“Peace begins when expectation ends.” – Sri Chinmoy

Expectation hobbles our meditation.

We are used to always expecting some result from any activity we engage in. Otherwise, what’s the point of the activity?

Yet meditation is an activity like no other. Meditation is much more effective when it is practised with no expectation of any result whatsoever.

Expectation comes from the mind: we can therefore only expect whatever is within the mind’s domain of experience. Yet meditation is precisely the exploration of realms beyond the mind: we are inviting the type of experience which the mind – and therefore expectation itself – cannot grasp. Expectation severely restricts our capacity to receive the rewards, richness, depth and fullness of the meditation experience.

Expectation puts blinkers on us. We may be looking for A, B and C, while meditation is offering us the much rarer X, Y and Z – and we miss out because we are so fixed on A, B and C. Expectation only sets us up for disappointment. Tragically, expectation is one of the main causes why people give up their meditation practise before they have really experienced its many benefits – even though they may actually be meditating quite well.

Especially in the beginning, it is best not to even use the term “meditation.” The moment we give an activity a label, it is very difficult to avoid the trap of expectation. Just say to yourself that you are enjoying 10 minutes of peace and quiet every morning, to step back from the world and its stream of stresses. Expect nothing from it … and you will gain everything!

Don’t regard meditation as an activity: it is pure being. Once we can expel expectation and accept whatever our inner being offers during meditation, we open to the ineffable magic of the Beyond.

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