Thursday, February 18, 2010

Finding Flow

One of the most fascinating trends of the last few years is the ongoing blurring of the distinction between that which is "spiritual" and that which is not. I want to be clear that I think this is a good thing. In my own experience, I simply cannot find a boundary between spiritual practice and the rest of my life.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi of the University of Chicago has written several books about the phenomenon of flow, in which the sense of self is lost and we are completely engrossed in our work. It is here that we are most engaged in our lives and here where our creative energies are the strongest. An example of this might be the athlete who says, after the fact, that she was "in the zone," or that the game "played itself." This loss of the sense of self is the goal of many of the wisdom traditions as well. In fact, those who speak of enlightenment almost always use words like "the dropping of the self."

For most, this state of flow is identifiable, but elusive. But what if there were a road map to flow? What if you could find this state at will? Like most things, this seems to be a matter of practice, but Zen Habits has a guest blogger who lays out a great road map.



1 comment:

  1. flow, dropping of self, finding this state at will, loss of the sense of self, enlightenment,

    i love your words jeff, they expand my vision, they expand my field, i am a simple barely educated man, and i love to lose myself in others who i consider, already there,

    to merge, energetically with the 'all'
    gives me access to everything and everybody
    and then it is not about simple me, it blends all with all and i feel a heightened sense knowing not from education but from the experience of being outside of my senses ... to the point that the senses were limiting, and at that point where i merge and expand with the all
    there is a universal flow of expansion that my words cannot explain, no questions and not really answers ... just like 'knowing' and i'm learning to bring more and more of that back to me and share that experience from my consciousness... not because i should, because i'm drawn to the light, the light within each one of us, the light that we share, the light that expands endlessly ... thanx jeff i live you and i love you
    always mike