My good friend sends me Emails about Zen and life. He sent me one recently, from a post he perused, that really made me think. What matters most: the outcome or the intent. It was the writings of an individual that reminded me of the Zen saying, “A person who holds and exposes a lot of wise saying, maxims, and proverbs gives the impression of intelligence.” This individual, upon closer examination of his writing, sandwiches truth between unsubstantiated assertions, unrealistic results, and sloppy thinking. He states, “be ever-present and mindfully diligent throughout all of your endeavuors.” And does not even spell check.

But when he started to assert his views about art and life, he really fell short and ventured far from practical reality and the real world. “don’t be more concerned with the possible outcomes, than with the intentions themselves. Now, treat your life as you would your art.” So, without any skill, preparation, training, planning, conceptualization, and focus on success, make some art. In the first case that would be called art therapy. In the latter, it would allow you to be a free spirt, devoid of responsibility for the finished product, negating deferred gratification, and lost in emotional immaturity without hope of ever becoming an adult.

Your focus determines your reality. If you look for bliss in every moment, as this individual asserts, you will be frustrated and stressed out all your lifetime. Yes, you can live in the now, but the outcome of your positive endeavors is what makes you succeed, not just your intent. Satoru

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