Something that I have not mentioned and yet is a constant companion in my new peaceful life these days is the boredom of it. My poor mind is very bored and very frustrated, it just can’t get its teeth into anything much these days. There are plenty of thoughts and feelings arising constantly of course, but because I am not getting involved in the contents of these thoughts and feelings, they just disappear again. Arising and disappearing, arising and disappearing over and over and over all day long.
Mindfulness and self compassion have led to inner peace and harmony. My self and the world no longer seems so separate and I have written about the numerous benefits and positives of how my life has changed. But it has also led to this feeling of boredom. There is nothing to do, and nowhere to go! Entertainment that used to stimulate does nothing now and friends who used to be interesting to me, are not any more. I dont feel a need for much, no striving for personal growth, higher spiritual states or enlightenment either. It is all right here right now, and that is a confrontation with the immensity of infinite space. Well it feels like that at times anyway. This nothingness, my mind really isn’t fond of it at all. It would rather be busy, entertained, have a problem or an issue, a personal conflict or drama to think about, some challenge to occupy it…anything other than this wide open space and silence.
I haven’t really mentioned it before because I felt guilty about it, and ashamed that I felt bored. I admitted it to a friend who reacted with horror and judgement. “When you have no arms, no legs and no eyes, then you can say you are bored but until then!’ she exclaimed. Yikes, quite right I thought at the time. So I hoped it was just a passing thing and tried to forget about it.
But the truth is I am bored out of my skull. There is no fear driving me into action nor much desire for anything. I am almost completely comfortable in this present moment, every moment. Time goes on like an eternity in this state. The days seem endless.
Yes the time is punctuated by fun healthy activity, there’s mindful swimming in the morning, then a park walk, making breakfast, a little cleaning, a little work, lunch, more work, I watch the odd video, go to see the guys, see clients, answer emails, shopping, cycling now too…then another nature walk. I’m not very attached or interested in any of it.
There is something tremendously powerful about this junction and this boredom that is being experienced. The mind is having an almighty confrontation with the present moment. The boredom is the mind’s fight with reality when no escape is given to it. I am not sure at all how to navigate this. The only salvation within the feeling of boredom is the curiosity I feel about this whole experience and process. I am now studying boredom as a part of the awakening process. I have fled from peace my whole life to avoid this, and now here it is in my lap.
Osho has some encouraging words on the subject though.
“Mind is always bribing you by entertainments: put on the radio, put on the TV, go to the movie or at least to the club, gossip — do something. Boredom is a punishment from the mind to you if you are not doing anything. And the greatest problem for the meditator is boredom. But if you can sit absolutely unconcerned about boredom — let the boredom be there — if you don’t get disturbed by the boredom, within three to nine months’ time the boredom will disappear. And instead of boredom there will come such a bubbling joy, such freshness, that you have never known before. And it is not entertainment because there is nothing: you are simply sitting in an absolute void. And out of that void, the plenitude, out of that void, a new kind of fulfillment….”