How to boredom-proof yourself

17 Apr

Boredom is the combination of two beliefs:

  1. Nothing interesting is happening.
  2. I want something interesting to happen.

Without belief #1, we simply pay attention and notice what actually is happening. Without belief #2, it’s okay if nothing interesting happens for a while.

Boredom can be eliminated by seeing through or letting go of either of these two beliefs since they’re both necessary for boredom to be present.

What does life look like if we see through belief #1? We notice what actually is going on — breathing, the body pressing against the chair, the clock ticking, air moving over our skin. We might pay attention to our thoughts about how bored we are and what we might do about it. Just watch them evolve. It can be quite fascinating. Once we’re fascinated, we’re not bored anymore.

What about belief #2? That’s not a belief, it’s a desire, isn’t it? Well, what’s a desire? Isn’t a desire just a belief that something is lacking and that my happiness depends on having that something that’s lacking? Another way of stating belief #2 is, “I can’t be happy until something interesting happens.” Test it. Try to be happy, if only for just a moment, without requiring something interesting to happen. If you’re successful, you’ve learned that belief #2 is not correct. That’s something interesting that happened!

But suppose trying to be happy doesn’t work. You try to be happy, but you really aren’t. You’re still bored. It looks like you really can’t be happy until something interesting happens.

Get interested in your boredom and unhappiness. What are its roots? Map it out in your psyche. What nourishes it and makes it grow? What would make it wither? How can you water the plant of acceptance instead? Are you still bored? Have any interesting thoughts happened yet?

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Posted by on 2011/04/17 in happiness, howto


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