Sunday, 7 September 2014

"Pausing" to break old habits...

I am familiar with that tendency towards my own auto-pilot, i.e. reacting in a particular way to someone close to me (getting angry, or avoiding). Pema Chodron, in her book Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears asks us to think about which wolf we want to feed -- the wolf whose stomach is full may be the vengeful and angry wolf, and yet we continue to feed it, instead of feeding the hungry wolf who is understanding and kind. She notes how "pausing" is very helpful in the process of breaking old habits, adding that her teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche used to say that we can approach our lives as an experiment: "In the next moment, in the next hour, we could choose to stop, to slow down, to be still for a few seconds. We could experiment with interrupting the usual chain reaction, and not spin off in the usual way. We don’t need to blame someone else, and we don’t need to blame ourselves. When we’re in a tight spot, we can experiment with not strengthening the aggression habit and see what happens."

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