By the definition of “flow,” as described by Csikszentmihalyi in his many books and articles, meditation sessions can also be a form of “flow.” When deeply into meditation:
- thought follows upon thought according to its own inner logic and needs no conscious intervention
- attention is strictly limited to only a few basic matters
- activity is totally absorbing
- you are in complete control of your actions
- you are protected from decisions by the ritual involved
…there is little distinction between self and environment, between stimulus and response, between past, present, and future – attention is riveted on the intensity of the moment.
What does the concept of flow teach us about the need to meditate? Is the need for “flow” ever-present, or does it wax and wane? Is there a need to balance one type of flow with another? Do people seek to alternate active flow experiences with those which are passive and receptive in nature – the age-old need to experience both aspects of life: repose and tension, the feminine and the masculine, Yin and Yang?
These are compelling questions to answer if you are to discover whether other activities can supply the same experiences of “flow” as meditation might do for you or, if meditation is unnecessary for you….