by clicking the "Next" arrow.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Mindful : February 2017
One way of looking at Csíkszentmihályi’s focus on attitude is to consider how it affects the elements of flow. In particular, if we are meditating in order to reach some fantastic state, there is an implicit self-reference in the equation. With that, “we” become sepa- rated from “our” experience. The two can’t be merged at that point. In other words, “I” am riding “my” bike, rather than some self-tran- scendent experience unfolding in the now that I can’t describe because I’m not in it. In other words, the more we work to get flow, the more likely we are to get in our own way, ironically, tripping ourselves up and preventing entry into that state. As the Chan master Hui Hai is said to have put it, “ Your me is in the way.” Might there be some biological data to back this idea up? During a study in which we were using real-time fMRI neurofeedback to track default mode brain activity and link it to moment-to-moment subjective experience, one of our experienced meditators reported spontaneously dropping into a flow state. After one of her runs, she said, “There was a sense of flow, being with the breath...flow deepened in the middle.” The corresponding activity in a region of the default mode network most linked to the experiential “grab” or contrac- tion related to self, showed a corresponding and notable drop in activity. We had caught flow on film! Although this is just an anecdotal experi- ence, and by no means definitive, this was a nice demonstration linking default mode brain deactivation to flow. There are likely other brain regions and networks involved in the state—we just don’t have a good idea (yet) of what they are. Though other brain regions have been investi- gated in conditions that support flow, such as jazz improvisation and freestyle rap, the poste- rior cing ulate cortex has thus far been the only consistently implicated and deactivated brain region linked to flow. → The more we work to get flow, the more likely we are to get in our own way, ironically, tripping ourselves up and preventing ourselves from entering that state. ILLUSTRATIONBYGETTYIMAGES/COLORMOS February 2017 mindful 75