Flow…In a Few Words

flow2It’s all about accessing our natural ability to be in flow. When we are in flow, living improves without effort on our part. Flow is happy, non-resitant living in the Now. It is so very natural that when we “arrive” it’s hard to remember how or why we ever lived a life of struggle.

Where is happiness to be found?

We look for joy outside, in power, relationships, accumulation and many other things that make up living, when joy is already shining inside us. Consciousness, uncluttered with mind-stuff, is an an unlimited source of joy and peace and flow. It is what makes life flow, without the friction of struggle.You already have direct experience with this. Whenever you have experienced joy or flow, it could only have come from inside. You may have thought it was related to an external event, it could only have been internal experience-an experience available to us at anytime.

What is flow?

It is our natural state, where living is without struggle. When we are aware, right here, right now, without the burden of mind-stuff, without the burden of past emotional baggage, we find that life simply knows how live in a natural, effortless flow, with joy, peace, intelligence, compassion, and all that we consider good. You may have experienced momentary flow during times of falling in love, absorbed in a creative activity, playing a sport, or a in a joyful event. Flow has nothing to do with the event; it is our natural being.

What is the obstacle to experiencing flow?

The deep identification with our mind is what keeps us in struggle. Mind is thought in all its forms: thought, emotion, ego and conditioning. We are so deeply identified with thought that thought has become compulsive and absorbing, and it is difficult to see that consciousness can be free of thought. Awareness is silent, peaceful, joyful, vast and utterly present.

How do I flow?

There are many methods. What works for me is the effortless two-step dance of Awareness and Release. All awareness techniques come down to being effortlessly aware of what’s going on inside of us right now, right here. All Release techniques come down to letting go of resistance, including letting go of past emotional baggage. It does not take effort or self-discipline or knowledge or ascetic practices or spirituality. It is about letting go of analysis, judgment, beliefs, cravings, aversions, and fears. Most of us cannot instantly surrender the mind. What we can do is to simply be aware and release, effortlessly.


What are the best techniques?

The ones that work for you effortlessly are the best.

For me, a two-step dance of Awareness and Release techniques works very well.

The Release technique (similar to the Sedona Method) is the easiest. Releasing emotional grooves and conditioning is easy and natural for us; we have just forgotten how to do it.

Awareness is gently shifting attention from thinking to Awareness. “Inner Stop, Momentary Awareness” may be a good one to start with. In the end, all techniques lead to being Aware in the present, without effort or technique.

The two-dance practice of Awareness and Release is effective, and both techniques are easy to incorporate into daily living. With practice, you will know what resonates with you, and determination will build without effort. Play around.

Why the emphasis on effortless? How can we get anything without effort?

The mind knows effort and struggle. Flow is very natural to us and flowing happens when the mind can release the very familiar cycle of struggle and effort. The mind will have the tendency to make flow into the usual process of achievement. It will set it up as a goal, try to understand it, accumulate knowledge and techniques, measure it, and make an effort towards the goal. That is the opposite of flow. To get into flow is much simpler. All it takes is effortless Awareness and Release. In the beginning, it may take a little effort to get used to the techniques and reverse the constant effort the mind is familiar with.

What else can I do?

It can help if we decide to rely only on direct experience rather than beliefs and concepts. It can help to understand the workings of the mind, such as thought, emotion, conditioning and the ego. It can help to understand the nature of intention and attention. It can help to learn to accept what is, right here, right now. Acceptance, forgiveness, gratitude, Big Love, Imperturbability, attention on action not outcome…these are all heart techniques that lead to a feeling of joy. It can help to drop all demands of the universe (or God, or the world, or anyone). It can help to understand and release desires and fears. It can help to remain present with what is.

6 thoughts on “Flow…In a Few Words

  1. HIs Loving Daughter

    You are talking about euphoria…dopamine and serotonin…the “high”. It’s all biological. You feel good because your body releases the feel-good chemicals. You will naturally release these chemicals through certain events and you can create them artificially with drugs….but are you talking about accessing them with mental techniques?

    So with these mental techniques, are you saying you can create a high that is NOT biological, that is “spiritual”…or are you just trying to release the dopamine via meditation? In doing this exercise, am I trying to access the natural feel-good chemicals, or am I creating something different entirely?

    1. Kaushik Post author

      The mind clearly affects physiology. I wouldn’t say these are mental techniques, and they’re not spiritual, though most spiritual traditions are about awakening and meditation. Spirituality is often an obstacle, because it’s easy to form concepts and expectations and people reach for the ‘beautiful’ promises of spirituality. Awakening far simpler than that. It’s just about being natural, and in this naturalness, there is the quintessential joy of being. Just that.

  2. Sasha

    Are you’re articles licensed under Creative Commons? I would love to use one in our magazine collective The Mindful Word.

    Let me know,
    Blessings!

    Sasha Manes

  3. maverick09

    Great article.

    Check out the book – Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Galleway too!
    It has some very great insights as well.

    Cheers!

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Interesting…I used to play Tennis a great deal–haven’t for a years. It would be interesting to play again. Tennis is a very psychological game. There are the times of flow when you can’t seem to do anything wrong and the times of resistance when nothing seems to work. I’ll make a note to check out the book. Thanks.

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