There is an article in the December issue of Tricycle Magazine on the concept of “Lenchat” which is described as the attachment we feel in certain relationships in this life which are painful or stressful and come from a relationship with this person in a past life. I found this article to be very helpful as the principle of Lenchat is to understand the connection we had with others in past lives that reoccurs in this life and causes us pain, and bewilderment. When we are caught in the dynamic of Lenchat we have a relationship in this lifetime that repeats patterns learned in other lifetimes. We feel the same bewildering pain and worry and do not have a rational approach to this person.It could be with a man or a woman: it doesn’t seem to matter. What matters is we replicate the pain. We jump to the aid of this person feeling anxiety about fulfilling their needs, not really understanding why we are connected so strongly to someone we barely know, or, in many cases, someone who is causing us pain by their treatment of the relationship. Lenchat explains to me the people I know who have caused me to use caller ID. They call me and I rush to see who is calling, knowing it is the person whose needs I can never meet and who will always seem angry to me. I peer nervously at the readout and see the number of the demanding one who I feel bound to and somehow believe I must obey, cater to, respond to, etc. The chase goes on. The pressure continues. The pain in my gut becomes more constant. I know that avoiding or ignoring the lenchat person will solve nothing. Eventually I will give in to this need of mine to connect, to believe once again in the power of change and goodness in this lifetime. I will be unable to let go of the feeling that only I can help this person be happy or safe or healthy.The author in Tricycle explains that in order to surmount Lenchat we must separate ourselves from this demanding dynamic and view it for what it is. He describes the origin of the term in Tibet by telling a story of a lake where every year on a certain day the seals in the lake collect and offer fish to the owls flying above. No one knows why this happens but it happens on a regular basis. The owls expect to be fed and are never satisfied, and the seals compulsively collect fish for hours offering it up to the skies, and exhaust themselves. I wonder if we all play an owl or a seal from time to time and I wonder how we stop. If identifying the problem is the beginning, the end might be noticing immediately the pain in my gut when I hear the voice of my owl, and understanding the fish giving will continue until I swim away.