Expectation of meditation; expectation is the belief that something should happen or will happen in the future or that something will happen because a situation should follow a normal sequence of events. We often have expectations of others, which often lead to a perceived positive result or leads to conflict when people don’t live up to our rules, desires, beliefs, etc. of how things should turn out. When it comes to meditation, some practitioners become disillusioned by what they expect from their practices.
The pupil became angry and disheartened with the teacher. “You speak of peace of mind through meditation, peace from the anguish I endure from the loss of my beloved. Peace from the longing and desire to be by their side, to hear their voice, to know they are still here with us. You tell me to mediate and observe the thoughts that rise in my mind that I might experience peace, love and joy again. As if meditation is the magic cure to all the negative things that go on in the world. I try to meditate to alleviate my suffering, yet my suffering knows no end. I expected meditation to end my suffering.” The teacher was silent for a few moments, allowing the pupil to feel the expression of their anguish fully, then the teacher said, “I understand. I see your anger and your sorrow. I see the suffering you endure at the loss of your loved ones. There has been no claim that meditation would end your suffering. Meditation practices bring forward your being. Brings awareness. Allows your true being to access a peace under the suffering. A level of presence which transcends the conflicts created by your mind, your sorrow, your attachment and desire.”
Meditation offers a space for healing and awareness that transcends the workings of the mind. For many, the awareness of the peace that is beyond understanding is felt in the midst of their suffering and they find comfort for themselves despite emotions that seem to have no end. The conflict is the desire to want the suffering to end, which often strengthens its hold on you. By meditating on the suffering, we learn to see it for what it is and find a place to live with it, while we also allow a space for peace, love and joy; experiencing all aspects of the human condition at the same time, and finding wholeness in one’s self. Meditation practices lead to a state of conscious presence that includes awareness of all external and internal workings of all that is. A state of being that no longer holds conflicts with anything and the end of labeling things as good or bad.
A meditation: Practice it here and there, throughout your day, when it comes to mind, or not, focus your attention on an expectation, doesn’t really matter what it is. An expectation or desire of an individual, a mindset, an expectation of humanity, it doesn’t really matter what… For a moment, if you can, drop the desire. If you cannot drop it, imagine it is dropped, then tune your mind into the relief or comfort that surfaces, even if only slightly, as you let the expectation pass. It’s a new day, the best day of your life.