When Your Meditation Practice Feels Boring: Is It All in Your Head?

We’re actually relating to meditation in a bored way.

Photocreo Bednarek/Adobe Stock

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life, for there is in London all that life can afford. —Samuel Johnson, English writer

Like Dr. Johnson’s summation of the cosmopolitan life of 18th century London, mindfulness offers us full and open access to every experience. So does that mean if we’re bored in meditation, we’re also bored by our lives? And if so, what can be done about it?

If we can stay with our mindfulness practice, we start to reverse the old habits of retreating into fixed ideas, distraction, and reactivity, which steal our attention from the magic of the moment.

Meditation shows us our habitual patterns of mind; how we typically relate to the world. If we find the practice boring, our tendency may be to blame the experience—to think it’s our breath, body sensations, or thoughts that are boring. Yet, if we observe what’s happening carefully, we see that we’re actually relating to it in a bored way: We label meditation uninteresting, and we identify with the desire to get away from it. However, it’s actually our mind that creates the boredom, rather than what we’re attending to. After all, what could be more…