Some time ago, I stumbled upon this little gem in my internet wanderings, as you do, and thought how comforting – and humbling – it is to see synchronicity between 21st century neuroscience and one of the Ancient Ways. Now I’m sharing it with you:
Pema Chödrön is a bhiksuni (Tibetan Buddhist nun), teacher and author. A central theme of her teachings is the belief in shenpa, the Tibetan word for “attachment”, which she interprets as the moment one is hooked into a cycle of habitual negative or self-destructive actions and thought. Shenpa, or getting “hooked,” according to Chödrön, occurs as a response to a comment, situation or other stimulus that is similar or related to past experiences. She asserts that often, the past experiences are negative, leading to a pattern of self-destructive thoughts and behaviors….
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.
Long simmering issues are now burning the bottom of the pan and it stinks…we think about how we might try to fix and save the situation but it’s either beyond the point of our having any say-so or we know in our knower that it is just plain not the right thing to do for anyone’s sake – certainly not for our own. Or both. And we don’t like it one bit.
It’s such a shame because I/we will simultaneously lose ‘this’ and ‘that’…
If only they could have tried more, given it a sincere chance…I thought everything was fine…well, fine enough. Everybody knows there’s no such thing as perfect.
If only I had understood what I was dealing with in the first place…before the surprise foreclosure notice/having the 2nd child/moving house/major project came along.
If only I had been a stronger person and put my foot down from the start…I should have trusted my gut.
I explained it a million times…I tried to compromise…I was straight up from day one.
Its true, I let so many little yellow flags slide into the shadows.
So much good will be lost!
Any of those sentiments hitting home for you? I am hearing a lot of them in the last two weeks. Actually, I’ve been hearing similar lines for the past few years in a cyclic fashion but those who didn’t feel the crush up ’til now are soundly reeling. Please be kind to everyone you interact with, especially if you have managed to recover, to truly realign. I know quite a few of you have managed this; I am thinking particularly of two brave individuals who I am so proud to know. (Applause!) Please take note: when you have this hurricane kind of energy channeling with you, it’s more than enough to ‘pass it on’ in kindness as well as fuel your own life.
With Neptune and Chiron in Pisces and a sizeable generation of individuals having Chiron in Pisces, there is overwhelm, fogginess, indecisiveness, retreat and tune-out. I know all about it, myself, and I can put on one hell of a pity party. Because ‘I’m worth it’! And its natural to mourn some parts of the passing chapter. Its normal to feel suspended in limbo.
When you’re ready – or when life insists that you are ready – see if you can locate your shenpa. I should say that I think of this term in the broadest possible meaning that Chödrön might allow. While that’s the negative hurtful hooks, I think its also the seemingly positive ones, too. Ego plays such an integral and central part in our dealings here in the material world. That’s why so many feel the baby is going out with the bath water. Ask yourself to be open to any hook/s you have. Check your memory for chronic patterns. No point in walking around blindly anymore now, is there.
Mercury is moving through territory that it will reverse back through from early October. In these next weeks, as you talk and communicate, collaborate and exchange, try to really pay attention. The crisis issues, the quagmire, loud declarations…any small voice in pity party moments…may well hold a key to your first steps in understanding how to proceed. Because they will be revisited; you’ll get take two – and probably take three on a scene, clarity in the coming months. This is Shenpa Relationships 101 in the School of Life.
The higher vibrations of Neptune and Chiron are acceptance, peace that passes intellectual understanding, healing through experiential review and wisdom; vibes specifically magnified in Pisces. A perfect recipe for the wounded psyche. And you know what that means: like we always say around here, ‘As above, so below’. That means you can choose to gravitate in these directions. All you have to do is ASK yourself to be open to these qualities. That’s it. And always affirm yourself, warts and all – because that’s the secret ingredient.