What to expect

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One thing you can expect is a hearty vegetarian lunch!

It is better not to expect! Then you will arrive with an open heart and mind, available to whatever may happen during your ashram stay. The energies and the teachings of the ashram will be a catalyst for profound inner discovery and awakening. If you can give of yourself in the spirit of selfless service, then you will naturally receive whatever you need to go deeper in experience and understanding.

We all have expectations. But rigid expectations can make life difficult and prevent our growth. This seems to be a contradiction, for why should we practise yoga or come to an ashram if we don’t expect results or benefits? In fact, the middle path of yoga is to be light with our expectations, knowing that rarely do life’s experiences correspond to our expectations.

Moreover it is the ego which expects. Going deeper in our practice reveals that the ego is severely conditioned and limited in its capacity to understand. Our expectations are ego-driven and define what we want in terms of the known. This limits our perception and openness to new levels of understanding.

Non-expectation is an important part of yoga – it leaves us open to what is happening in the moment and allows us to open up to insight – seeing things in a new way. The more we can live without expectation, the easier it is to remain happy and maintain harmony in life.

If we expect, then we define possible experience within the framework of the ego and its projections. Therefore, as much as possible, we should have an attitude of openness. Then, and only then, can yoga help to reveal to us the hidden treasures that lie within each of us, and which are beyond the confines of the ego.

Swami Nishchalananda