Blowing in the Wind/Flow

Had a fantastic walk  in the grasslands today. Sun shining, 27 degrees, incredible warm wind from the southwest. The grass was dancing. Standing tall to feel the sun, bending and swaying with the wind. It was like the hills were alive. It wasn’t hard to have loving kindness for myself on such a glorious day. I wanted to blow like the grass, fully here but bending to the force of the wind, then standing back up again. A sort of flow.

What is flow and why should we go with it?   Or a different sort of flow.

“Contrary to expectation, “flow” usually happens not during relaxing moments of leisure and entertainment, but rather when we are actively involved in a difficult enterprise, in a task that stretches our mental and physical abilities. Any activity can do it. Working on a challenging job, riding the crest of a tremendous wave, and teaching one’s child the letters of the alphabet are the kinds of experiences that focus our whole being in a harmonious rush of energy, and lift us out of the anxieties and boredom that characterize so much of everyday life.

It turns out that when challenges are high and personal skills are used to the utmost, we experience this rare state of consciousness. The first symptom of flow is a narrowing of attention on a clearly defined goal. We feel involved, concentrated, absorbed. We know what must be done, and we get immediate feedback as to how well we are doing. The tennis player knows after each shot whether the ball actually went where she wanted it to go; the pianist knows after each stroke of the keyboard whether the notes sound like they should. Even a usually boring job, once the challenges are brought into balance with the person’s skills and the goals are clarified, can begin to be exciting and involving.

The depth of concentration required by the fine balance of challenges and skills precludes worrying about temporarily irrelevant issues. We forget ourselves and become lost in the activity. If the rock-climber were to worry about his job or his love life as he is hanging by his fingertips over the void, he would soon fall. The musician would hit a wrong note, the chess player would lose the game.

The well-matched use of skills provides a sense of control over our actions, yet because we are too busy to think of ourselves, it does not matter whether we are in control or not, whether we are winning or losing. Often we feel a sense of transcendence, as if the boundaries of the self had been expanded. The sailor feels at one with the wind, the boat, and the sea; the singer feels a mysterious sense of universal harmony. In those moments the awareness of time disappears, and hours seem to flash by without our noticing.”

This state of consciousness… comes as close as anything can to what we call happiness….

( by rob jellinghaus)

This is flow, and

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind

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