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My Favorite Pastime: Complaining


Buddhist writer and teacher Thubden Chodron admits that her favorite pastime is complaining. She listens to herself whine about a variety of things — others' actions and personalities, health, money, or political leaders. Chodron probes this bad habit and finds that complaining is built upon our need for others to recognize our suffering, our hope that someone will fix our problem, or our dependence on venting our feelings and our sense of powerlessness. The Buddhist tradition offers healthy antidotes to complaining — meditating on impermanence, being more compassionate to others, and moving away from the need to have things go our way. The best approach is to see that others are just like us — "imperfect, limited sentient beings who want happiness and not suffering. Thus we can accept them as they are and seek to benefit them in the future."

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