Of the many dimensions of practice, goal orientation and exploration orientation is one of the most obvious one. Do we have a particular goal in mind? Or do we practice to explore the terrain?
If we are stuck in either goal orientation or exploration orientation, the drawbacks of each tends to come up to the foreground.
The goal orientation becomes future orientation, competitiveness, arrogance, missing out of what is here now. We don’t see that everything we take to be out there, in the future or in others, is right here now.
Similarly, the exploration orientation easily becomes a lazy and aimless wandering.
But tempered by each other, we find that goal orientation offers a sense of direction and focus, and also measuring sticks. And exploration orientation offers a sense of adventure, receptivity, not knowing, exploring new parts of the terrain, enjoying the here and now, finding here and now what we may otherwise see out there – in the future, past, others.