Anti-Credential and Boredom

There is no promise of love and light or visions of any kind–no angels, no devils. Nothing happens: it is absolutely boring. Sometimes you feel silly. One often asks the question: “Who is kidding whom? Am I on to something or not?” You are not on to something. Travelling the path means you get off everything, there is no place to perch. Sit and feel your breath, be with it. Then you begin to realize that actually the slitting of the artery did not take place when you were introduced to the practice. The actual slitting takes place when you begin to feel the boredom of the practice–real boredom. “I’m supposed to get something out of Buddhism and meditation. I’m supposed to attain different levels of realization. I haven’t. I’m bored stiff.” Even your watcher is unsympathetic to you, begins to mock you. Boredom is important because boredom is anti-credential. Credentials are entertaining, always bringing you something new, something lively, something fantastic, all kinds of solutions. When you take away the idea of credentials, then there is boredom. (53)

Trungpa, Chögyam. The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation. Boston: Shambhala, 1988.

From yesterday’s reading, a few lines on anti-credential and boredom, related are concerns for non-aggression, for what discourse brings or fails to bring to sadhana’s privacy, elsewhere Trungpa noting that practice needs only the earth as its witness. Boredom here instates non-magical thinking, reduces expectations, appeases the incommunicability of source work. Consider with this, the credential-pursuing verification expressions for writing in parallel, socializing about writing goals, about writing discipline and ritual, several days in a row, timed sessions, testimonials about doing the work, when really there is no promise of light and love or visions of any kind in writing, also.

My Own

The desire in me to be alone hasn’t changed. Which is why the hour or so I spend running,  maintaining my own silent, private time,  is important to help me keep my mental well-being. When I’m running I don’t have to talk to anybody and don’t have to listen to anybody. All I need to do is gaze at the scenery passing by. This is part of my day I can’t do without. (p. 14)

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami (2008)

Six miles this afternoon. A sweat bath. Slow. There is a phase shift from that moment when the black flies hover and linger to when they dive bomb, touch skin for a taste of salt or land for a chance for more. Do you know if this phase shift is in a summer (e.g., June 15) or a day (e.g., precisely at 3:15 p.m. EDT)? I don’t. Or maybe it hinges on a body’s heat or slowness or sweatiness or fatigue. They can smell fatigue. That must be it. Whatever, it happened midway along this runroute, from no-touch flies to divebombs and landings. During mile five.

Variations on Lovingkindness Meditation

May you be happy.
May you be well.
May you be safe.
May you live with ease.

May you drink whiskey.
May you have ice.
May you dream sweetly.
May you walk without pain.

May your headphones stay in.
May Pandora surprise you.
May mosquitos prefer your neighbor.
May stars above pierce cloud cover.

May Comcast customer service be serviceable.
Oh, you’re still on hold?
May your heart be lovingkind capacious-enough for programmers of phone bots.
May there still be ice cream in your freezer.

May the antibiotics do their thing.
May your inbox empty.
May we meet again.
But not too soon.

May you get the ratio of ketchup and mustard exactly right.
May your hearing notice what are those bullfrogs?
May your breath fall steady and centered.
May your mind’s fog clear to begin again.