When I paint or carve something, it’s important that I do it free of fear. Free from the fear of spoiling the hour-long work by a single stroke or a single cut.
I achieve this freedom from fear not by approaching these works carefully, which would be the typical and usual way of our mind to solve such a problem by control, but aimlessly – and thus haphazardly.
If there is no goal and there is no plan, what can go wrong? If I go to these works aimlessly and consequently without a plan, then there is no „wrong“ stroke or „wrong“ cut. Each of these strokes or cuts is then just another piece in the completion of the work.
When, after hours of painstaking carving, I do find myself wanting to get angry about a cut, then I realize that I was not free in my work. I was not free to accept what wants to develop and let it develop value-free. I then had a plan. An idea of the kind „This is going to be really nice if I do it like this and like this and like this.“
Therein lay the cause of my anger (about lack of care!). I wanted it to be beautiful. But not true. It’s nice to see how – when you put this anger aside again – just this „wrong“ cut develops into a completely new way, which lets the work emerge completely new.
It is exactly the same with inner contemplation. If I sit down and close my eyes and have no goal, how can I not succeed? No matter what happens, I am free from the fear that it will not succeed. Precisely because I have no preconceived idea (no prognosis) of what the inner contemplation should look like.
There the neighbor can hammer. There our mind can talk, talk and talk. Nevertheless, it will succeed. Because I have the preconceived notion that I absolutely need inner and outer peace (or careful preparation).
Thus, no matter what happens, I am free from fear, frustration and self-reproach. In this attitude, I am automatically in Inner Retreat. And I never know what will ultimately come out. It’s also really refreshing and exciting. And so far the works have always been beautiful. Without me having to plan it beforehand. Perhaps strangely and idiosyncratically beautiful. But still beautiful. And above all not only that, but full of many other aspects. Aspects that my mind could not have planned at all.
So one should not plan and predict the way to and the result of Inner Retreat. Then it automatically becomes a beautiful experience.