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The path to enlightenment, step 2

July 6, 2006

There is a state of mind called “flow”. This is the psycologists’ term for being occupied by something and concetrating on it to such extent that you forget about everything else around you (or so i understand it). A couple of days ago i’ve seen a BBC documentary on TV about children, and they talked about happiness and how those kids (and people in general) that are more happy with their daily lives are at the same time those able to easier put themselves into “flow”, and do things as if nothing else existed.

Now what if the activity you’d concentrate on to such level that you’d get into flow would be being aware of the reality, of your surroundings and the passage of time? Once you’re there, you’d forget about everything else, i.e. the things that distract you from feeling the moment. And the nature of flow is that it makes you satisfied, or happy, so to say.

And in the end, happiness is the ultimate goal, don’t you think? Since there’s no answer to the question about what the meaning of life is, your best choice is to live the way that keeps you happy. And it seems, that you can achieve this by trying to get into flow whenever it’s possible. If you have something to do, then direct all of your attention to it. And if there’s nothing to do, then pay attention to the moment as much as you can. This sounds very much like what Castañeda wrote about being a warrior: “Do everything is if your life depended on it”. And if you do, you get the feeling of happiness as reward. Not a bad deal, heh?

The other things that make me feel more comfotable with myself right now are:

  • To walk with a feeling of lightness. It’s so easy, just tell yourself that you don’t want to feel heavy and relax (okay, relaxation is not always easy, but it seemed to work quite well this time), and you’re done. No heaviness, no tension. Feels good.
  • When interacting with other people, try not to allow your ego to take control. It’s not necessary to do everything and talk to others in a way that makes you feel superior to them. Feeling small and open, like being a child among its playmates, with no animosity, is so much more pleasant, and makes things easier for both you and the people around you. We are all friends, even if we forget about it most of the time. 🙂

On a sort of unrelated note, today i was in the park, practicing tuishu with three very nice folks, and then, after what must have been weeks of heat, it finally looked like it was going to start raining. And when the thunderstorm came, we first tried to find a dry place to wait it out, but after a while our dry place started leaking too, and we just went on pushing hands. It was nice. Once you’ve accepted that you’re getting wet, the rain becomes a freind, and doesn’t annoy you anymore. You stop being a member of the Human Civilization Project™, trying to prevent your clothes and other valueable belongings from getting wet, and instead become a part of nature. And it does feel good.


From → Human nature

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