Is meditation boring?
Well, yeah, sort of but boredom can be a nice quiet place to start. One of the definitions of boring is the act or process of making or enlarging a hole. So, maybe just meditating on the hole and not trying to fill it with anything is a place to start. You might see things, people, events or memories appear in that hole and then vanish. You might notice feelings about the hole like emptiness, darkness, quiet. The idea is to see or hear these things as an observer not getting too fascinated or attached by what you experience. Imaging a hole is just a suggestion. Some have suggested seeing a big blank TV screen or of course blue sky or staring at a candle flame. You can find what works best for you.
When I first decided to start sitting in meditation about three years ago, I timed myself. I made it to 5 minutes and I was really happy about that. As I repeated the practice over several months, I gradually noticed my sitting time went from 5 minutes to 7 minutes to 10 minutes. Each progression brought a sense of accomplishment. I made it to 12 minutes!! Wow!! As the months went by, I built up to 30 minutes. But then I noticed the meditation had become this rigid discipline that caused me to feel inadequate if I didn’t make it to at least 20 minutes. Many times I would have experiences, feelings, images that seemed to come out of nowhere. The only thing was, if I had none of those experiences, I would get up feeling disappointed at my lack of focus or peace or whatever. That is not the idea right? So I began to take little breaks during the day and purposely sit for JUST 5 minutes. This helped me appreciate the practice more than anything because whether I had some mysterious vision or just sat there hearing the sounds around me, I had somehow centered myself and let myself feel satisfied with the practice. This brought a whole new feeling and appreciation to the 30 minute practices.
By the way, I really like the word practice for meditation, yoga, attitude adjustments and many other endeavors. Practice is working toward. That’s it. It’s not perfection. It’s not winning. It’s a good way to look at your life and get better as you go. It’s a practice.
Back to boring. One of the definitions of the word bore is to enlarge a hole or to force an opening … to make a passage. When I think of a drill boring a hole, it seems like a slow, steady and yes, boring process. So, here’s another way to look at it… if everything you expected showed up the minute you had an intention about it, you’d actually get bored. Meditation is a practice and it has a lot of positive results that you begin to notice in subtle ways over time once you decide to give it a chance. Try 1 minute. If you like it, try 2 minutes. Hopefully you won’t get too rigid about it but if you do just be nice to yourself and laugh it off. Boring can also be funny.