Friday, August 26, 2011

Don't worry be happy. Enjoy your movie.

Question : (Unedited)

Can you help understand what the Buddhist definition of "desire" is?

If I desire to watch a movie and enjoyed it, will it lead to suffering?


My comment:

Hi W,

Thank you for asking me.

We can say that the teachings of the Buddha are of 2 levels.  One is for the lay people.  The other is for those who pursue the ultimate release or salvation, generally refers to monks and nuns.  The teachings are no different, but the intensity of practice and realization is different.  If we really want to seek ultimate release or salvation it is very difficult to live as worldly persons because being worldly we are subject to worldly problems, worldly needs, and worldly temptations.  

As a worldly person you would agree with me that it is impossible to live without the necessities of human comfort (and a little bit of sensual gratification).  The Buddha's contention is not so much of ridding material possessions or depriving oneself of any form of sense gratifications, but not to be over crazy with our desires.  We practise a lifestyle of CONTENTMENT with what we already have.  This does not prevent us from further improving our material well being, or enjoying ourselves.  The skill in right-living is to be contented here and now.  Otherwise, we will be like crazy fools chasing after more and more material gains and sense desires without ends.

These sensual desires are unquenchable.  It is the very nature of physical senses.  Take for example, hunger.  Once the hunger is satisfied with intake of food; the process of depletion starts, and after some time one feels hungry again.  Another aspect of sense desire is the stronger feeling of craving.  One's craving to satisfy one's desire is itself a catalyst to crave for more.  When this craving goes unchecked, one becomes crazy!  So the option is opened to anyone who follows the Buddha's teachings:  to continue feeding these desires with more craving, or to come to one's senses to reduce this crazy cycle of on-going "madness".

It is important to understand that the Buddha never asked us to live a layman's life like zombies.  We must have the wisdom to live a skilful life with moderation, to enjoy and be peaceful and be happy.

Please enjoy your movies and other happy activities!!

Hope this clears your doubt.

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