"Everyone has a common enemy - boredom!"
We all know that the state of Boredom can be a terrible feeling to have. When we are bored, we are in an unhappy state.
There are many things which can create the state of boredom.
For instance, going to a boring lecture, doing something monotonous such as doing gardening or cleaning the house, taking out the rubbish or simply just sitting there and doing nothing.
Obviously what will be boring for one person will always be different for the other - Some people will like going to school or cleaning the house, and there will be people who like to just sit there and do nothing.
Thus boredom is not really a thing outside of us but rather a "State Of Mind."
And the State of Mind when we experience boredom is a Suffering State Of Mind because if we look deep within what we will find is that in that moment of boredom all sorts of Negativities and Unhappiness are actually brimming at the deeper levels of the mind.
To address this state most of us often would address it at the surface level by trying to run away from these negative sensations by doing something which will distract us from them - i.e. by doing something "more interesting," "more meaningful," "more exciting."
But within time what we will realize is that such a solution is not permanent because whatever we end up doing we will end up losing interest in it again and it can take us to the craving of doing more and more exciting things each time the feeling of boredom rise up again and again.
Realize that there are degrees of boredom ranging from subtle to really painful heart sensations of Boredom.
In fact, extreme boredom can be seen experienced in the same force as the states of Depression / Mid-life Crisis / Apathy and so forth.
As it is a Suffering State, it is a state which can limit our experience of happiness.
So how do we address it?
We have to penetrate into Boredom to see what it exactly is.
Boredom In Depth
When we do something that is boring, our mind can really convince us that it is the "thing" that is boring. But the Truth is that it is not really the thing that we are doing that is "boring" rather that thing is boring because "we decided" at the level of perception of the mind.
Thus realize that it is the choice that we make at the level of the perception that will determine whether or not something is boring.
Thus by changing our perception, the state of boredom will also change.
But unfortunately it is easier said than done.
For instance, it is much like the following saying -
"We can always choose to view the cup half empty or half full"
Although we know that the way we choose to view our experiences will always come down to our choices but the habits in which we carry can simply push us to see that cup as always been half empty.
And for that habit to naturally change will often take a lot of life experiences to make us see that it is not worth living life looking at everything in such a grim light and it's better to see things more positively..
Similarly boredom works the same way. Although it is up to us whether we choose to view something as boring or something as enjoyable but it will often take many life experiences to finally make us see that instead of carrying Negativity whilst doing something we can actually choose to be Positive and try to enjoy in what we are doing.
But by having the knowledge that the state of boredom is actually a state that we "choose" to be in will help us to accelerate our journey. Because this will make us realize that we can change it.
Importance Of Addressing Boredom
To address boredom we have to first realize that it is something that needs to be addressed not only at the surface level but also at its Roots.
So here we will look at some of the reasons why we need to address Boredom.
When we are bored, our mind is actually in a state of agitation and stimulation because in that state we will be thinking all sorts of ways to get out of the Present Moment. The state of boredom thus can greatly suck our vitality/life force as we will experience all sorts of Suffering States i.e. Dissatisfaction / Uncontement / Impatience/Stimulation which are not very beneficial states to The Self. We can also experience feelings of unhappiness/ loneliness and in the extreme a feeling that life is not even worth living - Depression.
Are you often trying to find exciting things to do all the time?
As a result boredom can make us end up doing things in which are unethical or things which goes against our beliefs or even doing things that we might even later regret. Thus before we do something major, i.e. getting into a relationship, a job, or commit to something big, or do something drastic or extreme, we should find out whether we are doing it out of love and choice rather than boredom and the need to escape our present reality.
Are you in a relationship with someone just because you are bored or lonely?
Boredom can also push us to crave for things by convincing us that "we do not have enough." This can create a feeling of worthlessness and a desire for more and more things.
Boredom also can make us feel really tired as if the day is dragging on and making everything we do feel pointless and meaningless. This is a result of many Negative Ideas brimming within and this can create the belief that the body is "tired" when it in fact is not. See Catalyst - Fatigue/Tiredness for more details.
Also when we are in a state of boredom the mind can generate many wandering thoughts which can be mentally draining.
Boredom as a drive for new experiences?
Perhaps one can say that Boredom is a good thing as it can drives us to new experiences in life. But truthfully the state of Boredom is simply just a State of Suffering State and it is not necessary to have. If one wishes to have a more fulfilling life one can simply makes a choice of expanding their life experiences out of Wisdom and Love rather than Boredom and Negativity. Often when we make choices out of Boredom we will end up making the wrong choices.
And as we look at the Seed Cause of this Suffering State what we will realize that Boredom is a form of Suffering created by Negative Ideas in the Mind.
Path Of Creator
Boredom In Relation To The Path Of Creator
To create greater Happiness in life we have to transform and release our Sufferings.
Boredom is one of the most mysterious states much like Apathy because it is a state that we rarely go deep into - and that is why it can be so mysterious.
Most of us only know what Boredom is on the superficial level and because of this the only solutions to Boredom we usually come up with will only be superficial ones such as doing something different to distract ourselves from experiencing the state.
To understand what boredom is we really have to first understand the Nature Of The Deeper Mind.
So let us slowly move from temporary solutions and discover more everlasting solutions.
Temporary Solutions For Boredom
The temporary alleviation for boredom often is to have a goal -i.e. a purpose in life.
The world is full of possibilities so there must be something that resonates with you.
Often when we have fears of judgement and failure it can pull us away from pursuing our dreams. Thus our fears can make us live a boring mundane life which we do not enjoy.
Our fears can also block us from realizing what we really want to do i.e. Perhaps we have a dream of public speaking but because of our fear of judgement we bury and hide the dream back in our mind.
Thus through working on our fears we can realize and remember our dreams.
The destination here however is not to temporary alleviate ourselves from boredom but to release ourselves from boredom completely even when we do the most simple and mundane things in life .
This is not to say that we no longer pursue our goals and dreams. In fact, our goals and dreams can be achieved quicker when we do not reach for it out of boredom. As we reach for our dreams through a state of calm, peace and acceptance, clarity will come so that our inner wisdom can guide us with the best ways to make it happen.
Being Present In Relation To Boredom
The Seed Cause to all forms of Sufferings come from Negative Ideas.
Ideas are Negative because it promotes the Rejection of The Self.
Thus one can say that it is the Rejection of The Self that is the Cause for all forms of Sufferings.
Now let us look at the Suffering Mind in relation to Being Present.
When the Mind is in the Present Moment, i.e. not dwelling in the past or future/not craving for something that is not in the present, the State of the Mind is in fact in a state of Acceptance and from that state comes Happiness / Satisfaction / Contentment / Peace / Harmony.
To develop Experienced Knowledge of such a state we can simply practice the 5 Present Breaths
And when the Mind is in the Present State i.e. Focused on the Present Moment without the worries of the future or regrets of the past, the Mind is in a Happy State.
Boredom is a state experienced when we are in a state of Rejection towards The Present Moment because we are un-satisifed and un-content with what we are currently doing / with what we currently have. And as a result our minds wanders into the Past or Future craving for something that is seemingly "better" than the Present.
And what we are left with is a Suffering State - the State Of boredom.
Thus when we experience boredom we are actually experiencing a state of Rejection towards the Present Moment. In fact we are in Rejection of The Self in the Present Moment. So when we experience boredom it is a sign that we cannot simply accept who we are and what we have in the Present Moment.
Thus to transform and release ourselves from the state of Boredom we need to learn how to develop Acceptance of The Self.
But how do we develop this Acceptance?
Enjoying The Present Moment
Realize that whatever thing we do in life we can always find some things to enjoy or hate about it if we look for it hard enough. For instance, when we are studying in school we can often just focus on the negative parts of it *i.e. the boring part of reading books, the annoying part of exams.*
And when we are so focused on the negative aspects of one thing we can become blind to the positive/exciting side such as "studying to become smarter, learning more about this world, developing our abilities to read and organize information in our mind etc."
So when we are so focused on the negative aspects of one thing, the resulting spectrum of emotions that will be left will be the negative ones.
To develop acceptance of The Self thus we need to ask the question -
"Why are we always focused on the negative sides of something?"
And often the answer can be, "Because I am not satisfied with what I have" And when one continually makes this negative mental declarations in the mind then one will develop the habit of rejecting the Present Moment and experiencing Boredom all the time.
So how do we address this Negative Habit?
Transforming The Negative Ideas
Realize that when we are not experiencing any Negative Ideas in the Present moment then the State of the Mind is a Happy State.
Thus when we are bored and unhappy it means there are Negative Ideas at play.
Thus one way to Transform and Release Boredom at the Seed Level is to look for the Negative Ideas when one is experiencing boredom. I.e. to find the Negative Mental Declarations.
Without developing the Knowing of The Self it will be difficult for one to become aware of these Negative Ideas.
So here are some possible lists of Negative Ideas and you can use these as examples to find your own.
Whenever you experience the following Ideas in the mind, simply invert the Negative Ideas to see how it affects the Consciousness.
It’s not ok to do ---> it’s ok to do
It’s a hassel to do ---> It is worthwhile to do
“It is useless to do” ---> “It is useful to do”
"This moment is not Worthwhile" ---> "This moment is Worthwhile"
"This is Boring" --->"This is Enjoyable"
"This is a waste of time" ---> "This is a good use of time"
"It's not going to be fun" ----> "It is going to be fun"
"I can’t be bothered/give a damn about it, what’s the point?”" ---> "I'm going to find things to enjoy about it"
What you will realize that by just simply inverting the Negative Declarations at the surface level you will experience a shift in perspective in the Mind. That is when you realize just how much mental declarations play a part in the quality of your perception.
Now when we do this it may feel like we are self-hypnotising/lying to ourselves that we are going to enjoy something that we are not going to enjoy.
Vut what we are doing here is simply addressing our Negative Habit of always seeing things in a Negative Light. By constantly doing this what we will realize is that we can actually always find something to enjoy in a particular thing I.e. when we walk in a park with our families we can always enjoy the breeze, the atmosphere, the people around us but realize that if we only focus on the negative we can only end up rejecting the Present Moment by thinking about other exciting things that we could be doing i.e. going out with our friends, unfinished business/work to attend to, games waiting to be played at home and so forth.
The goal is to simply be in the Present Moment with a Calm Mind so that we can experience the Present Moment without Imagination / Illusion of what it is i.e. boredom can make us imagine about the past or the future possibilities of what we could have, we could done. That is not the Present Reality. So the purpose of inverting the declarations is to simply go against our habit patterns, go against the negativity so that we can develop the state of Stillness, so that we can simply live and enjoy in the reality of the Present Moment.
"If you are going to do something, why not do it out of enjoyment rather than boredom? "
And this is how we develop the Acceptance Of The Self in relation to Boredom in every moment. In everything we do in every moment we always try to find something to enjoy about it.
Realize that we are the Creators of our Happiness, and we can either choose to Suffer by seeing the Present Moment as undesirable or we can choose to be Happy by seeing the Present Moment as desirable.
In summary, Boredom comes from (Negative Ideas) which prevent one from experiencing the joyts of simply being present.
To be bored or not
It is simply a choice
Develop Experienced Knowledge
To develop Experienced Knowledge of why you experience boredom you can simply do the things that you find boring and try to discover any Negative Mental Declarations in the mind, i.e. in those moments you may discover that "This person is so unbearable, this piece of musical is garbage" and then work your way to find the Negative Ideas.
To transform the Negative Ideas you can practice the following.
1. Try to be Present in every moment, i.e. focus on what is happening at the moment with your 5 senses, your smell, your sight, your touch, your hearing and your taste.
2. In the present moment try to find things to enjoy about it. You do this by declaring in the mind "I am going to enjoy this Present Moment."
3. Practice the 5 Present Breaths every moment you find yourself experiencing boredom.
The Creator's Meditation / VipassanaLink here
The longer you sit in Meditation the more you will most likely experience Boredom!
This is because the more you spend time in meditation, the Negative Ideas behind Boredom will surface more and more and make you want to run away from the practice
As you keep observing the Negative Physical Sensations of Boredom and letting it come and letting it go, what happens is that you will realize two things : One is that when you observe the Present Moment with a calm mind, that experience of boredom will disappear and you will begin to experience a state of peace and harmony (a clear mind) and secondly it is that when you begin to experience Stillness / Presentness, you will be able to see all that pushes you out of that state in much clearer light - Allowing you to develop the experienced Knowledge of the Deeper Causes of Your Sufferings - Your own Perception!
Know and Transform The Self!
There are many free meditation practices that you can try on the Courses page.
For example, the Guided Meditation For Self-Knowing is a simple 30min practice which will guide you to understand how by simply observing the breath one can develop Self-Knowing. And by developing Self-Knowing everyday, then you will come to know your deeper desires so that you can live a fulfilled life.