“Siddhartha”: A Movie as Meditation

siddhartha_coverMy wife and I watched the movie “Siddhartha” last night. It is based on the Herman Hesse novel of the same name, a book I very much enjoyed many years ago. A good friend had recommended it, so I looked forward to it.

It began quite slowly. After about 15 or 20 minutes, nothing much had “happened,” so I paused the DVD and asked my wife how she felt about continuing with it. Neither of us was finding the film all that exciting, but we agreed to stay with it since it had come so highly recommended; it certainly was lushly filmed. Eighty-nine minutes after it began, it ended. We looked at each other, shrugged and went about our business. I was more than a little disappointed in it.

This morning, as I awoke, I realized why I hadn’t enjoyed it as much as I could have. My friend had warned me it was “slow” and “different.” But I judged it as if it were a movie designed to entertain. Rather, it is an extended meditation on the nature of life and the secret to happy living. The central, title  character in the film is a man who spends his whole life seeking enlightenment but the most important secondary character is the Ganges River. If I had approached the experience with that meditative mind, I know it would have been an amazing experience. Even in retrospect, it provides much spiritual insight and depth.

The lesson I took from the meditative film is that you can spend your whole life pursuing enlightenment and Oneness with God or you can trust in Love and awaken to the truth that you are already an enlightened Oneness.


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