By Tyler Greenberg, meditatelife.org
It is part of our nature to create expectations. We expect everything from how our entire day will be to outcomes of certain situations. This can help us protect ourselves from dangerous situations or even just get to where we are going quicker. While creating expectations might help us, it is better if we avoid expectations while practicing meditation.
Life is unexpected, and it is impossible to expect everything. Why not accept this? If we can live with the unexpected, we can strengthen ourselves to be sufficient for any situation. We get so caught up in the “what-ifs” that we forget about the journey there. We should let go of our expectations and let ourselves grow in the now.
Without our expectations, meditation becomes even better. When we have expectations going into our meditations, we forget to enjoy the process of meditation. The process is the point of meditating. It is not something that we can just wish upon ourselves; we need to work for the results. Our expectations keep us distracted from our meditations and make themselves impossible to achieve.
Progress, not Perfection
In the occasion that our meditation is interrupted, or we need to stop for other reasons, expectations make it worse. We become frustrated and even angry that we were not able to reach our goal. We may even stop meditating because we feel disappointed in ourselves. However, just because we didn’t see the outcome we expected, that doesn’t mean we didn’t do good. We tried and practiced. We stretched our meditation muscles and learned from the experience. Even bad meditation practices can be better than none. When we go in without expectations, we reduce the chance of anger and frustration.
It is hard for us to leave behind expectations as it is just a part of who we are. Why would we do anything if we were not expecting an outcome? Personally, I have found it helpful to just expect the facts that I am certain of. I can expect that I am going to meditate. I can expect that I will sit. I can expect to focus on my breathing. What I will not do is expect an outcome. I will not expect to feel relief from stress. I will not expect to be happier afterwards. When I do this, I can enjoy the act of meditation regardless of the outcome.
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