Zen would have you show up and allow life to take you where life wants to take you, without you writing a script.
I am not at this point in my evolution. I still prefer to work at creating my own reality to the degree I am able within the context of my life plan. But I am always working to be more Zen in the way I live my life. When it comes to drama, I refuse to attach to the emotions and tend to simply observe how life turns out. Over time, I’ve gotten better at this, especially in regard to having no agenda with other people.
This is in contrast to being motivated by ego to generate an outcome--to impress, or seduce or accomplish. The “Second Noble Truth” says life includes suffering because of our attachment to something being different than it is ... or someone being different than they are.
When we are stuck on “shoulds” and “if onlies,” they block our ability to accept “what is.”
To become aware of your attachments, simply notice your reaction when something does not go your way, or if someone is not the way you want them to be. If you become upset in any way, it means you are attached to that person being different than they are. This is your ego-judging mind at work.
When you rise above ego, you are said to be “in beginner’s mind,” and you let go of your conditioned reactions to push and control. In my seminars, I have always explained this as attaining harmony between our two selves. We all have an “ego-self” (constantly active, thinking and judging) and a “natural-self.” Harmony between these two selves only exists when your mind is quiet. With a quiet beginner’s mind, you don’t try, you just do, and as a result you will perform best in your work, your sport, and even in perceiving psychic impressions.
The Zen term “muga” means an attitude of action in which you do not feel that “I am doing it.” You cease to calculate or dwell upon winning or losing. You simply do your best, responding to an inner direction which carries you effortlessly through the experience.
Letting go of attachment to outcomes is a major step toward transcending ego and attaining a quiet beginner’s mind. “Having a beginner’s mind allows us to develop parts of ourselves we never dreamed we had, like waking up a sleeping giant within,” says Charlotte Kasl, Ph.D.