morning glory at MH II

Truth and Consequences: On Boredom

On the dawn of his enlightenment someone asked the Buddha, “What are your credentials? How do we know that you are enlightened?” He touched his hand to the ground. “This solid earth is my witness. This solid earth, this same earth, is my witness.” Sane and solid and definite, no imaginings, no concepts, no emotions, no frivolity, but being basically what is: this is the awakened state. And this is the example we follow in our meditation practice. Trungpa, The Myth of Freedom p. 57

None of us want to see an overlay of drama slapped on top of some crucial, painful “community” situation.   Yet that is what I see. Someone reports their analysis and opinion to me, or I read it on Facebook or on the Network, and you can hear the worked up quality in their tone of voice.

The problem is that the situation requires clear seeing, and no axes to grind, and openness, always with the openness. But the little thrill of maybe stirring an emotional response in someone else, or in oneself, overrides all that. I’m all for the emotions, goodness knows they are the juice that makes the world go round, but emotion should not rule. Klesha should not override wisdom. That’s just fundamental.

I attribute this indulgence in one’s neurotic emotional responses, to plain old excitement seeking. We all get sick of eating plain oatmeal every morning, and will provide all sorts of condiments to add some kick. Same with the added emotion that kills most people’s presentations of their opinions. The facts and the analysis of those facts are the oatmeal, and the emotions are the craisins and slivered almonds.

The problem lies in the confusion of the two. You have an ax to grind, you have a deep-seated emotional need to see a situation in a certain way, and you try to concoct arguments and analysis that feed that need. And maybe you do present your argument in a cool-headed, objective-sounding way, but that is not clear seeing. That is not wisdom. That is being mired in confused emotion and primitive beliefs about reality.

In the final analysis, it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. So deal with your boredom people, stop emoting all over your wisdom, and make the conversation livable for the restuvus.

December 23, 2020

4 Responses

  1. I don’t react so well to this article as the others, because I think it is complaining about my behavior, and is not so much about “boredom”. We DO experience emotions around political situations (sangha, national, world) as we do around anything that we care about, or that triggers us, in this old samsaric whirled. For us unrealized beings to try to take emotions out of every political conversation can feel dishonest, “sanitizing”, or “putting a lid on it”, or “spiritual bypassing”, let alone impossible. I feel that the challenge is to include our emotions in political discussions in a way that respects the common aspirations and situations we share with others in the conversation, that is curious about their experience, and that arouses our care and compassion rather than negativity.

    1. Thanks for the feedback! I don’t like that article very much either, for the scolding tone primarily.  Thank you for looking at it.  Your comments are well taken. I will change it. I just like that picture so much, and it goes so well with the topic of boredom, I might have rushed to share it.  

      1. Eileen, nice vulnerable response. Rare and appreciated, we all have to start somewhere and feedback gets us further….process, progress, whatever….it is so personal. Thanks.

  2. …did not find the article having a scolding tone. Thought it was clear, real and to the point. No one wants to look at their self indulgence and addiction with the ego. Article was great.
    Yes. “Always with openness” Thank you, Eileen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *