Daily Wisdom / Pema Chödrön

Contacting Pain

Book coverWhen you contact the all-worked-up feeling of shenpa [getting hooked on a negative emotion], the basic instruction is the same as in dealing with physical pain. Whether it’s a feeling of I like or I don’t like, or an emotional state like loneliness, depression, or anxiety, you open yourself fully to the sensation, free of interpretation. If you’ve tried this approach with physical pain, you know that the result can be quite miraculous. When you give your full attention to your knee or your back or your head—whatever hurts—and drop the good/bad, right/wrong story line and simply experience the pain directly for even a short time, then your ideas about the pain, and often the pain itself, will dissolve.

From Living Beautifully, page 10

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