The priest Chung-feng said, “Maintain the mind that releases the mind.”
This saying has two levels of meaning.
The practice of the first is as follows: if you “release” the mind, do not allow it to become fixated when it reaches its destination, but unfailingly make it return. If you strike once with your sword, do not let your mind stop at that strike, but bring your mind back securely to yourself.
The deeper meaning is: in releasing the mind, you let it go where it wishes. “Releasing the mind” means letting it go and not letting it stop anywhere.
– The Life-Giving Sword, by Yagyu Munenori
Yagyū Munenori was a 17th Century sword instructor and adviser to the Tokugawa shogunate.
His manual for the Yagyū Shinkage-ryu sword style includes numerous passages outlining the correct frame of mind to hold in combat, and the obstacles to this free-flowing state of focus.
The parallels to flow state are obvious. But we don’t need to be swordsmen fighting to the death to cultivate a flow state.
His book contains many admonitions to not obsess, not let the mind stop, not dwell on any particular thought – including the thought of not dwelling!
In everyday life it is the same. We can let go of obsessive focus on any subject and just relax and follow our impulses as they arise and fall seamlessly.
What Abraham-Hicks brings to this equation is that the whole point of flow is to feel good. It’s not meant to feel austere or ponderous. And if it doesn’t feel good to try to flow, then stop trying and just appreciate something in your right-now experience.
Abraham presents alignment as a state where things do flow, but it is nonetheless just a very pleasing point on the spectrum of emotional guidance.
But for some of us it is useful to emphasise the shift in consciousness, not just the improvement in emotion.
So go, feel good, and, if you can, enjoy the lightness and ease of your flow state.