It’s natural to feel bored while meditating. After all, it’s… well, boring.
Except it’s not.
… but it kind of is.
When you learn to be still with your attention on your breathing, you can feel bored at first. Then something strange happens.
Your breathing becomes fascinating.
I’m serious. If you’ve never been captivated by something as simple as air moving in and out your nose, then you have something to look forward to.
Distractions are alluring. If they weren’t… well, they wouldn’t be distracting. But the pleasure of daydreaming is nothing compared to placing your attention on a single sensation.
Doing nothing, with your full awareness, is sublime.
But it’s not as though you discover this and then it’s easy forever.
Even knowing that holding your attention feels better than getting distracted, you can still lose focus.
And that’s okay.
In fact, it’s great.
Your focus will vary from day to day. Sometimes it’s easy to settle in and keep your attention. Other times, it’s trickier. Everything from food to sleep to what sort of day you’ve had while influence this.
No matter how easy or not it is, paying attention strengthens your brain.
When your attention is light, relaxed, loose and sustainable, you learn how to focus deeply.
Then, when boredom comes and you focus anyway, it strengthens your awareness even more.
Boredom arrives at your current limits. It’s your brain wanting to stop paying attention. It’s only doing this because it’s never gone beyond this point.
Your current limits are great – your future self will look back on them and laugh.
When you feel bored, know that you’re strengthening your mind as never before. Your attention will become even more stable, relaxed and enduring.
And you can never have too much focus.
The trick to pushing past this boredom barrier is to treat it like any other distraction. Accept it for what it is but don’t follow it. Watch the thought as if it’s a boat floating down a distant river.
Don’t judge, criticise or bully your mind to stay on track.
Simply continue to be.
And return to whatever meditation exercise you were doing.
True focus is calm and relaxed. You could sustain this broad, expansive state forever. In it, you notice everything and judge nothing. Whatever happens is worth noting, without pulling you into thoughts or distractions.
When you’re comfortable with the basics of meditation, then keep this state for longer periods. The more you hold your attention stable, the greater benefits you will develop.
Like becoming better at self-hypnosis. It’s one of those disciplines where having strong focus helps.
It also trains your focus to be sharper, clearer and calmer.
If you meditate but don’t hypnotise yourself, then your training is incomplete. See the full picture:
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