How can I remain in the present without any expectations from the future?
Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Question: When I am busy in doing certain activities that I enjoy doing, there are expectations from the future but no frustrations in the present, what is this state? Can it remain forever?
Acharya Prashant: If this can happen, it is a very welcome thing. There are certain actions that produce results and you might be indulging in those actions to get a specific type of result. But if you are not bound to the result, if the result does not mean the world to you, if the result does not mean your own existence or worth to you, then fine, go ahead. Do project a result.
Expectation is merely a projection. In the normal usage of the word expectation, when you expect then you are also afraid. You’re afraid that your expectation might be betrayed. Is that not so?
Can you expect without being afraid? Can you hope without being suspicious or doubtful?
To not to expect does not mean that you will have nothing to do with the future. You may still peep into the future. The mind has that capacity to project, to extrapolate. You may still peep into the future but that movement into the future will have no bearing upon your core, upon your essence. It will not shake you up right to your center then you can keep thinking about the future. There is nothing prohibited about the future.
Surrendered to the present, go ahead, take a bath in memories. Allow yourself to fly in imaginations about future. It doesn’t matter. Past and future both lose their sting, their harm when you are surrendered to the present. Now memories will not become an alternate reality. Now future will not become an escape. Now you get total authority to keep thinking about future because now you will not be needlessly thinking about the future. Now you have the free license to wallow in memories because now you will not misuse that license.
This too is somewhat of a spiritual myth that the spiritual mind has nothing to do with the past or the future. This is bogus. Firmly tethered to the present, past is fun; future too is good fun.