Sep 17, 2007

Sensei says...

Don’t expect, just adjust.
I had a sensei who said that disappointments came from expectations. That in order to stop being disappointed one had to let go of expectations and adjust to whatever was happening at the time.

This came home to me when I was planning for a big tea gathering. I expected that the gathering would go off perfectly because I had meticulously planned every detail to the last minute. What I hadn’t planned for, nor could I have was the interaction of the guests, helpers and other things to go wrong.

Right away, I didn’t get any RSVPs for my tea gathering invitations, so I didn’t know who was or was not coming. On the day of the gathering, two out of town guests came an hour early and another guest came 20 minutes late. This threw my whole timing for cooking the meal off. Two of the guests who were best friends had quarreled with each other a couple of days before and now refused to sit next to each other. One of my helpers was supposed to bring sweets, but she and I had a misunderstanding and she thought I was going to take care of it, even though I had communicated with her in writing 3 times and called the day before.

This tea gathering had the potential to turn into a complete disaster on many levels. But as each thing came up, my concentration was to solve the problem and move forward. Just make food for everyone who was invited. I gave the out of town guests some incense games to play while they awaited the other guests as I finished preparations. We started the gathering on time and slipped in the last guest just before serving the meal. And I used some other sweets that I had on hand.

We didn’t follow my elaborate timing or plans, but all the guests had a wonderful time and commented on my thoughtfulness after the gathering. It was one of the best tea gatherings I had hosted and I learned so much about letting go of expectations.

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