|Self-portrait in orange shoelaces|
I like aromatherapy, which is a science built on the oral tradition. I have a collection of scents I can use to bring me down a little or cheer me up or just relax me.
On the same page in the catalog I came across what I thought was Boredom Ointment. What? No, it's Boreoleum Ointment. Which looks a lot like Vicks Vaporub for your nose. But I already have a classy Ayurvedic nasal oil from Banyan Botanicals. Ayurveda is basically another folk-wisdom tradition.
But, Boredom ointment! If only there were a cream you could dab on and immediately feel interested in yourself and your surroundings. I googled images for Bored student and got well over 2 million hits. This seems like a lot, and accurately reflects what my own public schooling was like, but it's only 1% of the number of hits for Britney. Why Britney? I don't know. I didn't even know she was the Queen of Pop until I looked her up.
Anyway, this morning something led me to see that her Facebook page has over 2 million "likes". Why is that number taunting me? Because mine has 1,999,62 less, unless it's taken a huge growth spurt since this morning. I asked why on my personal Facebook page, and haven't had any helpful answers, except that maybe I have too much time on my hands. I think this difference is a comment on human nature, in fact. I'm a fun person (see photo above), but not as much fun as Britney, I guess.
Actually, these subjects - boredom and Britney- have found themselves side-by-side in my sprawling brain, and pulling weird, anomalous things together is what we artists do. Britney is not an artist and Buddhist blogger, but an entertainer. Entertainment is excitement, and seems to fill that big space of being bored or discontented with life or downright unhappy. It pays much better than art.
Is discontentment the same as boredom? I think it is, in a way. There are some writings on boredom in the massive body of work left behind by Chogyam Trungpa, whose page is surprisingly small, with some 21,000 hits, though he was quite entertaining in his lifetime.
To my surprise, there is no page for Ocean of Dharma, which sends me quotes like the one below from him. Britney may be the Queen of Pop, but his honorific is Rinpoche, a Tibetan term for a Buddhist teacher which means "precious jewel".
“Boredom is part of the discipline of meditation practice. This type of boredom is cool boredom, refreshing boredom. Boredom is necessary and you have to work with it. It is constantly very sane and solid, and very boring at the same time. But it’s refreshing boredom. The discipline then becomes part of one’s daily expression of life. Such boredom seems to be absolutely necessary. Cool boredom.” Chogyam Trungpa