The state of Practice

In the art of manipulation / flow arts community, we talk a lot about the state of flow. Below is a quote from the book flow.

“The mystique of rock climbing is climbing; you get to the top of a rock glad it’s over but really wish it would go on forever. The justification of climbing is climbing, like the justification of poetry is writing; you don’t conquer anything except things in yourself…. The act of writing justifies poetry. Climbing is the same: recognizing that you are a flow. The purpose of the flow is to keep on flowing, not looking for a peak or utopia but staying in the flow. It is not a moving up but a continuous flowing; you move up to keep the flow going. There is no possible reason for climbing except the climbing itself; it is a self-communication.”
― Mihaly CsikszentmihalyiFlow

In my mind the state of practice is different to the state of flow. Spending hours drilling a trick / move in a very conscious way; working ones techniques this is the state of practice. There is of course an overlap between flow and practice. For me though I would choose spending my afternoons in the state of practice than the state of flow every time. We are all in these arts for different reasons. But the feeling I get when I finally have a move clean which I have been working on for days, months, years is the best feeling in the world. The moment of break through that makes you want to shout from the roof “I final got it” is like nothing else!

The state of practice, honing ones technique, pushing the boundaries of ones art , drilling moves and tricks. That’s the number one reason I love to spin my poi and throw things into the air.


3 thoughts on “The state of Practice

  1. For me, practice leads to a greater state of flow. There is a definite difference between the two, practice takes a lot of deliberate thought, exploration and time, whereas flow you completely let go of though, but only for a little while. I think flow is also that moment when you get the trick, everything just falls nicely into place. I’m in opposition to you, I much prefer flow and hate practice…

  2. Hi Scott thanks for the comment, and nice to hear how you feel about this. One of the many reasons these arts are so awesome is the fact that everybody comes at it from a different angle 🙂

  3. Great thoughts on practice and flow.
    I love to practice for several reasons and I love the flow for many reasons. Both is inseparably linked and in the flow arts only practice will ever lead you to an experience of outstanding flow.
    I think flow is very much related to a state of no-mind or just little mind but mainly a state of surrender and through that the experience of a deeper or higher state of being.
    When I practice I often get into a state of flow. I am crafting my skills to be the fuel for the flow. The practice has its own micro-flows and all these different moves, feelings, rushes and the inner smile leads to the flow – as I know it.

    I do contact juggling and tight rope dancing and both took a lot of dedication to become a real flow. In the same time I can say that there always was a kind of flow from the very beginning, even though such were short or kinda subtle. The flow grows with the inner capacity to flow. It might be facilitated by physical and mental skills and states but it is an inner experience and thus one needs to hold a sort of inner capacity for the flow to happen. As more I am truly in my body and as more I can just be present with my experience of life, the more I am the flow.
    The endless flow I am. 🙂

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