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  • Lama Jigme Gyatso

The Parable of the Movie Patron


Let us revisit our friend the movie patron.

He has purchased his ticket, and his snack, and his beverage,

and has taken his seat in the air conditioned comfort

of the movie theater.

After a handful of trailers,

how many?

Just enough to make him forget

what movie he came to see.

And after those trailers

the movie begins.

And whether it is adventure, or horror,

or comedy, or drama

our friend the patron sits back and enjoys the ride

as he knows he has little other choice.

For he does not confuse himself

for the screenwriter, nor editor, nor director, nor producer

and knows completely

that what occurs upon the screen

is utterly out of his control.

So he nibbles his snack

and sips his beverage

and enjoys the show.


Likewise, when the wise sit down,

cross-legged to meditate

they know it is NOT their job to select

the sensations, or flavors, or scents, or sounds, or sights,

or emotions, or intentions, or reasonings, or recollections, or imaginings

that cartwheel across the metaphoric stage of their mind.

What then is their job?

To notice: vulnerable, and passive,

withOUT bothering to analyze or label

and to physically relax that we might mentally let go.

And to do all this

in harmony with the tightening tendencies of each inhalation

and with the relaxing propensities of each exhalation.


For, in our very good fortune,

that is how evolutionary biology

selected for our bodies and minds to best operate.

And if we put this advice into action,

every morning and every evening,

then we could very much be like a child, with a video game:

difficult, and frustrating, and seemingly impossible to prevail against;

who at long last receives the manufacturer’s cheat-codes

and is at last able to transform

their time spent with the video game

from an ordeal, into a delight.



Let us conclude

with a simple

call to action


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Some of these spiritual poems are also available on

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