The state of flow or being “in the zone”

The experience of flow is universal and it has been reported to occur across different classes, genders, ages, cultures. The flow state can be experienced in many types of activities. Optimal experiences are described in the same way by men and women, by young people and old, regardless of cultural differences.

It was reported in essentially the same words by old women from Korea, by adults in Thailand and India, by teenagers in Tokyo, by Navajo shepherds, by farmers in the Italian Alps, and by workers on the assembly line in Chicago.

Plato described flow ecstasis as an altered state where our normal waking consciousness vanishes completely. It gets replaced by intense euphoria and a powerful connection to greater intelligence.

In their own ways, with differing languages, techniques, and applications, each of these groups has been quietly seeking the same thing: the flow.

It has been described in many cultures in the past, including the Hindu Mahabharata and Daoist texts in China. There is also an old saying in Japan, which appears to indicate the flow experienced while riding a horse, according to Iwata: “Anjyo hito naku, anka uma nashi.” This means riding a horse so skillfully that it appears as if man and horse have become one.

We all remember those times when we were playing our favorite sport with so much focus that we completely lost ourselves in it. We lost ourselves in the moment, so much that before we know it, the time has already flown by. Or when we are sitting with a coffee glued to a fascinating book and something causes us to break our concentration. But then you look at the time and realize several hours have passed.

A sense of extreme happiness, connectedness, and harmony pervade into your being. You feel in tune with the task, moving with accuracy and composure, you don’t fully understand but at the same time enjoying it. You might not be aware of it, but you’re in the zone. You’re in the state of flow.

One of the reasons why practices that boost flow have positive & scientifically measurable health and psychological effects is because they somewhat disconnect us from the attachments that constantly take up mental energy and generate dissonance.
This allows us to be selfless, clear-headed, focused & driven more easily.

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