Boredom: guardian of the Temple (part 3)

Not exactly waiting for someone else, he is, as it were, waiting for himself. Adam Phillips, On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored, p.72

If you are bored, your mind is wandering—away from you—its rightful purpose. Gail Sher, One Continuous Mistake p.30

You long for yourself.

Distractions are substitutes, looking for something to fill a hole, attempts at connection that ultimately disappoint.

Boredom is a gift – an invitation by now, to fundamental presence, presence in yourself and to yourself, presence in and to the world.

How might you embrace boredom?

  • Stop: do nothing for now. (Doing nothing is always a possibility.)
  • Notice the desire for distraction. Give it a moment. Be gentle with yourself.
  • Wait.
  • You might find it helpful to change the scenery. Take a walk. (P.S. See this.)
  • Focus in on yourself – feel your way into this body, especially sinking down into your heart and your belly.
  • Withdraw your anxious feelers of desire and expectation.
  • Open yourself to the present moment, to what is around you, to the universe – to the rapture of being. (As I write this, there is a gentle rain. Here is a child-like pleasure to be had in watching the drops fall and run together, coagulate and run down the window-pane).
  • Come home to yourself. Let this become a place that is familiar and safe.

You create a space “in which desire can crystallise.”

Now, what do you really (really (really)) want?

2 thoughts on “Boredom: guardian of the Temple (part 3)

  1. Before I read this this morning, I sat to pray and could feel the pull not to and the myriad distractions! Then I sensed a quiet inner voice say ‘you can trust this space’ and I realised trust was what I was struggling with, so I sat some more, locating and then feeling into the little flutter of trust I could feel in my heart. And it felt good.

  2. This connects right up front with my current experience – in the throes of downsizing and moving house to a smaller place where I can end my days happily, I’m finding the pressure of distraction enormous. But I’ve been determined to stick to Martin Laird’s advice and simply persevere, trusting that the deep level is still there for me even when I can’t experience it and feel frustrated by the incapacity.
    I use awareness of body/now to become able to focus at all.

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