Groundhog Day

The movie Groundhog Day (from 1993) is a romantic comedy and a Zen classic. The movie is about a weather man, Bill Murray, who gets stuck in time on Groundhog Day. Every morning he wakes up to the same day. To everybody else it is a new day, but to him it is a repeat of same day, again and again. By living the same day over and over, he finds enlightenment. Because it is a romantic comedy, enlightenment is true love.

In real time, Bill Murray probably spends 50 years reliving Groundhog Day. His goal at the beginning of the movie is to advance his career as a weather man. His goal at the end of the movie is to live life with his true love. He grew a little in those 50 years of the same day. Before he learned how to love, he had to assure himself that there were no actual consequences to his actions. At first, living without consequences sent him into a deep depression and he committed suicide everyday for several weeks. After he got death out of the way, he was able to live life, learn compassion and become lovable.

From a Zen perspective, the world of change stopped, leaving Bill Murray as the only force of change in the universe. When he tried to live in the world as he had, without changing, he became increasingly miserable. When he embraced the fact that he was capable of change, he became change. When he forgot about himself and fully engaged in the world, the world changed.

Although Groundhog Day is a twenty year old Hollywood romantic comedy, it is also a finger pointing at the moon. The moon in beautiful. Whether there is a tomorrow or not, there is a lot going on today. There is more than enough happening now to fill 50 years. There is enough to find your enlightenment.

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