I leave my body when I watch TV. I get lost in the story and fantasy. It feels wonderful. It feels good to lose my self, my ego, my worries if only for an hour. The “me” is gone, and without “me” there’s nothing to feel pain. It’s blissful.
When the show ends I return to my body with all it’s unscripted aches and pains, it’s chaotic emotion and restless mind. It’s unpleasant at best, but usually very jarring.
I’m not knocking TV. Some series are pure genius, and entertainment is important. That said, I watch TV and practice staying in my body. How?
- I don’t watch more than 1 hour in a sitting. Netflix and Hulu make it easy to watch an entire season in a sitting. Stopping after 1 hour is much easier then after hour 3.
- I watch TV with other people. That way I can discuss it and how it makes me feel, rather than just letting it wash over me.
- I pay attention to how long I can stay mindful of my body and mind while watching TV. It’s a kind of detachment from the emotional story being presented. It’s a bit like how critics don’t get wrapped up in the story line, but rather, look for quality of acting, cinematography, etc. I observe how long I can be a *gentle* critic of my own powers of observation within.
What’s your relationship to TV?