I was happily in a state of flow while working on a tiny wax moss!
I am reading a book called Happiness by a Buddhist monk, Matthieu Ricard, who also has a background in cellular genetics. In the chapter about flow he has this to say:
William James wrote, 'My experience is what I agree to attend to.' Entering the state of flow depends closely on the amount of attention given to the lived experience. If we are to enter into flow, the task must monopolize all our attention and present a challenge commensurate with our abilities. If it is too difficult, tension sets in, followed by anxiety; too easy, and we relax and are soon bored. In the experience of flow, a resonance is established between the action, the external environment, and the mind. In most cases this fluidity is felt as an optimal experience with a great sense of satisfaction. It is the inverse not only of boredom and depression, but also of agitation and distraction. It is interesting to note, too, that so long as the state lasts, there is a loss of reflective self-consciousness. All that remains is the alertness of the subject, who becomes one with his action and has ceased observing himself.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009