One of the most important aspects of flow reality is its underlying and causal temporal dimension – that dimension being the moment-to-moment temporal dimension of flowing presence. All of the components and conditions of flow reality - its selflessness, its timelessness, its effortlessness and richness, can be attributed to the unifying temporal condition of moment-to-moment flowing presence. It is the co-creation of flowing presence, either by choice or by chance, that is causal to these different conditions that are so noticeable when you are in the zone. Each condition is a characteristic of non-dual flowing presence, so the simplest explanation of how to get in the zone on purpose is to get in the flowing present on purpose.
Sounds so simple, but when our ordinary temporal state flip-flops back and forth from past to future, both temporal states being dualistic in nature, then to simply “get in the present on purpose” means to consciously shift your whole state of being out of its ordinary state of temporal duality and into its non-ordinary state of temporal non-duality. In short getting into the zone means getting out of the past and the future as separate temporal dimensions by combining them into a single, unified temporal dimension. That unified temporal dimension being moment-to-moment flowing presence, where past and future are no longer two temporal dimensions in dualistic opposition, but rather two temporal dimensions in non-dualistic unification. And that non-dual temporal unification is the temporal dimension of flowing presence. In short, co-create flowing presence and you co-create the non-dual reality of flow.
Simple but not easy.
Conscious flow coaching is about teaching players to shift out of their ordinary temporal state (usually past) and into their non-ordinary temporal state of flowing presence, and that takes a different coaching approach from the one we all grew up with. The one where we were taught the various parts of the game we were playing, then thrown into the competition where we had to put all those parts together into something resembling a unified whole. Often with little success at first, but with dedication and practice, we learned to better integrate the parts into a more unified whole that could survive and even thrive in the ever-increasing complexities of the games we played.
But here’s the deal: throughout all that performance training, we were always taught to perform in our ordinary temporal state, meaning we were always taught to perform in the temporal past, not in the flowing present. And no matter how well we performed in the temporal past, we were always performing in a dualistic temporal reality, a partial and separated reality in which our dualistic performances were, at best, partially-potentiated and temporally separated from the full-potential of non-dual flowing presence and the zone.
On these rare occasions when the zone dropped in on us out of the blue, and we actually experienced our own full-potential, it wasn’t because we were intentionally trying to make the zone happen. It was because we unintentionally shifted out of our dualistic temporal state and into this fully-potentiated temporal state of non-dual flowing presence. You can’t get in the zone without getting in the present, so somehow, that’s what you were doing when, for no apparent reason, you suddenly found yourself effortlessly and unselfconsciously playing your game, losing all track of time while being immersed in the richness of flow reality.
You somehow got out of the past and got into the flowing present, and with that shift in temporal reality came the fully-potentiated performance experience we call the peak performance state, the ideal performance state, flow, ecstasis, or, if your old school like me, playing in the zone. But whatever name you choose to call this non-ordinary performance experience, the fact that it is non-ordinary tells you that you will have to do something out of the ordinary to make it happen. And the one non-ordinary thing that has to happen if you want to consciously co-create the non-dual reality of flow is that you have to get out of the past and get into the present.
Again, simple but not easy.
Fortunately, there is a growing number of conscious flow coaches out there who can show you how to do it.