Someone was telling me that when he sits in meditation he feels restless and bored and eventually he gets up and stops meditating. What exactly is boredom? Boredom is one of the many forms of suffering that can be thrown up by the ego. Suffering always occurs when we believe something that is not true. What is the ego’s purpose in creating suffering? The ego only has one purpose and that is to ensure its own existence. To exist the ego creates drama, any drama will do. Boredom in this sense is drama, it may not seem to be that dramatic but it gets the job done. In a sense any form of suffering is also a form of drama. A drama can be defined as a feeling or sensation that leads you to believe in something that isn’t true. What the ego would like you to believe is that when you experience what we call boredom you should do anything in your power to avoid it. What are the possibilities involved in avoiding boredom? In the example above we can stop meditating and switch on the television, or read a book, have sex, eat, drink alcohol, take drugs, get into an argument, kick the dog, steal something or kill or hurt someone. Depression and many other so called mental illnesses are also options to avoid boredom. In meditation it is possible to face and transcend ‘boredom’ safely. In this sense meditation is when we become willing to face boredom without running away form it. Boredom itself cannot hurt us unless we do something to avoid it. In a way boredom is the ego’s most powerful weapon yet on the surface it may appear quite innocuous. At the opposite pole to boredom is excitement which has a very close link to boredom. These two, boredom and excitement are like an engine. When boredom arises we look for anything that may alleviate it; we look for something further along the spectrum towards excitement. Whatever stimulus we may find that is opposed to boredom we cannot sustain so eventually we get bored again, and so the cycle continues.