Does flow equal mindfulness?
Is flow the ultimate mindfulness champion?
Where is the open awareness in flow?
When teaching mindfulness I often come across the question if a very focused mind is the same as a mind in flow experience OR if flow is the advancement of focus?
Flow as perpetual motion machine (Perpetuum Mobile)
According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Professor of Psychology and Management, Flow is the a state of mind in which we are fully concentrated on the present, that happens outside of everyday reality. It involves knowing of the task at hand and the ability to monitor how well we are doing, knowing that our skills are adequate. It furthermore comes with a sense of serenity and timelessness – no worries and a feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of the ego. Ultimately, whatever produces flow becomes it’s own reward.
Mindfulness Meditation converges into Flow
Dr. Brewer – see podcast below – says that Mindfulness coverges into Flow like be a progressed state of meditation on the same continuum. Meditative states can have very focused attention – that depends on how you meditate.
Running down a trail can have a very single-pointed attention, but it can also have much broader awareness – taking in and connecting with more detail. Depending on the speed you are going, you simply might not be able to be aware of birds chirping or other things in your environment that you would be easily aware of at a slower pace.
In flow there will be much more clarity of direction and blending in with your surroundings in a sense of oneness.
The Aperture of Awareness in Flow
In a more general view, in flow there is open awareness of whatever is arising. “I am wondering if the aperture narrows or broadens as the conditions dictate – more so than flow being defined as a narrower or broadened state.” Staying in the photography analogy this means that we are naturally losing depth of field the faster paced our flow activity is becoming.
This leads to me understanding FLOW at a higher level. Taking the aperture and depth of field analogy into account, any flow experience then must mean to be an experience with more potent sensors (i.e. higher amount of megapixels, sharper lenses, better image stabilisation, etc.).
Practicing Mindfulness and Meditation then becomes the path to more potent senses altogether – broadening and sharpening the access to our human faculty.
While writing this blog, more questions arose that I intend to address further down the road:
Is flow the same for masculine and feminine energy and polarity?
Are trips on psychedelic drugs flow states?
Is flow the same as purpose in life?
How selfish am I acting while dissolving my self in a flow activity?