In this pithy, inspiring book, Pema Chödrön presents the Buddhist concept of shenpa, which can be translated as "getting stuck" or "getting hooked." Shenpa arises in that moment when life suddenly becomes disappointing, difficult, or painful. Perhaps someone criticizes your work, your appearance, or your child. Something within you tightens, shuts down. That's shenpa. After we tighten, we instinctively start to blame ourselves or others. We might get angry and lash out at others in words or actions. Or we might reach for a cigarette, a drink, or some other addictive substance to numb our pain. Chödrön shows us that our habitual reactions to life's difficulties keep us locked in cycles of suffering.
In Taking the Leap she shows us a new way of responding to life's upsets: learning to stay present. Rather than habitually running from life's hurts, you can actually stop and open your heart, thereby discovering true courage and compassion. This book presents "the four R's" of working with shenpa: recognizing, refraining, relaxing, and resolving. With her characteristic warmth and encouragement, Pema Chödrön offers transformational teachings and practices that readers can immediately put to use in their daily lives.
About the Author
Pema Chodron is an American bhikshuni, or Buddhist nun in the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition. Since her ordination in 1974, Ane Pema ("Ane" is a Tibetan honorific for a nun) has conducted workshops, seminars, and meditation retreats in Europe, Australia, and throughout North America. She is the director of Gampo Abbey, the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in North America. Pema Chodron is also an acharya (master teacher) in the lineage of Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche.
Sandy Boucher, a leading spokesperson on women and Buddhism, conducts retreats that combine meditation with writing, exploring the compassionate teachings of the Celestial Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kwan Yin. She is the author of eight books, including Hidden Spring: A Buddhist Woman Confronts Cancer; Discovering Kwan Yin, Buddhist Goddess of Compassion; Opening the Lotus, A Woman's Guide to Buddhism; and Turning the Wheel: American Women Creating the New Buddhism. She lives in Oakland, California, with her partner.
“This short guide provides valuable tools for change in uncertain times.”—Publishers Weekly