Noticing when we are hooked, which is known in Buddhism as shenpa, and then practicing not reacting in your typical mode, but instead choosing a new way of being is a gift to yourself and in turn the world. When you practice this way of being, you are unhooking yourself from suffering and discomfort. There is such a tug by our habitual direction that we often get caught up in shenpa. By catching when we get caught up in our habitual patterns, pausing and making a change by doing something different, we are practicing loving kindness to ourselves. It would be lovely if this practice could become a way of life for all of us, and not just a one-time agreement.
All to frequently these days we are all presented with many opportunities of getting hooked, it is as if there is a shenpa overload going on all over the world. Turn on the television; watch the news, read an editorial, the comments on a Facebook thread and the opportunities for one to be caught by the hook of shenpa is enormous. However, the good news is that one can catch it at the seed stage, and that is where choice comes into the process, we can water the seed or pause, bring in some fresh air and choose to do something different. This is the place of sitting with discomfort; by not undertaking our habitual pattern we burn up the seeds of shenpa. We acknowledge what is happening; let the story line go, and give it our full attention, in other words we are practicing loving kindness.
Our world desperately needs more loving kindness at this moment. The President of the United States, in his television speech the other night, urged the citizens of the United States not to turn against one another, especially those that might practice a different religion or look different, but rather to embrace all peoples with understanding and compassion. This a great example of being able to practice loving kindness. In the little I saw in print after his speech, I saw many who were hooked in their own shenpa thus creating more suffering and discomfort. We have an opportunity to get unhooked form this way of thinking and make a real difference in this world right now, we simply have to notice the hook, pause and make a change as to how we are going to react. For the sake of our world, please try it in some simple manner today, perhaps in your interaction with a family member. Every little bit of love applied to the wounding of the world will help with the healing. When we live the personal reality of peace, we become peacemakers. Our individual energy then aligns with the realities of other peacemakers, generating a wave of goodness throughout the world. This is how the phenomenon of faith within our awareness joins with others and becomes a great agency of transformation that creates a new, peaceful reality.
Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.~ Stephen Hawking