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Living in the present (and restlessness)

I read an article (not fully buddhist but with buddhist slant) about why we are bored and restless: the author says it is because we cannot fully appreciate each moment. He says each moment is new (no repetition), so boredom is impossible if we live in the moment. But because we miss the present moment, we experience restlessness.

This does not convince me because what if each moment is also boring? This moment, I stare at a blank wall and that's boring ... next moment a thought about dinner comes up, that too is mundane and boring. And so on. So even if each moment is new it could still be boring, right?

Or am I missing something here?
banned_crab

Comments

  • "If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all." (John Cage)
    ericcris10sen
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    boredom is actually very interesting because like depression it permeates or perfumes our whole experience. This can be caught as insight into the spacious nature how mandalas bloom and pervade the space and then they decay and it is no longer boredom. The quality of mind to be spacious is seen in boredom and depression.
  • I'm with @Jeffrey, study the boredom.
    John_Spencer
  • It takes real effort to be "in the moment", I don't think it's a practical solution to boredom.

    Nothing is inherently boring, boredom comes from the desire to be doing something else and it only becomes an issue when we're denied the option to change what we're doing. If you try to concentrate on being in the moment, you're just pushing that desire for change to the back of your mind, but it's still there. The obvious solution to me would be to try and let go of the desire, not overpower it with concentration.
    Sabrebanned_crab
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    edited May 2013
    To be 'in the moment' is another way of saying you don't want to be anywhere else. When you are bored or restless, you do want to be somewhere else, want to be doing something else. Boredom and restlessness are almost the same thing. When these things arise you could say you are not really 'in the moment' any more, because you don't embrace the moment. You are already trying to escape it.

    So I'd say it is the other way around: NOT we are bored and restless because we can't appreciate each moment, but we can't appreciate each moment because we are bored and restless.
    lobsterbanned_crab
  • NevermindNevermind Bitter & Hateful Veteran
    When bored be full bored. :om: <-- boring Zen saying.
    Sabredhammachicklobsterericcris10sen
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    betaboy said:

    So even if each moment is new it could still be boring, right?

    I don't think so!
    Or am I missing something here?
    A strong daily meditation practice that keeps bringing you back to the "new present moment" rather than being stuck on thoughts of "this is boring", "I don't like this", and all the the commentary that the monkey mind engages in, etc, etc.?

    This is one of the reasons why meditation retreats are so beneficial IMO. They are deliberately designed to be quite boring! But as you progress through it and the monkey mind calms down, the activity that you did yesterday was very boring, but the very same activity today is new and fresh and alive. So it's the exact same activity but one day it's really boring and the next day it's new, fresh and alive. That really tells you something about the nature of boredom.

    On zen retreats we have a practice called "work practice". I used to hate that the most of all! Especially cleaning the bathroom! The bathroom is cleaned spick and span every day for an hour. So when you go to do your "work period practice" of cleaning the bathroom the next day, you have to spend an hour cleaning a bathroom that is already spick and span clean. These bathrooms are so clean you could drink from the toilet! Talk about boring, holy Jesus! But, when you relax into the moment, all the boredom fades away and everything becomes fresh, new and alive, even though it's the exact same thing that made you bored yesterday.
    This does not convince me
    That is quite normal I think. Someone telling you about a kind of experience doesn't really convince you of the nature of that experience. Experiencing that experience for yourself, is really what convinces you.
    lobster
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    Namaste,

    Shift your paradigm and boredom will shift to something else.

    I always found driving my daughter to school tedious and sometimes annoying because, as much as I love her, I need to get to work. This view was because I was looking to the future, not being in the present. I missed the expressions on her face while she was talking, I missed enjoying singing along with her to the radio......

    Then two weeks ago, I started appreciating the present for what it is. Because I may not have it for long. Now I look forward to my time with my daughter, even if it's watching soccer training under the park shed in the rain. When you value the present for what it is, nothing else, it's anything but boring.

    Just my 0.02

    In metta,
    Raven
    Jeffreykarasti
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    Being in the present is not the same as being 'in the boredom/agitation/hindrance.

    Being bored is being in the boredom/agitation/restlessness.

    Be Buddhist. Practice. Be at Peace. Every moment unique. Nothing to miss. :wave:
  • betaboybetaboy Veteran
    Sabre said:

    To be 'in the moment' is another way of saying you don't want to be anywhere else. When you are bored or restless, you do want to be somewhere else, want to be doing something else. Boredom and restlessness are almost the same thing. When these things arise you could say you are not really 'in the moment' any more, because you don't embrace the moment. You are already trying to escape it.

    So I'd say it is the other way around: NOT we are bored and restless because we can't appreciate each moment, but we can't appreciate each moment because we are bored and restless.

    That's the point: if the moment were so wondrous, why would we have the desire to be somewhere else? That we are elsewhere is evidence that the present is not all that appealing.
  • ZeroZero Veteran
    betaboy said:


    That's the point: if the moment were so wondrous, why would we have the desire to be somewhere else?
    That we are elsewhere is evidence that the present is not all that appealing.

    The moment is not necessarily wondrous - it is just the moment - what you uncover in that is up to you.
    What else is there except the moment? and if everything is tainted with it then surely it would be the thing to examine most closely?
    What do you propose doing with the evidence? Is there a case to prove to a judge?
    Keep trying the alternatives - examine what it is to appeal.
    The conclusions are all yours and you live with the consequences.
    Choose, as the results speak for themselves.
    banned_crab
  • betaboybetaboy Veteran
    Zero said:

    betaboy said:


    That's the point: if the moment were so wondrous, why would we have the desire to be somewhere else?
    That we are elsewhere is evidence that the present is not all that appealing.

    The moment is not necessarily wondrous - it is just the moment - what you uncover in that is up to you.
    What else is there except the moment? and if everything is tainted with it then surely it would be the thing to examine most closely?
    What do you propose doing with the evidence? Is there a case to prove to a judge?
    Keep trying the alternatives - examine what it is to appeal.
    The conclusions are all yours and you live with the consequences.
    Choose, as the results speak for themselves.
    Let us say at this very moment, multiple things are happening: my mind is thinking about X, my eyes are seeing a computer monitor, my legs feel an itch, my nose is inhaling air, etc. Do I observe all this together in that specific moment and, even if I do, what's the point?
  • John_SpencerJohn_Spencer Veteran
    edited May 2013
    Nevermind said:

    When bored be full bored. :om: <-- boring Zen saying.</p>

    Be the Chairman of the bored.



  • CittaCitta Veteran
    Time is one of the by -products of feeling separate from what is.
    We can no more live in the present than we can live in the past or future.
    That would be like halting the river we are standing in.
    Things arise. They do not arise relative to us merely.
    We, time, and all things , are always arising, and always in flux.
    There is no solid ground.
    And that's good.
    riverflowVastmindkarastibanned_crab
  • ZeroZero Veteran
    betaboy said:


    ...what's the point?

    Indeed... what is the point?
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    We seek to be elsewhere because we are always seeking pleasure rather than accepting what/where/who we are at this very second. Not every moment has to have a point, I don't think. But you can make it so, if you desire. You can control that your mind is thinking about xmas.

    My middle son is in Little League. During the first year or so, I enjoyed watching him play but would become "bored"sitting there watching kids I didn't know and waiting for MY son to have his turn so I could enjoy it again. Instead I chose to get to know the parents around me, and their kids a bit, and cheered for them all, both teams. I no longer get bored, because I enjoy seeing every kid have their turn. Instead of being bored sitting at a red stoplight, I choose to roll down the window and listen to the sounds around me and think about where everyone might be going. You can make the most mundane moments in life more interesting. But you have to get outside of where your body and mind are and take in everything around you rather than just that in your mind and in front of your eyes.

    Right now I'm sitting in front of my computer while my son finishes breakfast. But I can hear our dog moving on her chain outside. I can hear my uncle mowing my grandma's lawn. I can hear the birds, and even the kid down the street swearing at his dirt bike. Life is going on all around me, and just stopping to notice that, I find pretty cool.
    riverflowbanned_crab
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited May 2013
    Boredom arises because we like to indulge in experiences: sights, sounds, smells, taste, touch, thoughts etc. Even staring at a stone wall, we can see interesting things. It is not even be here and smell the flowers thingy. The mind is always going out through the 6 sense doors to avoid boredom. This seeking tendency is a root cause of dukkha. It is the origination of the ego. Restlessness is the ego fighting against its demise. Can you imagine to want or not want for any experience?

    "The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming: This, friend Visakha, is the origination of self-identification described by the Blessed One."

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.044.than.html
    karmablues
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited May 2013
    what is a moment? can you tell when a moment starts and when it ends? so is there some time duration in a moment, when you can feel the experience in it and also able to classify that experience as boring or restless or enjoyable or not enjoyable? if you cannot classify the experience in the present moment, then when that moment has gone, how do you know how were you feeling in that moment, which has already gone - or, in other words - can you prove in this moment that what you think the experience was like( in the just gone moment) the same way, as exactly that experience was in the just gone moment? so how do you know how the experience exactly is?
  • betaboybetaboy Veteran
    edited May 2013

    what is a moment? can you tell when a moment starts and when it ends? so is there some time duration in a moment, when you can feel the experience in it and also able to classify that experience as boring or restless or enjoyable or not enjoyable? if you cannot classify the experience in the present moment, then when that moment has gone, how do you know how were you feeling in that moment, which has already gone - or, in other words - can you prove in this moment that what you think the experience was like( in the just gone moment) the same way, as exactly that experience was in the just gone moment? so how do you know how the experience exactly is?

    You know by experiencing it. When you are happy, is there a possibility that you may mistake it for sadness? Not likely. You recognize it for what it is. It is self-evident.
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    In fact experience may show that our affect..the feelings part of us..is layered.
    That under the happiness is often sadness, and that under that is happiness and so on.
    As one pointedness develops we become aware of mind states arising that are incredibly brief. They are always there, but we become aware of them.
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited May 2013
    betaboy said:

    what is a moment? can you tell when a moment starts and when it ends? so is there some time duration in a moment, when you can feel the experience in it and also able to classify that experience as boring or restless or enjoyable or not enjoyable? if you cannot classify the experience in the present moment, then when that moment has gone, how do you know how were you feeling in that moment, which has already gone - or, in other words - can you prove in this moment that what you think the experience was like( in the just gone moment) the same way, as exactly that experience was in the just gone moment? so how do you know how the experience exactly is?

    You know by experiencing it. When you are happy, is there a possibility that you may mistake it for sadness? Not likely. You recognize it for what it is. It is self-evident.
    things do not appear to us as 'just they are' - rather, thinks appear to us as we think they are - because of our ignorance. if happiness was correctly recognized as happiness and sadness was correctly recognized as saddness, then there would be nothing like delusion or ignorance. moreover, who is that which knows that he is happy or sad?
  • betaboy said:

    That's the point: if the moment were so wondrous, why would we have the desire to be somewhere else? That we are elsewhere is evidence that the present is not all that appealing.

    Not necessarily. There are many aspects to the present, and a great deal of flexibility about which aspects to attend to. Also, a great deal of flexibility in shaping the experience of upcoming moments by establishing an appropriate state of mind/intention/attention.
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    We are restricted by our language in trying to define something. Because we use a concept of time, trying to describe something out of that context is pretty much impossible. I try to live how it seems animals do. Obviously, as a person with bills and futures to attend to, I can't do it quite the same. But I observe animals and how they really are only just there, and no where else (not before, not after, just there) and I try to get there myself. Our dog has no concept of time. We can leave the house for 10 minutes, or 3 days, and to her, it's all the same. I do a lot of observing of wildlife, from wolves to bears to moose, birds, squirrels and so on. They are good teachers for living just now.
    pegembara
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