Exercise: Desires and Expectations

Reference: A Scientific Approach to Meditation

Desires make one want certain outcomes. This leads to speculations that have no basis other than the expectations. The fact is that it is only when you know what there is, can you predict future in a reasonable and consistent manner.

Meditation Exercise:

Desires and Expectations

Purpose:

To discern the influence of desires and expectations on the perception of what there is.

Pre-requisites:

Complete up to Section II—Study.

Instructions:

In this exercise you simply become aware of the desires and expectations that are accompanying your observations. You may do this exercise while sipping coffee in a café or strolling along a river. You may even find a place where you can sit comfortably for a while without being disturbed. Then patiently observe the world go by.

Notice the environment and the people in a causal, easygoing manner. See if there is a desire or expectation underlying your observation. For example, when you see a person in priestly robes, there may be a desire present to trust him implicitly along with the expectation that he be a man of God.

You do not have to do anything more than becoming aware of your desires and expectations. The awareness reduces their impact on observations. If there are extraneous thoughts arising in your mind see if there is an effort to predict something.

Expand your span of attention and let the physical and mental perceptions pour in.

Continue this exercise for at least 20 minutes. You may repeat this exercise as many times as you wish.

End of Exercise:

When you can discern the influence of desires and expectations on your perceptions, then this exercise is passed.

NOTE 1: At any point you may return to a previous exercise if you feel that you need to complete it.

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