In this pithy, inspiring book, Pema ChOdrOn 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. ChOdrOn 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 ChOdrOn offers transformational teachings and practices that readers can immediately put to use in their daily lives.
About the Author
Pema Chodron_ is an American-born Buddhist nun and the author of many spiritual classics, including When Things Fall Apart (Shambhala, 2002), The Places that Scare You (Shambhala, 2004), and Taking the Leap (Shambhala, 2009). She serves as resident teacher at Gampo Abbey Monastery in Nova Scotia and is a student of Dzigar Kongtrul and the late Chogyam Trungpa. See pemachodronfoundation.org.
Sandy Boucher, writer/teacher/consultant, participated wholeheartedly in the Women's Liberation and antinuclear movements. Twenty-five years ago she entered upon a Buddhist path and soon became a spokesperson for Buddhist women in America, as well as a teacher and meditation retreat leader. In 2006, she was named an "Outstanding Woman in Buddhism" at the United Nations in Bangkok, Thailand. Author of eight books and recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in Literature, she earned a Masters degree in the History and Phenomenology of Religion at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She has traveled widely in Asia, and spent a period as a Buddhist nun in Sri Lanka. She has been pursuing her Vipassana meditation practice for 25 years, and has been teaching writing and meditation almost as long. She serves as a contributing editor to Persimmon Tree, an online literary magaazine by women over sixty. Most recently, she published a book about the Theravada Buddhist pioneer teacher Ruth Denison, called Dancing in the Dharma.
“This short guide provides valuable tools for change in uncertain times.”—Publishers Weekly