That's the wisdom and advice offered by modern Chinese Zen Master Sheng Yen. Whether you are at an evening meditation retreat or one for a weekend or longer, arrive without expectations. Here's how Master Sheng explains:
"The sole purpose of a meditation retreat is to meditate. You should keep your attention entirely on practice, without trying to attain any results. Since many of you have traveled far, or have worked hard to set aside the time, you have a great deal invested in this retreat. It is natural that you want to gain something. But once you enter the retreat you must put aside any specific hopes.
"Practicing with a goal in mind is like trying to catcha feather with a fan. The more kyou go after it, the more it eludes you. But if you sneak up on it slowly, you can grab it. The aim of practice is to develop patience and forbearance,t o train your mind to become calm and stable. Any attachment or seeking will prevent your mind from settling down."