November 10, 2009

Shenpa’s Making You Fat and Lazy?

Dashama Advanced Vrishchikasana

Are you interested in learning the most profoundly simple way to help people (yourself included) with the
issue of personal mental and emotional control?
I was listening to a Buddhist Meditation lecture by Pema Chodron, a world know teacher. She spoke for over 4 hours about various concepts dealing with the nature of the mind and how to learn to be a more successful meditation
practitioner. Well, after all that, her lecture can be summed up in one word:


This Tibetan word has such elaborate meaning, it is difficult to describe in English. But it means more or less: the hook or trigger that takes your mind from a state of relaxed thoughts drifting in and out, to an emotionally charged spiraling of thoughts that can often spin out of control.

The good thing is: knowing about the existence of shenpa’s, it makes us more compassionate toward others. We have to acknowledge that they are experiencing these very same things inside their minds too! We are not alone in this quirky human strangeness after all!
So, how can this make you fat?

Well, if a shenpa is a trigger or a hook, it can be a thought that drives you nutty until you reach for food to numb the frazzled state of your mind. This is when over consumption often occurs for most people. While a person sits there eating unconsciously,
for that short period of time, they don’t have to think.

So, how do we get rid of shenpa’s?

The truth is, they don’t go away easily. Pema has been working on hers for the past 30 years and she said they are still very active, but getting weaker all the time. But, if you notice them, each time they are activated, by shining the light of awareness
on them, they will begin to grow dimmer and dimmer. Then finally, they won’t have such an affect on you.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself that may help you figure out what your shempa’s are and how you can begin to gain some control over them.
1. Name one thing (or several if you are really ready to go in deep) that triggers or brings an emotional response into your mind and entire body, that once you get that feeling, it is difficult to shake or release the emotion.
(This can be negative or positive; although for practicality sake, we are really only concerned about the negative ones that make us behave rashly or rudely, with anger or irritation, etc.). An example of this may be thoughts of a past relationship that didn’t work out and ended painfully; a situation where you felt guilty for something and never got a chance to reconcile the situation; a person (such as your boss) that you feel treats you with disrespect or unfairness, or an event that still brings a huge emotional response like the death of a loved one, etc.
2. Now, recognizing the shenpa, make it a practice to notice when something triggers it for you.

All you do is simply acknowledge: “that’s a shenpa”. And then just let the thoughts and emotions go. If you can’t let it go, breath with it, deep breaths into your heart until its gone. A lot of times we try to act like nothing is wrong. This is often very unsuccessful when you’re with someone, since your friend, spouse or partner will notice the change in your energy and your attitude right away if they know you very well. This is mindfulness meditation.

This is daily expansion of your ability to operate as a compassionate and loving individual. This is your Internal Medicine. Your Loving Yourself Yoga Practice for the Day.

Blessings to your on your journey.
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