In this pithy, inspiring book, Pema Chödrön presents the Buddhist concept of shenpa, which can be translated as "getting stuck" or "getting hooked." Shenpa arises in that moment when life suddenly becomes disappointing, difficult, or painful. Perhaps someone criticizes your work, your appearance, or your child. Something within you tightens, shuts down. That's shenpa. After we tighten, we instinctively start to blame ourselves or others. We might get angry and lash out at others in words or actions. Or we might reach for a cigarette, a drink, or some other addictive substance to numb our pain. Chödrön shows us that our habitual reactions to life's difficulties keep us locked in cycles of suffering.
In Taking the Leap she shows us a new way of responding to life's upsets: learning to stay present. Rather than habitually running from life's hurts, you can actually stop and open your heart, thereby discovering true courage and compassion. This book presents "the four R's" of working with shenpa: recognizing, refraining, relaxing, and resolving. With her characteristic warmth and encouragement, Pema Chödrön offers transformational teachings and practices that readers can immediately put to use in their daily lives.