Surprise! It’s not what you expected. How do you respond? Laughter. Disappointment. Curiosity. Do you set it ‘right’? How did you come to have an expectation about this, anyway? Expectations produce emotions. They set you up, mostly for suffering, if you become attached to those expectations. If the discovery that you have harbored some expectation takes you by surprise, but you’re not emotionally invested in it, it can be funny. “Oh, yeah, I guess I wasn’t expecting that. But there it is. How interesting!” Steve’s favorite story about this goes something like this:
A Zen master who had recently had a mini-stroke was invited to perform a traditional ceremony of calligraphy. He had practiced this art for years and participated in the ritual often. He calmly took his place and lifted the long, slender brush. Carefully, he dipped it into the ink and raised it above the thin rice paper. The assembly was silent. His hand was still. Moments passed. Gradually, a wondrous smile spread across the master’s face. He laid the brush aside and beamed. “I’ve forgotten how!” he laughed.
May you know delight in all that unfolds. Peace, my friends.