Expect Nothing

Long long ago, in high school I think it was, somebody gave me a pin-on button that simply read:

Expect Nothing

It strangely appealed to me. I don't know why. At some point I lost it. But it came to mind again in Chapter 27 of Jessica Macbeth's primer on meditation Moon Over Water when, in discussing self-doubt she says:

When we are meditating, it is helpful to expect nothing and just simply do the exercise. If we are doing the exercise, we are doing the right thing.

Earlier Macbeth expands on the theme in Chapter 25, "Setting Goals":

Inner journeys of this nature are made for the sake of the journey itself — not for some imaginary goal at the equally imaginary end. Meditation is part of a life-long process. The only way we can 'fail' with our meditation exercises is not to do them. We an also inhibit the amount of benefit we may obtain from doing them by constantly criticising ourselves for not 'succeeding' at meditation. Self-criticism, impatience, frustration all work against us , they are both self-created and unnecessary. Success is easy — it is just taking time to do our practice every day.

Regular practice is in itself success.

(cf. This Is It (2008-11-14), Without Effort, Analysis, or Expectation (2010-08-04), ...) - ^z - 2012-02-20