Shenpa

Stumbled across in At the End of the World (Economy), What Will I Need?, by Linda Solomon in The Vancouver Observer:

Shenpa, Chodron says on her audio book Getting Unstuck, is the “hooked quality,” the “attachment that is a fundamental part of the human condition.” She says that in order to transcend staying hooked to habits that have long ceased to serve us, one must first must recognize “the habitual thing” or “the scratching thing” that can also be understood as the low hum of uneasiness most of us live with throughout or lives. Use these techniques to unhook, she says:

  • Recognizing
  • Refraining
  • Relaxing into the underlying feeling
  • Resolve
  • Lighten up, be gentle, but continue. Meditate. Meditate so that you have the tools to face the present, to be where you really are, to stop avoiding, to navigate the mess in front of you well.

It isn’t the thoughts that are the problem; what we need to address is “the sticky quality” that unhinges us. We need to interrupt the momentum of shenpa, the habituation, the strong momentum to make that shenpa stronger. It doesn’t mean our thoughts are bad and we shouldn’t have them.

You listening, H—?

—Houseboy

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