Filed in Tibetan

The Fundamental Ambiguity of Being Human

How to Live Beautifully with Uncertainty and ChangePema Chödrön

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Dharma Talk

For the most part, our attachment, our shenpa, arises involuntarily— our habitual response to feeling insecure. When we’re hooked, we turn to anything to relieve the discomfort—food, alcohol, sex, shopping, being critical or unkind. But there is something more fruitful we can do when that edgy feeling arises. It’s similar to the way we can deal with pain. One popular way of relating to physical pain is mindfulness meditation. It involves directing your full attention to the pain and breathing in and out of the spot that hurts. Instead of trying to avoid the discomfort, you open yourself completely to it. You become receptive to the painful sensation without dwelling on the story your mind has concocted: It’s bad; I shouldn’t feel this way; maybe it will never go away.

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