A group of strangers enters a Monastery in the mountains of Utah for a month-long stay. They immediately find themselves opening up to each other in ways they never could have imagined. In doing so, an unexpected treasure is uncovered and revealed.
A group of strangers comes together at a modern-day monastery for a month-long retreat, the Tabula Rasa Mystery School.
This monastery has only two guidelines: no private thoughts and no people-pleasing. All who come are offered an opportunity to live by these guidelines and open up to authenticity and trust with each other.
Among the newcomers is a film crew that arrives with the intention of filming the Mystery School. However, intense emotions quickly rise to the surface as the crew attempts to adopt an “intuitive” approach to filming and a new way of being together. In the meantime, the kitchen volunteers are going through the dismantling of egoic pride, jealousy, and identity. The cameras captured the intimate healing process of those involved.
Take Me Home takes you on a journey as its characters break free from repression and avoidance in the face of difficult emotions. It is a song, an experience of love, and a witness to the perfection of the plan for awakening. Every prayer is answered, every tear wiped, and every encounter destined.
The idea of making a documentary about the awakening journey started with a dream I had in 2011. At that time, my life took a significant turn as I entered a modern-day monastery. Leaving my old life behind completely, I started learning how to be guided by a power that is beyond logic and reason. At the monastery, daily tasks and projects are used for the sole purpose of developing “intuitive” inner listening in order to connect with the truth and the power beyond this world. For me, Take Me Home was made with this same intention.
In 2017, a film crew came together through a series of synchronicities. Everyone on the team shared the same goal: to use this project for healing. This shared intention enabled us to go toward, rather than away from, each other and to find love and forgiveness when things got difficult. Without everybody holding this goal up front, I wouldn’t have been able to direct the team and make this movie.
I didn’t have a clue what “story” we were going to tell and, from the beginning, we all agreed that I would direct based only on the “inner prompts” I received through prayer. This intuitive, moment-by-moment decision making made it possible for the spontaneous acts of authentic expression and transcendence to be captured on film.
As time went by, the main characters were revealed. Relationships between lovers, family members, and team members unfolded in front of our eyes. However different their stories were on the surface, the lesson was the same: let go and step into the unknown with an open and forgiving heart.
I love the theme that relationships are meant to help each other expand their capacity to love. Our characters are all at the cusp of outgrowing old roles and identities. They learned to put down “the mask,” open up to expressing their most vulnerable calls for love, and find healing in giving the love that they perceived to be lacking.
Many scenes in the movie touched me for reasons I cannot explain. During the editing process, I was guided to allow the experience to come through first and foremost, and let everything else become secondary. I hope that you, too, will be touched and healed by the stream of poignant moments that took place in the lives of our characters.
All the characters and scenes mirror back dynamics that can be identified in one’s own mind. They are not separate characters going through their own separate journeys. They are aspects of the one mind that is healing. In this way, the movie is about the mind, instead of individuals, going through the journey of letting go of the ego and opening up to Truth and Love.
The movie does not focus too much on the background stories, conflicts, or dramas that the characters are going through. Their problems are not unique to themselves and all problems are ultimately the same. What really matters is the solution. And the solution is what inspired the making of this movie.
Jeffrey and Susannah are learning how to be true to themselves and each other, within their relationship. They come to a new experience of not walking away out of fear when expectations are broken and emotions are intense. Instead of turning against each other and hiding what’s going on in their mind, they stay and look at the hurt together. They don’t know how things will unfold, but they choose to support each other by communicating authentically, with a determination to face and heal the painful thoughts and emotions that arise.
Søren has lived an isolated life for more than ten years. Only aware of his anger and shame, he is terrified of expressing honestly. Being in a group of people who are sharing “private” thoughts feels very threatening. The past is about to repeat itself, yet it becomes clear that ancient hatred can melt away the instant he chooses to pour out his most tender feelings.
Frances Romero is going through a major undoing in the kitchen. She feels lost when her valued identity of being a “good cook” begins to crumble. The ego-pride is instructing her to hide and run away, trying to convince her that without this old self-concept she is unloved and unlovable. Can she find the humility and strength to lay down these beliefs and step into the unknown?
Susannah, Nicolien, and Marga are close family members. Though they have followed their own individual paths toward awakening, they all happened to sign up for the same Mystery School. As they meet again, they begin to realize that they have outgrown old roles and old ways of relating to each other. It is time to let go, to join in truth, and to see that there is no loss.
FRANCES XU (Director/Producer):
Frances Xu is making her directorial debut with Take Me Home.
JEFFREY COSKER (Producer):
Jeffrey Cosker is a founding member of Shadow Films, an independent film company. Take Me Home will be his first production as part of the Foundation for the Awakening Mind.
JASON WARWICK (Producer):
Jason Warwick is a film editor with a passion for movies about the awakening journey.
ACÁCIO DE ALMEIDA (Cinematographer):
Acácio de Almeida has been the cinematographer for over 130 movies. He has worked with directors such as Manoel de Oliveira, Raul Ruiz, Alain Tanner, and many more, and has won multiple awards for best cinematography.
SØREN LYNGSGAARD (Sound):
Søren Lyngsgaard is an independent filmmaker with roots in the Danish television industry, who has over 30 years of work experience as a video editor and producer.
Title: Take Me Home
Production company: Foundation for the Awakening Mind
Run time: 79 mins
Country of production: United States
Subtitles: English, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Latin Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Finnish
Production year: 2019
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