My sister tells me that she feel impressed and inspired, because I am never bored. I happily confirm the assessment. “You’re right, Saskia, I am never bored. Especially not since I started meditating. I have always something to do, even when I am waiting, because I can always focus on my breath and observe my thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
I feel proud, relieved, and excited that I have found something that brings me joy in every moment.
As the days pass, I start to pay attention. To the truth of my experience. How utterly bored I feel on my meditation cushion, many, many times. Just focusing on my breath, and nothing else going on. Not enough distraction, not enough entertainment, too much antsyness. I follow Thich Nhat Hanh’s instructions:
Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.
Okay, okay, I get it. Focus on your in-breath as you breathe in, and on your out-breath as you breathe out. But 20 minutes in a row???! I get the idea in two minutes, can I do something else the rest of the time?
Let’s try Pema Chodron’s advice. Sit up straight, tongue resting lightly on my palate, mouth lightly open.
Breathing in, I adjust posture.
Breathing out, I let go.
Way better. My neck needs adjustment. I need to straighten my back. Relax my belly. I have something to do, some distraction. Then there is a ring-tailed cat outside. Cool! I have to pay attention to her. You see them seldom, because they are so shy. Now I have an interesting thought. Let’s elaborate on it, it’s a perfect outline for a post.
I am never bored??!… I am bored all the time. Especially with what’s most crucial to my life: my breath.
Jack Kornfield has this story:
There once was a Zen Buddhist student monk. His teacher shared one practice with him: focus on your breath. The student practiced for years, and years, and years. Then finally he tells his teacher: “Master, I have practiced focusing on my breath for all these years. I’m getting bored. Can we add another practice?” The teacher grasps his head, pushes it down the water basin and holds it there till the student grasps for air. Then he lets him go and asks: “Are you still bored with your breath?”
That student is me. Learning to find delight in each and every breath.
You want help to enjoy every breath? Contact me 512-589-0482 to schedule a complimentary discovery session.