However, work can also be an escape from creativity. Either you work frantically, filling in all the spaces and not allowing any spontaneity to develop or else you are lazy, regarding work as something to revolt against, which indicates a fear of creativity. Instead of letting the creative process be, you follow your next preconception, fearing a spacious state of mind. Whenever a person feels depressed or is afraid or the situation is not going smoothly, immediately he begins polishing a table or weeding the garden, trying to distract himself. He does not want to deal with the underlying problem so he seeks a kind of pleasure of the moment. He is frightened of the space, of any empty corner. Whenever there is an empty wall, he puts up another picture or hanging. And the more crowded his walls are, the more comfortable he feels.
True work is acting practically, relating to the earth directly. You could be working in the garden, in the house, washing dishes, or doing whatever demands your attention. If you do not feel the relationship between earth and yourself, then the situation is going to turn chaotic. If you do not feel that every step, every situation reflects your state of mind, and therefore has spiritual significance, then the pattern of your life becomes full of problems, and you begin to wonder where these problems come from. They seem to spring from nowhere because you refuse to see the subtlety of life. Somehow, you cannot cheat, you cannot pretend to pour a cup of tea beautifully, you cannot act it. You must actually feel it, feel the earth and your relationship to it.
The Japanese tea ceremony is a good example of action that is in contact with earth. It begins by deliberately collecting the bowl, the napkin, the brush, the tea, and the boiling water. Tea is served and the guests drink deliberately, with a feeling of dealing with things properly. The ceremony also includes how to clean the bowls, how to put them away, how to finish properly. Clearing away is as important as starting.
It is extremely important to work, as long as you are not using work as an escape, as a way of ignoring the basic existence of a problem, particularly if you are interested in spiritual development. Work is one of the most subtle ways of acquiring discipline.