Groundhog Day
Dr. Wise
Reflect on the connections between Buddhist/Zen Buddhist teachings and the
themes found in the film Groundhog Day. The paper should be 1-2 pages typed,
double-spaced, and will be due on Monday, November 22 (Be prepared to discuss in
class that day!).
Possible teachings/themes to consider:
Life & Awakening of the Buddha
o What kind of person is Phil Conners? What are his “passing sights”? What is
his ultimate moment of awakening and why?
Samsara/reincarnation and Karma as the natural cyclic cause-and-effect
relationship between all things
o Why does Phil’s “energy” continue to be “reborn” over and over again?
Describe his karma/energy… what is the natural result of it? Why is he
Suffering as a natural effect of our self-centeredness, egotism, desire not to be
where we are, etc.
o Describe Phil Conner’s “dukkha”? What does he think is the cause of it?
What is really the cause of it?
“Losing” of the false self and therefore ending suffering by the practice of the
steps of the Eightfold Path
o Describe the process by which Phil is awakened to the truth about himself and
about life? What are some of the highlights of his gradual awakening? How is
Phil Conners “saved” and awakened?
What are some of the more particularly “zen” elements of the story?