Sunday, July 11, 2010

The suffering of expectation

Sometimes when I tell people that I run an Eckhart Tolle Silent Meditation Group, I am told - "Oh, I need something like that" or "That would be really good for me."

It jars a little to hear these words. I give details of the meetings and await their disappointment. I feel they will be expecting something from our gathering, to learn something or be given something. In fact, those in our group don't come to gain, but bring something with them to share - their presence.

I understood after hearing Eckhart Tolle speak about speaker expectations - it is an area I fear he knows a bit about. People come to hear him, but have an expectation of finding themselves, receiving the answers. When they don't receive such unattainable gifts of knowledge, they become disappointed, and disillusioned. They are let down.

For those, however, who listen with an aware presence, so much more is gained - they have no expectation, or illusions of what they will receive. Instead they have an awareness and appreciation of the Now, and are able to share their presence and at the same time feel, enjoy, marvel in the presence of others so giving.

Expectations are a wishful projection onto a future event - a very reliable route to suffering.

All are welcome to our group meetings and the more exposed to Eckhart Tolle teachings, and others like his, the more conscious the world of humans will become. However, our meetings do not provide the answers, or the truth or a route to the real you. As Eckhart says, those things are already part of you and cannot be given.

Come, be empty of expectation, be still, and on a good night you may just get a glimpse of heaven.

1 comment:

Brad said...

Paula, I like your suggestion that coming to the Silent Meditation Group without expectations may lead to a 'taste of heaven'. This reminds me of one of my favourite Bible verses: "Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10. Maybe God is always with us (and even in us) after all, and its not that we have to 'find' Him or expect HIm to reveal Himself in some miraculous way. We can stop looking outside for him and simply be aware of His presence.

When the religious leaders of Jesus' day asked him when the kingdom of God would come, he answered "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."