Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Pay attention to Passive Moments: Day 6: Mindfulness Challenge


Boredom is a universal disease. One that eats away at our joy and peace of mind.

Curiously, the more options we have for entertaining themselves the more likely we are to feel bored. On TV, we've all experienced the 100s-of-channels-and-nothing-worth-watching phenomenon.

Who can keep tabs on how many glorious hours we fritter away, second by second, minute by minute, too lethargic to save them?

To counter the boredom or the frustration that we sometimes face, we turn to the TV, or to our smartphones. But after an hour of crushing candy, would you say the saga of your life is any better than it was?

At the traffic signal, waiting for the light to turn green; at the grocery store, waiting for our turn at the payment counter; waiting in the doctor's room for our turn, waiting for the bus or the train or our flight. Bored out of our wits at a dull presentation.

We all face these moments.

Now picture this: What if you made a conscious effort to reclaim those boring moments?

What if you sought to rescue them from themselves? 

It's easy.

There's no dearth of what you can do to save these passive moments from just passing by. 

I always read, whenever I find myself alone with time on hand.

I also pray for people I see on the road. You never know the tough burdens some of our fellow beings must be carrying. Our prayers could lift them up, and work wonders for ourselves too.

I know someone who would keenly observe other people when she was bored, imagining that if those people were ever suspects in a murder trial, then she would be able to provide crucial details to the police, and come up with impressive deductions, that would enable the police to solve the case and win her a Teen Sensation award.

(Okay, that was me after reading Sherlock Holmes).

Another friend of mine used to imagine that beneath their ordinary faces and bodies, most people we saw on the street were actually aliens, and would soon start sprouting tentacles or spew out gooey fluids, or do one of the many distasteful things that are so popular with extra-terrestrials. 

(Okay, that too was me after watching the Men in Black series of films).

You see how easy it is?

Scott Adams started doodling during presentations, and that is how we have Dilbert to entertain and lift us out of the morass of corporate life today. What if instead of doodling to pass the time, he'd chosen to doze instead?

Living mindfully demands that we save these passive moments from extinction. That's how we can live life to the fullest.

For those who came in late, I'm still taking the 21-day Mindfulness Challenge, organised by Kindspring and having a grand time too.

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