buddhism in the West.

      “When the Iron Bird Flies is a creative and wide-ranging guide to the spread of a rich spiritual tradition. It’s an invaluable resource to newcomers and seasoned devotees of Tibetan Buddhism.” – from a review in Spirituality and Practice

    • Golden Kingdom

      Golden Kingdom

      Golden Kingdom is the first international feature film produced in Myanmar since its recent reopening.

      Golden Kingdom is a narrative feature film about four orphan boys, novice monks living in a Buddhist monastery in a remote part of Northeast Burma. The head monk departs on a long journey from which he may never return, leaving the boys alone in the middle of the forest. Once the boys are on their own, strange, magical occurrences begin to pass. Orphan Witazara realizes he must protect the three other boys throughout this series of bizarre events, which threaten to unravel the fabric of the young monks’ reality.

    • On Meditation (feature length edition)

      On Meditation (feature length edition)

      On Meditation is a compilation of portraits that explore the deeply personal practice of meditation in all its myriad forms. Practiced for thousands of years, meditation is at once profound and simple: the focused attempt to move beyond conditioned thinking into a deeper state of awareness. Yet, what does that path, one of the inner journey, which is above all a private, interior one really look like? On Meditation conveys first-hand experiences of those who have developed meaningful practices and are willing to share their experiences. From teachers to everyday people to celebrities, the subjects of On Meditation offer a rare glimpse into the private insights and rituals of its subjects.

      This is the feature length edition.

    • A Sinner in Mecca

      A Sinner in Mecca

      For a gay filmmaker, filming in Saudi Arabia presents two serious challenges: filming is forbidden and homosexuality is punishable by death. For filmmaker Parvez Sharma, however, these were risks he had to assume as he undertook the Hajj, a pilgrimage considered the greatest accomplishment and aspiration within Islam, his religion. On his journey Parvez aims to look beyond 21st-century Islam’s crises of religious extremism, commercialism and sectarian battles. He brings back the story of the religion like it has never been told before, having endured the biggest jihad there is: the struggle with the self.

    • Faith Connections

      Faith Connections

      The Kumbh Mela is one of the world's most extraordinary religious events, a mass Hindu pilgrimage to a sacred river. It attracts 100 million Hindus from around the world. In the miraculous documentary Faith Connections, filmmaker Pan Nalin travels to the Kumbh Mela, and encounters remarkable men of mind and meditation, some facing an inextricable dilemma: to embrace the world or to renounce it. Faith Connections explores diverse and deeply moving stories such as those of a young runaway kid, a Sadhu, a mother desperately looking for her lost son, a yogi who is raising an abandoned baby, and an ascetic who keeps his calm by smoking cannabis, all connected by one faith in a spectacular display of devotion.

    • Bikes vs Cars

      Bikes vs Cars

      The bicycle, an amazing tool for change. Activists and cities all over the world are moving towards a new system. But will the economic powers allow it? Bikes vs Cars, a new film project from BANANAS!* and Big Boys Gone Bananas!* director Fredrik Gertten, looks into and investigates the daily global drama in traffic around the world.

    • Free the Mind

      Free the Mind

      In 1992 Professor Richard Davidson, one of the world's leading neuroscientists, met the Dalai Lama, who encouraged him to apply the same rigorous methods he used to study depression and anxiety to the study of compassion and kindness, those qualities cultivated by Tibetan meditation practice. The results of Davidson's studies at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, are portrayed in Free the Mind as they are applied to treating PTSD in returning Iraqi vets and children with ADHD. The film poses two fundamental questions: What really is consciousness, and how does it manifest in the brain and body? And is it possible to physically change the brain solely through mental practices?

    • Yangsi

      Yangsi

      Yangsi documents the inspiring life of a young Tibetan boy who is recognized as the reincarnation of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, one of the most revered Tibetan Buddhist masters of the twentieth century. The boy becomes known as The Yangsi, "the one who has come again into existence."

      Narrated by Yangsi Rinpoche, the young teacher gives a first person account of his experience of growing up in, and coming to terms with, his unique inheritance. Beginning with his enthronement at age four before a crowd of fifteen thousand people, the film chronicles his upbringing with unprecedented access, capturing his education in Tibetan philosophy and ritual as well as his leisure time on the basketball court.

      At the age of eighteen he assumes the role of the teacher and embarks on a world tour to continue the work of his predecessor, depicting how Buddhism can be relevant in the modern world.

    • Kumare

      Kumare

      Kumaré is an enlightened guru from the East who builds a following of disciples in the West. But Kumaré is not real. He is an American filmmaker named Vikram Gandhi, who has transformed himself into Kumaré as the centerpiece of a social experiment designed to explore and test one of the world's most sacred taboos.

    • American Mystic

      American Mystic

      Set against the rich, color-soaked backdrop of America's rural landscapes, Alex Mar's lyrical first work is a bold and artful documentary that braids together the stories of three young Americans who have chosen to sacrifice comforts in order to embrace the fringes of alternative religion. The subjects include Chuck, a Lakota Sioux sundancer in the badlands of South Dakota; Morpheus, a pagan priestess living off the grid in northern California!s old mining country; and Kublai, a Spiritualist medium in the former revivalist district of upstate New York. In the radical, separatist spirit of early America, each has extracted himself from the mainstream in order to live immersed in his faith and seize a different way of life. Mar takes a personal, visually lush approach, enveloping the viewer in the subjects experience of their controversial faiths through their own words, their rituals, and the sprawling, majestic imagery that makes up each of their worlds.

    • Monk with a Camera

      Monk with a Camera

      Nicholas Vreeland walked away from a worldly life of privilege to become a Tibetan Buddhist monk in 1972. Grandson of legendary Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland, and trained by Irving Penn to become a photographer, Nicholas' life changed drastically upon meeting a Tibetan master, one of the teachers of the Dalai Lama. Soon thereafter, he gave up his glamorous life to live in a monastery in India, where he studied Buddhism for fourteen years. In an ironic twist of fate, Nicholas went back to photography to help his fellow monks rebuild their monastery. Recently, the Dalai Lama appointed Nicholas as Abbot of the monastery, making him the first Westerner in Tibetan Buddhist history to attain such a highly regarded position. Monk With a Camera chronicles Nicky's journey from playboy to monk to artist.

    • More than Honey (English narration)

      More than Honey (English narration)

      Beekeepers, scientists and others discuss the world's declining bee population and what it may mean for modern society. Narrated by John Hurt.

    • Crazy Wisdom: The Life and Times of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

      Crazy Wisdom: The Life and Times of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

      Crazy Wisdom explores the arrival of Tibetan Buddhism in America through the story of Chogyam Trungpa, the brilliant "bad boy of Buddhism" who fled his homeland during the Chinese Communist invasion.

    • The Messenger

      The Messenger

      For thousands of years, songbirds were regarded by mankind as messengers from the gods. Today, these creatures have woven inextricably into the fabric of our environment and are vanishing at an alarming rate. Under threat from climate change, pesticides and more, populations of hundreds of species have dipped dramatically. As scientists, activists and bird enthusiasts investigate this phenomenon, amazing secrets of the bird world come to light for the first time in the acclaimed and visually thrilling documentary The Messenger. Find out what's killing our songbirds, and what can be done about it. As in ancient times, songbirds may once again be carrying a message to humans - one that we ignore at our own peril.

    • Steak (R)evolution

      Steak (R)evolution

      A global pursuit (with layovers in Japan, Argentina, Brazil, France, Spain, the U.S. and other countries) for the best steak in the world, STEAK (R)EVOLUTION features exclusive conversations with chefs, farmers, butchers, steakhouse owners, journalists and experts about the many variables that affect the quality of our meat.