By Pema Chodron

~ If you struggle with compulsions, anxiety, habitual patterns, getting hooked” or triggered, you are dealing with something Tibetan Buddhists call “shenpa.” Shenpa is the urge, the hook, that triggers our habitual tendency to close down, then we compulsively reach out to something else to comfort ourselves (a person, alcohol, food, video game, sex, tv, etc.).  We get hooked in that initial moment of bother when we tighten, reaching for relief. Chodron teaches that to get unhooked we begin by recognizing that first moment of unease and learn to relax in the moment. We practice different methods for allowing ourselves to feel the hooks without reacting to them:  learning to “stay” with feelings, using cue words to help ourselves allow our fears yet override them, along with insight meditation.

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