Home » Features » Should The Old Travel Or Watch More TV?

The mindless keep missing
the common essence
of what seems different.

– Shilashanti

Should the elderly have many leisure trips? Well, this depends on what is done during the trips. If it is just much indulgence in sense pleasures, with total forgetting of learning and practice of the Buddha’s teachings, this might be too much. This might lead to squandering of limited positive karma while creating much negative karma. It is alright to occasionally travel to see the world, lest there be much restless regret of not having experienced worldly life enough when less able to travel… 

The more the world is seen, the more should it be seen to be similar in essence – filled with but varieties of impermanent and unsubstantial distractions, which are ultimately dissatisfactory. This is when there should be more of an inward journey to deeply learn and practise the Dharma, with less straying outwards. Yet, sometimes, these trips help to realise the importance of this. It is possible to travel more meaningfully too, such as on pilgrimages and retreats to learn and practise the Dharma.

The older one is, as time and energy are running out for sure, the more should one quickly focus on the spiritual path, and less on endless worldly trips. This rebirth itself is already an expiring lifelong worldly trip, just like the previous life, powered by craving for indulgence in fleeting sense pleasures mistaken as lasting happiness; while the path to True Happiness is by learning and practising the Dharma. Not realising this in time will lead to a ‘pointless rerun’ of this worldly life in the next.

Speaking of reruns, should the elderly, if not on trips. watch much TV drama series? Well, watching TV is an understandable joy of many elderly ones. It might be one of the few joys readily available to look forward to. It is alright if it does not distract from regular daily Dharma practice, ideally also with regular learning, which should be scheduled for. Similar to the result of much travel, the more the world is seen onscreen, the more should it be seen to be similar in essence – filled with but varieties of impermanent and unsubstantial distractions, which are ultimately dissatisfactory.

Perhaps there can be more watching of TV together, to use the Dharma to analyse the plot, on how situations should be seen, to be better handled. This is a skilful way to link the Dharma with the many worldly lives portrayed, to create casual yet meaningful Dharma discussions. It is possible to watch TV more meaningfully too, by watching videos of Dharma talks, documentaries and movies, for learning more on Dharma practice. So much said, as life is short and unpredictable, the above advice on entertainment (that involve travel or otherwise) is applicable to all younger ones too.

The mindful keep seeing
the common essence
of what seems different.

– Shilashanti

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

Name (required please)

Email (required, will not be published)

Website (optional)


error: Content is protected !!