Another form of aversion that we can learn to be mindful of is boredom. Usually we are afraid of boredom and will do anything to avoid it. So we go to the refrigerator, pick up the phone, watch TV, read a novel, busy ourselves constantly in an attempt to escape our loneliness, our emptiness, our boredom. When we are without awareness, it has a great power over us and we can never be at rest. Yet we need not let boredom run our lives this way. What is boredom when it is experienced in itself? Have we ever really stopped to look at it? Boredom comes from lack of attention. With it we also find restlessness, discouragement, and judgment. We get bored because we don’t like what is happening or because we feel empty or lost. In naming it, we can acknowledge boredom and let it be a state to explore.
When boredom arises, feel it in the body. Stay with it. Let yourself be really bored. Name it softly as long as it lasts. See what the demon is. Note it, feel its texture and energy, the pains and tensions in it, the resistances to it. Look directly at the workings of this quality in the body and mind. See what story it tells and what opens up as you listen. When we finally stop running away or resisting it, then wherever we are can actually become interesting! When the awareness is clear and focused, even the repeated movement of the in- and out-breath can be a most wonderful experience.
This excerpt is taken from the book, “A Path With Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of a Spiritual Life“