Oakville Zen Meditation

#348 Why boredom is exciting May 22 21

            Why boredom is exciting

When we’re bored, we become uncomfortable and restless like a withdrawal from an addiction.

In our Western culture, being bored carries the feelings loneliness, laziness or even being useless. Our self-image is wounded because our ego perceives boredom negatively, sort of failure.

Our ego say “ I must be busy and show to others that I am busy  ”

When someone is asking: “ How are you doing?”, the #1 reply among adults is “busy”

The word “boredom” was used for the first time by C. Dickens in the 1850s.

Before then boredom was never mentioned. In earlier times people found meaning and connection through village squares, church and social gatherings. Rat race did not exist.

Being bored is a secular disease. Why?

Because we are in the rat race, because we are multi-tasking, because we create “To do list”, because “doing is being”, because we are addicted to IT which, by-the-way is now recognized as a medical condition similar to chemical addiction since the level od dopamine (so called molecule of happiness) increased while we are interacting with the screen.

What is triggering boredom?

Boredom occurs during 2 main instances:

  1. We can be bored when we are facing repetitive, automatic and non-stimulating

     stuff such as daily duties, social events and even people. I call it active boredom.

   2) When we are disconnected from our addictions such as IT. This is passive boredom.

When boredom strikes, we feel some void and the negative feeling of being unproductive, useless, impatient, restless or even lazy in the current moment.

Boredom can make us uncomfortable. When there’s nothing stimulating, flashy, and distracting, we experience the urge to seek distractions a.s.a.p. and the #1 source of distraction is, again, the IT world. We Google, text and call for no specific reason.

The moment we start chasing something, we create its opposite.  Examples:

   When we are chasing happiness, sadness is waiting around the corner.

   When we are chasing distractions, we become subconsciously aware that, w/o these distractions we will be easily bored.

Our smartphones and Skype only provide fictional human connection and w/o the physical interaction, dissatisfaction and frustration may occur, which, in turn, can evoke cravings for stimulation. This is a vicious circle.

So, what to do?

Rather than trying to find something “exciting” to escape from our feelings of restlessness, just pay attention to your boredom and meditate on it in a mindful way.

When you meditate on your boredom, you are not bored anymore because you are doing something actively rather than “doing nothing”!.

Boredom becomes even exciting because you become busy again.

No need to jump on your cell phone, Netflix or chocolate.

Beside focusing on your boredom, you can also focus, in a mindful way, on your connection and interaction to your surroundings by using your 5 senses.

You will realize that there is no void, boredom evaporates like a miracle.

Boredom, void feeling useless are just in our head. Thank you