I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.

Mahatma Gandhi


Aversion (Dvesha) or disgust is an attribute of the sympathetic nervous system associated with fight or flight reactions. Disgust evolved to help our omnivorous species decide what to eat in a world full of parasites and microbes that spread by physical contact.1 Disgust indicates that a substance should either be avoided or, if ingestion has already occurred, it should be expelled.

Although disgust evolved as a food-related emotion, we humans quickly discovered that it was well suited for use as an emotion of social rejection. A repulsive reaction in relation to another human being can easily poison their hearts and minds driving them into seclusion or obscurity. Soon we were using aversion as a weapon to dibilitate those who we did not approve of. Across many cultures, the words and facial expressions used to reject physically disgusting things are also used to reject certain kinds of socially inappropriate people and behaviors.

Aversion is another kind of attachment. It is pushing away that which we do not like. Aversion is both surface and subtle: It is important to remember that aversion can be very subtle, and that this subtlety will be revealed with deeper meditation. However, it is also quite visible on the more surface level as well. It is here, on the surface that we can begin the process of witnessing and logging our aversions through the use of this software.

While some types of reactions to distasteful stimulus - such as slowing of toxins - is helpful in that it makes one throw up the toxic substance, other forms of aversion which are shaped by society and becomes rooted as belief systems are harmful and life-taking. This seperates us from each other, and moves us away from compassion.

Disgust and its effects on moral judgement

Disgust shape moral judgments, even when it is unrelated to the action or subject being judged. The social intuitionist model of moral judgment builds on the insights of Hume to suggest that moral judgment is generally a result of quick gut feelings shaped by our upbringing and environment.2 Being an automatic reaction it is rooted in fight or flight reactions associated with anger, anxiety, and fear. As such it is catabolic and breaks down the human mind, body, and spirit.

More than any other emotion, disgust feels like a “gut” feeling, and because of its link to nausea, disgust may be the most effective emotion at triggering the gastroenteritis nervous system.3 Feelings induced with disgust makes moral judgments more severe and inhibits an individual's capacity for empathy, kindness, and compassion.

Behaviors associated with aversion are rejection, discrimination, and persecution. Feelings of envy, animosity, hate, and dislike for people and things are all attributes of a temperament rooted in aversion. In extreme cases acts of aversion lead to cases of ethnic cleansing and genocides. Aversion is the result of ignorance, and ignorance distorts a person's sense of right and wrong. It clouds discernment and severely hinders the cultivation of compassion and wisdom.4

Transcending Aversion

Aversion can be easier to notice then other feelings associated with attachment such as greed, envy, and jealousy. It is easier to notice because there is often an emotional response, such as anger, irritation, or anxiety accompanying aversion since it is more closely intertwined to the fight or flight response, than the drive and affiliation desires and motivations.

Paying close attention, and becoming mindful to feelings and behaviors triggered by aversion is the first step to preventing being swayed away by it. Once you have identified and understood why, and how these feelings manifest in your consciousness, you need to gently remind yourself that you're feeling the way you are is the result of the environment you grew up in and not a fault of your making.

Aversion Related Feelings


A deep seated dislike or ill will for someone.


It is the feeling that a person, or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn.


Addicted gossipers frequently imply by their tone and choice of words that the subject of their gossip is inferior, flawed or simply unworthy of respect. People caught in this trap of gossip consciously or subconsciously parade themselves as the standard of all true knowledge and judgment. They seem driven to search out and speak of the shortcomings and failures of others.

A person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others” and “rumor or report of an intimate nature.” If it is about others than it is often laced with poison. If it is about self, than it seeks reassurance and validity that one is recognized and appreciated. As a result 'Gossip' is rooted in a sense of insecurity.


Hatred (or hate) is a deep and extreme dislike. It can be directed against individuals, groups, entities, objects, behaviors, or ideas. Hatred is often associated with feelings of anger, disgust and a disposition towards hostility.


Hostility is remembered pain, and the desire to get even that results in active resistance, opposition, or contentiousness. A person who harbours hostility will walk around with energy that is dense, and vibrates at very low frequency. It is usually difficult to be in the same room with such a person unless you also carry energy that resonates with low frequency.


Judging is one in which we make unfair conclusions based on limited information about others. Judgmental behavior is a red flag reflecting deeper issues within. It is an unawareness of deep rooted feelings associated with 'Shame'.


Malicious ill will prompting an urge to hurt or humiliate someone. It can be an offspring of resentment that has not been worked upon. Usually a person with a bleeding resentment will convince other like minded people to join them in executing vengence on their behalf against those that they despise.


Dismiss someone as inadequate, inappropriate, or not to one's standards. "Get away from me you freakin reject," is a statement that embodies the attributes of rejection. When rejecting someone the intention is to humiliate them by letting them know that they are sub-standard. But in truth, the perpetrator is the one who feels like a reject and is projecting their state of mind onto others so they can feel better about themselves.

Neuroscientists have discovered that the anguish of social rejection registers in the anterior cingulate cortex, the same part of the brain that processes physical pain. Your brain responds to rejection much as it does to a punch in the gut. Once hit, resist cooperating, even if doing so goes against your rational interests, and attempts to resolve your conflict become far more difficult.5