Secrets For A Happier Life Flowing Zone 9-26-2018

Sitting here.
Breathing in now.
Sipping an iced Arnold-Palmer.
Music in my ears.
In the zone of just sitting.
I came in for a cool drink after an hour of Florida heat and sweat on the golf practice range. I was in the zone of practicing.
Zones or flow come and go.  Mainly unnoticed.
Usually we think that primarily athletes, creative artists and writers are the fortunate zoners. Their excellent, fluid seemingly effortless performance is easy to create a sense of awe in us as as we watch.
However, when the characteristics of the zone experience are present we are more likely to fall in.
Four primary characteristics of zone entry
Level of difficulty balanced with ability
Intention of outcome
Desire to improve
Characteristics of being in the zone
Elimination of distractions
Clear mind
Light body
My intention was to practice and improve my golf swing. For an hour everything else dropped away. My body felt light and my swing easy. If my intention was to hit the target I would have been continually disappointed and not anyway near the zone.
The same can occur with any activity. Washing dishes. Paying bills. Walking.
Check your intention. Be imaginative adjust the level of difficulty to your ability. Focus attention set your desire and be with it. The path to the zone will open as you move forward.
I am still sitting here.
And back from the zone of writing today’s blog.
Most of the time we are in between two states of mind/body/spirit. The first one above is flow and the second below is shenpa.
Shenpa is a Tibetan word which is closely similar to the emotion of getting hooked and stuck to the very beginning of a disagreeable thought, action of another person,
or circumstance that rubs you
the wrong way. It pushes your button. It occurs so deep and early in the irritation that you are not even aware of your internal reaction until it is too late and you have lost it.
The bliss, peace, contentment or even just a sense of getting by is gone. It is immediately replaced by your fuming response of lashing out in an almost uncontrolled rubber-band-snap-back to whatever it is that caused your button to be pressed. Shenpa is the very urge to scratch an itch when you first feel the bite of a mosquito. Sometimes your hand is scratching even before you are aware of doing it. The longer you wait and the deeper you get into the reaction is like adding multiple rows of velcrow tightening shenpa’s grip and making it harder to break free.
It can be as simple as watching television and seeing someone eating potato chips.  Your thoughts slosh up and back, chips or no chips. Without making a conscious decision shenpa strikes and at the next commercial you find yourself munching on a bag of chips you just took out of the pantry.
The opposite of shenpa is freedom or flowing into the zone. The path from the sequential stress of shenpa towards freedom begins with a simple practice. We all have routine itches that spontaneously appear. Keep an eye out for one to show up and resist the urge to scratch. Okay, you have probably already scratched that one. The next one or the one after that you will catch and be able to make a conscious choice to scratch immediately or not. That is great progress.
As you continue you may start to notice a pattern that causes some of the itches; but that is a subject for another blog.   Another practice is to eat only one potato chip and sit with the urge to take another. Or to see how long you can eat a pistachio nut or a raisin as if they were a hard sucking candy without chewing.
With practice you will gradually start to notice the urge of shenpa to react to routine circumstances that set you off both at home and at work. As you catch yourself earlier in the downward spiral of over reacting you will be moving towards freedom. You will be able to avoid stored up habitual reactions that in the past led to the wish that you had not reacted in that way.
Just as a stick must have two ends as you become more aware of the end emotion of shenpa you will become more aware of its opposite end emotion; that of the freedom of flowing zone.


We are all familiar with earth and space gravity.  Everything pulls and attracts everything else towards it.  The earth is so large in size compared to all of the objects we come in contact with that everything seems to fall toward the earth.  Spiritual gravity is similar in that everything is pulled or attracted to the center of the Heart of the Universe.    SPIRITUAL GRAVITY  a blog
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