Meditation is Boring

Meditation is Boring, the Benefits are Not.

It always amazes me that whenever I go to speak about the benefits of meditation I draw a blank. I can’t think of anything, even though I know the impact meditation has had on me has been profound. 

I couldn’t understand it for a long time until one day it dawned on me that I draw a blank because I am asking my mind to remember something it has no experience of.

Let me explain. When I meditate I stop thinking and I go into the mystery. From my mind’s perspective, it is like I go into a room that my mind can’t enter. It is not that I don’t want my mind to enter the room. It just can’t.

My mind has no experience of what happens in the room so when I try to remember the benefits of meditation there is nothing there for my mind to remember.

It’s almost as if my mind can only describe the benefits of meditation by deduction, like a detective looking for evidence. Here are some of the clues.

  • The Observer
    I can see my thinking as it is happening. 
    When I meditate I stop thinking, or more accurately I repeatedly stop thinking.
    In a 15-minute meditation, I might stop thinking 200 times.
    In order to stop thinking I need to realise that I am thinking in the first place. This is not easy to do because one thought triggers another and before I know it I am on a long train of thought.
    To get off the train I need to see that I am on it. 

    My thinking is nearly always about me,
    “What am I going to do about that thing?”
    “Why did that person say that thing to me?”
    “Why did I say that thing to that other person?”
    When I am in the middle of these thoughts they feel like they are me, like I am talking to myself. There is no separation between me and the thought.

    When I remember that I am in the middle of a meditation session and turn off the thought. I indirectly demonstrate to myself that I am not the thought. Because if I am observing the thought I can’t be the thought. I can’t be the thing I am observing. I am something else entirely.

    Over time this process has made me very aware of the part of me that is always observing. I just can’t take my thoughts as seriously as I once did.

  • The Mystery
    When I stop thinking in meditation I connect with what I can only call the mystery.
    It is who I am when I am not thinking and it is also so much more.
    It is where I go to in deep dreamless sleep and it is the container that holds everything that I am. 
    Over the years of meditation, I have gone deeper and deeper into the mystery and been informed by it.
    The communication is wordless and imageless.
    It is direct knowledge.
    It has answered so many questions without uttering a word. It has helped me recognise myself in the vastness of itself and have a sense of home I had never experienced before.

  • Intuition
    In meditation, I am in a continual process of stopping thinking. This has made me very familiar with the way thoughts arise and how they string together to arrive at solutions. 
    When something is communicated from a very deep part of me, what people call intuition, it has a very different structure and quality to it.
    Thinking is like joining the dots to arrive at a solution. Intuition arrives fully formed with no preceding dots. No words. Just instant knowledge.

  • Discernment
    I have become very familiar with my inner landscape. I can tell the difference between thoughts and intuition and also the difference between thoughts, intuition, and psychic interference.
    Thinking often sounds like talking to myself in my head. Sometimes it is not just my voice but voices from my past, parents, school teachers, bullies. It can get pretty rowdy in there, particularly when I am triggered.
    Not all the voices in our heads are our own. Some of the voices can be psychic entities whispering for their own reasons which are not always for our benefit. 
    Being able to see them for what they are is of great benefit.

  • Wounded Child Attacks
    Ever have one of those things happen where someone pulls out in front of you in traffic and you explode in your car, swearing and shouting,
    or ever have someone say something to you at a party and you find it deeply cutting but logically you know it shouldn’t
    and you try and forget about it but on the way home the love of your life makes an innocent comment and you take their head off viciously, get into a big fight, and find yourself at 2 am snarfing cake and pickles out of the refrigerator?
    Me neither, at least not anymore.
    Full disclosure I never eat cake and pickles together. That’s just wrong.
    In the past, if a wounded child part of me was triggered it would take me over in an instant, and could take hours for the effects to wear off.
    With meditation, I find myself ahead of the wounded child part of me.
    I am faster than the reaction.
    I can see it coming and in the act of seeing it, I see that it is not me.
    I can meet it with compassion and help it dissolve.

  • Calm
    Kind of cliched but kind of true.
    It has been 40 years since I started meditating so it is hard for me to remember what I was like before I started but I think it is fair to say I am calmer. Other people report it to me.
    “You have such a calming influence.” 
    “You are so calm.”
    I certainly feel it when I interact with other people. Some people feel like they are moving very fast, almost at double speed.
    It is in feeling their speed that I know I am still. 
  • Comfortable with Silence
    I notice when I am around other people that I don’t feel the need to fill the silence with words. I am happy to talk or not depending on the flow of the interaction but when the natural silences occur in conversation I don’t feel compelled to fill them with words. 

  • Body Sense
    If I was sitting ready to meditate and someone asked me if I was comfortable I would say. “Yes of course,”
    yet as soon as I closed my eyes I would realise I was in fact very uncomfortable. 
    This regularly happens to me when I meditate.
    Through the repeated practice of taking my focus away from the distractions of my external senses and turning off my thoughts, I have become very familiar with my body from the inside out, how it feels when it is comfortable, where it likes to hold tension, and how it accumulates stress.


I have been meditating for 40 years and I still find it difficult and boring. Yes, I know it is my mind having the difficulty and the boredom but, contrary to the popular practice of mind bashing and mind shaming, I like myself. I don’t like to label different parts of myself and then allow them to pick on each other.

What has kept me meditating all these years is seeing how it has assisted in the process of becoming more conscious.  By not slicing and dicing myself into labeled parts on the inside it allows all parts of me to become more conscious, including my mind. 

My mind still finds meditation difficult and boring but it will sit through it because it recognises the benefits.





Photos by Alex Vámos and Taylor Deas-Melesh on Unsplash


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