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.

More Basic Human

Two foxes fighting.

Inner Dialogue vs Outer Diaologue

Normal is not the same as sane. What makes you different from the crazy homeless lady, dressed in rags, talking nonsense day after day? She’s…

Sunflowers.

What’s Your Ratio? Spiritual Consumption vs Practice

Are you serious about spiritual evolution, personal growth, deprogramming the mind, mastering your thoughts, emotions and focus? This bad habit may be holding you back.

Bush with the word breathe.

Learn to navigate your mind intentionally

How to interrupt thought loops and take control over your own mind. Still want to stay in Default Mode or are you ready for an…

It's not too late to learn life skills your parents didn't teach you

Learn life skills your parents didn’t or couldn’t teach you

Ready to deprogram destructive patterns you learned growing up? Great, but that’s only half of it. It’s your choice, and also your responsibility. That’s a…

cultivating growth mindset

How did we get so stuck?

Keeping the growth mindset throughout your life. The societal demand to answer the question “who are you” leads to self-image fixation. If you switch from…

Ocean waves.

Thought Loops: Self Regulation Starts With Your Thoughts

Self regulation is not the same as self control, will power or discipline. Thought loops prevent you from exercising your own agency in life, and…

Reflection of a bird and cloud in a mirror.

Center of Awareness

Are you on or off your throne? Your consciousness has a location and it matters where it is. Where are you? In any given moment,…

Boys playing in water.

Lighten Up: Emotions

One thing that happened when I awoke is that my heart emptied out. That sounds terrible, doesn’t it? As if my heart became hollow. That…

statue of bodhisatva

Negative Self Talk: The Inner Dialogue

Is your inner talk show host a bully, critic, heckler, naysayer, worrier, doom monger, hysteric? What’s playing in that pretty head of yours? One of…

Reflection in eyeglasses.

Feeling Guilty About Things Other People Do

So, there are several different components to this bit of programming that you’ll want to investigate further and become aware of. This is a pattern…

Fern branches.

Reclaim Your Mind and Emotions From Thought Loops

Compulsive thought loops are so pervasive that we believe they are a normal part of being human. While they are common, they are definitely not…

Disco balls.

Drama Addict

Why do I keep getting drawn into other people’s drama and conflict when I’m working on inner peace and tranquility? Are you a drama addict?…

Work With Me

Latest From Amara

NEW Read my latest posts, Reader Q&As and watch the newest videos.

Newsletter

This is my favorite way to stay connected with readers! Get email updates of new posts + content I only share with my subscribers.

Mastery Series

Are you serious about mastering your mind?  I’ll give you the tools, perspectives and techniques to stop being a passenger and get in the driver’s…

Peerless Series

Are you at the mercy of your thoughts, emotions and programming? The Peerless Series is a beginners course that covers the basics of cultivating personal…