Month: July 2017

Taking the Cold Shower Challenge was a good decision

Taking the Cold Shower Challenge was a good decision

Benjamin p. Hardy wrote about taking a cold shower in one of his articles and its benefits. Without much delay, my brother and I decided to take cold showers for the rest of our life. It seemed overwhelming then cause neither of has tested chilled water during the winters.

This simple decision marked a pivotal point in my life.

I always used to think twice before attempting to do an action. With this simple change, I realised I get the courage to do an action without much hesitation.

Apart from creating a shift in mindset, I also observed other benefits. Getting rid of the irritating throat mucus and a blocked nose was one the great achievements of this challenge.

Do I still think to hesitate to take a cold shower? – Yes, I do!

But, that helps me build a mental attitude of taking that extra step needed to make the difference. I am much calm and composed as opposed to the worry wart I used to be.

I started to get up early, which was a practice I wanted to develop for a while. I ensured I practised the keyboard no matter how tired or sleepy I was. I stopped procrastinating tasks I usually get stuck with for a long time. And I can count many such situations I have taken that extra step and won.

I experienced a significant shift in my attitude. I made it a point to get into the swimming no matter how cold it got. Each time I got into the pool, I was able to complete three laps at one time. Today I was amazed at the laps I could do at one time. I was able to first five laps in one go, the next in another go and then I decided just to keep on going for the next 15 laps. To my surprise, I was able to pull it off. It was an achievement but the time in which I did the 25 laps were under 30 minutes which otherwise took me close to an hour.

I am glad I made that decision along with my brother. It has been eight months already into this habit. And I am determined to keep going no matter what.

Winter is coming! Let’s see how many days more can I sustain it.

Now the question is – Are you are ready to take the Cold Shower Challenge?

 

Modern forms of Ekalavya’s learning technique

Modern forms of Ekalavya’s learning technique

Ekalavya from ancient history proves that self-learning is the best form of learning style.

Dronacharya (also Guru Droņa) was a master of advanced military arts and was the preceptor of Kauravas and Pandavas in the epic of Mahabharata. He also is known to be a teacher to Ekalavya but by indirect methods.

Ekalavya approached Guru Droņa to learn the art of war from him, and the Guru rejected his request. Deeply hurt by the rejection, Ekalavya did not give his resolution of learning the art of war.  This situation gave birth to one of the oldest forms of self-learning.

Ekalavya took the mud under the Guru’s feet to the jungle and made a full statue of Guru Droņa. It was a symbolic gesture to follow his knowledge and footsteps. With Guru Droņa statue placed under a tree and with a high amount of self-motivation, Ekalavya practised every day for many years. He chose archery as his focused art of war and gained exceptional prowess. He was even greater than Guru Droņa best pupil, Arjuna.

During that time, there was a ritual of Guru Dakshina. It was a form of paying respect to the Guru for his services. I could not even imagine why Guru Droņa could ask such a Dakshina from a self-taught learner like Ekalavya. Guru Droņa asked Ekalavya to cut his right thumb as Guru Dakshina. Eklavya with a smile cut his right thumb and handed it over.

What Ekalavya did was great. In today’s world, we do have many good sources to learn. Not as difficult as learning from a statue. And definitely, does not involve cutting our thumb as Guru Dakshina.

What are the modern forms of self-learning? 

With access to every information at our fingertips due to “Internet”, we now have access to YouTube, MOOCs and mobile apps that can help us learn anything we want.

We just need to have the self-motivation to learn and even stronger reason of why we want to learn.

Of course, we cannot deny that a mentor/guide/guru would improve our learning. But, let’s face it, racing against yourself becomes of more importance than learning either from Guru or being self-taught. And there is a good chance we might not find the right Guru at the time we require him. And then there is a way that involves the exchange of massive wealth to gain knowledge.

The question you must ask yourself is whether you learn something to satisfy your Ego or you want to learn it because you decided to improve yourself. Once you have this piece figured, you need to find a way to avoid distractions.

How to avoid distractions?

With many resources we have, we also double the distractions. It’s not like the forest Ekalavya practised. The environment was conducive for his learning. Yes, the environment is the answer. We need to create our environment, a system to stick to it to gain maximum from self-learning. Also, it’s a known fact that you must have a defined objective of what is the intended outcome you want from learning something.

Once your system is in place, it’s easier for you stick to it. You gain momentum when you begin to results you could not imagine. You may face down times, but it’s important to get back up and start learning again. You might not be able to make enough progress for 100 days in a row, but you need to keep your senses open, as the world has its way of getting the answer you need when you need it.

[18/52] Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy

[18/52] Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy

It is said that you need to have an inclination to Spirituality willingly then you become aware of its presence. Sadhguru’s book has been pivotal for my Spiritual growth, and I think it is going to remain forever ingrained within me. The knowledge I got from this book has intensified my determination to continue my Spiritual Journey and practise it daily.

I knew I was always a Spiritual person and this book heightened the belief I have. Of course, there are talks about Spirituality being some mumbo jumbo thing, but there is more science to it than we can even Imagine.

I was always skeptic of why I got angry or even reacted to a particular situation or a person.  I realised that anger is unintelligent and dealing with it has become much simpler.

The belief I had in Yoga has deepened, and I now know, why this age old science is so much relevant even today. Simple practices if done properly can benefit you immediately. If simple poses can do this, imagine the magnitude it can impact if you practise daily and cover at minimum the beginner poses. I have started practising Yoga from my childhood, but I was doing it without a purpose, and I lost touch with it as I grew. Now I know the “Why” of Yoga.

Bowing down to elders was always a mystery to me, I always did it without much thought as I felt right doing it. Now it does shatter some of the modern belief systems, but this simple practice has a much deeper meaning than I thought. Bowing down is an indicator of the arrogance we have within ourselves. We can find many things much more intelligent than us as Human beings in general. When we bow down, we are just humble to the greater intelligence that exists that we are not aware. Of course bowing down is a symbolic gesture but you bow down to anything living or non-living and still be humble.

“Your joy, your misery, your love, your agony, your bliss, lies in your hands. There is a way out. And the way out is in.  ”

– Sadhguru

You must read this book if you want to strengthen your Spiritual Journey.

You can find it on Goodreads here.