I just finished re-listening to Pema Chödrön Don’t Bite the Hook. I return to Pema often to get unstuck and this recording of hers is probably my favorite
Highlights from Don’t Bite the Hook:
The instruction is to not underestimate the things in your life that bring you happiness. Conscientiously note throughout the day anything that is pleasing. Little tiny things. Throughout the day there are a multitude of moments where you actually feel a fleeting happiness. As a species we have an unfortunate and habitual pattern that we emphasize the gloomy part… this shifts the balance.
As long as there is this charge in our likes and dislikes, as long as we get hooked by our views and opinions, then it doesn’t matter how right or peaceful or helpful to the earth our view is, we are still strengthening habits of aggression and still seeing people as ‘out there’ and other and ‘the problem’.
When you’re in a situation that you consider unjust, where you see that the motivation – in your view and opinion – is that something is happening that is motivated by greed or selfishness or trying to hurt you. But you see it, and it might be that if you did a poll of all the human beings on the planet, that you could get a really large percentage to vote for your side.
I started saying, ‘What’s happening here? I don’t like this.’ Period. End of story.
Sure, someone else might like it, but my opinion, my view is: ‘I don’t like it.’ That’s very different from: ‘It is wrong. It is bad. They are bad.’ It leads us towards not having a fixed view of ourselves or anyone else.
I keep track of all my favorite things Pema has said and written over on pemaquotes.com.