January 29, 2012

Are You Hooked?









We all have things that hook us.

You know, our pet peeves, things that push our buttons, things we roll over and over in our thoughts. We have our internal hooks too like cravings, addictions, clinging and any of those tight, sticky sort of feelings. We hook ourselves with our wild imaginations and all the stories we concoct about who we are and what’s going on. The “good” stuff can hook us too: the compliments, the approval, the ego fluffing.  Even the hooks that feel good aren’t helping you. In Buddhism, we call this shenpa, or attachment.

I have some unfortunate news: it’s never going to stop.

Our Velcro coated brains are going to keep getting stuck on every little thing that floats through them–good or bad. People are going to keep doing things that piss you off. People are going to keep complimenting you, and you are going to keep craving it. You are going to keep saying things you regret, and you will roll them over and over in your head when you are trying to sleep at night.

The good news? The act of noticing that you’re hooked helps.

Seeing it clearly is more important than trying to get rid of it.


Step two for dealing with all your sticky, hooked shenpa places?



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karlsaliter Jan 29, 2012 11:12am

Hey Kate. I enjoyed reading this, even though it kept reminding me of that toll booth operator. In the eighties. I was on my motorcycle, rolling up to Boston on the Mass Pike. I was a dime short for the toll, and then found a dime on the ground! Right there! I bent down, picked it up, handed it over, and the toll booth guy accepts it but goes "You can't pay with that. Those are mine. Legally, any money that falls anywhere near this booth is mine." I looked at him, stunned. Blinked twice. Then took off my helmet, kicked the kickstand down, and very very methodically went through my pack to get a dime. I handed it to him, and to this day regret not having simply dropped the dime to the street in front of his booth. Missed opportunities!

Now what is this about the things we roll over and over in our thoughts?

Padma Kadag Jan 29, 2012 11:09am

"In Buddhism, we call this shenpa, or attachment." Every person that my life has crossed paths with who I would regard as seekers of the truth have done so with a very high degree of what would appear to be self sacrifice for the benefit of the world. The now dead gone Hupa seer and her husband the Indian Doctor on the Klamath River to most of the lineage holders of the Tibetan Yogis I now refer to as my teachers. All of them were driven by making the world a better place, to alleviate suffering and all unhappy circumstances. This has always been the driving force behind those "going to the mountains". To find a way out for themselves and all. Bodhicitta. With all of this talk of Buddhism and spirituality here on EJ…this heart of all paths to selflessly helping others is relatively non-existent here and in our "western" new paradigms of spiritual "awareness". How sad.

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Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is a wellness cheerleader, yogini storyteller, and self-care maven.
She also writes for Huffington Post, Yoga International, Mantra Yoga+ Health, a beauty full mind, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds.
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