We all know the benefits of meditation, but what if we find it boring? It’s commonly cited as a problem or barrier to regular meditation practice and it makes me wonder why are we so resistant to the possibly of being bored?
On a biological level, we’re programmed to do things to help us survive like find food and shelter and avoid threats. We’re not programmed very well to stop and rest for very long so the idea of sitting and breathing just seems wrong.
Mindfulness writer Ed Halliwell suggests mindfulness as a remedy to boredom in that it encourages us to see boredom not as something to reject but as something to understand and know. Boredom melts away as we get familiar with it, not by resisting it. If you’re bored by meditation, the answer seems to be to meditate more and explore what beyond the boredom.
There’s 3 things we can do to get used to the boredom.
- Be curious – by changing perspective and approaching feelings of boredom with interest, we step out of boredom. Ask questions about it and find what resides beneath it.
- Stay with the feeling – when we notice our boredom and can stay with it, it means we’re not looking to be distracted anymore.
- Make a change – if the boredom persists it may mean we need more meaning and purpose in our life.
Getting to the bottom of the boredom you might feel with meditation is hard work and there’s many levels to work through. If all this seems too much for you, consider there’s other ways to meditate or be mindful that simply involve being in the moment and limiting distracting thoughts:
- Take a walk, without your headphones and notice your breath, how your body feels and what’s around you
- Do some sort of slow body movement – yoga, tai chi, stretching – and focus on your breath and how each movement feels
- Choose an activity you like to do and stay completely with you’re doing