Was I the only one last night who had a hip hop session on the iPod in the middle of the night, followed by listening to a Pema Chödrön talk? I suspect so. The beginning of a series of talks on shenpa (how we get hooked):
Somebody says a mean word to you and then something in you tightens — that’s the shenpa. Then it starts to spiral into low self-esteem, or blaming them, or anger at them, denigrating yourself. And maybe if you have strong addictions, you just go right for your addiction to cover over the bad feeling that arose when that person said that mean word to you. This is a mean word that gets you, hooks you. Another mean word may not affect you but we’re talking about where it touches that sore place — that’s a shenpa. Someone criticizes you — they criticize your work, they criticize your appearance, they criticize your child — and, shenpa: almost co-arising.
At one point last night she talked about going to the place no one wants to go to. This is exactly my path over the last decade and more. The hardest journey but maybe the only worthwhile one. And I am open to the possibility that there is no journey, and no place to go, but while time and space bound, is there anything else to do but address the issue? Of course, there is another, more common, more exhausting option: run and keep running.
A short taster:
My cheap pedometer collapsed today and refused to count. I stomped around watching the display and the counter wouldn’t budge. A new, better one, is on it’s way.