Bored to the bone
What Chögyam Trungpa has to say about boredom is worth reading. I’ve never come across something so clearly put and so totally to the point. On mindfulness of breathing:
– Nothing happens, it is absolutely boring.
– When you take away the idea of credentials, then there is boredom.
– Boredom is important in meditation; it increases the psychological sophistication of the practitioners.
– It’s a good feeling to be bored, constantly sitting and sitting. First gong, second gong, third gong, more gongs yet to come. Sit, sit, sit, sit.
– … the introduction of boredom and repetitiousness is extremely important. Without it we have no hope. It is true- no hope.
– Simply relating with the breath is very monotonous and unadventorous…
It’s very refreshing and fun to read this, it’s hard not to laugh out loud. Someone is slamming what everyone is thinking- bang- on the table. Look at it, acknowledge it, relate to it, accept it and really go into it. Boredom will play it’s tricks in almost every aspect of meditation, at least if it’s about getting to the core and not just for “credentials” and entertainment.
I often read that mindfulness of breathing is The Basic Excercise, but Trungpa puts this in a new prespective. The Basic Excercise is to deal with boredom in a new way and what would make better practice than meditation? I can really relate with this view because my 1 month of daily sitting has been 95% about not getting up from the cushion before the gong. It’s more about not doing what feels neccesary than actually doing something useful. I’ve failed a couple of times, but all in all it’s been a success.
I sit, mind wanders, body hurts, I breathe, mind wanders, I’m bored, I sit, breathe, sigh, mind races, I loose it, I catch it, frustration, boredom, breath, restlessness, I sit and- gong- I’m free.
Reading Trungpa helps me realize how much progress I’ve actually made by being bored to the bone and staying with it.
This weird practice is a paradox in itself. Why am I surprised that failig to follow instructions, achieving nothing and getting bored could mean doing it right, having progress and enjoying that what is not-fun?