Terry Pratchett once said “HUMAN BEINGS MAKE LIFE SO INTERESTING. DO YOU KNOW, THAT IN A UNIVERSE SO FULL OF WONDERS, THEY HAVE MANAGED TO INVENT BOREDOM.”
I heard this years ago but it stuck with me, and I thought about it regularly. It wasn’t until practicing meditation that I really understood.
When you think about it, boredom really is one of the most ridiculous inventions, serving no purpose whatsoever except to give us a feeling of restlessness, with a belief that the grass is greener somewhere else. Boredom is not an emotion but an affliction of mindset. It comes as a result of an attachment to the idea of time and is found when the mind has wandered away from the present moment.
If you are bored you are not present. If you are bored your mind is elsewhere, caught up with the idea of something somewhere else being better than whatever you are doing right now. But whatever you are doing right now is Living. In this moment right now you are fully alive! There is nothing better than that, no matter what imaginings your mind can create. To allow yourself to chase an alternative future will keep you from the depth of every moment, from the stillness and tranquility of the deep, instead always splashing the surface, chasing a horizon that never ends.
Boredom is often the first hurdle most encounter in their meditation practice. You sit for a bit, a result of a decision you have made to work on connecting and aligning to yourself now, something that you have chosen to do, but then as you sit longer you start to feel sensations in your body... You decide this experience is not fun, it’s not for you, and suddenly that decision you made to sit has moved down your list of priorities and fictions form in your mind that something somewhere else is better.
This is the moment to catch yourself. Do not run from this experience, sit observing the sensations and see where it leads to. Does boredom last forever? In a universe where the only constant is change, it would take a lot of effort to be constantly bored.
When you see you are causing your own sufferings, you see the truth.
Boredom is an idea. It’s up to you to think it.