We meditate to create.
- Calm in our minds.
- Relaxation in our bodies.
- A stronger connection to our intuition.
We go into meditation knowing that it benefits us in these ways – mind, body and spirit.
Now, typically in life we only prioritize activities which we really gain benefit from. And we do those things anticipating that we’ll get those benefits.
If there was no benefit to derive, we wouldn’t be interested in giving our precious time and energy to it! Makes sense, right?
However, when it comes to meditating, that anticipation of payback can end up being a real problem…
When anticipation turns to EXPECTATION, then meditation becomes frustration!
While I’m sure there are many advanced meditation practitioners who are well beyond this point, for many of us we learn this lesson the hard way.
I personally went through years of expectation with meditation, and frustration, before I finally realized I had to change my whole approach to meditating!
While you’ve probably seen a lot of resources about HOW to meditate, what about how to ENTER meditation?
By this I mean the attitude you have when you decide to sit down and meditate.
If you go in expecting something from the meditation, it sets you up for potential issues. You might get what you want from the meditation, but… you might not!
Having expectations is NOT being present, allowing or zen. It’s the opposite. And it doesn’t lead to an enjoyable meditation experience.
What we might not realize is that when we have expectation, it sits quietly in the background and puts us ever so slightly on edge. We’re in the zone of NEEDING TO GET what we want from that meditation experience.
What do you typically want from meditation?
Think about what benefits you usually hope meditation will give you when you start a session…
- Maybe you want to let go of negative thoughts about a friend you’re upset with.
- Maybe you want to relax your neck and back muscles because you’ve been stressed and tense at work.
- Maybe you want to get clarity about an important life decision you have to make, so you want to tap into your intuition.
We meditate for all sorts of reasons, and if we go into the meditation with an expectation attachment, our mind becomes engaged in looking for that payback!
Have you ever noticed this?
During the meditation, if a negative thought about your friend arises, you might get upset because you’re meditating to try NOT to think about that.
Or if you’re meditating to relax, and yet your body aches and you’re physically fidgeting, you don’t feel any relaxation happening. So you get frustrated that the meditation isn’t doing anything positive for you.
Or if you really want clarity about a decision, and instead of any spark of inspiration arising during meditation, all that happens is your mind fires off more confusing thoughts. So you only get further wound up in the problem.
This is what can sometimes happen when we go into a meditation practice with expectation that it’s going to give us something specific.
Instead, replace expectation with intention, with this 3 step approach…
- Set intention – “My intention is to meditate regularly because it benefits my mind, body and spirit.”
- Then let go and accept – Make a loving commitment to yourself to accept each meditation as a unique experience, knowing that no matter what happens it will benefit you in some way in the long run.
- Use a reminder mantra before each meditation – “I go in expecting nothing, I come out with acceptance and gratitude.”
Remember – some days when we meditate we drift into the meditation with ease and it feels like bliss. Yet other days our minds and bodies can feel more unsettled. Accept how you feel that day. It is what it is.