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If you look at a hurricane from space,  you see a well-organized, beautiful object.  If you are in the middle of one, the experience is brutal and deadly.

Expectations can be the same way.

I’ve spent the day struggling with being attached to expectations, and it has been like being in the middle of a storm.   I’ve felt battered and shaken from one side to the other by unexpected changes.

It started last night when the weather report predicted four to six inches of snow.  I looked forward to a nice walk in deeper snow.  I woke this morning to find almost no new snow.

Then the dentist called and offered me an appointment today (for a crown preparation) instead of tomorrow.  That sounded great, so we hurried to get ready.  By the time we were ready to leave a half hour later, it was snowing steadily.  A round trip of more than 80 miles in uncertain weather and road conditions seemed imprudent, so I rescheduled that appointment.

The snow Sunday was cold, fine snow that blew off the trees in mists of snowflakes.  Today’s snow was heavy and wet, falling off trees with a thump like a wet rag.  I did get out for a walk in the afternoon.  Instead of the bracing cold, dry weather of Sunday, wet snow was falling and almost immediately melting and soaking my coat.  Instead of sun breaks lighting up the snowy landscape, the clouds were dark and heavy.

I needed windshield wipers for my glasses with this snow!  My winter coat will need a day to dry out.  With greater caution needed for more slippery conditions, the walk wasn’t as easy as a few days ago.

I spent the day struggling with attachments to expectations.  It was hard slogging.  Meditating several times helped.  It was not until late evening that I began to feel lighter.

When I’m not feeling attached, I can go through the day like this with a “Wow! Look at what is happening now!” attitude.  It’s like looking at a hurricane from space–you can see the destructive forces as a thing of beauty.  I’ve reached the point where I can take mostly that view of my attachments to expectations today.

Which doesn’t mean the attachments and suffering won’t happen all over again tomorrow!

Several teachers have given talks on expectations.  Berget Jelane has a talk on expectations at the Insight Meditation Center that I found helpful.  Click  here to listen to that talk.

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