When Pema Chodron talks about shenpa, she refers to living intimately with others.
I love that her teachings because they have made me aware that my irritations are my own issues. It keeps me aware of the lessons I would like to learn instead of thinking that I must teach someone else. “Aha!” she says as she lives with four other women for a month.
This pleasure trip could have become a nightmare if I had mindlessly and habitually closed my heart and opened my mouth. Instead, it has been a wonderful practice. My moments of irritation, self-righteousness, and assumed martyrdom were contained within my thoughts long enough to sift a bit of ego from the mix before pouring out respect and consideration when I finally spoke.
I feel encouraged. Not because I did it perfectly (Not!), but because I was aware of the pitfalls much of the time. I was happy to have remembered Pema’s words when I began to shrink into the seclusion of resentment. It helped me to make my times of isolation short and the joys of sharing more bountiful.
Once again, thank you, Pema.