But if one is able to free oneself from expectations, does that mean that one loses all hope for the future? Does it remove all energy to move forward with your life because without expectations you have no motivation to act?
No, because we replace expectations with the belief that if we live each moment, each day well ... which is to say in accordance with the Five Precepts ... that the future will take care of itself.
I wrote in an earlier posting about how as a Buddhist one can plan for the future and yet not get caught up in cravings. remaining present. This is another side to that effort. When we plan for the future ... whether it’s taking a trip, going to college, or whatever ... we do so because we think it will be good for us or our children, it feels right, but we cannot harbor any expectations about what the experience will be like or what specific benefit it will bring to us. We are following our true Buddha nature without the intervention of our mind, our thought.
And because we have no expectations, there is nothing to attach to. We are just listening to our heart, our true Buddha nature, and moving forward. And we have faith that if we live each moment well, the future will take care of itself. What ever will be will be and we will greet any eventuality that occurs with acceptance because it’s just the way it is.
But because freeing ourselves from expectations is freeing ourselves from our ego-mind, we are facing a significant challenge here, once again. Take heart though. As with other aspects of the path, even if one cannot free oneself from expectations, having this awareness allows you to lessen their hold on you and the resulting frustration.