Wanting, Boredom

A nice vegan filet, please

I want to get more comfortable being bored, doing nothing. I find this constant urge to do things and be moving and focused and entertained on this or that thing. When I was a kid I spent a lot of time loudly decrying how bored I was. With the advent of smart phones and always having something on me to stare at, I still get bored. I remember getting bored at my last job.

Lately I’ve noticed too my craving for experiences and attainments. I have these thoughts like “I just want stream entry before I die” or “I’m working towards Jhana” or whatever else it leads me to this dissastisfaction with what I have. Like I’m at a restaurant and I keep trying to order steak but all I’m getting is Cobb Salad and then I spend the whole time brooding like “why can’t I get the steak?” and “where is it?” and totally ignore the pretty good salad I already have. There’s that phrase “Abandon all hope of fruition” and my first thought is always like “well why try?” if I give up what’s the point of all this effort and stuff I’m putting in? When the effort I’ve already put in and continue to put in is giving me nice cobb salads but I don’t want the cobb salad I want the steak. Even then the things I’m giving up I know that ultimately they’re just stressful, the stress of them being easier or harder to ferret out. Like with drugs the stresses there are super easy but finding the stress in videogames and some other things is less apparent and makes it harder to stick with.

I remember Leigh B saying how the possibility of attaining Jhana is directly inverse to how much you want jhana. I think at some point I started to get really caught on this, wanting. I mean it was always there. Like even when I was doing psychs it was this wanting for an experience. Even when I started recovery I think that has been a major motivation. It’s like, how do I abandon that? Because this desire is just making me miserable. It takes me out of everything and leads to this constant “am I there yet?” thing. Like I’m trying to bake bread but I open the oven to check on it every 5 seconds. I remember when I was doing psychs I would spend so much time planning the trip and it was always medicore and disappointing in some way, had highlights cause it’s drugs but still. Something was never the thing I wanted.

I sat in the bathtub earlier just talking this out to myself and I’m left at this dilemma. How do I abandon hope and keep doing the thing? How do I let go? Ajahn Chah would say let go all the time but I just, how do I do that?

When I’m bored, when I stop doing something, I get these waves of anxiety. Like “oh no I’m not doing a thing here it comes oh no oh no”. Then it breaks and I’m ok and then I notice I’m not anxious and that feels anxiety provoking. At some point laying down today I just wanted to make myself incredibly bored solely to see what would happen. Maybe I’ll try staring at a blank wall for an hour, see how bored I can get and what happens if I just, hang out with it. Maybe it’ll help me let go.

Times like this I wish for a teacher to get guidance from.