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don’t expect anything whatsoever

Nothing fancy here; quite simple, really. But so difficult for the clever busy multi-tasking thinking scheming restless mind. What if I lived my life that way — even for a day?





In meditation, don’t expect anything. Just sit back and see what happens. Treat the whole thing as an experiment. Take an active interest in the test itself, but don’t get distracted by your expectations about the results. For that matter, don’t be anxious for any result whatsoever.

source: Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. (1994). Mindfulness in plain English. Boston: Wisdom Publications.


3 responses »

  1. I have been pondering the difference between expectation and hope… quite hard to define! Here are my thoughts so far…

    Expectation is an assumption about the future, but the future doesn’t exist yet. Only the present. Expectation comes out of my ability to imagine an outcome, based on past experience, but the past has gone, there’s only the present.
    Expectation is an attempt to create (the illusion of) control, over circumstances or others.
    Expectation is a narrow, fixed state.
    A closed hand.

    Hope has an element of trust in it. Of letting things unfold, come into being.
    If I hope for something I open myself to the possibility of it happening.
    Hope allows for grace, for blessing.
    Hope is a receptive, fluid state,
    An open hand.

  2. Fiona,

    i’m leery about both words … and like your definitions! Both can be emotional traps. IF we’re attached to a certain outcome –and it doesn’t materialize– new suffering arises. i.e. “I so hoped he’d love me forwever.” or “I expected to get a pay raise this year.”

    love with an open hand … not easy, but necessary for true happiness.

    thank you!

  3. Both comments give me food for thought..


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