Sunday, February 4, 2007

Of Pema, Shenpa, and Omaha

While on a recent trip from South Dakota to Kansas, I made my usual way down I-29. When I get to Omaha (actually, Council Bluffs, IA), going through the merging lanes of "the big city" can raise my small town shenpa--anxiety.

On this trip, however, I was listening to Pema Chodron's "Getting Unstuck" on my iPod. About an hour north of Omaha (somewhere south of Sioux City, IA), I learned about the concept of shenpa (Tibetan for "hooked" or attachment or as some Italian-Americans might say, agita).

Approaching Omaha, I thought I should probably turn off Ms Chodron's book on mindfulness so I could better negotiate all the traffic, lane changes, and so forth.

For some reason, I didn't.

I let Pema play. That point of the audio book was a meditation exercise through listening to a gong then listening to your surroundings.

My first thought was I'd zone out then end up in Des Moines, IA rather than Wichita, KS.

But I went with the flow.

My usual Omaha shenpa was reduced. Omaha was a snap.

So, I recommend Pema for shenpa in Omaha--and about anything else that makes you anxious and takes away your mindfulness.

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