Living in Community

When Pema Chodron talks about shenpa, she refers to living intimately with others.

Her teachings have made me aware that my irritations are my own issues. My knowledge of this human response 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.

The Student

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Filed under Pema Chodron, The False Power of Ego

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