shenpa

Here is an article by American Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön: The Shenpa Syndrome – Learning to Stay.

An excerpt:

“If I were translating shenpa [from Tibetan] it would be very hard to find a word, but I’m going to give you a few. One word might be hooked. How we get hooked.

Another synonym for shenpa might be that sticky feeling. In terms of [an] analogy about having scabies, that itch that goes along with that and scratching it, shenpa is the itch and it’s the urge to scratch. So, urge is another word. The urge to smoke that cigarette, the urge to overeat, the urge to have one more drink, or whatever it is where your addiction is.

Here is an everyday example of shenpa. Somebody says a mean word to you and then something in you tightens—that’s the shenpa. Then it starts to spiral into low self-esteem, or blaming them, or anger at them, denigrating yourself. And maybe if you have strong addictions, you just go right for your addiction to cover over the bad feeling that arose when that person said that mean word to you. This is a mean word that gets you, hooks you. Another mean word may not affect you but we’re talking about where it touches that sore place—that’s a shenpa. Someone criticizes you—they criticize your work, they criticize your appearance, they criticize your child—and, shenpa: almost co-arising.”               ~Pema Chödrön

Here is a basic guide to Buddhism.


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