Monday, June 23, 2014

Contemplative Monday

The following is from 'Heart Advice, Weekly Quotes from Pema Chodron'.


'In Tibetan there is a word that points to the root cause of aggression, the root cause also of craving. It points to a familiar experience that is at the root of all conflict, all cruelty, oppression, and greed. The word is 'shenpa'.

The usual translation is 'attachment", but this doesn't adequately express the full meaning. 
I think of shenpa as "getting hooked". Another definition, used by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, is the "charge"----the charge behind our thoughts, and words, and actions, the charge behind "like" and "don't like".

Here's an everyday example: Someone criticizes you. She criticizes your work or your appearance, 
or your child. In moments like that, what is it you feel? It has a familiar taste, a familiar smell.
Once you begin to notice it, you feel this experience has been happening forever.
That sticky feeling is shenpa.

And it comes along with a very seductive urge to do something. Somebody says a harsh word and immediately you can feel a shift. There's a tightening that rapidly spirals into mentally blaming this person, or wanting revenge, or blaming yourself. Then you speak or act.
The charge behind the tightening, behind the urge, behind the story line or action is shenpa.

You can actually feel shenpa happening. It's a sensation that you can easily recognize.
Even a spot on your new sweater can take you there. Someone looks at us in a certain way,
or we hear a certain song or walk into a certain room and boom. 

We're hooked. It's a quality of experience that's not easy to describe
 but that everyone knows well. 

Now, if you catch shenpa early enough, it's very workable. You can acknowledge that it's happening and abide with the experience of being triggered, the experience of urge, 
the experience of wanting to move.

It's like experiencing the yearning to scratch an itch, and generally we find it irresistible.

Nevertheless, we can practice patience with that fidgety feeling and hold our seat."


  1. Great post, Jim! We all experience this. And it certainly is hard to practice patience when we're in that state. Our initial reaction is usually to become defensive. But if we can resist that, it's a great feeling, and we certainly come out ahead. I love the photos that accompany this post. The dramatic clouds fit perfectly with today's lesson!

  2. I love your photos so much...I'm in me what it is is EGO your ego is hurt you strike back, luckily for me throughout the years, I've realized that i knew who I was all good and bad, so my ego knows me, and there isn't much that can insult me. I know myself too well... I'm 55 and I've earned the right to be me as I am, and if anyone objects well cetainly not my problem, I've done my best, to the best of my knowledge...And that's all that's required of us...So anyone doesn't like it, it's really not my problem. DID I SAY HOW MUCH I LOVE YOUR PHOTOS, chin up, always Jim, you're a great human being, as is your visitor above, Martha, she rocks ;) lol Have a great day!!!!

  3. Wonderful shots of sky and beach - so dramatic!

  4. I love these beautiful shots of the beach!

  5. The cloud photos are spectacular, Jim! Wow! And, as always, PC's words are illuminating! Have a good day!

  6. "patience with that fidgety feeling "
    A difficult thing sometimes, but well worth the effort.

  7. Stunning photos! Very atmospheric

  8. What a fascinating post. And so beautifully described.

    And spectacular photo's!

  9. Best post ever Ron - bar none! Outstanding images, beauty in simplicity I so admire. :)

  10. Opppps. Jim that is you - not Ron at all.... Are you reading this Ron? :) Hmm, hmmm. Best post ever Jim :)


Hey, I really like your comments and appreciate the time you took to do so.

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