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Getting Unstuck: Breaking Your Habitual Patterns & Encountering Naked Reality

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  4,194 ratings  ·  279 reviews
Have you ever had an itch and not scratched it? In the Buddhist tradition, this points to a vast paradox: that by refraining from our urge to scratch, great peace and happiness is available.

On Getting Unstuck, Pema Chödrön introduces a rare Tibetan teaching she received from her teacher, Dzigar Kontrul Rinpoche, and one that has become critical to her practice. Here, she u
...more
Audio CD, 3 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Sounds True (first published November 30th 2004)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  4,194 ratings  ·  279 reviews


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Elision
Jan 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
This collection of talks by Pema Chodron are on the topic of "shenpa," an idea roughly translated as "hooks" or "attachment." When we get trapped in our head instead of being present, it's this shenpa we're experiencing. Shenpa is not the thoughts we have or the emotions we feel, but the sticky part that keeps us from getting back to the present moment. When we realize that something is hooking us, we can take an attitude of curiosity and joy at discovering the shenpa and get back to the present ...more
Erin
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Pema is simply the best. She really knows the modern, Western mind and knows how to make it applicable. There's something so warm and humorous and wonderful about her voice. She knows how to bring some levity to the situation. I just love her. ...more
Arlene
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
Pema Chodron makes Tibetan Buddhism accessible to the western mind. I found this one particularly relevant and helpful. I find it fascinating that, while westerners, and Christianity in particular, emphasize our shortcomings and original sin, Buddhists emphasize the basic goodness, the soft spot in the human heart. Personally, I find this much more helpful.

In order to make a difference in the world, one must learn compassion. And the place to start is with compassion for one's self, and one's sh
...more
Andrea Luquetta
Dec 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
There is no escaping Pema Chondron's simple language. Her voice is beautiful, her tenor compassionate, but her call to mindfulness and staying present is unwavering and pure. ...more
Jason
May 22, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, buddhism
Technically, this isn’t a printed book. It’s a recording of a talk Pema did in six parts over a weekend at a retreat. The wisdom and value in this discussion is more valuable than I can express.

Seriously, get this audiobook if you ever find yourself stuck inside your own head after someone or something upsets you, making your thoughts spiral down the well of negative thinking that’s nearly impossible to escape from. Pema offers Buddhist teachings and meditative techniques on how to catch those t
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Hailey Hunt
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This could possibly be the most powerful, life- and perspective-changing thing I've ever heard. Through light-hearted humor and deep empathy, Pema shares stories that will stick with you to explain the power of meditation and staying. If you want to be less critical of yourself and others, discover how to sit with deep emotions, reframe your mind on the thoughts that enter your head, redirect your habits toward what actually matters in your life, and really create personal freedom, give this a l ...more
Angelic
Sep 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I probably should have listened to this last year because it's pretty useful when addressing covid anxiety. I have a lot of that so I liked this quite a bit. ...more
Nicole
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was my first book by Pema Chödrön and it was delightful. A great meditation practice especially for me right now with everything that is going on in the world (COVID19).
Piat Orendain
May 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Short but sweet! This book helped me talk about addiction with a friend of mine that is currently trying to quit smoking. In trying to do some research to help my friend out, I also learned a great number of things about myself and how we as a people are addicted to so many things, critical thinking; sugar; beating ourselves up; and all sorts of other really insidious mental traps that spiritually bog us down. What we don't realize is that we allow ourselves to be ruled by these so-called person ...more
Z
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
With great compassion, humour, and accessibility, Pema Chödrön guides us through experiencing negative emotions, identifying 'hooks' or 'shenpa' - that very first moment when you feel hurt or threatened, that sharp intake of breath and momentary blindness - and working with shenpa to understand it and strip it of its reactive and instinctive power. Since listening to this audiobook I often smile to myself when I notice my own moments of shenpa and remember her phrase, 'shenpa attack.' If nothing ...more
Kirsten
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: meditation
Her descriptions of our common nature and common suffering is beautiful. She inspires us to become more present and to stay with our habitual patterns to uncover and move forward on our path. I love her insights.
Russell
Jan 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism
Wonderfully down to earth talks on using the dharma as a kind and loving way to work on the ways we sabotage our own lives.
Jennifer
Jan 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Listening to this book - actually a collection of lectures. She's a good speaker - she can be light and funny while talking about pain. She's honest about her own faults, which is encouraging. ...more
Jenni Clark
Jul 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Pema just makes me feel so okay with my entire experience of being human!
Paul Schmidt
Nov 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
To Remember:
- Shenpa is undefinable, but it can be characterized as stickiness, or the immediate association of yourself with a thought (there's is not awareness of separateness).
- 1:49:30 - Living your life as a ceremony: "there is some sense of living your life as a ceremony. You begin with intention, and then you can go about your day. Needless to say there is a lot of forgetfulness about this intention." That is an exercise at the beginning, and at the end of the day you review the day (but
...more
Becca
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddhism
One of my favorites of her many books... maybe because I so need these lessons about “shenpa” (being hooked by an emotion or train of thought).
Donna
Aug 26, 2022 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant honest and easily accessible book for moving out of pain or just the feeling of being stuck into a realistic place of moving forward. So real without overpromising what life is or can be like. Peña Chodron is so down to earth while highly spiritual. She is a gem.
Camia Young
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: brain-books
A delightful journey into our habitual behaviours (often unconscious and reactive) and an invitation to develop a wise mind, that is the ability to notice our emotive behaviour and lean into what lies beneath our urges.
Jed
May 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Some good Buddhist type insight.
Allison
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed Pema Chodron so much and know I will listen to this again. My take away...don't feed the Shenpa! ...more
Becky
Lovely short teaching on shenpa, getting hooked by thoughts or habitual patterns of behavior.
Terri Light
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Several timely points in this editorial lecture. I am going to look forward to rereading this one occasionally when I need inspiration to unglue myself from bad ruts.
ياسمين خليفة
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another must listen audio book from the great teacher Pema Chodron
Teo 2050
2019.01.14–2019.01.14

Contents

Chödrön P (2004) (03:24) Getting Unstuck - Breaking Your Habitual Patterns & Encountering Naked Reality

1.01. Learning to Stay - Introduction
1.02. The Challenge of Being Present
1.03. Stop Scratching
1.04. Ego - The Root of the Problem
1.05. Exploring the Itch
1.06. The Open Awareness of Your Mind
1.07. Listening Meditation Practice
1.08. The Doorway to Liberation
1.09. The Habit of Distraction - Introduction
1.10. Recognizing Patterns of Habituation
1.11. Shenpa - How We Get
...more
Sonja Reid
Sep 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhist-topics
I love Pema Chodron's writings, and so was excited to see that I could get an audio book of hers from the library. She's a great speaker - in fact, many of her books are transcribed talks. As with all of her writings, she explains aspects of meditation practice drawn from her experience as a Tibetan Buddhist nun. Getting Unstuck explores "not itching the scratch", and just sitting with what that feels like. Her point is that we run away from discomfort, be it emotional or physical, and that we r ...more
Steve Woods
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddhism, meditation
As we find our way along the path and the Dharma gradually becomes a part of our living we all need the wisdom of those who have gone before us. This is one of those experiences that addresses the issue of getting caught up in our practice. Essentially it is and must remain a fluid thing that flows over and through us in a kind of stream, the constant intrusion of self however can set up a battleground that becomes self reinforcing. This is a discussion about the nature of our journey through th ...more
Sarah
Jun 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was absolutely wonderful! I listened to the audio-cd's of this and I adore Pema's realness and sense of humour. She is so humble and is a delight to listen to. She as some wonderful insight in how to get tuned into the mind chatter and how to switch it off. She likens it to an itch that can aggravate more and more until you can do nothing but scratch it.
The CDs include a lovely mediation..... and questions from students that Pema answers.
...more
Happyreader
Sep 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
A friend was told by her counselor, "You're not depressed. You just have bad habits." Don't we all.

I loved these CDs. It's all about how we get hooked and how we can unhook ourselves with compassion rather than continue with the habits we think will bring us comfort, by avoiding the present moment, but ultimately keep us trapped.

I just need to remember the four Rs: recognize, refrain, relax, resolve. Heck, if I could refrain, I'd be all set.
...more
Suni
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a collection of lectures, and so particularly suitable as an audiobook. I really enjoyed it for the concepts and principles discussed. Pema Chodron has a remarkably accessible way of presenting profound ideas, so that the reader/listener comes away with the sense that s/he can apply these principles in their own life & practice.
Sandra The Old Woman in a Van
I rarely read a book twice but I read this one (or listened to it) twice, back to back, because it was probably the most valuble book I have read in years. Pema Chodron is a gentle, wise and gifted teacher. The teachings in this book have had an immediate impact in my life. I cannot say that about many books.
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Ani Pema Chödrön (Deirdre Blomfield-Brown) is an American Buddhist nun in the Tibetan tradition, closely associated with the Kagyu school and the Shambhala lineage.

She attended Miss Porter's School in Connecticut and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. She taught as an elementary school teacher for many years in both New Mexico and California. Pema has two children and three g
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