Lights! Camera! Right Action!
August 1, 2013

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Last weekend we had a remarkable event — Finding Happiness, the movie about Ananda communities, had its debut theater showing. Lines literally stretched around the block as nearly 700 people streamed into the Del Oro Theater in Grass Valley, California. Several people have written about the showing and about the weekend’s events using phrases such as: “beyond wonderful” and “the most beautiful event of my life.”

Finding Happiness is a docu-drama, an enactment of a true story using a combination of actors and the actual people involved. A reporter is sent on assignment to write about Ananda as a positive alternative to the problems of greed and loneliness in society. The audience watches, through her eyes, as she explores the community and interviews people. There was not a dry eye in the theater during the scene where Swami Kriyananda gives her a blessing before she leaves. We were extremely fortunate to have a deeply spiritual and well-known actress, Elizabeth Rohm, playing the key role. This movie deserves wide distribution, which will begin in small theaters in the fall followed by DVD sales starting in November.

It feels like one of those moments where Ananda’s history could shift completely. Film is immersive and powerful tool to influence consciousness. And yet, almost all films pull energy down through violence and sensuality. Rarely does one come along that awakens our soul. This is such a one.

Coincidentally a second movie just finished a month-long shoot at Ananda. The Answer, with an autobiographical script written by Swami Kriyananda, shows how his life, and especially his discipleship, can provide answers to our deepest questions. This is still a work in progress and a year away from the theaters.

Paramhansa Yogananda used to take his disciples to the movies. During the most dramatic scenes, he would tap a disciple on the shoulder, point up to the beam of light, and say, “It’s all a play of light and darkness.” Life itself, he explained was like a movie where we are both the audience and the actors.

Ananda has had a crash course in filmmaking this last year. But this is filmmaking with a deep goal. Master said that the highest goal is to seek God in order to share him with all. Our prayer is that these films will accomplish that purpose, reaching and changing an entirely new mindscape.

In joy,

Jyotish

 

8 thoughts on “Lights! Camera! Right Action!

  1. Connor

    The experience of watching the film with so many brother and sister devotees gave the feeling of watching home movies with your family- your very large spiritual family!

  2. Kristy

    A few of us from our local community were able to attend the Finding Happiness movie debut in Grass Valley. It was truly a joy to the soul to watch and be a part of this momentous occasion. You will love it!

  3. Bhagavati

    Being at the premiere of “Finding Happiness” was a glorious experience and I can hardly wait until it comes out in theaters everywhere, so I can see it again on the big screen. Heartfelt thanks to all those whose energy, time, resources, and talent made it possible.

  4. Carina Raeburn

    I watched the italian premiere of the movie “Finding Happiness” back in april, near Assisi, shortly after Swamijis passing. It was such a deeply touching and inspiring experience and i will treasure it for the rest of my life.

  5. Carina Raeburn

    I watched the italian premiere of the movie “Finding Happiness” back in april, near Assisi, shortly after Swamijis passing. It was such a deeply touching and inspiring experience for me and i will treasure it for the rest of my life.

  6. Jim Williams

    As Master said, “God wants us to behave with detachment, realizing we are only actors or observers in His cosmic show…He wants to see who will remain un-intimidated by this picture, and who will play his part well and come back to Him…It is only because we are too much identified with the play that we are in trouble…If you could see what is going on behind the screen of this life, you wouldn’t suffer at all. It is a cosmic motion-picture show.”

  7. kamini bhasin

    I watched the movie Finding Happiness with my Ananda group in our Bangalore Centre. I found it most enriching. It indeed touched the core of my heart. I truly feel blessed to have come on this path through Swami Kriyananda.

    Kamini

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