The mental state of Flow/Focus/Zone?

Hey guys, I can achieve a mental state through meditation called flow, which helps me get better physical and mental results for a period of time. Could someone help explain a little more about it to me?

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ChrysN2 years ago

The is a Wikipedia article describing flow in psychological terms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_%28psychology%29).

The article describing the experience as:

  1. intense and focused concentration on the present moment
  2. merging of action and awareness
  3. a loss of reflective self-consciousness
  4. a sense of personal control or agency over the situation or activity
  5. a distortion of temporal experience, one's subjective experience of time is altered
  6. experience of the activity as intrinsically rewarding, also referred to as autotelic experience.

You can create this experience through meditation by doing a concentration practice. But it also arises while performing tasks, playing musical instruments or sports.

I have experience this myself during meditation in a concentration practice where you focus your attention on a single object, ignoring everything else. This is called absorption, if your concentration is very strong you experience "non-ordinary states of conciousness" called Jhanas -which are pretty much like the 6 points stated above.

From a neurophysiological point of view when you become really concentrated there is a higher release of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is a neuratranmitter that plays an important role in reward and motivation.

Sorry I am kind of rambling here, I hope this helps.

Vyger2 years ago

In the western world it's called caffien.

Shadowwalker2551 (author)  Vyger2 years ago

I love coffee :)

petercd2 years ago

The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi, who apparently fought whilst in the flow, understood peripheral vision.

Then take a look at Hawkeen Training over at http://www.navaching.com/hawkeen/nwalk.html

They (optician or something in that line of work) experimented with peripheral vision and discovered its secrets regarding seeing without looking.

That might sound like nonsense but looking is using focus vision and seeing is using wide field (peripheral) vision.

Seems that night walking using peripheral vision eventually triggers flow.

Somewhere
in that site I read of one of their experiences where during one of
their night walks a silver river started rising, the one chap tried to
swallow it and discovered that it was some sort of energy stream.

Its as interesting as all hell, but you do need a safe place to practise with no or low lighting, big cities are pretty much out of the question.

Science calls it the placebo effect.

rickharris2 years ago

Belief is all.