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The Global Spirit Series
Other CEM Documentaries
The Lunch with Bokara Series

Global Spirit Series

Global Spirit, the first "internal travel" series that investigates the most urgent existential, philosophical and spiritual issues of the 21st century.


Love, Fear, and Beyond with Carlos Santana, Cindy Blackman, Jerry Jimpolsky, Diane Jimpolsky

Love, Fear and Beyond

This program explores the relationship between love and fear and the profound possibilities that arise when one learns to live life from a place of love rather than from fear. Program guests include guitarist and spiritual practitioner Carlos Santana, drummer-composer Cindy Blackman-Santana and authors and therapists Jerry Jampolsky and Diane Cirincione-Jampolsky.


Inside Sacred Texts

This program explores the origins, translations and interpretations of sacred or revered texts and sheds light on the mystical experience these texts often originate from. The program brings Willis Barnstone, Cynthia Borgeault, and Ken McLeod, three knowledgeable engaging scholars, translators, and practitioners from three faiths together to explore how these seminal texts, which form the foundation of most world religions and have influenced entire civilizations, are in some cases, now being reappraised.

The Power of Community

The Power of Community

This Global Spirit program focuses onthe powerful role that spiritually-based communities have played for hundreds ofyears, and continue to play, in supporting the well-being, spiritual growth, and transformations of many individuals. Two spiritually-based communities are featured in this episode, one Zen Buddhis, lead by Roshi Joan Halifax, and one Christian Contemplative, led by Adam Bucko, both grounded in theirpractices of meditation, prayer, and social service.

Sacred Travel: The Pilgrimage Experience

Sacred Travel:
The Pilgrimage Experience

This unique Global Spirit program with acclaimed travel writer and essayist Pico Iyer and Peruvian anthropologist Zoila Mendoza, explores and follows the actual experience of Pilgrimage, journeying with the Global Spirit team, to India and the ancient pilgrimage sites of Varanasi, the ancient Hindu city of light, Allahabad, where three sacred rivers, the Ganges, the Yamuna, and the Saraswati all converge, and to Bodh Gaya, the most important Buddhist pilgrimage site on earth, site of the Bodhi Tree, under which the Buddha sat for 49 days and attained enlightenment.


The Call of Wisdom

The Call of Wisdom

This program examines the nature of wisdom, how it can be both universally recognized yet expressed in different ways by different traditions, and why our survival today as a species and a planet will almost certainly depend on it. The program features Jean Shinoda Bolen MD., an author, activist and Jungian analyst who has written several books on the archetypal psyche of women and menin the development of human consciousness, meeting Roger Walsh MD.,Ph.D. a professor of psychiatry, philosophy and anthropology,who recently edited a book on how Wisdom can be understood and cultivated.


Sacred Ecology

This program explores the natural world as an access point to the sacred and presents two extraordinary individuals from different religious traditions: eco-philosopher Joanna Macy PhD, a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology meets for the first time, Dr. Michael Tobias a global ecologist, anthropologist, historian, author and practicing Jain. Join them, along with our host Phil Cousineau for a unique, far-reaching and timely conversation.


The Search for God

This program brings together philosopher and author Jacob Needleman with Sufi teacher Pir Zia Inayat Khan, to share their unique insights on the concept and the experience of “God.” In addition to their engaging studio conversation, this program includes unique original footage from a spiritual retreat led by Pir Zia, along with a discussion of God by philosophy group led by Jacob Needleman.


Stories to Remember

This unique program brings together two guests that use the power of story and storytelling, to remember what is important. Kay Olan, a renowned storyteller from the Mohawk nation in upstate New York, meets community organizer & youth mentor, Orland Bishop, who brings the power of story and African wisdom traditions to his work with members of the notorious LA gangs, the Crips and Bloods.


The Art of Living and Dying

This Global Spirit program presents a powerful conversation between two dedicated spiritual leaders in the end-of-life movement. Harpist, singer and lay Benedictine Therese Schroeder-Sheker, who founded the Chalice of Repose Project, joins Frank Ostaseski, the Zen Hospice founder and Director of the Metta Institute, to explore how a more conscious relationship to death can radically shift our experience of life.


The InterSpiritual Dialogue

with Father Thomas Keating

For the first time in 25 years, video cameras were invited to document The Snowmass Interspiritual Conference, led by Cistercian monk and author Father Thomas Keating. This program illustrates a new era of spiritual consciousness and a new level of communication and exchange among many of the world’s spiritual and contemplative traditions.


Exploring Consciousness : East & West

The program features Sraddhalu Ranade, a teacher and scientist from the ancient Hindu tradition of Vedanta, who comes to the Global Spirit studio from the Sri Aurobindo ashram in South India to meet Peter Russell, an author and spiritual practitioner with decades of relevant research and a background in physics and psychology from Cambridge University.


Rumi & The Sufi Path of Love

This program takes viewers into the poetry and teachings of the renowned 13th century sufi philosopher and poet Jalaluddin Rumi. To give texture, depth and a deeper understanding to the poetry and the philosophical teachings of Rumi, this Global Spirit program brings together two knowledgeable studio guests from different generations, cultures and linguistic traditions: Sheikh Kabir Helminski, a Sufi teacher of the Mevlevi sufi tradition and Parisa Soultani, the Persian co-producer and host of the multi-lingual Rumi website:


The Mystical Experience

In this Global Spirit program, host Phil Cousineau joins Brother David Steindl-Rast, Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man and Maata Lynn Barron to shed light on some of the common attributes of those who yearn for and reach, however momentarily, what they describe as a direct experience of God or the Divine. From the ancient Jewish Kabbalah and Islamic Sufi practices, to the spiritual illumination and epiphanies experienced through monastic contemplation, "" explores both experiential and analytical approaches to this rich subject.


Dreams, Visions and Realities

This program features Yidumduma Bill Harney, a master storyteller, painter, and highly-respected Wardaman elder who is committed to teaching traditional practice and understanding to the youth in his culture, and Stephen Aizenstat, a dream specialist who has studied the way symbols, archetypes and individual’s dreams reveal “Nature’s dreaming.”


art and the creative spirit

Art and the Creative Spirit

This lively program explores various sacred art forms with artists working with the spiritual aspect of the creative process, Buddhist Lama Lhanang Rinpoche and Pueblo Indian sculptor Estella Loretto. Visually engaging and emotionally uplifting,their conversation imparts new insights and discoveries about sacred art and the creative spirit within spiritual traditions from parts of the world as seemingly disconnected as Tibet and the American Southwest.

forgiveness and healing

Forgiveness and Healing

This program explores forgiveness and healing on a personal and societal level, featuring psychotherapist Dr. Ed Tick and his wife Kate Dahlstedt who lead a group of traumatized Vietnam War vets back to the land where they fought and killed. Program guest Azim Khamisa traces how he learned to forgive the boy who murdered his own son. Now Khamisa works with the killer's grandfather to foster forgiveness and healing workshops with young audiences all over the world.

earth wisdom

Earth Wisdom

This program focuses on the wisdom of indigenous peoples and their values and practices that have promoted heightened consciousness, spiritual harmony and a life in balance with nature. Filmed at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, host Phil Cousineau joins over 2000 representatives of native societies throughout the world attempting to get their voices heard on climate change and other critical environmental issues.

in search of ecstasy

In Search of Ecstasy

This program explores the "ecstatic state" — a global phenomenon found in many spiritual, religious and wisdom traditions. Host Cousineau is joined by guests Sobonfu Somé, author and teacher of African spirituality, and Andrew Harvey, a British scholar specializing in the works and teachings of Jalaluddin Rumi. This program explores the ecstatic trance in cultures around the world, and the special role it plays in spiritual and religious practices.


sound of the soul


Sound of the soul

A compelling portrait of an Arab country where Muslims, Christians, and Jews have lived together in relative peace for centuries. An inspiring antidote to religious fundamentalism and violence, SOUND OF THE SOUL filmed at the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music, ultimately reveals the essential Oneness among all faiths, so aptly expressed in the Afghan singer Farida Mahwash's closing affirmation: "Music has no religion, no borders, no boundaries. Music is the sound of the soul."


oneness the big picture

Oneness -- The Big Picture

In this program, Deepak Chopra, physician and best-selling author of books on spirituality and mind-body healing, shares his philosophical insights on Oneness, with co-guest Riane Eisler, social scientist, best-selling author and historian. Their engaging discussion alternates with segments from the documentary film One The Movie, directed by Ward Powers.

the journey towards oneness

The Journey Towards Oneness

Beneath the seeming differences that separate the world's religions, there is a deep undercurrent of teachings that point in the direction of Oneness, or "Unity Consciousness" - the indivisible totality of all creation, all beliefs, all religions and of the universe itself. This program explores the concept of Oneness, and traces its evolution and expression through seemingly different religious and spiritual traditions. Physicist Ravi Rivindra and Sufi mystic Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee bring a wealth of insights and revelations to the discussion, spanning the realms of both science and mysticism.

the spiritual quest

The Spiritual Quest

The Spiritual Quest is often understood as a desire to reach God, or to attain spiritual enlightenment. It is a search that is often challenging, full of questions and uncertainties. In this program, Phil Cousineau hosts comparative religion scholar Karen Armstrong and Professor of Buddhist studies Dr. Robert Thurman for a discussion of The Spiritual Quest as both a personal and religious phenomenon.

the shaman and the spirit healer

The Shaman, the Spirit Healer, and the Earth

Compared with those who grew up in the western, industrialized world, indigenous peoples have a profoundly different relationship to Nature, to the Earth and to the realm of the Spirit. For native peoples everywhere, life is a gift that must be respected and honored.

In this Global Spirit episode, host Phil Cousineau is joined by Flordemayo, a Mayan spirit healer, and Angaangaq, an Eskimo-Kalaalit Shaman from Greenland. Meeting for the first time, these two indigenous guests share their ancient wisdom and knowledge about man's relationship to nature, as well as the profoundly sacred nature of all life — including sacred healing practices from the world of spirits, animals and plants.


music, sound and the sacred


Music, Sound and the Sacred

This program explores the transcendent qualities of spiritual and sacred music with guests Rev. Alan Jones and Grammy-award-winning singer Joanne Shenandoah a member of the Native American Onondaga tribe. The program features liturgical musical performances in Latin and a live studio performance by Joanne and Lia Shenandoah.



Healing A Soldier's Heart

Healing A Soldier's Heart

This film provides an unforgettable journey back to Vietnam, through what Dr. Tick calls “their second, this time, willful descent into hell,” and carries viewers into the hearts and minds of the four veterans and their families, as they experience forgiveness and compassion from their former enemies. Through first-time contact with Vietnamese culture and Buddhist-principles of forgiveness and compassion, the four vets are led to a new state of awareness and spiritual peace.

sound of the soul

Sound of the Soul (Collector's Edition)

Sound of the Soul is a compelling portrait of an Arab country where Muslims, Christians and Jews have lived together in relative peace for centuries. Beautifully photographed during the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music, the film presents unforgettable performances from groups from Morocco, Ireland, Russia, Afghanistan, Mauritania, the USA, Portugal and France. SOUND OF THE SOUL carries viewers into what the film's Moroccan Sufi guide calls ‘the hearing of the heart,’ the essential Oneness at the core of all religions and faiths.


One Through Love:
A Gathering of Lovers

With a focus on Divine Love as the central binding force of all creation, ONE THROUGH LOVE brings together a unique international group of Rumi lovers and devotees - scholars, musicians, dervishes and other Sufi practitioners from the US, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, India, Morocco, England, France. This film presents a series of compelling portraits and perspectives on Rumi and his spiritual mentor, Shams of Tabriz, and is subtitled in English, Persian, Arabic and Turkish.


Our House in Havana

Silvia Morini returns to Cuba after living in the US for almost four decades. She searches for her old house and neighborhood, the faded remains of her once-opulent, privileged life. Silvia’s pilgrimage is full of discoveries, engaging interactions, and personal confrontations, which carry her from exhilaration to depression and, ultimately, in a surprising twist, to an astounding personal transformation.


Afghanistan: Fight for a Way of Life

This film explores the historical, religious and cultural background that led to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. It documents the 3 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and their struggle to maintain their cultural traditions and way of life.


Last Images of War

An Emmy-Award winning film about the compelling and tragic story of four photojournalists who died while covering the Afghan-Soviet war. The film explores the motivation and ideals which carried these three men and one woman, all who felt an intense commitment to provide the world with the dramatic images of this Holy War or “Jihad” against the Soviet Union. Narrated by Ben Kingsley.


Face to Face: Young Arabs and Americans

This groundbreaking television documentary features a live digital satellite link between four students at a San Francisco high school and four Arab high school students in Amman, Jordan. The conversation ranges from political disagreements to cultural stereotypes and misconceptions, interracial dating, drugs, the Intifada, teen suicide bombers, Martin Luther King, the bias of the media, and U.S. support for Israel. The students are articulate, honest and candid about the political and social factors contributing to the tragic Middle East stalemate.


School Colors (1 hour version)

Gives a first-hand look at the events, relationships and conflicts at Berkeley High School in the 1990s. This documentary explores how sharply segregated along color lines this large, multicultural urban school remained forty years after Brown v. Board of Education.


John Collier, Jr: A Visual Journey

An intimate portrait of the life, the stunning photographic work, and the unique humanitarian insights of John Collier, Jr, an internationally-renowned photographer, anthropologist, educator, and one of the founders of the field of visual anthropology.



Host Bokara Legendre leads well-known philosophers, healers, scientists, and spiritual teachers in provocative conversations.

Meditation, Emotions and Body Language

With Jack Kornfield and Paul Ekman.
Runtime: 35 minutes.

Buddhist meditation teacher Jack Kornfield and psychologist Paul Ekman meet to explore what scientists and psychologists now understand about meditation, the mind and our emotional states, and how recent scientific studies compare with what spiritual masters have studied and learned over the centuries. As we learn to look into our own minds and into other people's faces we gain new insights on the many subtle ways we communicate, to ourselves and to others.


Food for the Soul

With Huston Smith and Ram Dass.
Runtime: 40 minutes.

Internationally-renowned scholar of world religions, Huston Smith joins spiritual guru Ram Dass, author of "Be Here Now", to share thoughts on consciousness, mortality, psychedelics and hope.


Healing, Family and Community

With Sobonfu Some and Rachel Naomi Remen.
Runtime: 39 minutes.

African healer Sobonfu Some meets author and medical doctor Rachel Naomi Remen to discuss topics such as the ways in which emotions cause illness, and how broken families can heal with the help of community.


The Monk and the Rabbi

With Brother David Steindl-Rast and Rabbi Larry Kushner.
Runtime: 49 minutes.

Benedictine Brother David Steindl-Rast and Rabbi Larry Kushner explore the depths of religious fundamentalism, mystical experience and the power of gratitude and forgiveness.


Transformation and Mindfulness

With Michael Murphy and Jon Kabat Zinn.
Runtime: 50 minutes.

Dr. Kabat-Zinn is the founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is a meditation teacher and author of three books- "Wherever You Go, There you Are", "Full Catastrophe Living" and recently, "Coming to Our Senses." Michael Murphy is the founder of Esalen Institute and author of "Golf in the Kingdom", "The Future of the Body". and numerous other books. This program presents a variety of practices for developing awareness and mindfulness, practices which can not only heal our bodies and minds, but also, as we will hear, our troubled planet. Their discussion is full of inspiration, practical advice and lots of laughter.


Zen and the Art of African Initiation

With Malidoma Some and Joan Halifax.
Runtime: 55 minutes.

Joan Halifax, Buddhist teacher, author and abbot of Upaya Zen Monastery in Santa Fe, talks about initiation with African shaman, healer and diviner, Malidoma Some. Malidoma suggests that people in the West suffer from "sickness of the soul." He joins Roshi Joan in a fascinating conversation about the ways we can heal this sickness, as well as the unexpressed grief in our culture. In this program, we discover the secrets of an African initiation and the power of Buddhist vows with two people who walk between the worlds of East and West, of Magic and Meditation.


Compassion in Action

With Robert Thurman and Dr. Larry Brilliant.
Runtime: 56 minutes.

Dr. Robert Thurman, Professor of Indo-Buddhist studies at Columbia University, inspiring teacher, lecturer and author of twelve books, discusses the fruition of spiritual practice - our work in the world, with Dr. Larry Brilliant , the epidemiologist who founded the SEVA Foundation, which has returned sight to over two million indigenous people in South America and Asia with free cataract operations. Dr. Brilliant headed the medical team which stamped out small pox in India in the 1970's. Today he is back in India working on the spreading polio epidemic. This program will discuss the practice of Compassion in our personal and worldly lives. How is a spiritual practice, whatever it may be, taken into the larger society in a useful way?


The Heart of Islam

A conversation with Shaykh Ahmed Sidi Kostas.
Runtime: 38 minutes.

Islam is arguably the most misunderstood and feared religion in the world today. Yet, few people know th at sufism, the mystical branch of Islam, much like the core teachings of Christianity, is built around the concept of Love - Divine Love and love for all Creation. From the ecstatic bliss of the whirling dervishes to the multi-layered mystical poetry of Jalaluddin Rumi, sufism has recently become more well- known in the west, as a practice which promotes tolerance and acceptance among all peoples and faiths.


Myths, Money and Meaning

With Jacob Needleman and Dr. Angeles Arrien.
Runtime: 47 minutes.

Myths are no joking matter. Myths inspire our very actions and give each of us a sense of meaning, both in our individual lives and in the lives of our culture and society as a whole. In this program, philosopher and author Jacob Needleman, and anthropologist Angeles Arrien join Bokara for an exploration the myths surrounding money, time and meaning in American society today.
In this lively discussion, several other core American myths, including consumption, pleasure and happiness are discussed and contrasted with the dominant myths of America's founding fathers, as well as the dominant myths that operate in other cultures.


The Taoist and the Activist

With Dr. Benjamin Tong and Julia Butterfly Hill.
Runtime: 37 minutes.

In this program, Taoist professor and psychologist Dr. Benjamin Tong meets environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill, the world's most famous "tree-sitter". Julia became an international symbol of environmental activism by living for over two years high atop an old-growth redwood tree in northern California, a tree she named "Luna", which she ultimately saved from destruction.
Meeting for the first time, these two guests share thoughts on subjects ranging from compassion and attachment, to anger and finally, Nature as a spiritual path. In this unique lunch conversation, witness the contemplative tradition of Taoism, alongside the committed, activist approach of today's environmental movement.


Peace Through Dialogue

With Bishop William E. Swing and Professor Abdul Aziz Said.
Runtime: 35 minutes.

This unique, timely program brings together two internationally - renowned leaders in conflict resolution - one Muslim and one Christian, to discuss the possibilities for inter-faith dialogue and peace. Professor Abdul Aziz Said is the Director of the Center for Global Peace at American University, who meets here for the first time, Episcopal Bishop William E. Swing, Director of United Religions Initiative, an international inter-faith peace program.


Our Place in the Cosmos

With Brian Swimme, PhD and Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker.
Runtime: 48 minutes.

Over a colorful Chinese chicken salad, host Bokara Legendre takes on some of the "big questions" about human existence and our role and purpose in the cosmos. What is the scientific explanation of the creation of the universe? Is western science's so-called "quantum vacuum", just another "creation myth", and if so, how does it compare with the creation myths of other societies and belief systems? As guides on this existential journey through the cosmos, Bokara is joined by mathematical cosmologist Brian Swimme, PhD, and professor of world religions, Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker.


God is Everywhere… and Nowhere

With Swami Chidanand Saraswati and Wes Nisker.
Runtime: 37 minutes.

Celebrating her penchant for bringing interesting people from different traditions together for the first time over lunch, host Bokara Legendre invites a Hindu Swami from the Himalayas who believes in a pantheon of Gods, to meet an American Buddhist teacher who follows the non-theistic spiritual path of emptiness. Witness two teachers from two very different cultures and traditions share their insights on the core concepts of religious faith.