How much entertainment should we allow?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Digity
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How much entertainment should we allow?

Post by Digity » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:24 pm

Three days out of the week I abstain from music and watching TV/videos for entertainment. However, those other four days I'll indulge in entertainment and I feel like it destroys all the mental ease I may have established by abstaining from these things. I wonder how much music/tv do you think I should allow myself without it causing me to fall back too much? I'm not ready to abstain from these things altogether, so I'm trying to find a compromise.

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Sam Vara
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Re: How much entertainment should we allow?

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:40 pm

Digity wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:24 pm
Three days out of the week I abstain from music and watching TV/videos for entertainment. However, those other four days I'll indulge in entertainment and I feel like it destroys all the mental ease I may have established by abstaining from these things. I wonder how much music/tv do you think I should allow myself without it causing me to fall back too much? I'm not ready to abstain from these things altogether, so I'm trying to find a compromise.
I think only you can tell that. It would be great to live as if you were a monastic, or on a permanent retreat, with no access to entertainments. But I guess that can lead to various problems if one is not suited to it (excessive earnestness? social isolation? tension?) and, as you say, you are not ready for complete abstention. Try cutting back a little more and see if you can maintain the mental ease more effectively. I think it would be important to not completely abstain and then binge on stimulating pastimes; better to gradually cut down a little each day. My advice would be to go carefully in what looks like the best direction, and be alert for changes in how you feel.

JohnK
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Re: How much entertainment should we allow?

Post by JohnK » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:06 pm

Digity wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:24 pm
...it destroys all the mental ease I may have established by abstaining...
Congratulations on being able to establish some mental ease! (and knowing its cause).
Congratulations on directly knowing how your ease is destroyed!
So, you know the allure of indulging; you know the danger (destruction of ease); you know the escape (abstaining and re-establishing ease).
Seems like you are more than half-way there!
The more you know that the ease is a deeper and more reliable gratification than the indulging, the more you should be able to let go of the indulging.
As Sam Vara said, there is no general "how much" -- the continuation of your own direct knowing will show you.
Keep up the good work.
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

SarathW
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Re: How much entertainment should we allow?

Post by SarathW » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:36 pm

I wonder how much music/tv do you think I should allow myself without it causing me to fall back too much?
Contemplate on the gratification (assada), danger (adinava) and escape (Nissarana) of each of your action.
Basically, you can use every situation of your life to develop the path, provided you are mindful of your action.
Last edited by SarathW on Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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pitakele
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Re: How much entertainment should we allow?

Post by pitakele » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:14 am

Digity wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:24 pm
Three days out of the week I abstain from music and watching TV/videos for entertainment. However, those other four days I'll indulge in entertainment and I feel like it destroys all the mental ease I may have established by abstaining from these things. I wonder how much music/tv do you think I should allow myself without it causing me to fall back too much? I'm not ready to abstain from these things altogether, so I'm trying to find a compromise.
I think it is better to have a daily program whereby time is allocated for various activities, e.g. work, meditation, dhamma study, exercise, socialising, chilling (entertainment etc.). Hopefully, in this way, there would be less tendency to 'binge' on those activities you feel are counter productive to your well being.

For all of us, it is a middle path, knowing what is good for us, and also knowing what we need to do to make ourselves our happy. Over time, Dhamma practice should create more balance and harmony in our lives, both inner and outer. Without training in self discipline, it is not possible to effectively progress in the Dhamma.
now here = nowhere

Laurens
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Re: How much entertainment should we allow?

Post by Laurens » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:54 am

I think a better way to view it, rather than using words with heavy connotations like 'abstain' would be to attempt to be more entertained by less stimuli.

By this I mean to develop a practise whereby sitting on a chair in your room doing nothing can make you feel contented, or entertained.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

auto
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Re: How much entertainment should we allow?

Post by auto » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:02 pm

think in terms of dependent origination because of it you can cultivate all sorts of things without need to go to moon or do a backflip or feel like you need be able to sit straight 5 hours to call yourself a worthy.

if you being aware, you are blocking the influx of fabrications and things won't function anymore and you see or know by yourself that you need to cause liberation. You will guard the south gate, its up to you if you let the evil pass. You will know by yourself that if you fail you will have this situation occur again or also you know that you can't do it you need more knowledge and cultivation so you could know on what the issue depend on, what nutrition is causing the being to arise.

Sutta say,

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Then Ven. Ananda approached the nun and, on arrival, sat down on a prepared seat. As he was sitting there, he said to the nun: "This body, sister, comes into being through food. And yet it is by relying on food that food is to be abandoned.

"This body comes into being through craving. And yet it is by relying on craving that craving is to be abandoned.

"This body comes into being through conceit. And yet it is by relying on conceit that conceit is to be abandoned.

"This body comes into being through sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is to be abandoned. With regard to sexual intercourse, the Buddha declares the cutting off of the bridge.

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Akashad
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Re: How much entertainment should we allow?

Post by Akashad » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:00 pm

I'm also trying to give up tv and entertainments.

What i found through my own practice is by practicing meditation i experience a more refine or subtle kind of fulfillment and watching movies or entertainment can sometimes feel rather gross, heavy and like dragging,tiring type of sensation.

Sometimes the object of meditation is more interesting than entertainment.For example it gives you a "high".

Also i when i'm "aware" or "mindful" of watching tv. It just takes the fun out of it.

I also find "harsh realities" like impermanence jump out at me when i watch movies as i feel like people are not aware that they are dying and seem caught up in their stories etc. For example i watched this really good movie about past lives called i Origin and it was very moving,but it dawned on me that viewers are seeing this movie in such a narrow scale of one previous life.But if you were too stretch and aeon and infinite aeons back.The whole thing about romanticizing past lives would seem rather obsolete.

I also can't watch movies where young actors have passed away because that really screams to me that Death is everywhere and look at them on tv who don't even realize that their death is nearing.Its too close for comfort and reminds me that death is nearing always.

My advice is try to find a balance.If your not ready to give up entertainments then don't do it.The key is to find a replacement or substitute.Instead of watching certain types of entertainment you can choose a more wholesome type.Try to increase 3 days to 4 days then 5.Slowly and gradually.But most important find a substitute like meditation.Practice Restraint + Find a Substitute.

:namaste:

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budo
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Re: How much entertainment should we allow?

Post by budo » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:52 pm

I think you're pulling the cart before the horse. Instead of thinking about what you shouldn't do with your time, you should instead think about what you should do.

Once you start filling your time with meditation, and attaining jhanas, then these issues will fall away on their own. Nothing rewards and reinforces behaviour like positive reinforcement, and jhana is a very strong positive reinforcement. Negative reinforcement not so much, it's why people do bad things despite knowing it's bad, the positive reinforcement outweighs the cost of the negative effect aka it's "worth the risk".

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anthbrown84
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Re: How much entertainment should we allow?

Post by anthbrown84 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:28 pm

I have a go formula that works perfect for me

I don't watch much TV at all during the week. Very very rarely in fact.

Fridays I do my uppsala days and the weekend evenings I watch TV.

This works perfectly as I'm not trying to be a monk while I'm a lay, and the 8 precepts taken very very seriously, as The Buddha suggested. Balances it perfectly.

For.me, as a man married.to a none Buddhist woman, it is the perfect.balance

I heard a quote from an Ajahn I won't name incase it's an incomplete picture of what he meant. But he said something like "don't try to live as a monk if you are a lay person, otherwise you get the worst of both worlds. If you are a lay person keep the 5 precepts, 8 precepts once a week, practise generosity etc and then enjoy your life as a lay person"


Anthony
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate

chownah
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Re: How much entertainment should we allow?

Post by chownah » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:18 am

I think that watching TV is OK as long as you don't skip the commercials......if you skip the commercials it is then too much entertainment.
chownah

2600htz
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Re: How much entertainment should we allow?

Post by 2600htz » Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:41 pm

Hello:

Its about being skillful, and increase positive mindstates.
Sometimes a person abstains from something and they can`t take it, they go crazy, end up with even more anxiety, and replace what they abandon with another thing equally unwholesome. Another time the same person in a different timeperiod of his life abstains from the very same thing, and things go smooth,his anxiety decreases and without any problem he is able to replaces that unwholesome with something positive.

Thats what mindfulness of the body its for, you have to notice the amount of craving you are causing to arise in order to see if you are on the right track.

Regards.

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