Boredom and distraction on the spiritual path

What are the biggest obstacles to spiritual growth?

You might think lack of credible teachers or effective spiritual practices or even discipline are the biggest blocks to your personal and spiritual development. 

Even if you have reasonable access to all of these, there are sneaky ways the mind sabotages your efforts, without you even realizing you’re being manipulated.

Most people have no idea how their minds actually work. If you aren’t using your mind intentionally, something else will use it for you.

When you gain insight, receive valuable instruction, or learn techniques to help you deprogram, the very Program you are trying to dismantle will throw up some rather predictable obstacles. Remember, the Program is self-protective, and knows the mechanics of your mind better than you do…by far.

So, why don’t you take these insights and techniques and move forward with enthusiasm and dedication? Why don’t you take it to the end?

The closer you get to something that is true, the essence of a teaching or method, the simpler it is. The technique is simple. Clear your space. Watch your mind. Feel your breath.

Simple.

But you get bored. The simpler it is, the easier it is, the more bored you get. This is the Program protecting itself.

So, what will you do? It’s common at this point to start seeking again. Just when you were so close to finding, you throw yourself back into seeking. The Program definitely wants to get you back into the theory of the thing, and not the practice. So off you go to read some more obscure ancient texts, find another teacher, contemplate some mystery.

The Eternal Seeker. The pinnacle of success for the Program.

Another tactic is distraction. Perhaps you don’t go off on a seeking binge (and yes, that’s just as compulsive as binge eating or any other kind of binge behavior). Perhaps you just get distracted. By anything, the content isn’t important. As long as you are diverted from doing the simple practice, the simple contemplation. As long as you are prevented from taking it to the end.

Some other tactics you might recognize:

Becoming sleepy for no reason
Becoming confused, like your brain is in a fog
Feeling an aversion to your practice for no particular reason
Feeling restless
Feeling the need to ask completely useless theoretical questions (and thinking they are really important, more important than simple practice or observation)

These are all just simple, predictable obstacles the Program throws up. It uses the mechanics of your mind…against you. And it does this really well because you, yourself, do not have a clue as to how to use your own mind.

We often demonize the mind as the problem, when it’s just a tool you don’t yet know how to use.

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