Boredom, not what you think it is.

I desire to be bored. I yearn to build a capacity for boredom. I remember my mother always said, only boring people are bored. I think she was teaching me to make use of my time and invent things to do. Which I have done and as a result I have done very well. But now, I feel, as I imagine my life, and what I want to wake up to each morning a bit of boredom might be good?

Quotes on being bored make it seem like the very worst affliction on the planet. For example, Kierkegaard said it is the root of all evil. Bertrand Russell, in defense of boredom, reminds us that we are less bored than our ancestors but more afraid of being bored than ever. He goes on to say that we spend much of our time trying to create excitement as an antidote to the dreaded state of being bored.

This excess activity may be at the root of much of our collective and individual anxieties.

Many artists and creative thinkers ponder boredom as the very soil out of which all art arises.

Boredom is a natural state that puts us in touch with the slow boring rhythms of nature and the natural world.

Agnes Martin says if you are not bored there is no stillness and if there is no stillness there can be no inspiration.

I have to admit, boredom can be an extraordinarily frightening. It can bring up feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness.

But boredom also offers its body as a soft bed. This is where I lie and watch the stars, listen to the ocean, and contemplate the inner world. The inner world consists of imagination, memory and felt sense. The inner world is where we experience our body.

Boredom helps me to set the discipline of a regular practice, whether that practice is yoga, writing, drawing or being. It provides the white piece of paper for a painting, the empty mat onto which I can step my feet, and the words that flow onto paper, all of which facilitates my process of thinking, understanding, and ultimately being in the world. ‪


Subscribe to receive "A Beautiful Practice" directly in your inbox!

* indicates required