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Getting Unstuck: Breaking Your Habitual Patterns and Encountering Naked Reality | [Pema Chodron]

Getting Unstuck: Breaking Your Habitual Patterns and Encountering Naked Reality

On Getting Unstuck, Pema Chodron introduces a rare Tibetan teaching she received from her teacher, Dzigar Kontrul Rinpoche, and one that has become critical to her practice. Here, she unveils the mystery of an ineffable quality; a "pre-emotional" feeling that arises in us, brings us discomfort, and causes us to react by escaping the discomfort, often with harmful habits. With Getting Unstuck, she offers us a first look at "both the itch and the scratch": what Tibetan Buddhists call shenpa.
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Publisher's Summary

Have you ever had an itch, and not scratched it? In the Buddhist tradition, this points to a vast paradox: that by refraining from our urge to "scratch", great peace and happiness is available. On Getting Unstuck, Pema Chodron introduces a rare Tibetan teaching she received from her teacher, Dzigar Kontrul Rinpoche, and one that has become critical to her practice. Here, she unveils the mystery of an ineffable quality; a "pre-emotional" feeling that arises in us, brings us discomfort, and causes us to react by escaping the discomfort, often with harmful habits. With Getting Unstuck, she offers us a first look at "both the itch and the scratch": what Tibetan Buddhists call shenpa.

On this new, full-length recording, Pema Chodron, best-selling author and beloved American Buddhist nun, shows us how to recognize shenpa, catch it as it appears, and develop a playful, lively curiosity toward it. Join Pema Chodron to discover more about:

  • Critical mind: how to recognize this fundamental shenpa, and approach yourself and others with a sense of humor and loving-kindness
  • Ways to unravel the patterns of self-denigration, and develop the fundamental maitri, loving-kindness, toward yourself
  • How to cultivate acceptance of your irritability, insecurities, and other simply human traits
  • Recognition, Refrain, Relaxing, and Resolve: the four R's of working with shenpa, and more

    An urge comes up, we succumb to it, and it becomes stronger, teaches Pema Chodron. We reinforce our cravings, habits, and addictions by giving into them repeatedly. On Getting Unstuck, Chodron guides us through this "sticky feeling", exploring the moments when we get hooked, and offers us tools for learning to stay with our uneasiness, soften our hearts toward ourselves and others, and live a more peaceful life in the fullness of the present moment.

    ©2005 Pema Chodron; (P)2005 Sounds True

  • What the Critics Say

    "Chodron demonstrates how effective the Buddhist point of view can be in bringing order into disordered lives." (Publishers Weekly)

    What Members Say

    Average Customer Rating

    4.3 (848 )
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    4.4 (278 )
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    •  
      J. Becker Berkeley CA 05-13-07
      J. Becker Berkeley CA 05-13-07 Listener Since 2007
      HELPFUL VOTES
      31
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      "Don't Need A Crowbar"

      This is a wonderful, very helpful talk about how to enter into your life completely. Pema's main point has to do with "Learning to Stay", which refers to the fact that we stay stuck because we run away from things we don't like and therefore never learn the lessons that these events/feelings are offering us.
      This audiobook is very easy to listen to and doesn't contain a whole lot of Buddhist jargon. Pema does use a few Tibetan terms but explains them very well so that they become part of your vocabulary.
      Overall, this book is extremely practical and offers valuable practices we can use to make our lives happier. I would say that is a pretty good return on your investment.

      31 of 31 people found this review helpful
    •  
      CrzGzr Northwest North Carolina 12-01-08
      CrzGzr Northwest North Carolina 12-01-08 Member Since 2005
      HELPFUL VOTES
      129
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      14
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      5
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      "Subtle help and healing"

      I listened to this a few times and it seemed interesting but nothing clicked. Then I started experiencing my usual anxiety before the holiday arrival of my 'high maintenance" in-laws; I listened to the audio again and it calmed me and helped me realize their behavior need not effect me. During the visit, I remained focused, no buttons were pushed and I was able to speak up and stand on my own feet metaphorically. I also was able to analyze some of their more hurtful comments and realize they came from places within their history and had nothing to do with me. It was an almost fun visit, at the very least survivable. The only downside is that hey had so much fun they are coming back much sooner than usual.

      29 of 29 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Kryton2725 Fort Wayne, IN USA 05-28-08
      Kryton2725 Fort Wayne, IN USA 05-28-08 Member Since 2007

      Kryton

      HELPFUL VOTES
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      "I'm Still Scratching...But..."

      I've lost track of how many times I have listened to this book... at least 5 times... I always hear something new each time... (big surprise huh?..)... She is a delight!... Yes... I'm still still scratching... But... her insights have allowed me to see the itch... Just listening has brought about a very profound understanding of the itch we all have (any one of several hundred thousand or several million things)... and increased my awareness to the next level... For anyone on "The Path"... this is a Very Special Book and MUST LISTEN!!.... Thank you for reading my review...

      28 of 28 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Anastasia Burke California 05-12-09
      Anastasia Burke California 05-12-09 Member Since 2007

      Say something about yourself!

      HELPFUL VOTES
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      "Concrete solutions for addictive behavior"

      WISDOM FOR ALL, NOT JUST BUDDHISTS: If you have already ventured into mindfulness meditation (if not, check out Jon kabat-Zinn's "Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners" or one of Chodron's introductory books), then this is a great next step, especially if you want to get unstuck from "sticky" issues that hold us all back.

      Pema speaks compassionately in her lyrical, embracing voice about coming to terms with issues such as anger, fear, and substance abuse. There are several very useful Q & A sessions, in which Chodron counsels audience members struggling with obsessions. From food to the rage that can sometimes live in activists who want to change the world for the better, Pema offers concrete solution.

      This book offers readers the courage to face--and embrace--sticky issues. If you are seeking help for alcohol abuse, food addictions, rage, or grief--then Chodron's advice will help. I will listen to this audio book over and over. It pours a lot of wisdom and hope into my earbuds.

      17 of 17 people found this review helpful
    •  
      James Olney, MD, USA 10-24-05
      James Olney, MD, USA 10-24-05 Member Since 2004
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      "The Essence of Practice"

      Pema Chodron is one of the few teachers that can cut to the heart of the human condition with gentleness. The ability to lay bare the harshest truths of ourselves while still holding us in the heart of true compassion is her signature. I found myself willing to experiment and apply these practices to areas of life which I've been protecting.

      This series of talks covers the practice of shamatha meditation in great depth, coming at it from several different angles. It specializes in the mechanism of attachment and the role this plays in our suffering, especially in the form of repeating patterns and addictions.

      32 of 33 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Jackie Huntington Beach, CA, USA 03-02-08
      Jackie Huntington Beach, CA, USA 03-02-08
      HELPFUL VOTES
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      "Thank you Pema"

      Wow. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is suffering in the past. Pema is a delight to listen to, I am not a book on tape person, but she is easy on the ears and engaging. I was so moved in parts of this speech, due to her kind and gentle voice, that explained things I was unable to recognize. I will be purchasing more of her audio books, as she has a lot more to teach me.

      11 of 11 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Julie Lancaster, VA, USA 12-17-06
      Julie Lancaster, VA, USA 12-17-06
      HELPFUL VOTES
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      "Golden"

      Five out of five! Why not? We each have a point of view, each as valid as the next.

      How rare and fortunate: to experience the teachings of Pema Chodron as if you were right there with her, sitting on your cushion, knees aching, back screaming, skin crawling, mind racing -- wondering, worrying, evaluating, judging, pressing, pushing, pulling, loving, hating -- struggling to stay awake, falling asleep, inspired beyond words, dazed with clarity, lost in convoluted complexity of authentic, screaming to get up and out of the room, out of your life and into another, more manageable one. And then she laughs at herself.... And you laugh uncontrollably at yourself.... a blissful moment of utter relief.

      Then - Repeat.

      26 of 28 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Kim Collegeville, PA, United States 12-20-09
      Kim Collegeville, PA, United States 12-20-09
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      "Everyone Must Listen"

      This audio is so inspiring, spiritual, and personal. Pema Chodron's naration is exquisit, she is so turely compasionate in helping us touch our own soul. She helped me go deep inside and look into my soul to really understand my true emotions and gave me the teaching necessary to go deep and step outside of my self, letting go of ego as well as fear bringing my meditation to a higher level.

      7 of 7 people found this review helpful
    •  
      William Long Beach, CA, USA 12-06-08
      William Long Beach, CA, USA 12-06-08
      HELPFUL VOTES
      34
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      "Loved it!"

      You wold think Buddhism would be boring but Pema was so funny and engaging that I would like to this over and over and over again.

      4 of 4 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Robin north little rock, AR, USA 04-01-09
      Robin north little rock, AR, USA 04-01-09
      HELPFUL VOTES
      3
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      "Enjoyable listen"

      I'm not Buddhist, and don't know much about Buddism, but I love listening to Pema Chodron. I've listened to this several times and each time I enjoy it and get something new from it. Her delivery is so peaceful, yet fresh and humorous, too.

      3 of 3 people found this review helpful
    • Showing: 1-10 of 30 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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    • Mark
      BirminghamUnited Kingdom
      9/20/09
      Overall
      "A Manual to change you life"

      For Buddhists or non buddhist Pema teaches a way through your habits and habitual reponses to a better life today - and for buddhist refresh inspiration for your practise on the path to enlightenment
      Very clear - a call to action

      5 of 5 people found this review helpful
    • James
      Beaconsfield, United Kingdom
      1/23/07
      Overall
      "Useful Wisdom"

      This really made sense to me. Pema Chodron introduces the concept of 'Shenpa', that point at which we are launched into habititual behaviours that cause us pain. For example 'that person' does 'that thing' that makes you angry or self critical or... Getting unstuck is about recognising shenpa as it happens, engaging with the cause and being able to break the bad response.

      4 of 4 people found this review helpful
    • Pamela
      London, United Kingdom
      1/20/10
      Overall
      "A funny Buddhist"

      This is a funny and entertaining look at how anger can control us and how we need to learn to let it go and chill out essentially!!! Pema is very funny and honest about her pursuit for inner peace and I really related to her during the book. Recommended for anyone who wants to calm down and learn how to deal with stressful situations in a healthy way!

      3 of 3 people found this review helpful
    • Joanna
      Sandton, South Africa
      5/24/11
      Overall
      "Gentle and effective"

      I had become weary of self-help in most forms: it has to suit the personality, and the difficulty lies in finding the right one for you. I suspected that this one might be a little too eastern for my taste, but decided to give it a go - maybe it could just calm me down on the drive to and from work! Well it did more than that, she has a lovely manner, and it made a lot of sense to me with regard to the way our minds work. Without much effort I have been able to stand back from a lot of my angst, and at best, turn it around and see it from the other end of the telescope.

      2 of 2 people found this review helpful
    • Jason
      Danbury, Essex, United Kingdom
      4/12/10
      Overall
      "A grandmother speaks wisdom"

      In this open and accessible talk by Pema Chodron, she comes across as grandmotherly and gently. As I listen I can imagine a twinkle in her eye as she speaks of her own experience and instructs on how to deal with issues common to all.
      To anyone that has taken time to pause and reflect on their daily interactions, it's hilarious.

      2 of 2 people found this review helpful
    • elaine4queen
      7/12/14
      Overall
      Performance
      Story
      "Pema Live"
      Where does Getting Unstuck rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

      I usually use audible for novels, so this is like comparing oranges and apples - yes, they are the same format, but not the same thing at all.

      This is a lot shorter than book length, but it is very rich and it's a live recording of her teaching. If you like it at all you're going to listen more than once.


      What was one of the most memorable moments of Getting Unstuck?

      In Getting Unstuck Pema talks about 'Shenpa' which is a Tibetan word which approximates 'trigger' in English.


      What does Pema Chodron bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

      This isn't one of her books, it's a live recording of a retreat. She does write books, but the way that she speaks on retreat gives you some idea of what it is like to learn in the classic Buddhist way 'transmission' - which is being in a live relationship with a teacher.


      Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

      Listening to this more than once allows you to have some sense of the idea 'in the round'.


      Any additional comments?

      Pema Chodron has written several books which are broadly spiritual self help, from a Buddhist perspective and relating to Buddhist notions, but you don't have to be a Buddhist to find them useful. It's a shame more of her work isn't available on Audible.

      0 of 0 people found this review helpful
    • Louise
      London, United Kingdom
      3/6/13
      Overall
      "Inspirational"

      So inspiring, funny and grounded - perfect teacher. Lovely to hear with a live audience as well.

      0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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