You may well have heard of ‘flow states’, but may not be sure if you’ve experienced them.

So what are they all about? Let’s kick off with a quick video from Jason Silva:

Next, let’s run through some more geeky stuff with top coach Joseph Scott from The Coaching Room:

Martin: Hello everybody. I’m Martin Shervington, and I am joined today by an old friend of mine. It’s not like he’s older than me, he’s only a year older but we’ve been friends for a long time. And he is going to be talking about how to find your flow state, and it’s very kind of him, because he’s got up about 4:00 in the morning.

He’s in Tasmania, and he’s going to be talking about flow states, how to find your flow state, how to get more of your flow state, more importantly, what is it? Myself and Joe used to work together. He’s incredibly smart, he gives good processes as well, so that sort of things.

And this is going to be very much about his perspective. And me guiding him so that he gives you his perspective, and I think it’s unique, his perspective, I think it’s a very valuable perspective for everybody in the community right now. So, Joe, what would you like to say, what is your background, and all these things?

Joseph: Hey buddy, good to see you. Thanks for having me here. Hello everybody, hope you’re well. So as Martin said, I’m in Australia, I’ve been here about 10 years. Martin and I started working together about 1998-99, and in 2005 I moved out from Bristol, in the UK, to Australia, and have been doing coaching and training in NLP and neurosemantics. I’m one-on-one work internationally with teams, it’s a global organization. So that’s kind of where I am professionally.

My passion has really been in the individual work, and really working with people and them really finding a really different way of being, a more original way of being, improving not only their quality of life, but also the quality of life of their family, their friends, and their colleagues. So that’s kind of a nutshell. Four children here, with a wife, on the tiny outback of the outback of Australia called Tasmania.

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Martin: Lovely. So let’s kick off with what is the flow state, to start with?

Joseph: So if we just look at the surface level, and I guess the first thing to look at kind of quickly, is what is flow? And so there’s a few perspectives on that. One of the more common perspectives on that is flow is a state that you can access, and have access to.

So there’s truth in that, and there’s a lot of not truth in that, but let’s go with the truth part of that. So flow is really the ability to be in the zone, accessing your best performances, accessing your best potential. And there’s a number of kind of surface techniques that the world and people in human potential, the movement of flow on peak performance utilize.

And then at some point maybe we’ll get into another session together to look at really what’s going on. But let’s just look at what’s recognized. So flow primarily is an apex point between having enough meaningfulness in mind, about your performance. So that’s one of the aspects, and I’ll come back to that.

The other one is really having enough challenge, in your capacities, in your knowledge, and your skill, to that same performance. So there’s a crossover point, or a sweet point, if anybody’s aware of Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s work, where flow really is an integration point, where your challenge is high enough, but not too high, that you’ve got the skills, but it puts you right on the edge of your skills, on the output of your performance.

So that’s the kind of exterior access to what’s considered the state of flow. The slightly interior exterior access to flow is that I hold enough meaningfulness, that even when doing taking the garbage out, I can access what’s considered to be the state of flow, if I make it meaningful enough.

Martin: Okay. So the question becomes, what has to happen in order for it to become meaningful enough?

Joseph: Yeah, so if we just look at meaning, meaning’s an inside job, so we owe them the meaning. This is worth taking note of, it really helps in the work that I’m doing, I think it really helps in people experiencing flow. Meaning doesn’t really happen or occur, or exist in the world.

There’s no meaning in a cup though we know culturally what it’s for. There’s no meaning in your partner, though we know what meanings you can give to your partner, good, bad, or indifferent.

And so one of the things that we can all agree on is that we absolutely have autonomy to create any meaning over anything. You know, if I frown in a particular way, you can have a meaning right now about that. That’s got nothing to do with me actually in the real world.

So one of the first things to do is to really up the ante on the level of meaningfulness that you attribute to things that you’re doing on a day-by-day basis, or on things you need to do really well.

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Martin: Okay. How do you do that?

Joseph: Sure. So how do you bring meaning to anything? How do you make family meaningful? How do you make your work meaningful? Conversely, how do you make it meaningless? How do you make meaning mean anything? What does a pay raise mean to you? What does finding a new apartment that’s better looking than your previous one mean to you?

Well you do that on the inside, so you speak to yourself, your contrast between what you had and what you’ve got. You measure up your expectations to what you expect of your life, to what your actu—

And so meaning emerges through that process, through that kind of self-reflective process, and then accessing different states, different memories, different movies in mind, and bringing those to bear upon your behavior. So for example, taking out your garbage is pretty average, you know? It’s got to be done.

But if I bring the meaning to that taking out the garbage is actually looking after the well-being of the environment that my children are raised in, ensures that they have a role model for how to look after our home, and bring those meanings to the action or the performance of simply taking the garbage out, all of a sudden taking the garbage out is a completely different experience.

Martin: Okay. There’s lots of bits here. Good.

Joseph: Let me just do this last bit and then you can pull this apart, Martin. The two things that occur, whether you’re bringing meaning to performance, or whether your level of performance is at your highest level of capability, i.e. challenge, and you hit the flow spot, the phenomenon, and we won’t go too deep into this at the moment, but the phenomenon that occurs is that you lose awareness of you.

I lose awareness that it’s Joseph got to take the garbage out, I lose awareness that it’s Joseph enacting these skills and behaviors, on my leading edge. And so my self-awareness disappears, and so if there’s a key ingredient to the flow state, it’s the fact that my awareness of myself isn’t present in the experience.

Martin: And you find your presence and the awareness in the action itself.

Joseph: Yeah. So your focus of attention is really in the world, not in my subject of experience.

Martin: Yeah.

Joseph: So long as I’m not experiencing resistance in that attention, I’m not going to experience myself in the way. I’m taking the garbage out, the wife pulls me up and says, “Hey, you’re not doing a good job of taking that garbage out.” Now I could be back in my subjective attention, paying attention to myself. Now flow is gone.

Martin: All right. Everybody hang deep down while we go with this, myself and Joe have been talking about this for a while. Let’s come back, I think, to mind, and processes in mind. Because I think that what, let’s go to meaning using the example of, let’s use the example of garbage.

In order for you end up forgetting the reasoning behind it, it almost becomes of mind that you’ve practiced and it’s inherent within you when you’re doing the action. You don’t have to remind yourself every time you put the garbage out if you’ve already integrated meaning in it. Right?

Joseph: Yep.

Martin: So, let’s look then, because you mentioned about the self-reflexive process. You may use it, I break it down, you knew I would, you said pull it apart, but what we do is then look at what is going on in terms of the micro aspects.

Joseph: Yeah.

Martin: So we have an internal voice, every day, we have an internal voice that we can use to talk to ourselves. It may just be running on its own, and there’s a degree of control over that. Okay. We also have the ability to generate images, and to be looking at thoughts with some memories, and to be looking at futures.

And we also have the ability to enter into feelings, you can taste, we can be aware of smells, and we can remember, we can be—So the brain is able to move the senses into the past and into the future, and experience some of these things in the present. So you’ve got these aspects going on, Joe’s not into any of that about sense, okay. Now maybe you can have things you can look at with that—Go on.

Joseph: Your movie mind, a movie screen in mind. Yeah.

Martin: Yeah. Great. So we’ve got this, we’ve all got this. The question becomes, what movie do you run in order to stop looking at the meaning maker. Because the meaning maker I think O’Keagan who said we’re meaning makers, that’s it. And I think he said it beautifully. Is we, so the question becomes and we’re going to switch to the specifics of it feels like.

What process can people use, is there a step-by-step, or is there anything, I’m just checking this out, that in order to find that meaning of all experience and be in a flow state more often? Is it a daily thing?

Joseph: Well I think it’s to take each event, you know, in the moment, to start with. But the first way to really assess how do I apply meaning to something, is to really look at how you’re currently doing it.

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Martin: Yeah.

Joseph: Yeah, so how do know that taking out the garbage, for example, is a pain in your ass. How do you know that? How do you know you don’t want to do that, you know? How do you know you don’t hold much meaning for that?

Martin: And so what is the trigger in a way, is that like when you have a feeling that every time somebody asks you to take the garbage out, you go “Ooh I don’t feel good about doing that.”

Joseph: Yep. So self talk might imagine, you know, rubbish on your hands, germs on your hands. You might also contrast that with what you’d rather be doing in the moment, like playing your Xbox, reading a book, writing an article.

Martin: Yeah.

Joseph: You may also, add a level of identity, not see that as your role.

Martin: Sure.

Joseph: You know, to be clear, it’s women that should take the rubbish out. Hey.

Martin: He’s a great husband by the way.

Joseph: I am, and a father.

Martin: It’s jesting. So let’s look at the, so the point is in order for them to be that feeling of a task, really isn’t view of no joke, don’t even joke about that, the thing, because…

Joseph: [Laughs]

Martin: In order for you to have an existing meaning of a particular event, then you have done something. That’s what you’re saying. There’s a historic process that you’ve used in order to get to that point, where you have that meaning made, yeah?

Joseph: Well not only that you’ve have something, but you’ve got it in the current present moment too.

Martin: And you’re bringing it into this, absolutely. You did that.

Joseph: Yeah.

Martin: So, in order to contrast and to move into making a more positive meaning. Well actually let’s talk about this. We’re getting into some depth.

Joseph: Yep.

Martin: Positive meaning versus flow state. Because a positive meaning would mean feeling until it becomes second nature, that this is just inherent within you, is part of you. It’s quite the interesting process.

Joseph: So in essence what you’re looking is really setting a frame around it.

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Martin: Okay. What is a frame and how do you set one?

Joseph: Yeah. So what do you believe, for example, I know we’re talking about garbage, but what do you believe about taking the garbage out?

Martin: Yeah.

Joseph: Well I believe, you know, it has to be done. So that’s still me being able to bother myself whilst doing it. But if I believe it’s absolutely looking after the well-being of my family, and me recycling is also contributing to society’s well-being, then all of a sudden that’s a very different experience, which doesn’t require much of me in it.

Martin: Great. Let’s go on to that then. Cool. The you in it. Let’s give it to people Joe, let’s do it man. In a flow state, you’ve mentioned that people are, you use different words actually. I’m going to let you use your language, because I don’t want to give you a language. Go on, I’m going to say not present, because they are, they’re absolutely present in the moment, but their mind in a flow state, conceptual mind isn’t creeping in, disturbing things, isn’t stopping the flow. It’s just allowing it to happen.

Joseph: Yeah. So if we’re going to go a little bit deeper, just a little bit deeper, and you imagine that I’ve got my mind, my subjective experience, and then the world is the objective reality, you know, the first order things, they don’t have mind in them.

And there’s a sweet spot point which is almost like the stream of reality, hence the word flow. This field, there’s a middle point between objective reality in the first order, and the second order’s subjective reality, what’s going on in my mind? As I bring my attention to being fully with reality, that’s flow.

So I’m not processing in my interior what should be happening, what shouldn’t be happening, and I’m also not pushing through the field of the present moment into the objective realm about how the objective world shouldn’t be different.

The bin shouldn’t be so full, for example, because that, of course, puts me back in my mind. And so this is the practice of mindlessness, not mindfulness.

Martin: Okay, let’s do a comparison. What is the difference between mindfulness and mindlessness?

Joseph: Yeah. So mindfulness is bringing presence and awareness to the objects of reality, the object of me as a physical experience in the world. So I’ve got a very present but full mind. Mindlessness is not processing self-reflexively about the situation, or about myself, nor processing about the world.

So I’m not commenting any voice that you spoke about, in my subjectivity, about what’s being done. It’s simply being done, and in that field, in that middle, really close to the floor of reality, is flow. And so just to deepen it, if we were to snap all this talk about flow and what it actually is, is in essence being with an outer reality.

Martin: I’m not trying to manipulate it to make it something.

Joseph: Right and not trying to separate ourselves or the world from being part of the flow, of you know, reality, transcending and including moment by moment, being as that.

Martin: Great. Moving to some applications. Let’s say, let’s go for one which a lot of people talking about flow in the context of performance sports.

Joseph: Yeah.

Martin: What are your thoughts around that?

Joseph: Look, I think it’s very valuable, I think it’s very partial. It enables people to experience a lot of self-awareness on that high level performance that they’re doing, you know, they’re right on the edge of their capabilities, their skills, and their challenge. They cannot do that and think about whether they’re going to do it right or not.

So golf’s a classic example. If they have a moment where they’re wondering whether they’re going to get that in, and what it will mean for them if they miss, they typically don’t drop the ball, even if it’s six inches from the hole.

And so the moment that they’re, and so what takes us out of flow, what takes us out of reality, is the critic, is the voice inside that makes a judgment about me at a level of identity or capacity, or makes a judgement about other people or the situation in the world. The moment that happens I’m no longer in reality, I’m now processing about reality. So I’ve this massive move away, which is fine, we do it all the time, but now I’m not in that zone. Now I’m not in peak performance.

Martin: Great. Now moving into another context. Relational, conversational.

Joseph: Yeah, yeah. So if you’d get a sense, the same principle occurs. So if you and I are having a conversation, and we share a world view that’s extremely similar, whether that’s cultural, whether that’s, you know, an action logic, whether that’s a religious view, the likelihood is I’m not going to experience any resistance in interaction with you.

So I’m almost not needing to, I’m almost talking to myself, and I’m in that space of that zone, between not needing the process what you’re saying, not needing to process what I’m saying, and not making judgements about whether you agree or not.

Because as far as we’re concerned, we’re like-minded. And so in that moment, I’m able to be in the flow of expressing my very best, without regard for what you think about it, or what you think about me saying it.

Martin: What about paying attention?

Joseph: In terms of?

Martin: People paying attention, I’m keeping that fake.

Joseph: Okay, well so, I think again, this is the point, is attention, neither on the object, i.e. me talking to you, or attention on me in terms of my self-sense, or your thoughts about me speaking. So my attention is only on actually the behavior of the interaction and the communication within the relationship, without me judging whether you think it’s accurate, valuable, whether you think I’m a fool, or a smart person, and vice versa.

Martin: What prevents that from happening?

Joseph: Doing the opposite to that, so being concerned what you think whilst I’m sharing information, wondering whether you think it’s right, whether you agree, actually did I get that right, what does that say about me, how does this make me look in your eyes, how do I feel and think about that myself.

Whilst all this conversation is going on, I’m downloaded a conversation with you, nobody’s actually here, because I’m too busy investing and finding out, and demonstrating my wellness, and trying to check out, and listening to you to demonstrate my wellness to me, whilst talking to you.

Martin: And that’s the thing, it’s actually so. Quick story, and myself and Joe connected on this, it’s partly why we’re here. Chris Rogan said to me at San Diego, it’s a much bigger story, but he said, “Be here now.” And it hit me like a hammer. And it brought me in that moment, and conceptual minds just dropped. And reality changes when you get that. Okay?

Joseph: Yeah.

Martin: Just try not to forget, Joe’s like, yeah. Of course it was mine. So the point is, is that paying attention, you open your minds to what is there without focusing attention on any one aspect, unless an aspect wants its attention focused upon. You almost move mind from moment to moment, in a natural flow. It just happens, that’s where it goes next, because that’s where… As opposed to you trying to direct it, you are arising in the moment, whether it be in the flow state going a cliff, you’re in it. Surfing for me, Joe knows I used to go surfing all the time in Bristol. But you’re in it, and you’re in that moment, and your points of awareness is there, and then you get off the wake and go, “Oh my God, that was amazing.” But if you go, “This is embarrassing.” You’re going to take a tumble. You’re not in it.

Joseph: The point that you’re making then, we can talk to that dynamic, about how a person stays in flow.

Martin: Yeah.

Joseph: In the moment you resist reality, conversation, the moment you resist it, or the moment that you receive an over or embrace it, you’re out of flow.

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Martin: Can you give me an example of that, in relation to this, communication dynamic?

Joseph: What do you mean by coms dynamic?

Martin: Sorry, communications. So in terms of one person talking to another, in that context versus as opposed to the surfing one, which I think people can see with the surfing. How, if you’re in flow, it’s working, and you’re paying attention, and you’re simply present with that person. How do we start, what is the first, what happens, is it—

Joseph: So you were talking about you being in flow as the receiver of the conversation, not the speaker.

Martin: Correct.

Joseph: Yeah. So that’s to be open to the information being shared without any resistance to the information, and without any desire to get more than you’re getting.

Martin: Absolutely.

Joseph: So there’s no point of pushing back in this without trying to kind of, give me more, tell me more about that. It’s both of those that you processing a need.

Martin: And this until the point comes that there’s a natural arising, and a spontaneous arising, of the next thing. Which could be a question?

Joseph: Could be. But what’s lovely is it will come out of the source of the present moment, it won’t come out of your condition, it won’t come out of your knowledge, and it won’t come out of you history with that person, and it’s also one of the only times you’ll truly meet the person you’re sitting, is in that flow space.

Martin: Yeah. Wonderful. Okay. Let’s now take a leap into business. So what we’re going to do now is look at how to get more of a flow state in business. Joseph Scott, what’ve you got to say on that one?

Joseph: So I guess it depends on what your business is, but it’s kind of the same, you see. So with a client, if you’re in a sales process, it’s not trying to, you know, push them to purchase something, it’s purely an inquiry in the present moment. What’s arising in the present moment, and usually off the back of the question.

So given what we do, what do you need, and then really sitting in the present moment, in what people might call silence, and being receptive to what’s given, or rather what you would hope. So if you can get a sense, it’s being able to operate in an offer-based way.

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Martin: In an offer based way.

Joseph: Offer based way, yeah.

Martin: Explain what that is.

Joseph: So if you’re pushing a product, there’s that resistance, there’s that you know, push against reality, but if you’re arising in the present moment, in a business, with an offer, whatever your offer is, service, product offering, whatever it is that you’ve got.

But present it in the moment as an offer, not as a recommendation, not as a direction, not as an uncertainty, but just simply as, I hear what you’re sharing, I hear what you’re all about, and here is the offer that we have, that’s available with our business. But purely as an offer, without expectation that they’re receive or reject it.

Martin: And how do you find that’s working?

Joseph: So our conversion rate’s about 87%, in our sales process. And paradoxically, we don’t sell anything.

Martin: Go on, say some more.

Joseph: So it simply is an inquiry into the present moment, so what are you inquiring about Martin, in terms of what are you looking for, in your half, your sharing, on that period to go on, this is what we hear you’re looking for, so here’s the offer that we have, does this fit or not? So see there’s not a push, there’s not a push out of what reality’s going to give back. There’s just being present to it in the moment. And if what we’ve got doesn’t fit for what you want, that’s just how that is. Flow, next client.

Martin: Absolutely. Heidi says listening will lead to flow in relationships. Absolutely agree. And hello to Luke, hello to Nikki, and hello to Jazz, hello to Sheila. Now I’m going to come back, I’m going to have one question, we’re going to tease a few more things. Let’s talk about meditation.

Joseph: Yeah.

Martin: Nikki has a question that is really trying to ascend the relationship between class, isn’t flow the same as being mindful, being in the moment with absolutely nothing else going on in your mind? Now before we get to the thing, so we’ve touched on this before.

One of the things that is out there in the world, is mindfulness practice, and people very often will do sitting practice, and they will do something that is, it’s a big, big subject, but when you can move from the mat to the world and take what you’ve learned with the mat, and leverage really your presence into the world, your ability not to have conceptual mind creeping in all the time, to have open awareness, to not have the expectations, it’s a different thing.

For those that don’t know, I started meditating when I was 22, when I was in Australia in fact, in Melbourne. And Joe you knew me when I was apprentice to N’gakpa Chogyam Rinpoche. I was apprenticed for a long time. So we’ve been around this field, and you have concentration practice, I’m all out talking again, but concentration practice, then you have different things that happen after.

What Joe’s talking about is spontaneous arising within the moment, which in fact is called [lundrup] as it happens. And that’s, it’s quite a difficult area, Joe, for people, because it depends on why people are, depends on that base, actually.

Joseph: Yeah.

Martin: As to what instruction you give. Because there’s concentration practice, and there’s mindfulness practice, and then you walk the streets. Then you talk to people and it’s a different thing then, because it’s harder to stay present when you’re with extreme amounts of activity around you, with open eye. So what would you like to do that would be useful for people? Should we deal with the mindfulness bit first? What’s the difference? And then let’s talk about process and practice.

Joseph: Yep, you’re the boss, let’s follow you. Where do you want to go with this?

Martin: We’re going to go right to mindfulness.

Joseph: Yep. So on the mindfulness thing, I would really look to change the semantic to mindlessness. Because mindfulness in and of itself, presupposes, you know, holding something in mind. The first thing we can all agree on, and we can go direct experience on this, you don’t need to practice being aware. You don’t need to practice awareness. What happens over time, happened for me over the last few years, is an awareness of awareness stabilizes, it just doesn’t go off. When you’re awareness of your awareness is habituated day to day, moment by moment, there isn’t a need to sit anymore.

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There’s, it doesn’t look any different sitting down with your eyes closed or open than it does walking around doing the shopping, at Wally’s, or Kohl’s, or wherever it is. But before that point, the concentration practices are really important, and they are mindfulness because you’re giving your mind something to do. But if we look back to the point of flow, the difficulty with giving your mind something to do, is you’re back in your subjectivity and you aren’t in the present moment, you’re practicing to be in it.

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Martin: I have a slight, because of Tibet, it’s always going to be slightly different language. So let’s start here then, let’s begin here. Concentration. Let’s start there, and then let’s come to mindfulness. Because you’re kicking an extra thing in which about mindlessness, we can just call that spontaneous arise in the moment. Let’s have that over there somewhere. It’s over, so just more that.

Joseph: By the bookshelf.

Martin: Yeah. Let’s start with concentration then. And this is about flow states, finding more flow states, so how can people, or what’s the benefit from concentration?

Joseph: Only thing, I know, we’ve got slightly different language bouncing around this, but the capacity to be able to witness, to hold a focus of witnessing the noise that we talk about that’s arising as a concentration practice, takes initially concentration just to be able to not put your hand back in the flow of the storm, you know?

Martin: Okay. So I’m going to do this, because people may have seen other things that I’ve done around, so let me, I’ll do my bit of language and then we’ll come back and be on the same page.

Joseph: Sure.

Martin: Concentration practice. You sit on your bum, you watch your breath, all right? First stage, and that’s still with form. Breath is still form, panting is still form, eventually you give up the form. Okay. Very simple.

You stop losing the count, you hold attention, it’s an attention, concentration practice, it’s actually preliminary practice, but it’s not even, it’s just the first thing, and you’ll do it for years, and years, and years, because you’ll be there, and a little, oh I could do with a cup of tea, and then you come back and you’ll be back to it, and you’ll lose your concentration.

Okay that’s not actually true meditation, the meditation then starts to come when you have open awareness. When the mind drops down enough and you can sit there and just be open aware, but very often it’s going to be with eyes closed, and you just have open awareness. Bang.

Now trouble is, with often with these things, it’s hard when you’re sitting for hours, and hours, and hours, your knees get tired, mind comes back in, you’re aching, all of these sorts of things going on. You’re dealing with a lot of stages of the journey. Right.

Those practices that will then come after that, and one of those is open mind practice, then Zen, you’ll have walking practice, you have physical practice you can do, and other things as well. Concentration practice goes into mindfulness.

But it gets even more complex because you have vehicles, and you have bases, and have cars and they have fruit, and I’m only checking this in because we will come on to all of this stuff, because it’s something I trained in for a while. Concentrations come back to you being in charge of your mind.

Awareness is being present of moments arising, whether the moment be a thought, image attached to it, an image with an attached thought, you don’t attach, you’re just open and aware. Okay? Is that reasonable, because we’ve got, it’s pretty useful, concentration and awareness practice, concentration and mindfulness. Is that fair, Joe?

Joseph: Yeah I think so. Just to nail the point for everybody. The point of being able to witness, the point of being able to concentrate, even on your breath, without interfering, is the point that without that simple witnessing capacity, concentration capacity, it’s impossible to be present to the reality without doing something to it. And the moment that you do something to what’s arising in the moment, it’s just no access to flow. Because you’re inside here, you’re out there somewhere.

Martin: Perfect. Right. Now we said we weren’t going to go this deep but we did, because we had the opportunity. Which is good. Let’s come back to people starting off, what can they do next, Joseph?

Joseph: In terms of what?

Martin: In terms of themselves.

Joseph: Well for a lot of people, it’s just going to be the realization that they are meta-commenting, in movie symbols, and conversations, and memories, on reality. So when I’m having the conversation with you, in here it’s kind of dusty and there’s an occasional desert bush going past. Most people have got a full blockbuster movie running whilst they’re talking to you, and whilst you’re talking back to me, download while you’re talking, I’m thinking about the wife pulling me up this morning for not doing the garbage, and how my stomach is feeling, and what I’ve got on this afternoon, and I’m nodding to you yes, and it’s not me being ignorant, I’m just habituated into constantly playing movies in mind. So what can people do? The very first thing is to at least be able to take a meta-step back and see this movie that’s running them all the time.

Martin: And pull themselves back in the moment, in that conversation, and the thing they’re doing just come back to being present and aware with what is arising in front, which is somebody, and you’re paying attention?

There’s a slight tension in mind, you’re not just open aware, and you’re actually partly concentrative. Because you’ve got to listen. This is the difference, I think, with Joe’s, what we’re talking about is concentration practices, you learn to stop, mindfulness is open awareness. Whatever happens, and anything, it’s attention, there’s attention to it.

And I say attention, you’re attending to that thing, and you’re holding to it, because, so give me the example, if Joe’s here, and then let’s say a dog walks in, if I’m attended, I’m holding my attention to Joe, and the dog walks in, I probably won’t shift from my attention from Joe unless the dog’s going to come and attack me, or some other thing, because it’s important that Joe experiences me being attentive. And it feels different on the receiving end as opposed to other. You know what I’m saying? It’s really interesting.

Joseph: Yeah.

Martin: We have, it’s just teasing the part linguistically, or something experiential, and then coming back to there is a difference, it isn’t mindfulness that we’re talking about with the flow.

Joseph: Yeah. So just to put a continuum in there, which people might be able to relate to a little bit more easily, is the integration of focus within openness, and being aware of the openness and the focus at the same time.

Joseph Scott 6

Martin: That’s it. That’s the point. And that allows for spontaneity to occur.

Joseph: Yeah. And so my attention, as you voice, is not only in the focus of this moment, but in the realization that the whole of the universe is running around this conversation that we bring focus to. But not an attention to oh wow, the whole world’s running of reality, and then back to attention to you, they’re both at the same time.

Martin: It’s not going to get any better than that. Everybody that was Joseph Scott. Great. Wonderful, and we didn’t know where it was going to go, we just did what we did. Thank you so much for watching. If you’re watching this live, I’m actually going to put the link onto the thread, and you’re welcome to come and say hello to Joe. I know it’s tough to talk at 5 in the morning, but if he’s able to hang around for five minutes we can connect further, if you’d like to, and thank you so much for getting up so early. Thanks all of you for watching.

Joseph: Thank you Martin.

Martin: I hope you find more of your flow state. And you may find other things start to happen in life when you do. Take care, thank you Joseph.

Joseph: Cheers. Bye.

[End of transcript]


If you are hungry for more, here is a great overview video from Steven Kotler, speaking at a Google event: