I have been experiencing shenpa. Ever heard of shenpa? I had not until several years ago but boy did I know the feeling of shenpa.
By Pema Chodron (Mar 14, 2005) “Someone criticizes you. They criticize your work or your appearance or your child. At moments like that, what is it you feel? It has a familiar taste in your mouth, it has a familiar smell. Once you begin to notice it, you feel like this experience has been happening forever. The Tibetan word for this is Shenpa. It is usually translated as "attachment," but a more descriptive translation might be "hooked." When shenpa hooks us, we're likely to get stuck. We could call shenpa "that sticky feeling." It's an everyday experience - See more at: http://www.awakin.org/read/view.php?tid=385#sthash.1EwwI7My.dpuf .
I read and study and preach mindfulness and peace and such and it is because I really know it to be helpful. I also know it to be helpful only when I am practicing it. When I am in the experience of shenpa, the experience of being stuck and hooked then I am not practicing mindfulness. I can talk it but I’m not walking it. However, as soon as I notice and become aware that I am hooked or in shenpa phase then I am beginning to practice mindfulness again. It is that simple and that difficult all at the same time. The act of noticing I am stuck brings me back to the here and now and starts the process of “unsticking me”. Pema Chodron talks in the paragraph above of the hooked feeling of shenpa when others are criticizing you and you feel “not enough”. I invite you to explore that sometimes it is our own critical voice in our own head that gets us hooked. This is true more often than not when I get hooked or stuck. It is generally that there is “more” that I must do and that it is not ok to stop and just be. Are you starting to see why I study and preach mindfulness, meditation, yoga and all other sorts of integrative body based practices. It is a study that began entirely to ease my anxieties and fears of not being “enough”, self imposed expectations that are not reasonable. When I began to study these ideas of just being, of not living in the future and the what if’s it was a revelation of a new beginning for me. However, the study itself has the power of “hooking” me but when I notice it I can release that hook.
I have to unhook me and come out of the shenpa experience and back into the mindful moment and come back to the fact that now is enough. Now is all there is and the other stuff will get done or it won’t get done but either way it will all be ok. Shenpa attempts and sometimes succeeds at getting the best of me but the more I notice it, the less power it has.
So I release the urgency to do and do and do once more and come back to the fact that I am a human being, not a human doing and I need to just be. Just be, just be, just be.
Take away tip- Just be, everyday just be. Become aware of when you are being hooked and experiencing shenpa and notice it without judging it just notice it and then just be.
love and light