resentments, eckhart tolle and the present

“my parents should have never let me go to that camp for a whole two weeks when i was six.”

“i should have taken better care of my hamster.”

“my boyfriend dumped me for my cousin. i’ll never forgive her for that.”

“i wish my wife wouldn’t have talked me into buying that honda. the ford would have been much better.”


one of the most popular articles on this blog is  letting go of resentments.  a suggestion there on is about meditation:

meditation, especially buddhist meditation, is often all about letting go. in insight meditation, for example, one experiences feelings and thoughts like clouds on the horizon of our awareness. they come, they move from here to there, they disappear. i find this particularly useful because practicing this kind of meditation helps us realize that we are not our feelings and thoughts, and that we don’t have to be ruled by them. it’s the other way round: they are part of us, they belong to us, we decide what to do with them.

meditation is about being in the present. lately, i’ve been looking quite a bit at eckhart tolle’s ideas, and how they relate to resentments. here’s one thing

… there is not enough presence in you to dissolve the past…you are not fully here. you have not quite woken up yet. in the meantime, the conditioned mind is running your life….if you are one of those people who have an issue with their parents, if you still harbour resentment about something they did or did not do, then you still believe they had a choice–that they could have acted differently. it always looks as if people had a choice, but that is an illusion …


negative states of mind, such as anger, resentment, fear, envy, and jealousy, are products of the ego. (once again, let’s leave aside the discussion about what the ego is and how “bad” it is – a discussion, though, that seems to be overdue here)

lastly, here is one of the many things he says about being present

ask yourself what “problem” you have right now, not next year, tomorrow, or fove minutes from now. what is wrong with this moment?

we can probably all agree that resentments are problems. it turns out that resentments are all about the past. look at the examples at the beginning of this entry. and it makes sense. re-sentment is feeling something all over again (and over and over and over again, as i said in the earlier post).

so if we stayed in the present, we wouldn’t have to be bothered by resentments, right?

eckhart tolle again:

when the compulsive striving away from the now ceases, the joy of being flows into everything you do. the moment your attention turns to the now, you feel a presence, a stillness, a peace.

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