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When we see resentment clearly, we can develop more patience towards others.

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Resentments are, I think, a really interesting obstacle to look at. I think we often, we tend not to think too much about resentment, I think. It's, as an idea, we might be caught up in resentment sometimes, but when we are, we're not usually that aware of it, which is why we're so caught up in it. And it's only really when we sit down and we get our Headspace, that we see it a little more clearly and it might surprise us, it might even shock us. When we see it in our mind, we never realize that those kinds of thoughts existed in our mind. And it might be there's a range of resentment, everything from sort of a mild dislike all the way to a really intense kind of hatred that we could potentially feel for another person. But there was a description given to me a little while ago, which I really liked. And it's almost as though we really kind of disliked this person or the situation in some way so much so that we poured a glass of poison. The only difference is that we drunk it ourselves rather than giving it to the other person. Resentment; when we feel resentful, we are just experiencing all of that suffering ourself. The other person isn't experiencing any of that. Like he's making no difference to the other person. And yet somehow we feel obliged to keep that storyline alive in the mind, to feed it, to fan that emotion, to keep it going. We put a lot of energy. In fact, it takes a lot of energy to keep kind of resentment alive. So when you experience it in your session, it's an opportunity to understand, to see through that kind of loop, to step out of the storyline, to let it go, to find out what sort of emotions are underpinning that feeling. This isn't about sort of looking back, reflecting, analyzing, trying to dissect the situation that happened, the conversation that arose. It's not about that. What's happened is kind of happened. These exercise is about being present with what is happening right now. Sort of being aware of the body as it feels right now, the mind as it is right now. And the more we can do that, the more the thoughts tend to dissipate, they tend to arise kind of less frequently. And over time, we start to feel the emotion moving on as well. But an important part of understanding resentment is seeing it's coming and going, not just during the session itself, but also in your everyday life. So notice when those thoughts arise in the mind. The earlier we can kind of catch it, the less storyline develops. And just in the same way, we notice arising. It's really important to notice when it's not there. And then we get a more kind of balanced picture of the mind. So again, as with any obstacle, understanding...


Duration6 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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