Sunday, 7 November 2010

Groundhog Day - A Buddhist Parable ?

Is the Hollywood movie Groundhog Day a Buddhist parable ? Some think so - the film wonderfully shows the wonder of living each moment as if it were a totally new event. The movie follows one complete day in the life of American TV weatherman Phil Connors, who is inhabiting a mid-life crisis of cynicism and despair. He wakes at the same time on the same day , Groundhog Day, again, and again, and again. He tries to seek escape through drinking, the pursuit of sex and other transient distractions but each action has an effect which blocks his escape from the tyranny of now - the law of karma - each action he commits is as a choice that he makes , but each choice he makes leads to a new and different reality.

Eventually after making many wrong choices and bad decisions and living the day unfulfilled he chooses a life devoted to service, and through this confronts his demons and habits that have been holding him back , and so finally breaks the endless cycle of Groundhog Day.
Each moment thus becomes a new opportunity, and so the same situation is minted afresh and so this different but unique response leads to a unique but different result.

In the end of the movie he "wins the girl." after he has given up trying to own her and it is then and only then that true intimacy occurs and true real love blossoms.

As Buddhist we believe once the cycle of Samsara is broken, and your shadows have become transparent , then each moment blossoms afresh we are truly living in the moment. That is the joy you find when watching the film - an essential truth revealed.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

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