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Getting Unstuck: Breaking Your Habitual Patterns & Encountering Naked Reality

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  2,256 ratings  ·  194 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 Chodron introduces a rare Tibetan teaching she received from her teacher, Dzigar Kontrul Rinpoche, and one that has become critical to her practice. Here, s ...more
Audible Audio
Published 2005 (first published November 30th 2004)
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4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,256 ratings  ·  194 reviews


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Elision
Jan 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 Rouleau
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Arlene
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Piat Orendain
May 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kirsten
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Alyssa
Sep 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting this to be more like a book, but it’s actually a series of live talks by Pema. It was neat to hear her talk and her personality; learned a few new concepts and things to keep in mind.
Becca
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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).
Allison
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Pema Chodron so much and know I will listen to this again. My take away...don't feed the Shenpa!
Becky
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lovely short teaching on shenpa, getting hooked by thoughts or habitual patterns of behavior.
Terri Light
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Another must listen audio book from the great teacher Pema Chodron
Sonja Reid
Sep 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Z
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Steve Woods
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Happyreader
Sep 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sarah
Jun 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kristi, Matt, Amie, Rebecca
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.
Sandra Snook
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.
Suni
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sally
Nov 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great set of CD's if you are struggling with anything in your personal life. I have listened to it over and over again.
Alisa
Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love listening to her on my commute to and from work. So refreshing, enlightening, and funny!
Marnie
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This book really helps to clarify the why!
Jason
May 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: introtobuddhism
Very down to earth and funny teachings on being engaged in the difficult times.
Russell
Jan 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Teo 2050
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 Hooked
1.12. Catch
...more
Min
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The meditation practice portion that began with listening to the gong, then as it faded, then to the noises around the room, I found a very calming, and centering method to use in my practice. This is used in conjunction with the idea of Staying; Being in the Moment. That is linked to learning the metaphysical equivalent of scratching the itch; that if we itch too much we bleed, and harm ourselves, so we must learn to let it alone- as we do with drives, and desires so they do not control us.

Teac
...more
Brad McKenna
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism, audiobooks
I ask again, is it possible to give 6 stars?

In this recording, Ms. Chodron dives deep into a specific Buddhist idea: Shenpa. With her usual wit, she says that traditionally, Shenpa is something that's ineffable and then mocks her attempt to explain in words something that can't be explained in words. Shenpa, roughly, is the idea that you get stuck (hence the title). It has also been translated as "ego-clinging".

So this entire recording is Ms. Chodron giving examples of when we run into Shenpa.
...more
Mara Vernon
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this session which is a recorded workshop. It's organized well, and the content flows nicely. Pema has a great sense of humor and I found the examples very poignant and helpful throughout. The process for getting unstuck is bottom lined into an actionable format.

Chödrön talks about how we make urges--cravings, habits, additions--stronger by succumbing to them. In this session she teaches us about noticing when we get hooked, and then provides strategies for learning to stay with the une
...more
Cynthia
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My second Pema Chodron book, also an audio version so I get to hear her presentations to a workshop, hear her take and respond in an impromptu manner to questions, hear the audience reaction, and so on. Since this is something being taught to the reader, I really appreciate the availability of her workshops on tape. Following on the heals of the Compassion book, this takes a different angle and really helps us see the benefit of looking to see where we get stuck. I wonder if there is someone who ...more
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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
...more