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In Hong Kong, we’re used to being on the go. Hong Kong is the fastest city in the world. We are addicted to being stressed, being a spreadsheet monkey or glorifying “busy”.
It's true we encounter boredom less, nowadays. When you’re stuck in traffic, or the line for the MTR is more than a few people deep at Admiralty rush hour, or your doctor is keeping you waiting for an appointment… you always have a phone as our entertainment respite. Armed with headphones and computer gadgets, we never finish the internet. There’s always more knowledge to discover and more artistic output to view. You can always hear your favorite Podcast, watch a Youtube channel, read an article, check in with a friend on Whatsapp. You can do all of these things with a device that you have at your side at 3am or even during an important meeting,
We are scared of being bored. It’s scary to noticing your feelings when you’re alone. It’s scary to acknowledge that we need a constant hip of stimulus to feel like we’re being productive. Because we don’t want to face doing nothing. Even if we’re up at 3am, and we’re desperately trying to go back to sleep, we want to do something. We want stimulus.
So essentially, you might avoid boredom for the rest of your life.
But if boredom is a secondary outcome, you might also never discover the joys in the primary cause of boredom. What is on the other side of that? What does a person, sipping a mug of hot tea, enjoy when she’s not glued to her phone? While some people might think she’s psychopathic for not having a phone to stare at, doing nothing could be doing something productive.
Once you learn to meditate, you realize that boredom is simply a failure to focus. Something as basic as constant breathing can become a source of joyous wonder. And even the awareness that you’re bored, can be a focus of contemplation. What are you feeling or noticing when you pay close attention to your silence?
So training and meditation is the true cure for boredom, permanently. Once you learn how to meditate, you can never truly be bored again. Left alone, you always have something to do within. You always have the source of blissful awareness by noticing your thoughts, breath and body sensations. You no longer feel desperate to be distracted by a stimulus.
Meditation can help you find a deep feeling of peace and well-being as an intrinsically, for just being conscious. Imagine that…you might welcome boredom because it gives a respite to the brain and gives you time to focus on yourself.