Complaining Vs Responding

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I think we, humans, have this peculiar habit of taking our complaints with us wherever we go. We not only carry them with vigorous labour, but also make many other people we meet, aware of them. Whenever something happens in our lives, we instinctively find external factors responsible for it and put blame on them. But what do we really achieve by being in complaining mode?

  • We disassociate ourselves from the situation.
  • We find various reasons for why something has happened.
  • We convince ourselves that the situation is not in our hands.
  • We feel victimized by the situation.
  • We do not feel responsible for taking corrective action.

Will we ever get the best out of the situation by complaining about something? How about we start responding to the situations instead? The basic step to start doing this is to take responsibility for everything that is happening to us and stop blaming it on others.

All that is happening to me is solely because of me, and not because of others. Not my parents, not my friends, but only me.

Once you are able to take responsibility of everything happening around you, you are suddenly flooded by the ways in which you can respond to the situation, which were unavailable to you in the first place if you were in complaining mode. You can choose any way to respond to the situation in, or you can choose not to respond. Ultimately, you have the choice. And this gives you freedom. If you felt victimized, you wouldn’t feel free.

Taking responsibility doesn’t have to burden you in any way. Responsibility is “Response + Ability”. Only when you take responsibility, you have ability to respond. Else, you are left to average things that will keep happening to you, which in most cases, not something that you want or are best for you.

We have already been practicing this art our whole life. But the only difference is we start responding only when it happens to others, and we start complaining when something happens to ourselves. Whenever our friend faces any difficulty in her life, we start thinking about all the solutions instead of complaining about the situation, but we don’t do the same when it’s about us.

Whenever we are playing a computer game, and an event happens which puts us in a slightly worse position, we don’t complain, but we respond in a way that will help us win the game!

Then why is it so difficult to do it during our own life events? Because we don’t feel responsible enough! But it shouldn’t be too hard to practice! Why don’t we start small and slow? Let’s start responding to all the events that happen to us instead of complaining and may be life will be much more fun game!

[This article is inspired by excerpts from the book ‘Inner Engineering‘ by Sadhguru]

Does your alarm ring at the right time?

After enjoying stable routine for 4 long years, I am back to a life where it’s very hard to have a fixed schedule. Everyday is different and I have no idea when I would be sleeping or waking up. Irregular sleep timings and absence of schedule means high probability of waking up feeling tired. And then it’s more difficult to start your day on a high when you don’t feel like waking up, or if you are feeling more tired than when you went to sleep!

That’s when I started looking at the sleep cycles and realized it was a grave mistake to have my alarm clock set to the same time everyday! If you want to wake up feeling fresh, then you have to calculate and set the wake up time! And thankfully the calculation is very easy!

Typically a human brain goes through 5-6 sleep cycles before waking up and it’s better to wake up between the two sleep cycles than in the middle of a sleep cycle. Whenever you’re planning to go to sleep, allow 15 min of buffer time for your brain to enter the sleep cycle and then add the number of sleep cycles you can afford to have, multiplied by 90 minutes.

For example, if you decide to switch lights off at 11.50 pm and you have to wake up around 8 am, then don’t set the alarm for 8 am. Add 15 mins to 11.50 pm => 12.05 am. If you allow yourself 4 sleep cycles, (360 mins), you will have to set alarm for 6.05 am to wake up between your 4th and 5th sleep cycle. But wait, that means you can afford one more sleep cycle. You can wake up at 7.35 am.

This means it would be better if you wake up half an hour earlier than you had previously planned, so as to feel fresh after waking up, rather than allowing yourself more time to enter into next sleep cycle.

Whenever you wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle, you are bound to feel confused and tired.

Even if you are planning short sleep/nap, plan it in multiples of 90*x + 15 minutes!

You can also use Sleepy time calculator to calculate the wake up time. They even have android app!

My experiences of 10 day Vipassana Meditation Course



No contact with outside world and no talking with anyone for 10 days. 10.5 hours of Meditation per day. Total Isolation. If you want to make a start towards cleansing your mind and root out miseries from your life, if you want to take control of your mind, this is the first step you must take.

There will be many rough patches in the way, but if you have strong determination, you will find a way through to the end. And this is just the beginning. The real efforts start from here. There is no stopping now. You have learnt a technique, now you have to practice it everyday and master it.

After my first 10 day Vipassana course, I have come out purified, cleansed, refreshed and totally charged mentally. For me, It was difficult than I  had thought it would be. On many sessions I had excruciating pain in my back, on 2nd and 5th day I was watching tears rolling down my cheeks with detached attitude, on 6th night I couldn’t sleep a single minute. But I persisted. I stayed till the end. This had not been possible if it had not been Vipassana. It made my mind stronger. Many people worry that this course will make them detached from everything and make them an emotionless person. But let me assure you that this is not at all true. If you decide to take this course, you are not taking a risk, you are taking a step towards purity and equanimity.

Continue reading “My experiences of 10 day Vipassana Meditation Course”