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Watching Cinema is Doing Mindfulness

Shots of Awe

I am a lover of cinema. I believe and this is my opinion that cinema is the highest form of art. There is a glimpse of what’s possible; a taste of our divinity, a great film is, as they say, truth 24 times per second. Everybody’s talking about mindfulness & meditation. Everybody’s talking about the importance of learning to be present, learning to be in the here and to let yourself become immersed and enveloped by the power of the present moment.

Conventional forms of meditation work for many people and I recommend these practices as therapies that focus your attention in the here and now. But for movie lovers like me, I believe the ultimate form of meditation is watching the cinema.

I believe when you watch movies, consciousness meets its own process. I believe that when you get immersed in a film and you assume the viewpoint of one of the characters who effectively step outside yourself. When you watch a film, you actually take a journey within. You are the characters and they are you and the content plate of introspection, the self searching that happens as the story unfolds on screen, is a very powerful, almost supernatural experience of space, time and mind inverts.

A movie may only be empirically 120 minutes or two hours by the clock but when you’re inside of the film and you’re looking not at the screen but into the screen, time no longer exists. You are in a meditative trance and during these moments of complete immersion when you are enveloped in that other world, that absolute unmixed attention becomes a form of prayer. You heed to it, submit and surrender to it and you are cleansed.

It’s a psychic car wash it. It de-fragments the hard drive. It’s like a total immersive flow statement.

When you come out of the movie, it’s like you’ve been cleansed. You’ve had catharsis, you’ve experienced the mythological motif, you’ve taken the hero’s journey and this is a kind of cosmic baptism. It’s like a bath in the ocean of the Holy.

Every time a film envelops you, every time you become one with the movie, you’ve had transcendental meditation. This is what I believe and this is why when people tell me you got to get into mindfulness meditation and this and that, I tell them it already exists. It’s called cinema and on top of that it throws beautifully patterned story for good measure. So, not only do you get to meditate, you get to go on a fucking journey an ecstatic illumination and pop out on the other side and say thank you I am so glad that movies exist.

That’s what I think about cinema as meditation.

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