Ever feel trapped in the same old habits and painful emotions time and time again? These are patterns we all face, and sometimes they feel impossible to shake. So how can we get unstuck? Drawing on time-honored Buddhist teachings on shenpa (all the attachments and compulsions that cause us suffering), Pema Chödrön shows how certain habits of mind tend to “hook” us and get us stuck in states of anger, blame, self-hatred, addiction, and so much more—and, most of all, how we can liberate ourselves from them. “This path entails uncovering three basic human qualities,” explains Pema. “They are natural intelligence, natural warmth, and natural openness. Everyone, everywhere, all over the globe, has these qualities and can call on them to help themselves and others.” Pema shares insights and exercises from her lifetime of practice that we can immediately put to use in our lives to awaken these essential qualities and help us to take a bold leap toward a new way of living—one that will bring about positive transformation for ourselves and for our troubled world.
This gently encouraging book by popular teacher Ch dr n (When Things Fall Apart; The Places That Scare You) applies Buddhist wisdom to the problems of deeply ingrained reactions. An American Buddhist nun in the lineage of Tibetan master Chogyam Trungpa, she writes that "we already have what we need" to change and heal. Ch dr n focuses on the preverbal moment called shenpa in Tibetan in which individuals are "hooked" into harmful stories, emotions and actions within the flux of their experiences. Clear descriptions of how this process works are accompanied by simple techniques to begin to break the cycle. Her suggestions can be easily practiced by anyone at any time without meditation training, although she presents the benefits of sitting meditation. With anecdotes from her teachers and examples from her own and others' lives, Ch dr n demonstrates that people can stop their suffering and access their natural intelligence, warmth and openness. Throughout, she emphasizes the global implications of personal change. Among her strengths are compassion for the difficulty of human existence and her willingness to acknowledge her own failings. This short guide provides valuable tools for change in uncertain times.