"A wandering mind is an unhappy mind."
Most of us dislike being bored. Kids hate being bored.
Numerous times this summer my daughter would complain, "I'm bored."
When we are bored, we are ungrounded, distracted, not excited about doing anything, wandering.
We are searching for something to occupy our attention, for something to do.
In a state of apathy, we often return to familiar habits: watching TV, pouring ourselves a drink, grabbing something to eat.
The present is simply too uncomfortable as it is to fully occupy. We would rather be anywhere, or doing anything, than being here right now.
This is where the realization of a wandering mind is an unhappy mind comes full circle. When we are bored, we need to reframe boredom as wandering and realize that we are lost.
We need to come home.
Take a moment to rest, to occupy the present.
Let go. Relax.
When we relax into the natural state, we regain our attention, ground, and stability. The present doesn't present itself as an enemy, but as a source of natural health and well-being. We can be content, attentive, open to our current circumstances.
Here is a simple practice for when you notice you are bored or your mind is wandering:
- Sit down, either in meditation posture or upright on a chair.
- Exhale. Relax your body, breath, and mind.
- Close your eyes. Take a moment to notice the present, notice your body, your breathing, any sounds, or sensory experiences. Scan your body from your head to your toes and just see what you notice.
- Open your eyes. Rest in the natural state for one minute. Your body unmoving, like a mountain. Your gaze open, like a lion. Your awareness expansive, like the sky.
- Bring your hands in prayer to your heart. Repeat step 3.
- Recite a short verse. This could be a mantra, favorite quote, anything to reorient yourself.
That's it. This whole practice might take 3-5 minutes but will bring you back home in a state of preparedness.