Feeling exhausted by life? How can we start to care again?

A student writes:

“I’m tired of everything – practice, life, courage, compassion. How can I start to care again?”

Lama Shenpen:

Thank you for writing to me about your situation.  It sounds as if you might be exhausted and/or have lost heart.

You do care though – you care deeply but where is the life-force that keeps us going? Tibetans would call this life-force being low and it’s a time to really be gentle on yourself and take care of yourself.

It is hard to advise you at a distance like this but you will care again, you will find that spark again.  Sometimes it just seems to disappear and then it is as if we have to tread water and not panic until it resurfaces, when everything comes to life again.

Until then it is important not to be hard on yourself, not to blame yourself, or feel bad about yourself.  In your heart of hearts you know you are good.  It is just that sometimes the life-energy drops so low that it’s a major feat just to get out of bed in the morning.

So congratulate yourself on that – on every little step you take, every time you manage to smile or laugh in spite of whatever it is you are experiencing. There is light at the end of the tunnel. There always is because we are Buddha by nature. It is worth aspiring to know what that really means.

Lama Shenpen Hookham


Lama Shenpen’s students are all studying the Living the Awakened Heart Training – a structured, comprehensive, supported, distance learning programme in Buddhist meditation, reflection and insight. The training, which is open to all, brings the profound Dzogchen and Mahamudra teachings to a Western audience in an experiential, accessible way, through spiral learning. Find out more and how to join at www.ahs.org.uk/training