"Getting Unstuck: Breaking Your Habitual Patterns and Encountering Naked Reality" is the full title of a this incredible series of 3 CD's by Pema Chodron, recorded in one of her retreats. As a student of mindfulness, I have been listening to Pema's audio recordings for almost a year and have greatly benefited from her previous teachings, especially her best selling audio package: "When Things Fall Apart". However, this new package: Getting Unstuck, which includes three CD's packed with new ideas and insights, takes her teachings to a deeper level yet. Repeated listening to these life changing teachings have had a strong impact on me and I have started applying these teachings in my everyday life.
Pema Chodron is an American Buddhist nun, teacher and author of many books and audio recordings. Having been trained in the Tibetan lineage by her main teacher Chogyam Trungpa, she is now studying with Dzigar Kongtrul who introduced her to the teachings on "Shenpa" that form the foundation of "Getting Unstuck".
Pema confesses that this new teaching based on the Tibetan concept of Shenpa, has been critical in her own practice. So what does shenpa stand for? - Essentially, it relates to urges, cravings and other undesirable habitual reactive patterns that cause us suffering. "An urge comes up, we succumb to it, and it becomes stronger," she teaches, "We reinforce our cravings, habits, and addictions by giving in to them repeatedly." Pema Chodron sheds light on that "sticky feeling" (triggered by a shenpa) that comes about as the urge arises in us and we get 'hooked'. She guides us through uncovering our negative habitual patterns and working with them compassionately and intelligently. Through numerous examples and illustrative stories, she demonstrates the various flavors and nuances of shenpa as it manifests in everyday life. She teaches us how to cultivate full acceptance of these undesirable reactive patterns and addictions, and introduces us to "the four R's" of working with shenpa: Recognizing, Refraining, Relaxing and Resolving. Admittedly, some of the teachings in this package are similar to her previous wor. But the revolutionary concept of Shenpa provides a new unifying framework for these teachings and allows her to penetrate yet more deeply into this uncharted territory.
I found the instruction easy to follow and 'lightly' presented, laced with Pema Chodron's great sense of humor and numerous illustrative stories. I have enjoyed listening to these CD's have been returning to them occasionally. And these powerful teachings have enabled me to start dealing with some of my own shenpas, including a life long, undesirable thinking pattern that I am finally in the process of changing.
It is amazing that this 3 CD package, packed with such invaluable teachings by this best selling, beloved Buddhist teacher, is sold for a ridiculously low price which is usually the price of a single CD package. For me, this package has been, and continues to be, such a powerful, life changing tool that it is absolutely priceless! Thank you, Pema!