How to stop being obsessed with video games? | Q & A with Thich Nhat Hanh


(bell, half sound) (bell, full sound) For the past few years I’ve been obsessed with video games [sic] and playing for eight hours a day and I need suggestions to stop the obsession of playing video games Dear Thay, dear Sangha, our young friend just shared that he for the last few years he has been playing a lot of computer games – about eight hours every day he plays computer games, and it’s become an obsession and he would like any help or any ideas how he can stop this obsession with playing computer games. Young people, they may already have a lot of suffering in themselves and their parents do not know how to help their children to suffer less – to transform the suffering in them. That is why both parents and children try to cover up the suffering inside by entertainment, music, books, films, electronic games and so on, so this is really not enjoyment – just trying to run away from the suffering inside and as the time passes the suffering inside continue to grow because the item that we had we consume in order to forget about our suffering can bring more toxins, poisons, anger, distress to us, so this is not living. That is running away from life. But what the west called the kingdom of God, in Buddhism we call the dharma body. The Buddha has the buddha body, but also has his dharma body and when the body and the physical body of the Buddha is no longer there his dharma body continue to give them a thoughts and when you listen; when you contemplate a flower; when you listen to the wind in the willows, with mindfulness and concentration you hear the dharma talk given by the Dharma body of the Buddha so the Buddha is always alive giving Dharma talks and if you contemplate the moon, the cloud, the blue sky, the river, the rising tide and then everything is teaching the Dharma so the Dharma body is equivalent to the Kingdom of God, and we know that the Kingdom of God is there; every flower, every tree belongs to the kingdom of God; speaks to you – they speak to you about the kingdom of God that are here and now, so if you you know how to go home to the here and the now, you have the kingdom of God with you, they will nourish you, you are happy and you don’t have to run away and take refuge in electronic games. When you breathe in mindfully you bring your mind home to your body, and when mind and body are together you are truly alive. If you get lost in your computer your body and your mind are separate you are not truly alive, and you are wasting your life; you are; you don’t profit from your life. Nature has given us a life and every minute every second is a jewel and if you can stay in the here and the now you can enjoy the kingdom of God in the here the now and then that is the best kind of enjoyment There is; there is an example; there is as to an image in the gospel – a peasant a peasant farmer discover[s] a piece of land with the treasure in it, so he went home and sell[s] everything in order to buy that small piece of land because there has a treasure in it, and that treasure can make him happy all his life, and next lives also, so if you have the treasure, the kingdom of God, you don’t need other things including money, fame, power, sensual pleasures and electronic games, and that is why parents should practice in order to be able to enjoy the kingdom of God, in the hear and the now. In that way they can teach their children to do the same and they should not run away and take refuge in electronic games and [get] addicted to it anymore because if you continue your body will have a lot of problems and your mind will have a lot of problems also. And that has [proven] to be exact – if you spend too much time with your computer, your electronic games, you are addicted to new technology, and then you don’t have any time left to enjoy the wonders of life, the kingdom of God that is available in the hear and the now. This is not only an answer to a young person, but to all of us, especially parents and teachers. Thank you for asking the question (bell, half sound) (bell, full sound)