Best Spiritual and Mindful Movies for Meditation Lovers

Last Updated: January 1, 2024

Best Spiritual and Mindful Movies for Meditation Lovers

Best Spiritual and Mindful Movies for Meditation  Lovers

A movie is a projection of a world that we choose to indulge in for a specified amount of time. It gives us the ability to link ourselves to a particular character, or situation that we’re presented to. Movies offer an escape from the world we’re accustomed to seeing when we wake up every morning.  

 Movies help us understand the concept of spirituality through the various experiences of the characters.  We can actually see the effects of meditation in real life through different stories and work on what's best for us. 

Seven Years in Tibet:  1997

Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, and starring Brad Pitt, Seven Years in Tibet is a 1997 American biographical war drama film. Heinrich Harrer, an egocentric Austrian mountaineer who abandons his pregnant wife for his thirst of fame undergoes a spiritual transformation through his contact with Tibetan Buddhists. By the time he returns home, he is a gentler and more sensitive man.  

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Harrer tutors the 14 year old Dalai Lama in western ways and learns about compassion, humility and slowing down from the holy one. He undergoes a painful kind of emotional purification from the deep regret over a life of selfishness and his friendship with the teenage Dalai Lama, the spiritual and political leader of Tibetan Buddhism. 

I Am: 2010

  I AM is a 2010 American documentary by the filmmaker Tom Shadyac after a near death experience which led him to the question: “what is wrong with the world, and what can we do about it?”.  He interviews philosophers, scientists and others to find out ways in which people can improve the way they live. 

The documentary explores Shadyac’s personal journey leading him to the answers “the nature of humanity”, “the world's growing addiction to materialism” and “human connections”. While the main motive was to find what’s wrong with our world, by the end of the documentary he ended up discovering what’s right with it. 

A Mindful Choice: 2016

 A mindful choice is a 2016 film by Tony Simpson which shows individuals and communities using meditation to improve their lives. Happiness and self-fulfillment are possible for each of us if we make the choice. The power of people sharing from a place of profound peace delivers an intense and moving experience.

 Two modern day monks meet a diverse range of people making a choice for a better life through meditation. Ballet dancers and writers, stressed business people, a cancer patient, foster children and maximum-security prisoners; their stories show peace is possible for individuals and communities - and suggests it may be possible for all of humanity. 

The Dhamma Brothers: 2007

The Dhamma Brothers is a documentary released in 2007 about a prison meditation program at Donaldson Correctional Facility in Alabama by psychotherapist Jenny Phillips. It is based on the principles of Vipassana meditation and is conducted in total silence. The documentary tells a dramatic tale of human potential and transformation as it closely follows and documents the stories of the prison inmates. 

The dhamma brothers explores the lives of four convicted murderers before, during and after the arduous retreats, as well as reactions from residents of the nearby town of Bessemer, many of whom object to the program on religious or social grounds.

Walk With Me: 2017

Walk with me is a 2017 documentary filmed over three years  and focuses on the daily life and rituals of the monastics, accompanied by teachings from Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh’s early journals. It is a journey into the world of monastic community that practises the art of mindfulness. 

Walk with me is a meditative film about a community of Zen Buddhist monks and nuns. This  film travels deep inside a world that seems far from our everyday, and reveals how the monastics transform suffering in themselves and in others through their deep inquiry into the nature of existence, suffering, and their true selves.

Wake Up Documentary: 2010

 The documentary, Wake up, follows a fascinating story of an average guy who inexplicably develops the ability to access other dimensions. Jonas Elrod woke up one day with the ability to see and hear angles, demons, auras and ghosts and this documentary follows his journey for the next three years to find out why.  

The makers of this documentary have done us a real service by making it clear that the spiritual journey is always filled with darkness, soulful questions, doubts and mystery. It cannot be rationally explained or logically answered. A vision quest finally brings Jonas some peace and deep gratitude for all aspects of his life. 

Awake: The Life Of Yogananda : 2014

Awake: the life of Yogananda is a 2014 documentary about the Indian yogi and guru Paramahansa Yogananda who came to the west in the 1920s to teach yoga and meditation. It is a unique biopic about Yogananda, telling the story of his life and influence on yoga, religion and science, combining re-enactment, interviews, and verité.

 Yogananda spent 15 years in the United States speaking, teaching, and setting up centers. He was one of the first yogis to share techniques for controlling and rewiring the brain. Paramahansa Yogananda, seeking enlightenment and sharing his struggles along the path to it, brings ancient teachings to a contemporary audience. The documentary is a rounded portrait of the father of yoga in the west that celebrates his practical and uplifting art of spiritual living.

Samsara: 2011

Samsara is a 2011 American non-narrative documentary film of international imagery. It was filmed for over nearly five years in 25 countries on five continents. Samsara explores the wonders of our world from the mundane to the miraculous, looking into the unfathomable reaches of humanity’s spirituality and the human experience.

 Samsara takes the form of a nonverbal, guided meditation. While “samsara” travels the globe, it maintains the theme of life and death, permanence and impermanence and the flow and rhythm of our world’s energy.

Peaceful Warrior: 2006

Peaceful warrior is a 2006 drama film directed by Victor Salva and written by Kevin Bernhardt based on the novel by Dan Millman. The movie is about a college student and a world champion gymnast who is disturbed and wants to add some meaning to his life. The story is about his spiritual transformation. 

In the movie, Peaceful warrior, Dan discovers an enlightened way ahead through a chance encounter. The most important message that he learns through the whole movie is to be present. We also need to learn to be in the moment and do our best and not worry about anything except what we do. 

Conclusion: Spiritual and Mindful Movies

Movies help us to indulge ourselves in various situations and stories that normally wouldn't be possible for us and learn lessons from it. We don't have to experience a spiritual breakthrough in our life to learn something from it. Movies and various documentaries help us understand spirituality and mindfulness by sharing other people’s stories and letting us emerge ourselves in them. 

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