I am re-reading The Power of Now. (I've read both it and A New Earth a couple of times.) I feel frustrated about something. Tolle tells us that the key to happiness is to release concern about the past and future and focus my attention on the now. My problem with this is that... the Now is boring!
Just my psychological take on "boredom". I believe that boredom is a consequence of inner, unresolved/unhealed pain that becomes noticeable when there is nothing to distract the victim from the constant presence of this pain. It's pain stored up in us from a bad childhood or other traumatic, painful events that we don't normally notice until there is nothing to hold our attention and we are faced with FEELING what we usually can avoid feeling or enduring - INNER PAIN! Little babies to not normally suffer with "boredom" because they enjoy just being them self and have not yet stored up memories and feelings of pain/discomfort/self contempt/unhappiness/fear/regret/disappointment, etc. A baby can play with it's own toes, fingers, shadows, toys, etc. for hours without GETTING BORED (feeling pain). But older ppl carry around a lot of inner pain and it comes to the surface as "boredom" when they have no interesting distractions.
re: Tolle's advice is great in those moments where I feel intensely unhappy. Then Tolle's words help me to disengage from the unhappy thoughts and return to a neutral state of "OK, life is not so bad". But I would like to be happy, not just neutral.
>> I believe what you are calling "neutral" is still an unhappy, hurting place for you or you'd enjoy and appreciated it whereas being "happy" is an escape from the unhappy state of "neutrality".
re: When I deliberately focus my attention on the Now, what I find is a feeling of semi-relaxed boredom.
>> Or mild PAIN! It's pain no matter how you describe it and is coming from inner pain when there's nothing to cover it up.
re: I can appreciate what Tolle says about how "there are no problems in the Now". I get how that is sort of true. But there also doesn't seem to be anything of particular value
in the Now. I do not find the "joy of Being" that Tolle talks about. This makes it difficult for me to believe that the Now is the gateway to all things good.
>> For a while my experience of the Now was unsatisfactory and left me wondering what it's all about but recently, I entered the Now and then suddenly found myself separate from my pained, unhappy, fearful little, egoic self and existing as my REAL NO-PAIN SELF! It's a transition that ET speaks of where, by observing our self or our thoughts, we can suddenly realize that we are not those observed objects but are something quite different and, in my case, arrive at what we really are - A REAL SELF or ME and it's not boring at all since the issues and pains of my little, egoic self are not ME or MINE.
re: Am I doing something wrong? Is there some flaw in my thinking?
>> For me, it was when I momentarily went beyond, above or outside of my "thinking" that I returned to or became MYSELF. When I realized that my mind is over there and I am over here, I was suddenly converted to my REAL, ETERNAL and trouble free SELF - which isn't a "self " at all but more like a BEINGNESS. It's kind of beyond words!
good luck releasing your hidden inner pain that produces boredom and becoming your real self again.