Working in the entertainment industry

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Working in the entertainment industry

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:29 pm

All very good information above.

One footnote: No matter our station in life, our virtue or lack thereof, there is always a teaching of the Buddha that we can apply.
And of course, the buddhas and bodhisattvas don't discriminate in their compassion for we who live afflicted in samsara.
We can remember them, call out to them, even from the depths of hell. Making such a small effort is often enough to produce amazing results.

The Dharma shows us how we, bound by our circumstances, can nevertheless work to benefit beings.
Amitābha!
OM PADMO USHNISHA VIMALE HUM PHAT (Lotus Pinnacle of Amoghapasha)
OM HANU PHASHA BHARA HE YE SVAHA ("Just by Seeing" Mantra)
AH AAH SHA SA MA HA (Six Syllables of Clairvoyance Mantra)


The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have unobstructed vision in all directions.
Everything is in their presence; and I stand in front of them. -- Shantideva

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Tlalok
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Re: Working in the entertainment industry

Post by Tlalok » Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:53 pm

I work in tech and it spins just as much rubbish as the entertainment industry that distracts people from the path. Honestly its like Charles Manson and Jim Jones sometimes with the cult behaviour, hero worship and utterly nonsensical beliefs and attitudes. It's a complete fantasy based on delusion, and I think a ton of other industries in a service-based economy are the same.

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Re: Working in the entertainment industry

Post by amanitamusc » Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:56 pm

Ignorant_Fool wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:22 am
Richard Gere is an actor and he seems to be doing a fair bit for Dharma ... :shrug:
I would say the same thing.

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Re: Working in the entertainment industry

Post by odysseus » Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:54 pm

ydnan321 wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:02 pm
Does Buddhism condemn those who work in the entertainment industry (actors, singers, dancers)? Is it considered a wrong livelihood to be in such profession?
Nothing wrong with being an artist per se. But this occupation also needs ethics, because artists can influence people and should know what they are doing.

Please read the passage about being an actor, you may want to reconsider: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... index.html

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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: Working in the entertainment industry

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:57 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:15 am
And what if one acts in films or theater productions who's motivation is to inform people about the Dharma? What happens to acting's "nature" then?
Then this is a meaningful spiritual activity and acting is beneficial.

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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: Working in the entertainment industry

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:00 pm

Ignorant_Fool wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:22 am
Richard Gere is an actor and he seems to be doing a fair bit for Dharma ... :shrug:
His acting is not doing anything for the Dharma, but his money and fame is.

It's true that he has attained his celebrity through acting and famous actors do have considerable power to influence others.

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Re: Working in the entertainment industry

Post by Grigoris » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:45 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:57 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:15 am
And what if one acts in films or theater productions who's motivation is to inform people about the Dharma? What happens to acting's "nature" then?
Then this is a meaningful spiritual activity and acting is beneficial.
In which case acting lacks either a positive or a negative nature.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Queequeg
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Re: Working in the entertainment industry

Post by Queequeg » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:50 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:45 pm
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:57 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:15 am
And what if one acts in films or theater productions who's motivation is to inform people about the Dharma? What happens to acting's "nature" then?
Then this is a meaningful spiritual activity and acting is beneficial.
In which case acting lacks either a positive or a negative nature.
I think it depends on how the question is approached. I'm not sure Tsonkhapafan's standard is based in any teachings... is it?

In the Tripitaka sense, I think the nature of acting as a deceptive activity makes it problematic per se. In the Mahayana sense where acting might be upaya, maybe it can be beneficial.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: Working in the entertainment industry

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:05 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:50 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:45 pm
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:57 pm


Then this is a meaningful spiritual activity and acting is beneficial.
In which case acting lacks either a positive or a negative nature.
I think it depends on how the question is approached. I'm not sure Tsonkhapafan's standard is based in any teachings... is it?

In the Tripitaka sense, I think the nature of acting as a deceptive activity makes it problematic per se. In the Mahayana sense where acting might be upaya, maybe it can be beneficial.
My view is based in the teachings - intention creates karma. There are no inherently existent virtuous or non-virtuous actions so the result of the action of acting depends upon the intention of the actor and the purpose of the acting.

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Queequeg
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Re: Working in the entertainment industry

Post by Queequeg » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:49 pm

In the most general sense - when are we not acting?

Acta est fabula, plaudite.
-Augustus
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Working in the entertainment industry

Post by Ayu » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:33 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:49 pm
In the most general sense - when are we not acting?

Acta est fabula, plaudite.
-Augustus
I'm not acting right now. Only reading. Just writing in order to inform you: I'm only reading. :mrgreen:
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

TrimePema
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Re: Working in the entertainment industry

Post by TrimePema » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:47 pm

what strikes me about the sutra quotation is the following:

the actor received teaching that the result of his actions would be going to a god realm.
the Buddha clarified that "god realm" is actually a hell and there are various causes (combinations of 3 poisons etc) for an actor to end up there.

meaning, beings who had experienced that hell did not experience it as hell?
meaning it is not a hell realm per se but a form of conceptual hell - wrong view?

So, the main point of the Buddha's reply is to turn the actor's mind from the wrong views, not to make him stop acting?

Maybe then, the Buddha told the headman not to ask him such a question, since it was asked with wrong view:
The actor was worried about whether or not what he was doing would get him to a god realm, not whether or not he was deluded.

So, for those with wrong view, activities like acting are no good as they will increase the causes of suffering.

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Re: Working in the entertainment industry

Post by Aryjna » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:56 pm

TrimePema wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:47 pm
what strikes me about the sutra quotation is the following:

the actor received teaching that the result of his actions would be going to a god realm.
the Buddha clarified that "god realm" is actually a hell and there are various causes (combinations of 3 poisons etc) for an actor to end up there.

meaning, beings who had experienced that hell did not experience it as hell?
meaning it is not a hell realm per se but a form of conceptual hell - wrong view?

So, the main point of the Buddha's reply is to turn the actor's mind from the wrong views, not to make him stop acting?

Maybe then, the Buddha told the headman not to ask him such a question, since it was asked with wrong view:
The actor was worried about whether or not what he was doing would get him to a god realm, not whether or not he was deluded.

So, for those with wrong view, activities like acting are no good as they will increase the causes of suffering.
The wrong view is that he thought he would go to heaven as a result of being an actor, while in reality he would go to hell as a result of being an actor. There is an almost identical sutra with a warrior saying that it is said that warriors go to heaven if they die in battle, while the Buddha said they go to hell as they die with hateful feelings.

TrimePema
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Re: Working in the entertainment industry

Post by TrimePema » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:31 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:56 pm
TrimePema wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:47 pm
what strikes me about the sutra quotation is the following:

the actor received teaching that the result of his actions would be going to a god realm.
the Buddha clarified that "god realm" is actually a hell and there are various causes (combinations of 3 poisons etc) for an actor to end up there.

meaning, beings who had experienced that hell did not experience it as hell?
meaning it is not a hell realm per se but a form of conceptual hell - wrong view?

So, the main point of the Buddha's reply is to turn the actor's mind from the wrong views, not to make him stop acting?

Maybe then, the Buddha told the headman not to ask him such a question, since it was asked with wrong view:
The actor was worried about whether or not what he was doing would get him to a god realm, not whether or not he was deluded.

So, for those with wrong view, activities like acting are no good as they will increase the causes of suffering.
The wrong view is that he thought he would go to heaven as a result of being an actor, while in reality he would go to hell as a result of being an actor. There is an almost identical sutra with a warrior saying that it is said that warriors go to heaven if they die in battle, while the Buddha said they go to hell as they die with hateful feelings.
I thought:

What the Buddha states in sutras is not always meant to be interpreted as definitive teachings.
Sutras do not need to be interpreted only according to the view of individual liberation.

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Re: Working in the entertainment industry

Post by lobsangrinchen » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:41 pm

ydnan321 wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:02 pm
Does Buddhism condemn those who work in the entertainment industry (actors, singers, dancers)? Is it considered a wrong livelihood to be in such profession?
I had a very long talk with my teacher about this. As a lifelong musician and performer, I have been working in bars and nightclubs and concert halls for over 30 years. When it came time to take refuge and my vows, I was seriously concerned about the "right livelihood" aspect of working in establishments that have the primary purpose of selling alcohol. My teacher simply said "it is OK to work there, as long as you are not taking the intoxicants and you are bringing people joy. If not YOU in there performing, it will be somebody else."

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Re: Working in the entertainment industry

Post by ydnan321 » Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:38 pm

Did the Buddha really say that you'd go to hell for merely being an actor? If so, why are many famous actors (Richard Gere, Jet Li, Tony Jaa, etc.) devout Buddhists? IMO, I do not see how providing joy to others while not inspiring them to do bad deeds (through violence or sexual exploitation, etc.) could be considered unwholesome? Wonder what are the stances of contemporary masters on this? It seems even His Holiness the Dalai Lama is ok with this as his student, Richard Gere, himself is an actor.

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Re: Working in the entertainment industry

Post by Aryjna » Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:45 pm

ydnan321 wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:38 pm
Did the Buddha really say that you'd go to hell for merely being an actor? If so, why are many famous actors (Richard Gere, Jet Li, Tony Jaa, etc.) devout Buddhists? IMO, I do not see how providing joy to others while not inspiring them to do bad deeds (through violence or sexual exploitation, etc.) could be considered unwholesome? Wonder what are the stances of contemporary masters on this? It seems even His Holiness the Dalai Lama is ok with this as his student, Richard Gere, himself is an actor.
The Dalai Lama teaches primarily Vajrayana, while the sutra regarding the actor going to hell is a Hinayana sutra and, as has been discussed above, refers to actors during the time of the buddha, which were not exactly the same thing as today's actors. But in any case, I doubt that the Dalai lama would ask a student to change their occupation, even if it was an occupation more clearly opposed to the dharma.

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