SPIRITUAL FLOW

Source: Wikipedia

Csíkszentmihályi may have been the first to describe the flow concept in Western psychology, but as he himself readily acknowledges he was most certainly not the first to quantify the concept of flow or develop applications based on the concept.

For millennia, practitioners of Eastern religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism have honed the discipline of overcoming the duality of self and object as a central feature of spiritual development. Eastern spiritual practitioners have developed a very thorough and holistic set of theories around overcoming duality of self and object, tested and refined through spiritual practice instead of the systematic rigor and controls of modern science.

The phrase being at one with things is a metaphor of Csíkszentmihályi’s flow concept. Practitioners of the varied schools of Zen Buddhism apply concepts similar to flow to aid their mastery of art forms, including, in the case of Japanese Zen Buddhism, Aikido, Cheng Hsin, Judo, Kendo and Ikebana. In yogic traditions such as Raja Yoga reference is made to a state of flow in the practice of Samyama, a psychological absorption in the object of meditation. Theravada Buddhism refers to “access concentration,” which is a state of flow achieved through meditation and used to further strengthen concentration into jhana, and/or to develop insight.

In Islam the first mental state that precedes human action is known as al-khatir. In this state an image or thought is born in the mind. When in this mental state and contemplating upon an ayat or an imprint of God, one may experience a profound state of Oneness or flow whereby the phenomena of nature, the macrocosmic world and the souls of people are understood as a sign of God. Also, the teaching in the Qu’ran of different nations of people existing so that they may come to know each other is an example of Oneness. All members of society and the world are considered to be in flow of Oneness, one family, one body.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s