Use meditation to ignite flow state and take passive practice to purposeful levels. My practice is driven to improve my mind, body, and spirit through flow.
Flow State Meditation
During my fall off the program, I had an unfortunate interruption in my meditation practice. I had been doing very well. I was practicing twice a day, settling into mindfulness, and focusing on my breath. Although my “monkey mind” never calmed completely, I saw an impact in my life and consciousness. So I was anxious to experience more results.
One result I have been learning about is “flow state meditation”. It is a practice of meditation where I immerse myself into a flow state of consciousness. I do this through focused breathing exercises. It turns mindfulness into a path for concentration, intensity, calmness, and joy.
The flow state is sometimes called a moving meditation. Everything I get while meditating with mindfulness is experienced while performing a task. Getting really good at mindful meditation will make it easier for me to achieve a flow state when I need to.
Go with the flow state
“Flow” is a state of being so completely immersed in something that distractions fall away. Awareness narrows to only what you are doing in the moment.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” popularized the concept and coined the term “flow”. He described it as the peak feeling of high levels of gratification, enjoyment, and validation. It comes from pursuing a clear goal, getting immediate feedback, and challenging a person’s skill level.
I’ve experienced flow states often when awareness of time and distractions fell away. I was so fully into my experience that I made connections and drew inspirations I previously never considered. The flow state produced a level of calm, confidence, and happiness in me.
Csikszentmihalyi says that state of focus and well-being can be produced on demand if given the right circumstances. It is not something only high-performing athletes, geniuses, or artists can achieve. He and many others also think that proper mindful meditation practice is one way to do it.
Meditation and flow state
Brain scans of people in a state of flow look remarkably similar to those of people who practice mindful meditation. The neurons light up and grey matter develops in almost exactly the same way. Flow produces the same feelings of reflection, awareness, and happiness. Additionally, the results are just as long-lasting.
Mindful meditation’s goal is to become deeply immersed in the moment, to be totally present. By doing so we can neutralize pain, anger, fear, and other feelings of limitations rattling in our brains. The mind slips free of the past and the future, so no moment exists except this moment.
Removing doubt, fear, and frustration lead to breakthroughs that move a goal closer to reality. It also makes us more confident and clear-minded about our purposes.
Improving myself with flow
I want to create more states of flow in my life. It makes me be better and allows for a fuller life. To the extent that a purposeful meditation practice can help me have that, then I want to pursue it.
Some think that certain people are better able to access flow based on their personalities. But there is an idea that inherent talent is a myth, and that elements of personality can be consciously changed. So perhaps people can access a flow state based on how determined they are and how passionately they work for it.
Finally, if I work toward the condition of flow state incrementally, with intention and purpose, then small victories will grow into larger ones. I can use this practice to propel myself toward my own visions.