How much entertainment should we allow?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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.

auto
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Re: How much entertainment should we allow?

Post by auto » Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:10 pm

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

wrong view.
"Nigantha Nataputta teaches the Dhamma to his disciples in this way, lord: 'All those who take life are destined for a state of deprivation, are destined for hell. All those who steal... All those who indulge in illicit sex... All those who tell lies are destined for a state of deprivation, are destined for hell. Whatever one keeps doing frequently, by that is one led [to a state of rebirth].' That's how Nigantha Nataputta teaches the Dhamma to his disciples."
wrong view about frequency
"If it's true that 'Whatever one keeps doing frequently, by that is one led [to a state of rebirth],' then no one is destined for a state of deprivation or destined to hell in line with Nigantha Nataputta's words. What do you think, headman: If a man is one who takes life, then taking into consideration time spent doing & not doing, whether by day or by night, which time is more: the time he spends taking life or the time he spends not taking life?"
..
"If a man is one who takes life, lord, then taking into consideration time spent doing & not doing, whether by day or by night, then the time he spends taking life is less, and the time he spends not taking life is certainly more. If it's true that 'Whatever one keeps doing frequently, by that is one led [to a state of rebirth],' then no one is destined for a state of deprivation or destined to hell in line with Nigantha Nataputta's words."
..
other wrong view is that all killers etc go to hell taught by Nigantha Nataputta
"[The thought occurs to him,] 'Our teacher holds this doctrine, holds this view: 'All those who steal... All those who indulge in illicit sex... All those who tell lies are destined for a state of deprivation, are destined for hell.' There are lies that I have told. I, too, am destined for a state of deprivation, am destined for hell.' He fastens onto that view. If he doesn't abandon that doctrine, doesn't abandon that state of mind, doesn't relinquish that view, then as if he were to be carried off, he would thus be placed in hell.
..
here's how transcending evil deed is done,
..
Teacher(Tathagata) tamer of human beings appear into world…disciple have faith what he teaches and reflects etc..
..
"[He reflects:] 'The Blessed One in a variety of ways criticizes & censures stealing... indulging in illicit sex... the telling of lies, and says, "Abstain from the telling of lies." There are lies that I have told, to a greater or lesser extent. That was not right. That was not good. But if I become remorseful for that reason, that evil deed of mine will not be undone.' So, reflecting thus, he abandons right then the telling of lies, and in the future refrains from telling lies. This is how there comes to be the abandoning of that evil deed. This is how there comes to be the transcending of that evil deed.
"Having abandoned the taking of life, he refrains from taking life. Having abandoned stealing, he refrains from stealing. Having abandoned illicit sex, he refrains from illicit sex. Having abandoned lies, he refrains from lies. Having abandoned divisive speech, he refrains from divisive speech. Having abandoned harsh speech, he refrains from harsh speech. Having abandoned idle chatter, he refrains from idle chatter. Having abandoned covetousness, he becomes uncovetous. Having abandoned ill will & anger, he becomes one with a mind of no ill will. Having abandoned wrong views, he becomes one who has right views.
awareness release through good will is developed,
"That disciple of the noble ones, headman — thus devoid of covetousness, devoid of ill will, unbewildered, alert, mindful — keeps pervading the first direction [the east] with an awareness imbued with good will, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, he keeps pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will. Just as a strong conch-trumpet blower can notify the four directions without any difficulty, in the same way, when the awareness-release through good will is thus developed, thus pursued, any deed done to a limited extent no longer remains there, no longer stays there.
awareness release through equanimity is developed
"That disciple of the noble ones — thus devoid of covetousness, devoid of ill will, unbewildered, alert, mindful — keeps pervading the first direction with an awareness imbued with compassion... appreciation... equanimity, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, he keeps pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with equanimity — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will. Just as a strong conch-trumpet blower can notify the four directions without any difficulty, in the same way, when the awareness-release through equanimity is thus developed, thus pursued, any deed done to a limited extent no longer remains there, no longer stays there."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
..
"There is the case where a trifling evil deed done by a certain individual takes him to hell. There is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by another individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in [contemplating] the body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in [contemplating] the body, developed in virtue, developed in mind, developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the immeasurable.[1] A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.
hmm
"It's just as when a goat butcher is empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes a certain person who steals a goat, but is not empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes another person who steals a goat.
Now, when what sort of person has stolen a goat is the goat butcher empowered to beat him or bind him or slay him or treat him as he likes?

There is the case where a person is poor, of little wealth, of few possessions. This is the sort of person who, when he has stolen a goat, the goat butcher is empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes.

And when what sort of person has stolen a goat is the goat butcher not empowered to beat him or bind him or slay him or treat him as he likes?

There is the case where a person is wealthy, with many belongings, many possessions; a king or a king's minister. This is the sort of person who, when he has stolen a goat, the goat butcher is not empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes. All he can do is go with his hands clasped before his heart and beg: 'Please, dear sir, give me a goat or the price of a goat.'

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dylanj
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Re: How much entertainment should we allow?

Post by dylanj » Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:19 am

none, obviously. sensual desire is suffering.

being a lay person isn't about having lower standards it's about knowing you're failing to some degree
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all assets, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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dylanj
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Re: How much entertainment should we allow?

Post by dylanj » Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:20 am

there is no compromise, the degree to which you'll suffer due to your sensuality is proportionate to the degree to which you indulge in it. if it causes too much problem for you to live happily then reduce it until that's not the case. & know that it will always cause problems until it's gone for good.
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all assets, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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