A Strong Habit

by Friends of Godwin

It is quite right to say that suffering is created by our expectations and that it is a strong habit in ourselves. This is where awareness is very important. With awareness you catch yourself immediately when your habit patterns arise. And then realise that it is just a habit and that it is not reality. So being aware and catching the habit when it arises, in whatever form, and then learning to let go of it, aware that it is just a habit, nothing else. If you can catch it as it arises it will be great because then you’ll be really handling it effectively. As I often say, as we are human sometimes we might fail to catch it as it arises and we might become victims of this habit. So when that happens again just reflect on what has happened when the event is over, and then learn from what has happened. Learn to experiment with such situations.

And the best technique to work with this is, of course, awareness and equanimity as you have pointed out. Learning to have a non-reactive mind to whatever is happening. If having a non-reactive mind is another expectation you should realise: I’m trying to be non-reactive and sometimes I might succeed, but sometimes I might fail. If you can have that openness there is very little likelihood of it becoming a strong expectation.