Getting Unhooked From Craving And Clinging

This talk, presented by April Koester, focuses on a Tibetan term, shenpa, translated as attachment, but more provocatively termed hooked, made well-known by Pema Chodron, the American Buddhist teacher and author.  An alternative rendering for \shenpa is craving and clinging, important concepts in Buddhism, representing how the experience of impulsive reactivity we all are subject to creates distress and confusion.  April talks about how Chodron’s teaching was of great benefit to her when she was experiencing problems earlier in her life, along with suggestions regarding how to set aside the hook while meditating and during everyday life.  Others in the meeting also share how they experience shenpa and their approach to setting craving and clinging aside.


Dissolving The Hook Meditation

This is a recording of a guided meditation for overcoming impulsive identification with and acting out from a stimulating situation.  It is derived from the teaching of Pema Chodron, a well respected teacher in the Tibetan tradition; she call this the hook.  During the meditation, Peter invites students to persistently direct attention to the first sensation noted at the beginning of the in-breath and then the first sensation noted at the beginning of the out-breath.  This practice is more beneficial when there is a diligent effort to stay with that formula.  Later in the meditation, it is suggested that the quickened ability to go to and identify the initial stages of the hook can be more effective at not identifying with it, thereby creating a quieter and more stable internal experience.

The posting immediately after this describes the discussion that followed the meditation, along with the notes prepared for the talk.


Dissolving The Hook November 14 2018

This talk elaborates a concept proposed by Pema Chodron, the well respected Tibetan teacher and author.  Shenpa is a Tibetan term which literally means attachment.  Pema Chodron has found a useful adaptation of this term, the hook–the impulsive identification with and reaction to an initial stimulus.  Peter provides a useful explanation of this term in Theravadin terms as the process of craving and clinging; he finds the hook term to be a convenient and effective way to quickly note and reject the initial thoughts and emotional reactions to a situation, relating this to the term papanca (pah-pahn-chah), the impulsive proliferation of identification and thoughts initiated by a stimulating event.  This discussion included suggestions to foster quicker and more precise identification of the hook through a variation of fundamental mindfulness of breathing practice.  This was followed by group discussion of how the meditation practice brings benefit to overcoming the hook.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  DISSOLVING THE HOOK

The post immediately before this post is a recording of a guided meditation entitled “Dissolving The Hook Meditation”.

Next week’s meeting will include a guided gratitude meditation followed by a general discussion of how Buddhism integrates with a daily practice of gratitude.