This is the first post in a series on my favorite spiritual and/or Buddhist movies.
Groundhog Day is one of the best illustrations of the idea of cyclic life (samsara) and how we are trapped. This comedy, released in 1993, has Bill Murray redoing the same day over and over and over again. He starts out a semi-nasty character and follows along on that tract trying over and over to seduce Andie MacDowell as he repeats the same day over and over. He mingles in crime and debauchery. He reaches a state of desperation and then, over time, he lets go of his unethical ways and begins to embrace goodness until finally he wakes up one day and time has begun to move again. He has become, free from cyclic life!
The movie is a perfect illustration of the slow process of enlightenment. This slow process guarantees that all sentient beings will become enlightened and leave cyclic life by a process of trial and error. Not unlike Bill Murray, we will all eventually learn what doesn’t bring us lasting happiness and will discover what does.