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No Expectation

Discussion in 'Thought For Today' started by olmate, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. olmate

    olmate Member

    "Meditation is at its most potent when you have no expectation when you're open to everything and when you maintain an attitude of naive fascination."

    Paul Wilson The Quiet
  2. GilesC

    GilesC Member

    That's so true. When you expect something you try to achieve it and the moment you "try" your mind puts all it's focus on that expectation and not on the act of meditation, so we just lose it.


  3. Michael David

    Michael David Member

    At the same time that I fully agree with your posts about expectation I would offer a thought about intention.

    Many suggestions for meditation begin with forming an intention to hold or return to during the period of meditation. ie following the breath, mindfulnes of body etc

    How is intention different than having an expectation or a goal?

  4. Hazelkay

    Hazelkay Member


    Perhaps the difference between the present continuous tense and the future tense?:cool:

    peace and joy
  5. Boris Badenov

    Boris Badenov Member

    My 2 cents

    Intention is active, expectation is passive. One is evocative the other is invocative. Intention uses the will, expectation utilizes desire.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  6. Michael David

    Michael David Member

    It seems to me that although everything occurs in the now of this moment, wanting or desire refers to the future.

    What I mean by wanting is to be forward in my mind from where my body and it's now experience is right now. I think that makes sense. When I am in wanting I am not in balance with the now. The wanting is in the now because everything that is happening, is in the now. So therefore it is the effect of what is happening that I am referring to. The effect is that there is an imbalance that exists between the desire that the wanting represents and the awareness of what is happening within the body.

    With this imbalance a warble is occurring, a spinning off center like a washing machine on the spin cycle that is off balance and the whole machine is banging on the floor. When in balance the machine can still be spinning but there is a smooth flow.

    With wanting there is a separation between what is in my mind and what is happening in my body. There is a pushing for whatever I am doing to be finished so that I can do something to acquire the wanting. If the wanting is just wanting and there is nothing for me to do to acquire it then I am continually in a state of imbalance. In this state tension is created and that leads to additional imbalance.

    Wanting is a future thought. That is it is about having something occur in the future. It is like planning but with impatience about getting what the wanting is.

    Desire seems to be a greater amount of wanting. The following are in descending order of heaviness.






    Wanting feels like my face and body are pushing forward from the inside about a half inch deep towards the outside. I feel that my entire body is leaning forward so that as in walking I am in a state of continual imbalance which is somewhat balanced by the forward motion that allows me to catch myself with the next step.

    With wanting the movement is to be able to get to do the action that will give me the wanted thing. I start to go faster with whatever I am doing and this movement is like that of walking so that I am catching the forward push of the wanting and not falling over. When I start to go faster with the activity or action that I am in the middle of trying to get that finished so that I can get onto doing the thing that will give me the want I create tension and lose equanimity and start to lose the excellence of the result of what I am doing in addition to not enjoying the doing.

    If golf I swing to fast, if typing I hit the wrong key, if eating I bite my tongue, if hammering I hit my thumb, if reading I miss the meaning, if speaking I am not fully heard, if listening I am not really there.

    For me intention seems to maintain a path or guideway toward "direct experience, enlightenment ect." Not an expectation but a pointing in a direction.

  7. Hazelkay

    Hazelkay Member

    Hi Michael,

    The wanting, however, is occurring in the present moment. The forward movement and development of it only occur when our recognition of it is deficient. If we are aware of the arising of wanting, the object of the want and the sensate experience of the wanting and stay at bare awareness of the phenomenon, there will be no development.

    with metta,
    peace and joy
  8. GilesC

    GilesC Member

    Hi Michael, :)

    Intention is something we can achieve right here and now.
    An expectation/goal is something we look towards the future to, so it cannot exist in this present moment, and should we reach that goal, it is no longer a goal.

    Agreed. Everything occurs in the now, but it's about whether we are being present and aware of what is here and now or whether we are letting the mind be creative from the ideas and memories we have of the past and create ideas and beliefs about the future; and that takes us away from our Now awareness. It's happening in the Now, but it is distracting our awareness from the needs of the moment in front of us.

    Absolutely. The mind Re-Acts to stimulii, whether that is from our present senses or previous creations of the mind, and from that it tries to associate the stimulii with what is in the memory, bringing up thoughts which then create further stumulii and ideas that we project ahead of the present moment as an expectation of the future. If we let the mind do this it will dig into our past and create a future, stimulating itself to dig into the past again and create more future etc. etc. taking our awareness completely away from the present moment. However, our awareness has the ability to be aware of the mind doing this and be aware that we are not the mind and bring us 'back to our senses' so to speak, so that we can Act on what is in front of us right here and Now.

    Yep, that's what I was describing above. If you have a task to do, your mind can constantly look to the future to have an idea of when it will be complete and what it will look like when it's complete, but you will not be aware of what is in front of you so that you can actually Act now to get the task done. e.g. if I'm on my allotment digging up a row of potatoes, I could let my mind focus on the ground all dug up with all the potatoes removed, but if I do this, my awareness is not on where my garden fork is meeting with the ground and I will likely put it straight through the potatoes I need to dig at this moment in time. If however, I put my awareness on the garden fork and what it needs to do right here and now, the task will be completed correctly, and we often find, more quickly as our 'mind has not wandered'. In my philosophy classes, they used the phrase "Put your awareness on the working surface". If you put this to the test, you will find it works, and it's tantamount to waking meditation.

    Yes, this is one model that can be used to describe these words. In buddhist teachings on the mind, they tend to not tie the different words together so much as create sub-categories of the words. e.g. for "Desire" they say that there are two types of desire... Correct Desire and Incorrect Desire, and they would say that Correct Desires would be those such as the desire to understand Dharma, whereas Incorrect Desire would be those such as the desire to attain great monetary wealth. (There are probably more categories and it depends on the buddhist school giving the teachings, but that's the general idea). So, the words themselves need to be looked at contextually, though this sort of goes away from the context of looking at them in terms of the Now. It is interesting though to see how you have categorized them. :rolleyes:

    Interesting. If I understand what you say, in my words, this is saying that Wanting is an attachment to the future created by the mind. The attachement is what is pulling you to the future, even though the future keeps moving ahead so you may never reach it.

    Intention, when I 'look' at it within myself, I see this as a small single point that can change as quickly as the Now changes. Whereas I see the desires and wants as something with ropes attached (to the past and future) that keep pulling back and forth, almost as if they are too big to fit in the Now so we can never achieve them completely.



    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011

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