In terms of media and journalism in general today, I think there’s so much emphasis on sensationalizing the story. Very seldom do you find reporting from an objective point of view. Often it’s sensationalized a lot, and people may do this for political reasons. So here are some ways to watch the news mindfully.
1 Find Your Ground
First of all, we must find our own ground of calmness where we can stand. Taking your own seat through the help of meditation, mindfulness, yoga, or whatever it may be. Bring in that calmness first, find some ground where you can stand.
2 Look at the Situation
Then look at the situation. The actual situation on the ground is sometimes not as bad as what you see or hear from the news media. So you don’t need to freak out right away when you hear something or see something. Just relax and see what the actual situation may be.
3 Consider It As a Teaching
All these things we see and hear in the news, or feel fearful of, are actually great teachings, showing us the nature of samsara, impermanence, confusion and emotions, and so forth. They show us how we can get out of hand if we don’t have some method to work with it, and some sense of power over our own mind. So it’s a very clear teaching right there.
4 Make Aspirations
Also you can make some positive aspirations and send positive thoughts or prayers when you see or hear such things on the news. I try to do that, when I hear a report of someone getting shot, or seeing a tragic situation in the news or on a show. Then you can just deal with the situation right there, with bodhicitta, compassion. You don’t have to imagine all sentient beings. All sentient beings are coming to you.
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche gave the above guidance during an interview in Mexico City, October 2015. See the video.