In Tibetan, the term "re-dok" stems from the root rewa which means hope, and dokpa which means fear. I like to think of Redok as a pea pod where hope and fear nestle together. I especially appreciate this image because Redok is actually considered to be the root of most pain and suffering.
Of course, there isn't anything inherently wrong with hope or fear. Rather, it's our relationship with them.
A similar contrast is how human beings have evolved into human doings. In the context of the Doing Self, think about how you move through the day. Just scan through today...
It seems we always have to change the channel, adjust the room temperature, check our social media feeds, or wonder what we're missing out on (aka: fear of missing out: FOMO) at any given moment because something is restless. Something is beginning to hurt and we keep looking for alternatives.
Hope and fear come from a feeling that we lack something. There's a scarcity inside, and it keeps us from simply being with ourselves. Instead, we feed that shenpa, a Tibetan word for getting hooked, like it's a demon.
Rather than bite the hook of shenpa, we can do it another way. We can skillfully make a
u-turn and really get to know our demon(s). What's it's color, shape, texture, mood? Perhaps most telling, what do it's eyes say?
The sadhana (practice) is that we leverage our courage, lean in, and stay. We do this with kindness and compassion, friendliness Otherwise, our shadow side runs for cover, often manifesting as nagging, chronic pain.
A very common shenpa trigger is the groundlessness of not knowing. You know that uncomfortable feeling when we're waiting for the result of an exam, what's around the corner - how we scan for danger when instead, we could be experiencing joy. When we pause, we see that these ways of being are choices. When we let the controlling self go and surrender to the truth of this moment, we enter ground zero. This is where the rubber meets the road. When we allow ourselves to get comfortable with the groundlessness of not knowing, we train in stability. After all, there's no such thing as security, only stability, and it starts from within.
What might your life be like if you leveraged the shenpa of the Doing Self? Invite it to tea. Welcome it and simply practice doing it another way. This is the sadhana, and freedom is on the other side!
To unhook the Doing Self, I love these inquiries from Tara Brach:
Practical Daily Practices
Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving 'til wise action arises by itself?
Like the little stream making its way through the mossy crevices, I too turn quietly clear and transparent.
Read more about how we get hooked by shenpa and how to get unhooked here, or visit my Resources page.