A six episode documentary about a spiritual experiment based on meditation, self-introspection and the science of the Yugas on the search for Shangri-La – the paradise within.
About the Production
This production is a heart-centered spiritual experiment that started in 2014 and is planned to complete in 2020. A group of young adults and their eldersplanned this project in order to create a vortex of joy, brotherhood, and higher ages living. They focused onthe Self-Realization teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, meditation, self-introspection, creative self-expression, and the science of the higher ages: the Yugas (detailed in The Holy Science by Swami Sri Yukteswar). They discovered that their inner Shangri-La (happy blissful space) produced an outer Shangri-La (utopia) of heart-centered fellowship around them.
The Ascending Age (TAA) film (2018) is a six episode documentary about the team’s process building Shangri-La and the science they studied. Dr. Franz Langmayr and his family are featured here because of their dedication to the science of higher ages.
In Precious Light (IPL) films (2020) are a fantasy film trilogy created from fun scripts that TAA core group wrote during this project. These films show the fantasy version of the higher ages concepts documented in the The Ascending Age documentary and the personal struggles and triumphs of the core group.
The evolution of human consciousness is not linear as we have long assumed, but is cyclical. The sun is part of a binary star system and our solar system is in orbit around another star. This binary orbit is the real cause of the precession of the equinoxes (the time/date twice each year at which the sun crosses the celestial equator, when day and night are of equal length) and the 24,000-year cycle of this orbit coordinates with the state of human consciousness in measurable units of time: the Yugas.
The Yugas, as described in Hinduism, or Ages, as they are known in the Greek tradition, relate to the mathematical application of a 24,000-year equinoctial cycle, measured by the Autumnal Equinox, which is divided into an Ascending Arc and a Descending Arc. Each Arc consists of 12,000 years, and during the Ascending Arc human consciousness gradually advances, while during the Descending Arc human consciousness declines. Within each Arc fall four Yugas, or Ages, called: Kali Yuga/the Iron Age, Dwapara Yuga/the Bronze Age, Treta Yuga/the Silver Age, and Satya Yuga/the Golden Age
Niloofar Shaterian found her Shangri-La in Iran traveling with her father visiting Bakhtiari and Kurdish Nomads. After her father’s passing, she came to America to find her Shangri-La among the American Indians but instead found her guru, Paramahansa Yogananda. She served under the blessing of Brother Bhaktananda at her Hollywood temple Shangri-La. Serving at SRF Youth Program for 17 years, Niloofar observed how the SRF teachings created inner and outer Shangri-La for teens during the camp.
Storytelling is Niloofar’s gift this life. For many years she told stories in her Sunday school classes and youth program activities. Now she enjoys unraveling the stories in the free form paintings and the films that she life coaches in.
Bray Ghiglia and Niloofar met in 2000 and Bray’s vortex of creativity totally changed Niloofar’s life. Because of Bray’s musical genius, Niloofar had to embrace her creativity. The beautiful original higher ages music that Bray has created for each film truly elevates the vibration of the films.
Since 2002, Niloofar has been using Biosonics Tuning forks in every program. John Beaulieu created these tuning forks as tools that could bring higher ages vibrations to this planet. John eventually agreed to become an advisory TAT board member. He conducted several programs with Niloofar in the USA and Europe and has been a great supporter. He was featured in The Peace Experience documentary.
In 2005 Niloofar created a non-profit organization, Transformational Art Therapy Center (TAT Center) to empower At-risk youth in continuation high schools helping them find inner happiness. After working with hundreds of troubled teens she created her spiritual counseling organization, Society of Altruistic Treatment (SAT) and offered many creative and empowering programs for youth and their parents.
Meanwhile in Austria, Brigitte and Franz Langmayr found their inner Shangri La with Paramahansa Yogananda and blissfully enjoyed their outer Shangri-La at the SRF group in Kolbermoor, Germany. When that SRF center closed, Brigitte searched all over Europe and America for her next Shangri-La community. Franz dedicated his life to studying SRF and other spiritual scriptures, especially Sri Yukteswarji’s “The Holy Science.” Their daughter Christine Langmayr found her Shangri-La in the SRF Youth Program Camp and always felt an urgency to build again the spiritual community that her parents lost in Germany. Niloofar and Christine originally met in the Youth program.
In 2007, Christine attended a SAT workshop in Nuremburg. Christine loved the workshop and started working together with Niloofar offering workshops and retreats in Austria, Germany, and Italy.
Christine played a big part in the success of this production as a co-producer and co-director. She worked ceaselessly with Niloofar to fulfill her family dream of Shangri-La and share her father’s knowledge of higher ages living.
Sonja Hiller experienced touches of Shangri-La in her childhood and especially when she received her SRF Kriya initiation. In 2008 Sonja attended her first SAT retreat in Austria and was so excited that she decided to help Niloofar and Christine organize the programs. Soon after her college graduation, she moved to Romania and served for a year in the City of Children and helped to empower at-risk youth.
Jason Whisman, an actor and filmmaker, made his first movie about a man who was trying to find inner peace and balance in his life, so that he could give more to those around him. Jason got a glimpse of a true Shangri-La when he first walked into SRF Hollywood Temple and subsequently served there for many years. Jason attended his first SAT workshop in 2010 in the USA and started working with Niloofar offering drama classes in TAT and SAT programs.
In 2012, Niloofar created a Peace Tour program across the USA and Europe. Jason helped to direct and edit The Peace Experience(TPE) documentary film, which detailed their experience of the inner peace while doing peace meditations in different countries.
Warren Johnson found a sense of Shangri-La in the Renaissance Faire community that he loved being a part of. His mother Therese Johnson was a big influence and supporter in his life. Mother and son worked with Niloofar, and loved and supported the SAT programs in the USA and Europe, and joined the 2012 Peace Tour (TPE) core team.
In 2014, during a SAT New Year visioning retreat, Niloofar saw in a painting an engine that would bring love and joy to this world. She shared that vision with Franz and Christine who loved the idea and agreed to match the money raised in the USA. They eventually called the new project The Ascending Age (TAA).
Lauren Schneider, as actor and filmmaker, has created visually captivating and visceral films. In 2013, she started working with Niloofar. Lauren was excited about the evolution of the human consciousness and she created a very successful Kickstarter campaign, the Legacy of Langmayr. Lauren also joined the core group and completed the first phase of the project in Austria. She helped greatly as a co-director and videographer.
Therese Johnson was the second biggest sponsor of this project after Dr. Franz Langmayr. Her son Warren fully saw the first phase of this project and signed up as the first core member.
Werner Schifter, an Austrian new age scientist attended SAT retreats since the early years and became a part time member of TAA core group and handled many engineering projects during the six month program. Werner has a very important role in the IPL Fantasy films.
Barbara Mithlinger, actor, singer and humanitarian activist was a close friend of Christine and she worked with Niloofar since 2009. She organized the Jewish healing programs for TPE peace tour in Austria. Barbara loved the science of the higher ages and joined TAA as a part time core member. She has a leading role in the IPL fantasy films.
After completion of The Peace Experience, Niloofar created a new concept of filmmaking that she called “Life Script”. This concept is based on filming without any script, and allowing life processes to create different scripts that eventually blend together and tell an overall story. This method greatly evolved in TAA and IPL movies.
As the team conducted the experiment, they interviewed Dr. Franz Langmayr and each other. They wrote fantasy scripts related to their process. Niloofar gathered these scripts and collaborated with the core group to create different scripts for TAA and IPL films.
Niloofar acted as the life coach for the core group on a full-time basis remotely or in person during different phases of the project. Niloofar designed program details on a weekly basis with collaboration from the team. She also advised the individuals on their personal goals and process. Once each phase was completed the team met and designed the next phase. The active core groups changed in each phase but Jason, Sonja and Christine remained dedicated throughout the project.
The first phase of TAA project in the countryside of Austria lasted for six months and it was an intense commitment for five full-time and two part-time young adults. The second phase of the project in America had one full-time person and two part-time members for a year. The film production and editing phases were part-time and very flexible and lasted about four years.
The initial TAA budget only covered the first phase of the project. Since some of the people were deeply touched by the project, the budget issues did not stop the program. The next phases of the project became a heart-centered service where a few core people conducted the project as an act of love and service.
Some of the Elders who helped TAA project were Therese Johnson, Kordula Gierlich, Peter Dunn, Jasmin Bonk, Paul Whitehead, John and Thea Bealieu, Issah Adams, Rahelio Rodrigues, Montrice Wright, Donna Caesar, John Berns, and Lorraine Alexander. Many of them are featured in this production as wisdom keepers or spiritual elders supporting and raising the vibration of the ages.
In 2009, Rahelio offered SAT Retreat classes with Niloofar all over Europe. Rahelio is an American born Toltec, a spiritual guide and professional astrologer. He is an expert on the science of Earth’s Energy and Consciousness changes as revealed in the Harmonic Convergenceand Mayan Prophecy. He is featured in both TPE and TAA films as one of the higher ages wisdom keepers.
Montrice Wright is a mystical artist. She creates paintings and jewelry that act as catalytic media for the spiritual journey. Montrice served as a TAT board member and offered painting workshops for SAT retreats in Europe and the USA. Montrice has a leading role in IPL films as the guardian of the universe and mother of the five super heroes.
Suman Rana who is from Nepal managed the YMCA camps where the SRF youth program occurred. He is featured in the film because Shangri-La was a big part of his life in Nepal and now he is sharing that gift to all the youth. His interview was a clear confirmation to the team that outer Shangri-La already exists in our lives.
John Berns as a principle of Amelia Earhart High School helped and supported TAT programs for years. When it came to The Ascending Age project, he shared with our core group his hidden secret Shangri-La, his avocado ranch that he called the Valley of Light. The core group loved the ranch and found his daughter, Xochitl, to be a total manifestation of Shangri-La Rising. Sharing John and Xochitl’s life in TAA made our core group feel that they manifested an actual Shangri la in Temecula. His sharing was the finale conclusion of TAA experiment for the whole team.
Read Director’s Statement.