What Does it mean to Flow?
When people write to me telling me that they are afraid, worried or under pressure I often say “flow always flow”. However, it dawns on me that I have never really explained what I mean by this. We need to understand one primary truth and that is that outside circumstances do not make our reality. Rather it is our thoughts about our outside circumstances which make up our reality.
The Taoist masters teach us that there are “lines of force” which like currents in a stream flow all around us. If all this “force” talk sounds familiar I note that George Lucas borrowed it from Lao Tzu. Sometimes we go against them and feel the current holding us back and even pushing us under. Other times we flow with the current and we feel the current push us along effortlessly. We must learn to find these lines of force. We do so by paying attention to our feelings and thoughts. When we are going against the flow we will feel obstructed. We will feel disharmony with our surroundings.
So we pay attention to our thinking and alter it to fit the flow. So we pay attention to our thinking and alter it to fit the flow. If we think “things have never been worse” then this is true. If we think “this is impossible” then it is. It is true to us. There is no objective reality at least not one perceptible to human beings. All reality is subjective for us.
So, what does this mean? It means that we can learn, with practice, not to engage our external circumstances in a negative way. We can observe but do so in a detached way. You see all things pass. Our difficult circumstances pass. Most of our fears are of imagined frightening futures which rarely ever come to pass and even when they do we find that just as we have dealt with our past troubles we can deal with those which do arise. The key to learning to do this is in the dual techniques of one pointed concentration and self observation.
So, we flow. We detach. We let things flow around us like we are a stone in a river. We stand detached. We remain calm. We train ourselves not to engage. Then when the worst happens we can deal with it with determined calm. Our minds are clear. Fear does not turn our bowels to water and our knees to brittle twigs. We stand like the stone. We deal with the problem and then, having done so, we let it go again.
Flow, always flow.