tmbt: cool boredom
In the buddhist world that I dwell in and out of (I meditate and pray often, and buddhist philosophy spins a web throughout my day to day thoughts and actions, but I do not participate in many gatherings), we have earmarked a few regular experiences for appreciation or overcoming. “Cool boredom” is one such experience labelled such for its obvious qualities of listlessness, breezy ambivalence, and lack of drama. I can’t say as I’ve ever heard much about “Hot boredom” but I assume that would be the more agitated, antsy sort of thing. We appreciate cool boredom for its resting qualities, and watch it in our minds carefully for its tendency to turn into something else less nurturing – like hot boredom or worse.
This morning, and for much of the last few weeks, I have been stepping into puddles of cool boredom -nothing to really do, nothing to much feel about it, just here. If I raise my eyes and mind while here, I do notice a sparkle to the air, a sparkle that is always there for the beholding. I hear sounds and see colors with little grasping at their beauty or menace. In cool boredom, there is almost a reverie. Not quite, because stepping into reverie would be stepping out of the shallow, cool puddle really, but almost.
Boredom is beautiful for me for the break it gives me from my own intense mind. It turns restless easily. It sinks below itself into muddy apathy easily, too. In fact, hanging out in the cool world of nothing to do, nothing to crank up, is a practice in and of itself – a meditation in being okay with the tension of being suspended between the worlds of drama and giving up completely on the passions of this gorgeous life and planet.
Boredom is sweet even in it’s threat of a missed opportunity to be doing something – anything – else. Boredom is generous, nurturing in the time it gives to lay back, if only in our mind’s eye in the stiff dining chair where we sit. Boredom is reassuring in the way that only sitting still and having no fires to put out in that very moment is reassuring. And cool boredom, the kind colored by warm skin and highlighted by a temped air of the heart is a most beautiful thing.