Sometimes, the most boring of circumstances can be the most insufferable. If we take a close look at our lives on a daily basis, we might find that our lives are extremely boring. We typically make the same breakfast every day, drive the same route to work, do the same things at work, come home to cook one of the three meals we excel at cooking, hang with our loved ones, and get ready to do the same thing all over again the next day. Some of you may live more exciting lives than this and you might already be on the right track freeing yourself from the mundanity of life. As humans, our brains make it easy to get stuck in habit and routine. Sometimes, this is to our benefit. However, do you ever reflect and think about how you can make everyday life more exciting? We’re constantly looking forward to the weekend, but what if we can enjoy the same excitement we feel on the weekend right now? What if the act of always thinking about events that are set to happen in the future are actually causing us more mental suffering? So, what can we do to escape the repetitious, boring experiences of our everyday life? What can we do, if anything, to make our lives more enjoyable and exciting…all the time?
Some people take drugs to escape the mundane experiences of life to experience something more transcendental. Some people lift weights or run to achieve the same sort of experience. It’s called the “runner’s high” for a reason. Some people meditate and use mindfulness training, while others sit on their couch with a heaping load of processed food and binge-watch Netflix to escape the mundanity. But, there’s got to be more to life than “Netflix and chill.” Right?
Often times, the circumstances we’re trying so hard to avoid can give us the most profound look into conscious experience. The problem is that we’re always trying to avoid it. This is known as the present moment.
When was the last time you were fully immersed into the present moment? When was the last time you tried to experience the present moment as fully as you could? Fully attentive to every detail of conscious experience? Every little sound that passed through the moment, all the details and ranges of different colors, every physical sensation that came across your body.
When was the last time you were actually fully immersed in a conversation you were having? Or fully immersed in the work you were doing? There is so much that’s rising in the stream of consciousness in any given moment that often goes unobserved. This is what we miss when we are in “escape mode” from the present experience.
We’re often unaware of all the details and profundities that are available to us. We are too lost in thought to appreciate what is available to us now. “What’s for dinner?” becomes way too important of a question to pay close enough attention to what’s currently in front of us.
Applying this approach to the present moment can even make staring at a bush an intense experience. However, we’re often too lazy to do it. Being lost in thought in dialogue with ourselves is way easier. Watching Netflix is way easier. Surfing social media on our phones is way easier. Next time you’re bored, don’t complain. You’re choosing to miss out on the most precious state-of-conscious experience.
Rather than looking for distractions to escape from the mundane experiences of our lives, why don’t we just experience those experiences. Appreciate each moment for what it is: another moment where we get to have this conscious experience.