We do not see things as they are; we see them as we are. We do not hear things as they are; we hear them as we are - The Talmud
You see what you expect to see. The world is created by your expectations. If you wish to engage with the world fully, as it is, you need to drop these filters to reality.
Life is so much easier without expectations.
The Bright Path Ishayas refer to this as being innocent. I like that.
Innocence = having no expectations = no preconceived ideas = no prejudice
There is no better way of instantly experiencing more peace and joy. Having no preconceived ideas about any person or situation means that you can experience things exactly as they are. Instant freedom.
We only experience suffering in life when our experience of it does not meet our expectations. The stronger our expectation the greater the trouble for us. Recognise this?
Innocence has a sense of play about it too. If you're really being innocent and fresh, you cannot possibly be taking anything seriously. Taking things seriously is always the end of enjoyment. Also - If there is such a thing as an omnipresent cosmic intelligence taking an interest in my life, I've found it goes out of its way to poke me when I am being serious. How about you?
Innocence does not mean naivety. It means being open to life changing in unexpected ways. It means having the flexibility to accept this change, thus being in a position to cope, to react creatively, to enjoy the ride. It is an easy, fun, peaceful way to live.
Innocence and Meditation:
We all want something from the practice of meditation. However, what I've found is that meditation will give you what you need and not necessarily what you want. It definitely doesn't give you what you expect.
You are not in control of the experience when you close your eyes. A great deal of healing is taking place. Your meditations will be so much easier and fulfilling if you let go of control and allow whatever happens happen.
Take an attitude of innocence with what is happening. It just doesn't help to fight or insist on a certain experience, so you might as well sit back and relax. If you are using an effective meditation technique it will guide you to the best possible experience. It will give you what you need.
You be innocent and let go of any idea of what should be happening and all your meditations will be easy and restful and enjoyable. Anything else and they get harder and less fun. If you're just beginning, judge progress not just by what happens during your practice time but also in your wider life.
You may find that even though you might have a lot of thoughts when you close your eyes, when you open them you are at rest, you don't react so much, you are more calm and centred.
Give it a try.