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I think in the context of getting some headspace regret's really interesting one. The very name suggests that it lives in the past and yet the nature, the intention of this exercise is all about kinda being present. And I remember when, in my own training, when I was kinda learning this stuff, I remember we had, he's quite a strict teacher and he said, "Okay, when you sit to do these exercises, you can have 30 seconds, 30 seconds of regret but no more than that, but that's ample." And his point was kinda, "Look, it's normal to look back and wish that we'd done things differently. Maybe said something different, whatever it might be but at the same time, it doesn't change." Like no matter how much we sit there and wish we'd done it differently, it doesn't change what happened in the past. There is perhaps a responsibility to recognize that what we did might not have been helpful for either ourselves or for others. And to use that as a kind of a process of learning so that we don't do it again in the future but that actually doesn't take a long time. And whether we sit and pause for 30 seconds to regret doing it, or whether we sit there for an hour and regret doing it, it's unlikely to impact whether we do it again in the future. In fact, if we sit there for a really long time just mulling it over and over in the mind far from letting go, moving on and behaving differently in the future, we kind of stuck in the past. We're bring the past into the present and just playing it over and over again. It's a strange thing 'cause it doesn't feel that good. And yet we kinda can't help ourselves sort of bringing it back into this present moment and replaying it. So if regret kind of arises in the mind I've found that really useful myself, just to think, "Okay, I give the mind 30 seconds just to acknowledge that something unhelpful's happened. And to be clear in my mind but I'm gonna least live with the intention of not doing that again in the future." It might happen by hopefully not but putting in that intention is the most important thing. And then just letting it go and coming back. That doesn't mean that the little thoughts of regret won't arise again during the session but that's fine if they do, we just treat them in exactly the same way as any other thoughts. It arises, we see it, oh yeah, it's thinking, okay, we let it go. And we come back to the object of focus again. So as much as possible, not spending our time in the past wishing we could change things that we can't and instead being present knowing that in being more present we have that much more likely to behave in a way in the future...


Duration4 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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