Oakville Zen Meditation

#177 Our mind is a movie theater June 12th 17

                                                     Our mind is a 24/7movie theater

One of the best ways to explain how our mind works is t use the analogy of a movie theater.

When we are watching the giant screen in the dark, we are almost totally absorbed by the story, plot, characters, script, sound, music, momentum and special effects. Our thoughts and feelings are connected and manipulated by the 2D/3D images on the screen. If the movie is powerful, we are in it and we believe in it at least during the show.

The images and characters on the screen exist because we see them but are they real? Of course not.

But, just for a moment if you turn around and look toward the back of the theater at the projector you will see how the images are projected. You will recognize that these captivating images are nothing more than flickering beams of intense light projecting zillions of pixels on the screen.

Although we might be able to go back to the screen and lose ourselves in the movie, it captivating power will be probably diminished because you have discovered the illusion maker.

Our mind is a non-stop movie making studio.

The human mind is an amazing movie studio, producer, director, actor  and composer.

During formal mindfulness meditations, we learn to be aware and to watch  our own movie-making process, then we delete thoughts and go back to our anchor such as breathing.

Outside our sitting practice, we are totally trapped in our own movie theater and mentally see new stories continuously created and recreated with us as lead actor.

These stories can be drama, action, romance, erotic and sometimes comedies. They navigate

between past, present and mostly future.

Strong emotional content is often present because our ego is almost always the main producer.

Because our own mind is creating these continuous movies, we strongly believe in them and we are in the story most of the time.

But when we realize that our self-made inner show is purely mental that is immaterial and fictional, we no longer have to take, as we do, these movies so seriously. It means a lot less unhappiness, dissatisfaction, regrets, fear, resentment or unrealistic expectations.


Learning to be mindful to our movie making mind is critical because it will help us to realize that, being a movie, we should not be captive nor believing in its content the same way we do not believe in fictional screen movies.

When you can, always try to be mindful to your ongoing mind activity and ask yourself:

“Where are you?, What are you doing? Why you are not where my body is and what it is doing?”

“Are you rational, constructive, useful and decisional or is it a day dream somewhere”?

If you discover —but, usually we do not realize it -- that you are sitting in your mental inner theater watching the screen and listening to yourself, always say this:

“This movie is a fictional work of my mind and directed mostly by my ego.

Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, current, past events and locations is entirely coincidental and has strong connection to reality.

Finally, we must recognize that our mind is not just a fictional movie maker but ---some times---- is also a wonderful rational instrument helping us to recall, plan, discriminate, analyze, make decisions, create, love      and be compassionate.