I’ve been very aware of what the Tibetans call Shenpa. It is a word that means (according to Pema Chodron) “hooked”. She refers to it as the Shenpa Syndrome. It’s about getting hooked on obsessive thoughts. I am an obsessive thinker. It is the number one obstacle (for me) to staying present in the moment.

Stay present…for a moment…and then a thought hooks me. Or rather, I hook into a thought. I imagine it as a stream with hundreds of little thought fish flowing by, and suddenly I dig my hooks into the fish and won’t let it go.

I’ve been trying to be mindful of this, and I assume that after 36 years of being one way, it will take some practice to be another way. I visualize these poor fish with wounds from my hooks, and I begin to feel compassion for the thought – the situation – the person, place, or thing. I see how cruel I have been to this thought, picking at it, hooking into it again and again until it is damaged and bloody.

So I let the fish go. Back down the stream. With a prayer for compassion, and a willingness to let it go.


  1. Lisa,

    The solution to this problem for me was in the "present moment' as you indicate. I had to give myself permission to make a mistake and yet want to correct it....kinda like 2 forward and 1 back....still progress though.

    You hit the nail on the head when you noted that you had been created in the image and likeness of your "tribe" for xx years.....now it will take an amount of time to change those characteristics.....one breath at a time....

    One breath at a time in very short meditations (15mins) is where I learned that I could for a sustained period in fact not get "hooked"...15 minutes became 20 which became 30 etc....

    You are a projection of The Divine regardless of how you think you are doing.....as John Lennon said; "...let it be, just let it be.!"

    Love and Light

  2. Ah - the present moment is some times the hardest moment to be in. I believe that my realizations that I am not be present are opportunities to be grateful. It means there are times I am in the moment, and so I am unaware of the power of the obsessive mind. If that makes sense...

  3. They say there's no time like the present, so why is it so hard for us? For me, anyway.

    Have you tried Guanqifa meditation? It's quite refreshing/renewing, and you can never fall asleep. Might help with being in the present: http://www.todaysstep.com

    Good luck!