Monday, December 19, 2011

What is the connection between Buddha and Woody Allen?

Admittedly they are not two names traditionally said in the same sentence...but after having recently seen 'Midnight In Paris' which prompted me to reflect on other Woody Allen films, it struck me that both Buddha and he share a similar theme in their work ie:

Our deep suffering comes from our tendency to never be satisfied with how things are.

Part of it, like this Italian cartoon1 suggests, we desire the things we don't have eg: “se solo avessi” – if only I had..."your figure"; "your diamonds"; "your money"; "your wife"

    Buddha and Woody Allen may differ on how to reduce that suffering...Buddha suggested mindfulness and meditation2, Woody Allen...well, if you have figured it out, let me know. I can't recall this ever being mentioned in one of his movies, but another suggestion offered from cognitive psychology3, is to keep a catalogue of moments of joy and gratitude, thereby creating a more positive and flexible frame of mind. 

    Whatever the method, methinks the festive season brings a fine reminder for us to reflect on, and be grateful for what one has.

    Merry Christmas.

    1. Vignette from
    2. Carson, S.H. and Langer, E.J. (2006) “Mindfulness and Self-Acceptance”, Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 24(1): 29-43
    3. Gunarantana, B. H. (2002) Mindfulness in plain English, Boston: Wisdom Publications


        1. How perceptive of you to see the link between B & WA - it never occurred to me before but now that you mention it, how true! And I really like the idea of keeping a 'catalogue of moments of joy & gratitude' & will try to do just that in 2012 :~)

        2. i googled B&WA..and the only thing I came up with was a quote from WA .."I don't want to achieve immortality through my work..I want to achieve it through not dying"...

          Enjoy the joy and be grateful for the gratitudes.