Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Shared Sentiment With MavPhil

I share this sentiment with William Vallicella. I all but defeated boredom years ago. I really don't understand it in this day and age. 

People sometimes seem to get perturbed or doubtful when I say this. But it is the truth. Boredom is at most a passing thought or feeling, that passes away just as easily. It is hard to explain how or why this happened, but it certainly has something to do with contemplative practice. It took years of meditating to get to the point where I was able to genuinely have adventures of the mind, where I could just take off and go places beyond thought or reason. It was also a long time before meditation helped with my depression or anxiety. And it was nearly a decade before I saw real results with my sleep disorders. But only a couple of years into regular meditative practice, I just stopped getting bored.

I don't know why meditation helped kill boredom. It isn't like I meditate to get away from boredom. The best way to describe this situation is to say I've trained my self to choose not to be bored. I figure this isn't all that radical. After all, Buddhists claim to be able ot use meditation to get rid of desire altogether, and I have little reason to doubt their claim. I personally have no desire to get rid of desire (lol), but I do see benefit in lowering one's need to be entertained. I just choose to be satisfied with those cultural products I have.

Nor is it like I don't need entertainment to do this. I love media and entertainment, as anyone who reads my blog or knows me should know very well indeed. It is more like meditation helped me lower my needs so what I have is enough. 

This shows one very good use for Buddhist approaches to life. Buddhist methodology need not be used to get rid of all attachment or desire, but simply to help one be thankful and be able to enjoy what one has. And this more modest goal is in line with Christian ethics, I think.
In the end, boredom is transmuted simply into a motivation to read or meditate, or watch a movie I haven't seen in a while. I feel nothing akin to what I once knew to be boredom. In its place I now know thankfulness.

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