Can Films And Trips Affect Dharma Practice?

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Question: Will Buddhist practices, such as Pure Land (净土) practice be negatively affected by frequent film-watching and leisure travel?

Answer: It depends on whether these films and trips create more attachments and distractions or not, thus eating into one’s time, resulting in less time spent on proper Dharma learning and practice. When film-watching, this can be done to ‘review’ them, to see them through the lens of the Dharma for reflection.

With proper reflections on the world as perceived in film and on trips, seeing their essentially dissatisfactory nature clearly, this can help to increase ‘revulsed renunciation of this Sahā World’ (厌离娑婆), coupled with ‘joyful seeking of the Land Of Ultimate Bliss’ (欣求极乐). These unidirectional push-pull factors form the essence of Aspiration (愿) for reaching Pure Land.

However, those with less understanding of the Dharma might veer further away from the Dharma instead. The only way to prevent this is to schedule regular Dharma learning and practice with discipline, such as going to classes and practice sessions, to also inspire more personal Dharma study and practice at home.

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The Three Provisions

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