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t's funny that boredom even exists. We have instant
access to the Internet, games, chatting, emailing
and that's only with a computer. Sports, TV, theater,
y o g a c l a s s e s ... t h e
options are endless. The
effect of our endless
stream of frenetic action
is that we're becoming
desensitized to action. We
do stuff just for the sake
of doing stuff because
we're caught in the swing
of the pendulum. The
momentum keeps us
going, and stopping seems
almost counterintuitive.
The net result of all this
doing is that doing stuff
no longer holds the
same meaning, and we
get bored.
Rather than getting an
u p s e t s t o m a c h f r o m
inhaling one experience
after another, we can
chew on them a bit and
savor them for all that
they are. In doing so, we
regain appreciation for all
we do, and we transform
the simple, the mundane,
into acts of wonder.
Going for a stroll in the
park and watching a butterfly float from flower to flower,
dancing around in the sky like a ballerina with wings, is
no less special than going to see a ballet performed by
trained ballet dancers. Flowers stand tall, reaching for the
sun with all their radiant beauty, happy to give the fruit
of their labors away freely to any visitors who want them.
Petals drop to the ground, slowly rotting into food for
another soul waiting in the earth.
The wonder of life is ever-present and of infinite variety.
We just have to open our eyes to it and be in the moment
enough to realize this beauty that we have been given.
Being in tune also requires
a reassessment of values.
Where once we strived to
make money to buy those
platinum tickets to see a
basketball game or to spend
hours watching TV every
evening, the sight of a sunset
sparkling over an ocean or
enjoying the ever-present
chorus of birdsong can
deliver the same pleasure.
One way to tune in to the
mundane is by paying
a t t e n t i o n t o b e l l s o f
mindfulness. Zen master
Thich Nhat Hanh refers to
any reminder to be mindful
as a bell of mindfulness.
Examples may be audible,
such as the ringing of a
phone or the honking of a
horn, or they could be visual,
as with a bird flying overhead
or the sight of a particularly
favorite tree of yours. The
possibilities are endless.
It's a good idea to start
with one that doesn't come
up too often and is easily
recognizable. Perhaps choose one that works with your
dominant sense. When we become aware of the bell, we
just stay present. We can stop what we're doing if possible
and be aware of the beauty presented to us. When all of life
becomes full of meaning, boredom will diminish because
we have restored the value to once valueless experiences.
UB Hawthorn writes for and edits The Mindful Word journal of engaged living. You
can visit him online at
heart & soul
bored no more
By UB Hawthorn