What a shaman has to say about mental illness (click on the link to read the article from Spirit Science)

For a long time I have turned my nose up at pretty much anything to do with ‘energy’ or energy healers.  Last year that changed somewhat dramatically.

Once I wouldn’t even have bothered to read this article but now I notice myself having a friendly curiosity towards it…  An interesting read about how a shaman sees mentall illness and how it’s being wrongly treated (by medicine and society) in the West.

Pema Chodron – always on point….


In Tibetan there is a word that points to the root cause of aggression, the root cause also of craving. It points to a familiar experience that is at the root of all conflict, all cruelty, oppression, and greed. This word is shenpa. The usual translation is “attachment,” but this doesn’t adequately express the full meaning. I think of shenpa as “getting hooked.” Another definition, used by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, is the “charge”—the charge behind our thoughts and words and actions, the charge behind “like” and “don’t like.” Here’s an everyday example: Someone criticizes you. She criticizes your work or your appearance or your child. In moments like that, what is it you feel? It has a familiar taste, a familiar smell. Once you begin to notice it, you feel like this experience has been happening forever. That sticky feeling is shenpa. And it comes along with a very seductive urge to do something. Somebody says a harsh word and immediately you can feel a shift. There’s a tightening that rapidly spirals into mentally blaming this person, or wanting revenge or blaming yourself. Then you speak or act. The charge behind the tightening, behind the urge, behind the story line or action is shenpa.

You can actually feel shenpa happening. It’s a sensation that you can easily recognize. Even a spot on your new sweater can take you there. Someone looks at us in a certain way, or we hear a certain song, or walk into a certain room and boom. We’re hooked. It’s a quality of experience that’s not easy to describe but that everyone knows well.

Now, if you catch shenpa early enough, it’s very workable. You can acknowledge that it’s happening and abide with the experience of being triggered, the experience of urge, the experience of wanting to move. It’s like experiencing the yearning to scratch an itch, and generally we find it irresistible. Nevertheless, we can practice patience with that fidgety feeling and hold our seat.
(From Pema’s book, Practicing Peace in Times of War)

Thank you to Shambhala Publications for Heart Advice of the Week.

The Buddha’s Fi…

The Buddha’s Five Remembrances – Thich Nhat Hanh’s version
(with thanks to Melissa Pilar for sharing this in the group ‘Zen’ on FB).

I am of the nature to grow old.
There is no way to escape growing old.

I am of the nature to have ill health.
There is no way to escape ill health.

I am of the nature to die.
There is no way to escape death.

All that is dear to me and everyone I love
are the nature to change.
There is no way to escape
being separated from them.

My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground upon which I stand.


I spotted this quote this morning from @mindfuleveryday: “As human beings we maybe spend 10% of our time thinking about things we really need to think about.” ~ Adyashanti
#mindfulness Becoming AWARE of that fact is a huge milestone. Have you listened to your thoughts today?  What percentage is:

Soap Opera (he said, then she said but next time I will say and then I will have WON and then I’ll be happy)

News (oh things are so awful, it’s all so dreadful, I will never be happy, what’s the point?)

Chick Flick (one day someone will come and rescue me from this, I just have to keep going until they arrive because THEN I’ll be happy)

Improbable Action Movie ( I will SAVE everyone and people will love me and THEN I’ll be happy)

Disney (everything always turns out with a happy ending  and this horrible thing that’s happening at the moment needs to be resisted because it’s not how I want things to be)

  • To what extent do we need to use thinking to just ‘BE’ in the world?
  • If you don’t catalogue/judge/name/compare the song of a bird or the colour of a flower, will it suddenly not exist?
  • How much relief would we have if you stopped comparing everything and melted into what is?

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