I play and watch a lot of violent content for example superhero movies, martial arts movies, mma, boxing, first person shooters etc. Recently I have been trying to be more dilligent in my practice and I have been wondering a lot if this content is appropiate.
One one hand in my mind for in terms of like movies, tv shows and video games I say it is not real and no one is actually getting harmed so its possibly okay. On the other hand, I still wonder a lot because of the violent nature of the content I am consuming.
As you calm the mind more and start to become more sensitive, one naturally begins to find such entertainment “low, crude, ordinary, ignoble, and pointless.” (MN122) There is probably already some entertainment that you’d describe that way, no? So, just let that mental category of “pointless” entertainment slowly expand, guided by your own growing wisdom.
What you experience goes into one’s mind and stays there until it is time for it to come out. When one’s mind consumes it - it demands it, gets it, gets gratified by it, gets impacted by it, and it gets transformed by it. In the long term, the mind gets shaped by its experiences.
If such experiences are not healthy, the mind over time gradually gets more and more diseased. The outcome of that is not hard to fathom.
"Excellent, Mahanama, excellent! It is fitting for clansmen like you to approach the Tathagata and ask, ‘For those of us living by means of various dwelling places [for the mind], by means of which dwelling place should we live?’
"One who is aroused to practice is one of conviction, not without conviction. One aroused to practice is one with persistence aroused, not lazy. One aroused to practice is one of established mindfulness, not muddled mindfulness. One aroused to practice is centered in concentration, not uncentered. One aroused to practice is discerning, not undiscerning.
His mind heads straight, based on the Dhamma. And when the mind is headed straight, the disciple of the noble ones gains a sense of the goal, gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma."