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Kleshas – Dvesa in Practice

Dvesa is one of the five Kleshas which are the mental-emotional afflictions that create persistent distress, pain and suffering in our lives. This Klesha is the aversion of past experienced pain and suffering. It is natural to avoid things that are scary or may cause harm, however this Klesha draws our attention to what we are resisting to experience and is usually linked to a past experience of pain and suffering.

There is a slogan that says “if it is a hysterical reaction, it normally is a historical one.” This insight into how our brains and body save and store memories of fear based information is a useful design to keep us safe and protected for future experiences. As we mature though some of these memories and our aversion to them limit us in our lives and our relationships, it give us the illusion that we are free from that painful experience if we keep running away from it. There is another slogan, “what we resist, persists.” This resistance is felts as tension in the body and we contract reinforcing the other Kleshas to get involved forming resentments, grudges, dislikes, hatred, hostility, harmful judgement and more negativity.

The solution is to start looking at the stories we tell ourselves that keep us stuck in the core false beliefs and if we can start to investigate and to look at the story in a different way. This technique is called Pratipaksha Bhavana, seeing the value and learning how to see the positive and to view our reaction of aversion as a useful opportunity to practice. This builds trust in ourselves to love and care for our past and present self, opening the possibility for healing, finding lasting fulfilment and freeing ourself from Dvesa.