If there’s one thing that meditation will do, it’ll help you to get in touch with the ridiculous amount of expectations you have swimming around in that amazing piece of machinery on top of your shoulders. Save writing, which enables you to put them on paper, no other practice allows you the ability to witness just how powerful your beliefs are about how the world should be and how those beliefs affect your overall happiness and peace of mind.
Checkout this recent Huffington Post from Sandy Henson. In it, Henson interviews meditation giant Sharon Salzberg about kindness, compassion, and how expectations can get in the way of a person reaping the benefits of a meditation practice.
SS: I usually encourage people to examine their expectations, which often turn out to be unfair to themselves and unrealistic. Do you define “good” meditation as having no thoughts at all? Having only beautiful thoughts? Having only serene, lovely experiences? Most people define it in just these ways and therefore suffer from a lot of self-judgment and often give up. In fact good meditation doesn’t necessarily mean any of the above. I define it more as applying greater awareness and compassion to whatever experience you are having. Sometimes it is very serene and quiet, sometimes a jumble of planning and regrets. All of it can be considered “good,” depending on how we are relating to them. I often say, sincerely, that you cannot be having a “wrong” or “bad” experience while meditating — things might be very challenging, but if you are approaching them with awareness and compassion, you are doing fine.
Read more from Henson and Salzberg on meditation here.