Why is the feel of the “Flow” so joyful?
Every time we achieve strong purification, concentration, attention, and insights through meditation, doing something, learning a dance, or even rock climbing, we achieve some sort of unification or connection through our creativity. This unification might initially be a very simple form of mind and body first, and then to the object of passion. If the object of passion is emptiness (meditation), then a strong feeling of nirvana, vastness, and infinite space is achieved. If the object of passion is a bicycle, a surfboard, or even dance, then the third part of unification or connection is with that object.
In the process of all these, the mind lets go and moves with the Flow of the moment (focus is on the present), which becomes imagery, a doorway to another state of being, boundless space, timelessness, vast love, compassion, and a sense of greater intuitive harmony. The sense of transience or transcendental state becomes a kind of ecstasy. To merge and unify would be the end of the journey.
There is a scene in the movie Pollock where a reporter from Life magazine asks Jackson Pollock how he knows when a painting is finished, and he responds, “How do you know when you’re finished making love?”
Picasso said “If it were possible, there would never be a ‘finished’ canvas, but just different states of a single painting.”
How is unification sometimes achieved in the most complex ways?
Einstein imagines himself as a photon moving at the speed of light. Ellen Langer says: To draw a tree, we shouldn’t just imagine touching a tree; we ought to imagine being a tree.
I long ago came to the conclusion that even if I could accurately describe the thing I saw and enjoyed, it would not give the observer the kind of feeling it gave me. I had to create an equivalent for how I felt about what I was looking at, not copy it. GEORGIA O’ KEEFFE
Most probably, what Georgia was feeling about what she was seeing or painting, in a very complex and joyous way, was an act of merging or unifying with her object of interest, which in most cases were Flowers. What we see in her paintings is the result of that complex unification.
Compassion is perhaps the most important aspect of our consciousness that can disassemble our left side. Compassion must be aimed at ourselves. Accepting who we are and our own limits, weaknesses, and fears is the first step. True happiness is achieved when we are able to appreciate our true selves. Compassion toward ourselves and who we really are is extremely important in this step. When compassion is used to transfer our consciousness from the left side to the right side, we experience a sense of confusion. You must know that if you are experiencing confusion, you must welcome it.
Being in the Present Moment
You must always find yourself in the present moment. Don’t think of the past or future. Think of now and only now—this moment and only this moment. Your aim is to soften your consciousness. Make it like water. Negativity has hardened your consciousness. You must find a fluid consciousness. Try to actively practice paying attention to the present moment. If you remember any of our examples, such as rock climbing, there is no way a rock climber can not be in the present moment. If he is thinking of yesterday or tomorrow, he will lose his grip.
These are the images we were forced to see. Mom said I had to be a lawyer. Dad wants me to be a Doctor. These false self-images will separate you from others. These are images we want to be admired and respected for. They are false, and they are damaging. Let go of these images. Don’t try to be something.
A traditional Swedish story gives a sense of the next phase of the journey. Because of the mishaps of her parents, a young princess named Aris must be betrothed to a fearful dragon. When the king and queen tell her, she becomes frightened for her life. But recovering her wits, she goes out beyond the market to seek a wise woman who has raised twelve children and twenty-nine grandchildren and knows the ways of dragons and men.
The wise woman tells Aris that she indeed must marry the dragon, but that there are proper ways to approach him. She then gives instructions for the wedding night. In particular, the princess is asked to wear ten beautiful gowns, one on top of another.
The wedding takes place. A feast is held in the palace, after which the dragon carries the princess off to his bedchamber. When the dragon advances toward his bride, she stops him, saying that she must carefully remove her wedding attire before offering her heart to him. And he too, she adds (instructed by the wise woman), must properly remove his attire. To this, he willingly agrees.
“As I take off each layer of my gown, you must also remove a layer.” Then, taking off the first gown, the princess watches as the dragon sheds his outer layer of scaly armor. Though it is painful, the dragon has done this periodically before. But then the princess removes another gown, and then another. Each time the dragon finds it, he too must claw off a deeper layer of scales. By the fifth gown, the dragon begins to weep copious tears at the pain. Yet the princess continues.
With each successive layer, the dragon’s skin becomes more tender, and his form softens. He gets lighter and lighter. When the princess removes her tenth gown, the dragon releases the last vestige of dragon form and emerges as a man, a fine prince whose eyes sparkle like a child’s, released at last from the ancient spell of his dragon form. Princess Aris and her new husband are then left to the pleasures of their bridal chamber to fulfill the last advice of the wise woman with twelve children and twenty-nine grandchildren.
When you feel stuck, self-discipline will help you get things moving again.
Your spiritual voice
There is a story from the time Bill Moyers was press secretary for President Lyndon Johnson. At a White House cabinet lunch, Moyers, who was trained as a minister, was asked to offer grace. “Speak up, Bill,” commanded Johnson. “I can’t hear a damned thing.” From his end of the table, Moyers answered softly, “I wasn’t addressing you, Mr. President.”
Surrender does not mean to give up. It means letting go of your hangups and being stubborn. Surrender helps with having no value for things that actually have no real value. Remember, the spiritual voice talks to us in silence.
Be confident, not necessarily competent.
Don’t go for competency; try to achieve confidence.
How do we know we have successfully transferred our mind from the left side to the right side?
When do we know the incubation stage has worked for us? Conflicts are always inside consciousness as a form of challenge for our protection and survival. As we will show, good, purified, or virtuous conflicts will naturally result in creativity, and that is what you want. When the consciousness is fully aware of the causes of the conflicts and does not carry them around, the incubation stage has been successful. By being aware of these conflicts, we will naturally work hard and develop intense concentration, insights, and heightened attention to release them and free the mind. This is an important point: the consciousness must be fully aware of these conflicts to release them. Once we are not fully aware of them, we will carry them around, letting ourselves be the sources of potential conflicts, frustrations, bad moods, and confusion. As a result, our attention is dimming, and these conflicts cause pain, numbness, apathy, helplessness, and depression.