Shenpa is the urge, the hook, that triggers our habitual tendency to close down. We get hooked in that moment of tightening when we reach for relief. To get unhooked we begin by recognizing that moment of unease and learn to relax in that moment.
To free ourselves from habitual patterns, says Valerie Mason-John, we need to see how they have become part of our identity.
How you relate to your feelings, says Willa Blythe Baker, may be the most important habit of all. When you meet your feelings with grace and mindfulness, you find they’re your best friends on the spiritual path.
Not all habits are bad. Happiness is a habit too, says Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. Here’s how you can make it grow.
When you recognize the true nature of mind, says Dzogchen master Tsoknyi Rinpoche, all habitual patterns are naturally liberated in the space of wisdom. That includes the ultimate habit known as samsara.
Our basic problem, says Trudy Goodman, is ignoring the reality of impermanence. Being mindful in the moment, appreciating this flowing, interconnected life, we miraculously free ourselves from habitual patterns.
To give yourself a fighting chance against negative patterns, says Josh Korda, you’ve got to get at the driving forces behind them.
Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorstein on 5 styles of habitual reaction—and how to find freedom from yours.
The nagging, negative voice of self-judgement, says Christina Feldman, is a powerful affliction best met with courage, kindness, and understanding.
When you’re caught in your habitual patterns, says Joan Sutherland, try not to fixate on your reactions. Instead cultivate awareness of everything that is happening in the moment.