Being in the Flow

“When we talk about being “in the flow,” what is it that flows? We are familiar with the notion of the stream of consciousness. But what we really mean by that is the stream of the contents of consciousness. Time marches and brings with it an endless and seamless series of events, of sensory perceptions, thoughts, emotions, and actions. When we are in that stream, we get identified with it and we are no longer in consciousness, just in its contents. In that circumstance, the stream pushes us around… To live in flow does not mean that we are flowing, it means that the stream of life is flowing right through us, without being blocked, dammed up, or ignored by us. For that to happen, we enlarge our inner space.”

This is the best definition of “being in the flow” that I have ever seen.

Lately I’ve been trying to figure out how to “get in the flow” while maintaining my equanimity. I wondered how to be one with an activity, in the Buddhist sense, without identifying myself with the activity or its outcome. I sensed the need to balance something but have been unsure of what polarities needed to be negotiated.

I particularly like the concept of the flow going through me with me not needing to be in it myself. This captures the idea of purifying myself to become a better sieve while enlarging my inner space. Every religion has means of purification. I can feel the winds of change without being carried away by them. Sometimes, I feel like life is a hurricane. The world does not need an airborne Cindy. My mouth is a dangerous weapon when my mind is overwhelmed and unbalanced.

Part of the point of purification is to not create obstacles for others. This is the “do no harm” idea. Ahimsa is the Indian word for it. When people know we mean no harm, we can become a safe space for others.


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About cdhoagpurple

I have an MBA, am married to a GM/UAW retiree with Huntington's Disease. I am more Buddhist than Christian. I plan on moving to Virginia when widowed. I have a friend''s parents that live down there and another friend living in Maryland. I am simplifying my life in preparation for the eventual move.Eight years ago, my husband had stage 4 cancer. I am truly "neither here nor there." My identity shifts and I am always surprised where I end up. 2015 was my hardest year ever. This is my Dark Night of the Soul. Welcome to it.

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