Saturday, May 05, 2007


I learnt the word shenpa today while reading a personal essay by Nina Utne.

Shenpa is the urge, the hook, that triggers our habitual tendency to close down. We get hooked in that moment of tightening when we reach for relief. To get unhooked we begin by recognizing that moment of unease and learn to relax in that moment.

It made me think of instances where I have seen reactions from myself and those around me that have been completely out of proportion to the situation's aggravation. Like fish biting bait, we got hooked to something negative we did not recognize and suffered its consequences. The moment and the trigger passed unrecognized only to return another time with equal or greater ferocity.

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