Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Currently, I am reading "Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves From Old Habits and Fears" by Pema Chodron.

I just finished the chapter entitled "The Habit of Escape" and she introduced a concept, a Tibetan word, shenpa, often translated as attachment.

For Chodron, attachment is too abstract a translation and she goes a little further, offering 'hooked' - what it feels like to be hooked or stuck.

If someone says something that you disagree with and you feel the urge swell inside of you to say something to defend your own view or argue their point, this is shenpa...the urge.

Chodron also offers shenluk - renunciation. "Turning shenpa upside down...getting unhooked".

And by unhooking, Chodron does not suggest that we rid ourselves of that which incites us or produces an unhealthy reaction but that we evaluate our self, especially our reactions, thoughts and feelings and loosen our attachment, that which keeps us identifying with reactions, thoughts and feelings so strongly that we use it to seperate ourself from others.

Know yourself enough to know...to really, really know.

So here we are in a beautiful, beautiful world filled with beautiful living things and possibilities - we do not have to remove ourselves from the world to be free of shenpa...we only need to allow for that which takes us closer to natural intelligence, really knowing ourselves.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


La Gitane said...

Thanks for these meaningful concepts... I particularly like "shenluk".

In our control-freak, hard-wired world, it is so hard to let go of what we can't control. The disaster in Haiti for me is an exercise in just that - so much suffering, yet nothing we can do to change what has occurred. The ultimate impermanence. It breaks my heart, but I have to "get unhooked".



Yes! Letting go is my life lesson for sure...my work in progress.

Thank you for posting.


Eco Yogini said...

fantastic!!! i really need to read her stuff. I have heard such wonderful things about her. plus she has a retreat here in Nova Scotia... :)

I like the idea of shenpa for "non-attachment", instead of the traditional (or perhaps the one i hear about more often) interpretation of removal. :)


Wow - a retreat where you are? Lucky girl...I do enjoy her reading...it flows in its simplicity, like when she explores a concept, you wonder why you've never thought about it that way before.


Brenda P. said...

Ug, my absolute worst skill is "letting go"...especially of slights (or, at least, what I perceive as slights). Great reminder!

Emma said...

this was really nice. if anything else comes up from reading this, i'd be curious to hear.



Anna said...

Letting go.. may sound like the perfect solution, but it's a very difficult thing to do. After all we are human and are attached to things.