10 Best Spiritual Documentaries Streaming on Gaia
Challenges abound today, both individually and collectively. As a result, many people continue to search for answers, guidance, or information to help them cope, grow, and transcend. Spiritual documentaries are a beneficial resource to help with this, showing us more and more about the universe and our role within it. Use them to expand your awareness, heal from emotional trauma, and change your life for the better. To help begin or continue on your journey, Gaia offers a vast collection of spiritual documentaries and films to choose from.
As an on-demand streaming service, Gaia offers subscribers the largest resource found online today for consciousness-expanding video content. The platform shares informative and creative films, original shows, and yoga and meditation classes.
Wherever you are in your journey or starting one, these resources are helpful and even life-transforming. Below is a list of the ten best titles to check out today.
The best spiritual documentaries include:
Must Watch Top 10 List
Although different topics and documentaries will attract different individuals, the following list of the 10 best spiritual documentaries on Gaia will set you on a path to discovery. Get started on these must-watch films today and see where it leads you next.
Searching for a way out of crippling anxiety, panic attacks, and fear, successful entrepreneur James Sebastiano decides to embark on a worldwide, life-changing journey of self-discovery and documents what he finds in his film, Chasing the Present.
Along the way, he listens to thought leaders from a variety of backgrounds, becoming immersed in plant medicine and meditation. This documentary includes interviews with experts including Zelda Hall (psychotherapist), Graham Hancock (journalist), Alex Grey (artist), and Gary Weber (meditation and yoga teacher).
Sebastiano finds that no one is immune to mental health issues and anxiety while discovering that true happiness and beauty lies in the struggle inherent to the human condition. A Best Documentary winner at the Chelsea Film Festival, Chasing the Present is one of the best documentaries on spiritual awakening.
Year Released: 2019
Length: 1 hour, 33 minutes
Director: Mark Waters
Becoming Nobody encompasses the life and teachings of Harvard professor Richard Alpert, who later became known as the spiritual guru Ram Dass, presented in stories, archival footage, and engaging interviews with director Jamie Catto. Ram Dass explains how the majority of human beings are born into the “somebody” type of training and that choosing to become nobody instead will release you from the overarching demands of the ego and lead to ultimate freedom.
Ram Dass bridges the gap between Eastern and Western philosophies, sharing his discoveries of truth and wisdom learned during his travels throughout India. In this documentary, he reveals how disguises and old roles become much like a prison to us. To free ourselves, we must move past these definitions of who we are or are meant to be.
Release Date: 2019
Length: 1 hour, 22 minutes
Director: Jamie Catto
Discover how the concept of spiritual living and the practice of yoga came to America in the 1920s with the arrival of Paramahansa Yogananda, and learn how influential his teachings still are today. Yogananda was the first to bring Eastern teachings into the West and provided an inspiring example of how all people can live with authenticity and purpose.
Throughout the film, you’ll explore the teachings by the author of the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi, accompanied by interviews with yoga teachers, students, and scientists. You’ll hear from spiritual thought leaders, including Deepak Chopra, Ravi Shankar, and Krishna Da. You’ll also hear from physicist and Harvard Professor Dr. Anita Goel, as well as modern-day followers of Yogananda’s teachings, such as musician George Harrison. Within these interviews, you’ll gain an understanding of the profound impact his teachings have had and continue to have today for any spiritual seeker.
Year Released: 2014
Length: 1 hour, 27 minutes
Directors: Paola de Florio and Lisa Leeman
Mythologist, philosopher, and American author Joseph Campbell coined the concept of “the hero’s journey,” depicting an archetype found deep within all stories. In this inspiring and uplifting spiritual documentary, writer, producer, and director Patrick Takaya Solomon examines Campbell’s life and work by showcasing the wisdom of notable names, including Deepak Chopra, Rashida Jones, Robin Sharma, and many others.
Taking it a step further and centering in on Campbell’s “follow your bliss” advice, interviews with skateboarder Tony Hawk, drummer Mick Fleetwood, and pro-surfer Laird Hamilton provide more insight into the hero’s journey and what it means for them.
Overall, Finding Joe is an inspirational film that reveals the journey we all must take in order to discover our purpose.
Year Released: 2011
Length: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Director: Patrick Takaya Solomon
The What the BLEEP Do We Know!? film is one of the most successful spiritual documentaries of all time.
At the center of the story is Amanda (Marlee Martin), a neuroscientist whose life seemingly begins to unravel after the death of a friend. As she enters into the unexpected quantum field that hides behind what is considered reality, Amanda struggles with her newfound spiritual abilities and the true nature of reality.
Mystics and scientists, share ideas and wisdom on quantum physics, quantum mechanics, neurology, evolutionary thought, and spirituality, all leading to an interwoven conclusion explaining how all things are connected. A combination of story, inspiring animations, and visuals, this film elicits an Alice in Wonderland effect that will leave you thinking.
Year Released: 2004
Length: 1 hour, 48 minutes
Directors: Mark Vicente, Betsy Chasse, William Arntz
In an attempt to understand what is so wrong with this world and what can be done about it, successful filmmaker and comedian Tom Shadyac embarks on a journey for answers by seeking out spiritual and intellectual leaders across the globe. He shares eye-opening discussions with philosophers, religious leaders, scientists, and more, finding answers about the nature of humanity, the escalating attachment to materialism, and the important role of human connection.
Those he interviews include historian and playwright Howard Zinn, intention author Lynne McTaggart, linguistics professor Noam Chomsky, evolutionary biologist Elisabet Sahtouris, geneticist David Suzuki, and South African Anglican Bishop and Theologian Desmond Tutu.
Year Released: 2011
Length: 1 hour, 17 minutes
Director: Tom Shadyac
Returning to the law of attraction many learned about in Rhonda Byrne’s successful book and movie, The Secret, this documentary film digs in deeper.
Follow along as three college students embark on a journey to investigate the truth behind the law of attraction phenomenon and experience what they unexpectedly discover along the way. You’ll hear from compelling religious, scientific, and spiritual leaders as they share what makes the law of attraction work, why it sometimes fails to work, and ways to avoid mistakes so that you can use it to the fullest.
From understanding how negative thoughts and limiting beliefs influence your subconscious to the impact of positive thoughts on your life, this film shares what you can do to improve the outcomes.
Year Released: 2008
Run time: 58 minutes
Director: David Priest
Could ancient wisdom and spiritual practices be the solution to today’s modern problems? Find out as you join the journey to explore the myths surrounding reality in this documentary guided by Mike Zapolin and Michelle Rodriguez.
Explore the relationship between religion, spirituality, and the healing potential of plant medicines such as Ayahuasca, which is used by ancient cultures throughout the world. You’ll also hear from spiritual leaders, including Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Ram Dass, Bruce Lipton, Michael Beckwith, and more. The Reality of Truth was the winner of the Van Gogh Award at the 2016 Amsterdam Film Festival and continues to be one of the most thought-provoking documentaries streaming online today.
Year Released: 2016
Length: 1 hour, 9 minutes
Director: Laurent Levy and Mike Zapolin
In this docuseries, Gaia takes you on a trip across India, exploring mystical landscapes and ashrams while providing insight into various yoga traditions through unprecedented conversations with spiritual leaders.
These interviews will speak to your heart and provide encouragement to pursue your own journey of self-discovery, helping you go beyond the physical and ordinary to guide you to true freedom.
Year Released: 2017
Producer: Tatyanna Wright
Kalachakra, or “the wheel of time,” is the highest initiation within Tibetan Buddhism. This secretive ceremony, often led by the Dalai Lama, is rarely filmed, which makes this documentary an important addition to the available spiritual resources today.
The story begins with a woman who suffers the loss of a sister early in life and, once older, begins to question what purpose her life has in this world. Set in the vibrant location of Dharamsala, India, the woman, as well as three individuals with differing backgrounds, begin to face their fears as the transformational power of the initiation and spiritual experience approaches. During the ritual, they each enter into an unknown and ancient dimension, which will change them forever.
Year Released: 2017
Length: 1 hour, 24 minutes
Director: Natalie Fuchs
Start Your Spiritual Journey with Gaia
On your journey of self-discovery and personal growth, spiritual movies can be beneficial by providing new ways of looking at reality and learning how to live a more meaningful life.
With access to Gaia’s streaming service, you can choose from our Spiritual Growth collection of videos and watch them at your own pace.
Shared Death Experiences; Supernatural Events Around the Dying
New research is shedding light on Shared Death Experiences; when the living accompany the dying on their journey into what may lie beyond.
While there has been a good deal of attention paid to the Near-Death Experience, very little is known by the general public about the Shared Death Experience (SDE).
A new research survey is the first of its kind to explore at length this fascinating phenomenon.
William Peters is the founder of the Shared Crossing Project, which is dedicated to educating people about the transformative experiences of the dying. He is also the author of the recently published book “At Heaven’s Door.”
“A Shared Death Experience occurs when somebody dies and a loved one, caregiver, bystander expresses that they feel like they shared in the transition of the dying from this human life to a life beyond and into the initial stages of the afterlife,” Peters said. “There are a variety of ways to be an SDE experiencer, you can be at bedside; about one-third of our cases are from experiencers who are just at the bedside in the room when someone is dying. Two-thirds are remote, that means they’re not even at the bedside when someone is dying, they’re doing life somewhere oftentimes they’re sleeping and they find themselves drawn into an experience, the shared death experience, in which they’re sharing a variety of phenomena.”
Peters has interviewed hundreds of people about their experiences and estimates that up to a quarter of the world’s population may have had an SDE.
The Shared Crossing Research Initiative’s recent survey of SDE accounts brings forth the range of phenomena common to the experience.
“So the most common phenomena would be this: alteration in the time-space continuum in the room. So, all of a sudden if you’re with them or even if you’re remote, you get a little dizzy, you realize your world is getting a little warped. Then you might feel a pressure, a pull upon your chest. If you’re bedside you might see a spirit, the soul-spirit leaving the body. It can look like steam, smoke, or mist coming off of the body. You’ll notice the light is changing all around you. People 51 percent of the time report seeing the dying. They report seeing the dying moving on a journey, and there is often communication with them. But they are with this loved one, presumably because that’s what it is most of the time, witnessing this transition,” Peters said.