Archive for March, 2021

Meditation, Entertainment Choices, and Happiness

March 5th, 2021

Meditation usually keeps me in a very blissed out or peaceful state. Yet a few mornings ago I found myself swimming in negativity. It was the usual stuff – money problems, blaming others, and a whirlwind of thinking.

I even had trouble starting the car.

What the heck was going on?

Then I realized what I had done the night before. I’d watched a dvd rental of the movie “The Interpreter”. By most standards the movie was fantastic. There was brilliant acting by academy award winners Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn.

The story was absolutely riveting. White knuckles all around. The timing was brilliant.

Yet the next morning I was swimming in an emotional swamp. That was me, the meditation devotee, rubbing elbows with Swamp Thing.

It might have had a lot to do with what I put into my mind just before bedtime. The movie began with graphic surprise murders committed by children.

Later there was fear of the unknown complete with the message that you can’t trust anyone.

This kind of stuff can temporarily undo the benefits of meditation.

But the negativity continued.

The bad guy was a former humanitarian who turned into the mass murdering dictator that killed the leading lady’s parents.

There was character building followed by murders. This happened over and over again.

There was a bus explosion inviting viewers to believe that it’s unsafe to ride public transportation.

The show continues with opportunities to seek revenge. To kill or not to kill, that is the question.


Maybe this video triggered my emotional slump. Maybe the slump came from some unknown combination of factors.

The point is that we can use what we know to climb out of slumps. And we can make choices that help us minimize the number and depth of slumps.

I was able to climb upwards with the help of an observer meditation and some bliss exercises. It took six minutes to feel much better and another twenty minutes to feel a whole lot better.

We can always make a choice. We can select the most uplifting activity. We can choose what music to play. And, of course, we can choose what movies and TV shows to watch.

You can watch CSI and view horrendous images throughout the television show. For a bonus, you can hear the words “serial killer” repeated ten times in a two minute period.

Or you can make a different choice. You might choose to watch something such as “Joan of Arcadia” or “My Name is Earl”. They’ll remind you of some valuable life principles. FYI, these great shows are available as dvd rentals.

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