Acceptance versus Expectation
An attitude of accepting the Lord’s will instead of an attitude of expectation goes hand-in-hand with a life of meditation. Maharaj Charan Singh goes so far as to say that the purpose of meditation is to develop this attitude of acceptance rather than expectation.
The purpose of meditation is to prepare us to accept what the Lord gives, to prepare us not to expect. In prayer we always expect, but in meditation we always accept. That is the difference between meditation and prayer. We pray because we are expecting something; we do meditation because we are preparing to accept what he wants to give us. In prayer we speak to the Lord; in meditation we hear him.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III
When we first come to the path we are drawn by a desire to understand reality. We want more than this world of pain and pleasure can offer. Masters tell us that the reality can be found within us and they teach us that through meditation we can gain conscious contact with this power of God – the Shabd.
The Masters tell us to conduct this experiment within our bodies and realize the truth for ourselves. In Path of the Masters it says:
Go ahead and conduct the experiment. That is all the Masters ask. They ask no blind beliefs. They ask no more than is required of any man who proposes to build a bridge or make a chemical analysis. In every scientific experiment, one must accept something as a working hypothesis. He is then ready to proceed with his practical demonstration. In the process of the demonstration, he gains definite knowledge.
We may initially think that the purpose of meditation is only to experience the truth of sound and light within us. But, the Masters tell us that the purpose of meditation is much more than that. Meditation is to align ourselves with the will of God and to become aware of that oneness. It’s a complete transformation in our level of awareness.
Learning to accept is at the core of a disciple’s life. When we expect, we think we know what’s best and we tell the Lord what he should give us. The truth is that we don’t know what is best or what God has planned for us.
Maharaj Charan Singh says in a very striking way in Legacy of Love, “The best plan you can make in life is to live in his will and accept his commands and be receptive to his grace – that’s the best plan we can make.” Hazur was always very clear that we can only live in the will of the Lord when we go beyond the realm of mind and matter. Masters also tell us that we ourselves have created our destiny by our actions of past lives and we come back to reap the rewards or punishments of those past actions. If the events of our life are not to our liking, it’s our own doing.
Hazur says in Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III:
The Father doesn’t write anything in your destiny which you have to go through. You have created your own destiny; you have sown your own seeds; your own seeds have created your destiny, what you have to go through. They’re our own actions – we can’t hold the Father responsible. He has written only what we have sown. But to go through that cheerfully is contentment.
Both of these – meditation and developing an attitude of leaving everything to the Father – independently require our attention. If we only work on our attitude of accepting his will, or being positive, or contented, but we don’t meditate, the results will be shallow. And perhaps we will be shallow – because without meditation, these attitudes won’t be grounded in something deeper and more real. They won’t be based on any inner awareness.
On the other hand, if we put our required time into meditation, but don’t work on our attitude, eventually the meditation will automatically change us. But in the meantime we could go around for a very long time, maybe most of our lives, with very negative attitudes and grumble at all the negative things of life. And that attitude will make meditation difficult.
When we adopt an attitude of acceptance – rather than expectation – we become the most fortunate people and our hearts become filled with gratitude. Hazur explains this very beautifully when he says:
What more could we want, if we can trust ourselves to the Lord? What more do we want? We think we know more than the Lord? What else could we want – that he will take care of us, he will absolve us from all our planning, all our thinking, that he takes our destiny in his own hands – what more could we want in life? These are the most fortunate people.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III