It's funny. We routinely talk about teaching flow
If we use the sports psych meaning of Flow
(aka "being in the zone"), you would think we are doing Flow
in Aikido which is considered to equate to at least a subset of wu wei
. Yet, it seems we emphasize or only recognize the physical manifestation instead of the all-important "being in the zone" version of flow
. Harmonizing or blending or whatever with the "energy" of any given situation would seem to require that mental flow
in addition to the physical. That seems like a strong manifestation of wu wei
Personally, I have always been an "in the zone/flow/wu wei" kind of person just naturally, without thinking (pardon the pun). So when as a young adult I first encountered the concept described in the Tao and then spelled out in a book about "Flow", my initial response was - "Right. I'm good with that. I'll keep doing that then." It was then that I realized to my great surprise that most people didn't operate that way.
While I think learning physical flow might help teach the mental flow
, I think mindful pursuit of flow
might be required to get there. But is that possible or contradictory? Not sure. I don't mindfully practice - I just "do" which some folks will complain means I am not properly focused. But I will argue that I am just "in the zone" which doesn't require any additional effort on my part to create focus. If anyone is familiar with the works of Stephen Brust (a fantasy writer), I am precisely a Dzur
I definitely think we fail to talk about this mental aspect in our discussions of flow in Aikido. I think people DO it - but is not discussed or emphasized compared to technique, structure, physical flow or whatever.
Just my thoughts...