This is an ongoing series running through May to compliment the twice weekly meditation sessions that I will be hosting on YouTube (the videos have now been moved to my Vimeo page). If you have any questions, please contact me.
I write this about meditation practice, but the ideas can be used just as well in your everyday life.
Boredom can arise in our lives when we are feeling uninspired, disliking and uninterested in what we find ourselves doing in that moment. I find that it can be a heavy state of mind, one that can feel as though my mind is dragging a heavy weight behind it. I experience it as dull, ponderous, thick and ceaseless.
When I sit in meditation I do not know what emotion might arise, but boredom can be one of them. From my experience anything done day in and day out, however important it might be in my life, will have days when I am inspired to be there, and days when I just feel as though I am going through the motions. Devoid of any particular insights, I am just sitting again.
So for the duration of my meditation I might find myself sitting with boredom.
If boredom is present and dragging for your attention, give it your attention. Do not push it away, and also do not engage with it. Rather, watch it. Make boredom the object of your meditation. The problems with boredom come out of seeing it as something solid and unchanging that we do not want. Let’s try and change our relationship with it. You do not have to like boredom, but start from the point of being curious about it. Let’s really get to know it. What is it doing?
So watch it, observe from a detached distance as best you can. As you do so, ask yourself,
- What does boredom look like?
- Does it have a colour?
- Does it have a shape?
- Does it have a smell?
- What does it feel like?
- Is it solid, or changing?
These are some starting questions. Stick with these or add your own. The important thing is to be curious and start to get to know this thing called boredom. Like any relationship, do not expect to be comfortable with boredom after a first visit. This will take time, but in time you can develop a more tolerant, open relationship with boredom when it shows up in your meditation and life.
As Meditation Teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche said, in time the boredom,
begins to become cool boredom