The now is boring, says the mind

divine intervention's picture

Average: 4.5 (21 votes)

It's petrifying how little from the world truly exists: only the now.

Such a narrow flickering glimpse.

The past is memory. The future is simulation. And they are both occurring in the now, the recalling of the memory, the playing of the simulation. Aren't they?

But the mind refuses to admit it. The mind finds this microscopic now terribly boring. How can you compare this skimpy moment to the vastness of the past and the future? it asks.

The mind cannot tolerate boredom, not even a tiny possibility of boredom. Boredom means for the mind a danger of nonexistence. Mind and now are mutually exclusive as mind is merely the process of thoughts and thoughts are either retrieving memories of the past or speculating about the future. Therefore, it declares the nonexistence of the now to assure its own non-nonexistence = its existence.

And consequently you, being trapped in your mind, are blocked from the now. No matter how many spiritual teachers will preach to you to be in the now, as long as your mind grasps the now as stained with boredom, you will not have even a single conscious glimpse of the now, of being and experiencing the "what is" intentionally.

So what is to do?

You need to find a gateway to the now. A gateway that bypasses your mind.

There are several such gateways. They all bare a quality of something other than thinking, beyond thinking, origination from the heart. This is the bypassing. Each such gateway serves different people as people are currently their minds and each mind bares different conditionings.

The following is such a gateway that can serve many people, especially those who are heavy thinkers.

The trick is: concentrate with your heart, not your thinking, on the sentence:

It's petrifying how little from the world truly exists: only the now.

Such a narrow flickering glimpse.

Feel the puzzlement hiding in this sentence. Feel, do not try to understand or rationalize. Feel how tremendously fortune you are having this opportunity to have a glimpse of the speck of reality. Sense the magic that lies there in the very fact that what really exists is this narrow flickering glimpse that you have access to, while all other numerous things of past and future surrounding and filling your psyche that you used to perceive as real are actually an illusion.

Connect with the excitement that lies in anything that is petrifying.

eknutson's picture

Identifying the now

The being, the aliveness, the thought-less conscious state that is our natural state is indeed exciting and exhilarating! It's funny how our minds try to tell us that this or that thought is too important not to think about it. Our minds tell us that we simply cannot wait, for we must think about this now or else there is surely dire consequences.

A need-based approach, of endless desire-filling, that keeps us asleep in our lives, instead of present for it all.

And our western culture having this dichotomy of reinforcing the sleep state, while encouraging exploration. An exploration that reveals to the self what is not correct, not fulfilling after all.

Thank you for sharing with us =)


eknutson | Fri, 05/23/2008 - 17:12
Omkaradatta's picture


This is a terrific piece, thanks so much for posting it :-). Yes, there's more than one way 'in', and first one has to realize just what you've talked about here. Once the mind settles and one is established in the heart, thought is the boredom - so dead, so lifeless.

The 'now' is like magic, like paradise in comparison to the zombie-like state of constantly 'thinking about'. But some existential fears may need to be faced first, as one's whole existence has become dependent on the past and future. One's whole story, the "person" involved. It isn't easy realizing one's whole life has been a lie ;-).

Omkaradatta | Sun, 07/13/2008 - 19:37
Wahido Theriaca's picture

why do we want to shut the mind, always?

Dear ones,

i cannot help myself to say that for me there is a deep rooted spiritual belief that we have to drop the mind or in a way kill it so that we get enlightened. I never heard any master say that, and i think it is a big misunderstanding for many people. for me the mind is amazing and its complexity really something to look at for a moment. i believe that the mind might be the gateway to fully understandting what is really happening and also believe that understanding the full spectrum of the mind will lead human beings to knowing themsleves completely. i don't think trying to shut the mind in meditation or not thinking or something like that will do the job. for me the only thing will do the job is to embrace... the mind and all its craziness, and then i believe it will join us without resistance, simply flowing. Actually if you think a bit you understand that what you are saying is very dualistic and this is why i think people misunderstand what the masters say, that its not about not thinking but thinking beyond the mind, if you know what i'm saying. So, instead of thinking in a dualistic way, if you think in a unity way, you understand that the mind is a beautiful part of ourselves and should be used in the most amazing way.

And my experience is totally different from yours, apparently, since for my mind the present moment as i know it is very exiting, not boring at all. and be aware that when you say the mind is this or that you are actually speaking about yourself, not some alien that you have inside your mind that makes you think horrible things and makes you feel depressed many times. the mind is you, so my opinion is that one can accept the mind to a point that all that is happenig inside the mind is exiting and joyous.



Wahido Theriaca | Mon, 07/14/2008 - 20:43
kalgo's picture

Nobody said to shut the mind


I don't think anybody advised here to shut the mind.

True gurus do not instruct to do so the same as they do not instruct to use effort. These only bring conflict and by that strengthen the mind.

Whether you are enlightened or not, the mind is there (otherwise the enlightened would not be able to communicate and/or do basic daily activities).

The difference is that in the case of the enlightened one, "he" is not identified with the mind, "he" just uses it like a tool when he needs it while we are identified and thus are being controlled by the mind or as Eckhart Tolle beautifully puts it:

The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly,however, it becomes very destructive. To put it more accurately, it is not so much that you use the mind wrongly - you usually don't use it at all. It uses you. This is the disease. You believe that you are the mind. This is the delusion. The instrument has taken you over.

-- The Power of Now, page 13

Thus the solution is not to shut the mind but to observe it, by observing something you break your identification with it.

kalgo | Mon, 07/14/2008 - 23:07
Wahido Theriaca's picture



i'm sorry to disagree but everybody is sayind the same, that the mind is this and that and is the cause of all suffering, this is my experience. and i agree with you when you say that observing the mind is a great things, but if you want to be non-dualistic then i would say the right approach would be to be one with the mind, to embrace all its aspects and to rejoyce with them!

but then you speak about "true gurus" and this is where i feel you´re not being honest with yourself since this implies that you "know" what a true guru is... and if you do then you are there and can speak about them, otherwise you're deceiving yourself. we think what a true guru is in my opinion, but we can never be sure since we are not there. hey, i speak for myself of course and if you're there then great, it means (i think!) that we are one and just playing a game with each other and having fun!


Wahido Theriaca | Tue, 07/15/2008 - 07:14
kalgo's picture

self responsability

You cannot be non-dualistic by desire. Who wants to be non-dualistic? mmm the mind? When the Samahadi experience will come, if it comes, it will come... Your are currently in the dual realm and that's what you have to play with, this is your playground, you wish it or not... Accepting that is the only path to out of it (because a path starts from where you currently are) not resisting the duality and not identifying with it...

Identifying with and embracing something that causes you pain will only make sure the pain will stay and inflict pain... In the same manner you can say that in order to be non-dual you are going to embrace fire that causes you pain and embrace a beating husband etc... Identifying with the mind will not bring you into non-duality but only strengthen your grounding in duality which is mind... This does not mean to resist the mind (which is the same), just observing it will make the work, you will see then that you are not the mind and that it is not an entity, just a bunch of mental processes. Try to observe it for a day, what do you have to lose?

About the gurus, I suggest you to try to listen to your instincts the same way you consult with them when you choose a lover, a movie, a job, to have a child, and yes, a guru... You regard gurus as some unfathomable mystic completely-disconnected entities that you can not check but, hey, you hear them, you see them, you feel them, so trust your instincts based on these inputs as you do with other things, you cannot run away from your responsibility otherwise you will end up with a false guru that will exploit you... I have seen too many good souls been in that situation...

Someone wrote somewhere here a relevant sentence that sums it all beautifully: you don't need to be a flower to tell a blossoming flower from a plastic one.

kalgo | Tue, 07/15/2008 - 08:01
Omkaradatta's picture

Can't agree with that

"but if you want to be non-dualistic then i would say the right approach would be to be one with the mind, to embrace all its aspects and to rejoyce with them!"

This looks to me like you don't want to observe or examine the mind, but just "accept". From here, unless one is already coming from a standpoint of 'awareness', one cannot accept.

It may seem "effortless", because you don't have to pay attention to the mind until it causes you some problems - then you can just tell yourself "I will accept this, and rejoice in it". But how can you rejoice in suffering, if that's what's happening? It just makes no sense.

To observe the mind from moment to moment takes attention, sincere interest and devotion. It is not effortless at first, but I think you will find that ultimately it's the "easy" way. By doing this, you become more focused in the Now, more unattached from the mind, able to observe it instead of being forced to participate. Then you can rejoice, because you are not "in" the mind, but outside it as awareness, observing.

I know the temptation to take the easiest road, but true spirituality is not a trip to McDonald's for a burger and fries. If suffering is to be transcended, it can take some genuine interest and sincere passion on your part to observe and understand the mind. You may or may not get "awakening", but in the meantime - you get out of it what you put in, same as in any area of life.

P.S. as far as acceptance in general? Of course... acceptance and 'letting go' can be another area of focus, in particular during those times the mind is involved in suffering. But those aren't the only times to be observing what's going on with the mind.

Omkaradatta | Tue, 07/15/2008 - 08:43
Wahido Theriaca's picture

enjoying the suffering?

dear ones,

i dont have so much time to reply to your both comments but i will create a post later to talk about "enjoying in/while suffering", i think its great.

and i still think that you both could accept a much more non-dual prespective and be the mind, be the body and so on, its lovely, i am enjoying the posts and its amazing how things workout. being honest its the ultimate.


Wahido Theriaca | Wed, 07/16/2008 - 20:33
george's picture

Not enjoying and not resisting,just being indifferent

No. The answer these wise gentlemen are trying to convey is: not enjoying the suffering and not resisting the suffering, just being indifferent. It is feasible through total acceptance.

Again something that someone wrote here: there is no connection between non-dualism and being the mind and body (in other words, identifying with the mind and the body). This is not the meaning nor the way to reach non-dualism. On the contrary, it is a safe way to make sure you will get stuck in dualism: the mind is the very agent that creates the dualism, when you are identified with the mind you just increase your dualism.

You can see it through simple meditation techniques: you are not the mind and you are not the body. This is not a theory or a doctrine, it is a fact, it is easy to experience it (e.g. by doing Vipassana).

george | Wed, 07/16/2008 - 20:42
salim's picture

boring now

It's really petrifying and changing the view of the mind about the once boring now. Excellent piece.

salim | Mon, 02/09/2009 - 11:08
suzame's picture

Another way to overcome the fear of boredom

Another way to overcome this barrier of fear of boredom of the mind is to get acquainted and remember the fact that when one is truly established in the now there is a great bliss and ecstasy exposing, an experience which is far from boredom. It can be compared to one who is walking in a dry desert and suddenly arrives at an oasis.

This feeling of sublime ecstasy is rarely felt simply because we are rarely truly established in the now, In reality, even when we try to be in the now, even if we think we are in the now, we usually are not - we are usually in the thinking process of thinking that we are in the now (sounds confusing but you can realize this when trying to just be). When you are truly established in the now, there is a clearly noticed sublime bliss and tranquility and this can serve as a promise for the one who is afraid to pass the barrier of presumably boredom of the now.

suzame | Wed, 03/11/2009 - 21:12
genep's picture


"The mind finds this microscopic now terribly boring."

Now appears small, and yet literally nothing can get into it because nothing can ever, EVER, get out of it...
and yet the massive fiction of past-future
makes Now appear picayune.

just like particles, waves....
the whole Universe
appears out of the Now
only to vanish back into it ... and yet to this massive-amounts of fiction (that comes out of Now only to vanish back into it)
Now appears picayune even though it is Everything, Self, Samadhi.

genep | Sun, 04/26/2009 - 13:30
shira's picture

It is more than that

It is more than that.

In most of the cases when we think we are in the now, we are not really, we are sometimes present for a microsecond and thus feel that tremendous excitement but soon are pulled out.

The reason for the difficulty is that when you are in the now you are actually connecting directly with the senses: what you see is the actual visual image received in the same moment by your eyes, the sound, the actual body sensations. This means that the input from the senses is not filtered, no reduction of static noise, no elimination of non-relevant objects, the raw unedited input as it is.

But most of the time we are not connected directly in this way but rather access only a conceptual filtered image of the inputs stored in our memory which is refreshed not so frequently from time to time unless some major event happens. This is our normal mode of operation (intended to save us enormous energy - accessing the senses rather than the conceptual image takes considerably more energy - see it by yourself).

Living on this conceptual image rather than on the true real-time inputs of the senses is what makes everything so dull and boring. No noise, no unfamiliar images, nothing but the least which is needed for survival - no wonder it is boring.

You can test it by yourself - see when you are accessing the conceptual image in memory and when you access the senses - it is easier to notice this with sensing body sensations.

shira | Mon, 04/27/2009 - 08:52
Omkaradatta's picture


I agree, except that 'accessing the senses' really takes no energy... why should it? From here, it's the constant filtering through "me"-mory that takes energy. Insane, absurd amounts of energy. Probably the immune system is drastically affected for the negative.

If you find accessing the senses directly uses more energy, perhaps this energy is actually used in resistance to thoughts (a.k.a. concentration). If interest in thought is lost, no energy is needed. The aforementioned resistance is resistance to oneself, i.e. a fight with oneself... no wonder it uses a lot of energy.

If the attachment drops, directly accessing the senses is far easier than thinking. What could be easier than seeing, hearing, etc. what's right here, now?

Omkaradatta | Mon, 04/27/2009 - 09:56
Phroggy's picture


I also agree (very well said) with the same exception. Referencing the mental images instead of what is really present IS a shortcut, but it's a mental shortcut. Mind uses these images to determine how it thinks/feels about it. (I like that tree but the leaves make a mess and I should have the branches trimmed and I wish it were an evergreen, I like evergreens, blah, blah, blah.)

If mind believes it needs to perform this sort of analysis using the actual details of what is actually present, this WOULD require an enormous amount of energy, but of course it doesn't. Perceiving what is, is actually effortless and passive.

It's not actually boring to think about what I like and what I don't like and what I want to change and how this reflects on ME and how that makes ME feel and how I can change it. This is ego's favorite pasttime and it's all so very important and meaningful. What is boring is to not have an opinion about anything but also not see anything but one's image of what is.

Phroggy | Mon, 04/27/2009 - 17:49
Omkaradatta's picture


In either case, the boredom is 'part of the dream' (so I still agree with Shira). In fact, it's part of the whole dream-cycle that involves the search, finding, boredom, desperation, depression, then renewed hope and a renewed search (for whatever).

Omkaradatta | Tue, 04/28/2009 - 02:20
santana's picture


I lately arrived at exactly the same conclusion. I read it at one of the books of Krishnamurti and later I became aware of this in myself.

When you have the grace to connect directly with the input of the senses and not with the image layer, you understand how mediated you are in your standard daily functioning.

santana | Mon, 09/14/2009 - 16:14
madan_gautam's picture


Reality is always boring & now is reality,rest past memories are always pleasant though that past might be very disappointing.future is also exciting as we have lots of dreams in our life and we are always in hallucination to mature them.But the now/present is really boring for most of people as it is real,it is present,it is happening .If some body understand or know the art of enjoying the now/present,then it is the true life.Most of the people are in search of some thing every time but what is exact that search they do not know,that search is how to make your now pleasurable not miserable.

madan_gautam | Wed, 04/29/2009 - 13:36
carlito santo's picture

Greater forces than the now

Tell me why anyone would make such a terrible effort to build a spaceship when he can just sit and watch the sunset?

Tell me why anyone would make such a terrible effort to make and then raise children when he can just sit on the beach and enjoy the sun?

Tell me why anyone would make such a terrible effort to instigate a war, fight, kill and be killed when he can just sit and admire a flower in a garden he doesn't own?

Tell me why anyone would make anything when he can just sit and do nothing?

carlito santo | Mon, 06/15/2009 - 09:36
footwerk's picture

Tell me why technological

Tell me why technological and economic advance are so vitally important? Humans have lived for thousands of years without clocks and refrigerators and spaceships. Only in the past few decades have these advances become a reality, and only because of a false narrative that establishes capital and advancement as the greatest good, when in fact, we're destroying the planet, creating larger economic gaps than ever.

Perhaps if more people could see the beauty in a sunset instead of perpetually being trapped in a thought cycle of want...

footwerk | Sat, 10/30/2010 - 07:25
ocean's picture

The eternal now

Yes THIS is never enough for the mind . It always wants more . But THIS is all there is. Thoughts beliefs ideas even life and death itself all arise and subside in THIS. THIS being the awareness that is what we are . This awareness illuminates thoughts the way the sun illuminate dust motes floating in a room bathed in sunlight.

ocean | Sat, 04/26/2014 - 00:10