Deep Dive Into Presence
Step Into The Flow
Welcome back to Session 4
The final session in this JOOL Deep Dive Into Presence. We truly hope you’ve found this course interesting and useful, and that it’s given you some meaningful and effective tools you can use to introduce and maintain greater presence of mind in your daily life.
The idea of the “stream” has long been a poetic stand-in for the flow of life. It’s also a wonderful metaphor for presence. While it can be quite comfortable -- and comforting -- to sit on the banks of a flowing river and watch the eddies and flows take shape as it passes by, stepping out into that flow brings a whole other level of heightened experience. Now you’re moving with the river of life -- moving through it. The points of interest on the river banks now represent moments past, present and future.
The thing is, as you gently float along with the current, you need to be aware of each moment as it’s happening. Here and there you encounter a rock midstream. Now, a tree’s down, blocking your path. Riffling on the surface and a growing roar announce the approach of rapids. Slipping into the flow brings with it a natural attentiveness and active, graceful physical engagement. Flow is characterized as an elevated sense of awareness that’s amplified even more when intense concentration, coupled with a masterful skill set, are applied to a pressing and meaningful challenge.
Remember Jeremy Lin’s wild ride in February and March of 2012? An able but unremarkable point guard for the New York Knicks, Lin suddenly became unbeatable, dragging the Knicks whooping and hollering through a series of unlikely victories by playing basketball at a level far above anyone else on the court, Kobe Bryant included. For a few short weeks, Lin lived in the zone, nearly incapable of missing a shot or making a play. The entire nation stopped what it was doing to watch. This was a man in the joyful throes of flow. A man playing with a distinct advantage. He could see everything on the court, time slowed down even while he moved with confident, lightning-quick speed. His eyes suddenly seemed able to perfectly calculate the exact arc of trajectory the ball needed to drill a 3-pointer from outer Siberia. Jeremy Lin was, for a time, an unstoppable force fueled by flow.
Take a moment to think back. Try to recall a time when you were “in the flow” -- athletes call it being “in the zone.” Think back to a time when you personally experienced this supercharged, out-of-time, elevated state of consciousness first-hand. Was it while playing sports? Dashing off a late night essay you postponed to the last minute? People often lose track of time on their wedding day? What about 8 miles in on a wilderness day hike when a panoramic landscape first comes into view? Whatever it might be, call it to mind and try to remember as many details about it as you can. How did you feel? Was anyone with you? What were the circumstances that precipitated the experience? Are there aspects of it that you can bring to bear on your day-to-day challenges?
Life On Purpose, Victor J. Strecher
Mindfulness, Joseph Goldstein
10% Happier, Dan Harris
The Best Guide To Meditation, Victor N. Davich
Siddhartha’s Brain, James Kingsland
Zen Training, Katsuki Sekida
10% Happier, (app)
Insight Timer (app)