I recently wrote a Facebook post about “What is boring?” Then in satsang, I asked, “How can we be more magical and less boring?” My students and I started riffing on this question.
Here is the unedited riff. The original Facebook post is at the bottom of the page.
BORING VS. MAGICAL
Composing a self is boring. Being nobody is magical.
Timidity is boring. Courage is magical.
Hiding is boring. Revealing is magical.
Dishonesty is very boring. Unbroken honesty is magical.
Relating to past and future is boring. Relating to what is is magical.
Earnestness is boring. Playfulness is magical.
Manipulating and blaming others is extremely boring. Self-responsibility is magical.
Skepticism is boring. Devotion is magical.
Being smart is boring. Being loving and generous is magical.
Touting one’s superiority is boring. Equality of essence is magical.
Feeling ashamed is boring. Unabashed love of Self is magical.
Convictions and expectations are boring. Responsiveness and expectancy are magical.
Stagnancy is boring. Agility is magical.
Knowing is boring. Experiencing is magical.
Theories are boring. Exploring is magical.
Achievements are boring. Perceiving the perfection of everything is magical.
Goals are boring. The ocean of Self is magical.
Compartmentalizing is boring. The ocean of Self is magical.
Holding on is boring. Continually pouring oneself into the divine livingness is magical.
Feeling sorry for yourself is boring. Sensing how Reality is in continual communication is magical.
Busying yourself to distraction is boring. Resting in Ma’s lap is magical.
Judgment and resentment are boring. Tenderness is magical.
Planning your next move is boring. Seeing what happens is magical.
Resisting and defending is boring. Yielding is magical.
Being the One with the Answer is boring. Listening is magical.
Always knowing what time it is is boring. Being surprised is magical.
Eating the same thing for breakfast every day is boring. Tasting the six tastes is magical.
Loneliness is boring. Intimacy is magical.
Surrendering on your own terms is boring. Actually yielding is magical.
Trying to impress is boring. Not caring what others think is magical.
Acting based on what’s probably the case is boring. Actually finding out is magical.
Trying to get things done is boring. Seva is magical.
Being above it all is boring. Being in the heart of it is magical.
Having it my way is boring. Having it Ma’s way is magical.
Manipulation is boring. Open curiosity about what others will say/do when not being manipulated is magical.
Seeking approval is boring. Doing what comes naturally is magical.
Working it all out ahead of time is boring. Dancing with the moment is magical.
Competition is boring. Continuity is magical.
Fixed expectations are boring. Freshness is magical.
Guilt is boring. Feeling the gladness of Reality itself is magical.
Shoulds are boring. Desire is magical.
Compulsive habits are boring. Super boring. Clear seeing is magical.
Loneliness is boring. Community is magical.
Getting what you think you want, booorrrrinnng. Eating the meal Ma serves, magical.
Filtering for approval is boring. Saying what you mean is magical.
Being overly self concerned is boring. Caring for others is magical.
Trying to hide out is boring. And being yourself is magical in a scary sort of way.
Resistance is boring. Letting stuff happen and letting it rip is magical.
Controlling is boring. Letting people, yourself, things be is magical.
Procrastination is boring. Following good advice is magical.
Strained energy for worldly matters is boring. Natural energy for discovering that is magical.
Aggression and defensiveness are boring. Letting go and opening my heart is magical.
Being absorbed in electronics is boring; being absorbed in nature is magical.
Being selfish is boring. Finding your wealth is magical.
Being arrogant is boring. Feeling how we’re all in the same boat is magical.
Staying safe is boring. Making the jump is magical.
Being grumpy is boring. Being kind is magical.
Being defensive is boring. Being adaptable is magical.
Attachment to ethics is boring. Responding with an open heart is magical.
Blaming is boring. Taking responsibility is magical.
Judging is boring. Appreciating is magical.
My phone is boring. Relating to Presence is magical.
Attachment to books is boring. Using your senses is magical.
Reliance on “self” is boring. Building alliance is magical.
Striving is boring. Patience is magical.
Solid ground is boring. Falling is magical (though scary!).
Not reflecting on how boring we can be is boring. Sharing in the reflection with everyone else is magical.
Boring is clenched handed, tight chested, furrowed browed, blocked headed. Magical is open palmed, open hearted, breathing easy.
Boring is restricted trying to push out more limitation into the world. Magical feels at ease and receptive … and it tickles.
Some longer riffs
I find magic in everyday relating. There are little moments that feel like a door opened up and you can stay outside or take someones hand and go through together and just look around together. I feel it in my work, especially as I’m getting to know someone and developing an understanding of how they communicate and why they communicate. I feel a little spark of understanding when I recognize them in a deeper heart centered sense. It usually starts in the eyes and fills my heart with a warm sensation. I always tear up when I feel it.
What does it mean to be magical? It feels like being in deep relationship with life and sucking the flesh of the mango off the seed.
Shambhavi’s original Facebook post
A student of mine was worried that she might be boring. I said helpfully, “Don’t worry, there are other boring people in our community!”
That got me wondering: What is boring?
Boring has nothing to do with ordinary intelligence, or how educated you are, or how cultured you are. For instance, people with Downs Syndrome are not generally boring. But some college professors are exceedingly boring.
Boring is stuck, stagnant energy showing up as fear of being judged or found lacking. Boring is an excess of caution due to this particular kind of fear. This excess of caution causes you to carefully craft or prefabricate your words and actions, or withhold words and actions, in order to impress or remain invisible. People who are trying to impress are really motivated by the same fear as people who hide. There is a lack of spontaneity in words, actions, and love. Boring is ultimately caution in love, caution in generosity, caution in intimacy, repeated over and over again lending a kind of staleness and stinginess to everything.
So we are all a little bit boring until we don’t care what others think of us, until we can speak and laugh and love and give without reserve.