Practice through Watching Movies

Yutang Lin

Practicing on the Dharma path
Is not only to be diligent during Dharma practice sessions
Eventually one needs to apply Dharma in daily life
In actual applications the key to practice is
To become aware of one's grasping and then renounce it

If one knows not to renounce grasping
But only insisting on upholding one's grasping
Even though diligent in Dharma practice sessions
One is still not well-versed in Dharma practices

Watching movies is generally considered as leisure
Saying that it is also a Dharma practice
Could not help being criticized as lying
Not to mention the movies watched
Have scenes that are violent, cruel slaughter or lewd

Really knowing that one should practice renouncing grasping
But impossible to have so many situations available
For one to experience the arising of all kinds of grasping
Through movie-watching one goes into the situations presented
Within a short while
One could notice where one is inclined to lean to
Whether one had forgotten about universal compassion
Or is confined by certain position to have mercy for all

Not to mention the fact that
Dialogue, story, presentation and sequence of scenes in a movie
Bit by bit, showing everywhere
All sorts of views on life, and all kinds of attitudes of beings
Thus capable of arousing reflection and personal views
And the opportunity to learn therefrom and reflect on oneself
How could it be just a leisure pursuit

Dharma teaches: Not to grasp to form
Don't grasp to movies as
Definitely a leisure pursuit
Don't take it for sure
That only "truth, goodness and beauty" can be watched
Reality has no artificial views and taboos

To practice Dharma is to practice renouncement of grasping
Under any circumstances one can practice it
Only then is it a lively practice
And a thorough mastery on how to practice Dharma
Things that are confined within a certain framework
No matter how you practice them
You will remain in a blind alley

Written in Chinese and translated on December 8, 2009
El Cerrito, California

----- Original Message -----
From: "Yutang Lin"
To: "Dharma Friends"
Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 3:44 PM
Subject: New Work in English

Whenever I watch movies, my wife is not happy about it because she thinks that a practitioner should not waste time on that.

When I explained that it is also a Dharma practice, she challenged me to tell the world how it is also a Dharma practice. Otherwise, it would be just leisure in disguise.

So I wrote on this topic.

I hope that this would enlighten some practitioners as to how to practice--the key is to renounce one's attachments as soon as one became aware of them. And I also hope that it will not become an excuse for novices to spend much time on leisure pursuits.

May all beings attain Enlightenment soon!


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