In the early 1980’ies, I attended summer school in Dallas, Texas. My uncle lived there and while going to school I also practiced martial arts. It was around this time that I was first introduced to the writings of the Japanese Zen Master and swordsman Takuan Sōhō.
The writings still mean a lot to me and sum up the concept of being in a state of flow. I try to achieve a state of flow whenever I’m climbing a mountain, practicing martial arts, in a creative brainstorm or in business negotiations.
My passion for arts has grown tremendously during the last 10 years. Today, I collect, view and read avidly about contemporary art. Art comes in many forms.
Regarding literary art Henry Miller is one of my many favourites. He once said:
“Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.“
Through this Miller manages to interlink the arts with flow. It serves as an explanation to how the arts can provide you with a lifelong source of experiences and inspiration. For me the arts are a source of inspiration, personally and professionally.
Nature, and especially the mountains, is a place I love. For many years I have walked, trekked, climbed, run and skied. The last few years I have begun to fine-tune my wave surfing skills – with moderate success. So whether it is a forest, mountain or sea, nature always has an awe-inspiring effect on me. You cannot force yourself on nature – you simply have to go with the Tao of nature, thus becoming one with the wave, the forest and the mountain.
Mu shin is the state we achieve when the unsettled monkey mind stops jumping around, when we stop being self-conscious and lower our expectations. When we achieve this we become better athletes, better lovers, better employees - we perform better and we achieve flow.
Flow is the state in which we perform optimally – without being conscious about the performance. Flow is the spontaneous mind – it is the experience of subject, object and action becoming one. You cannot seek out this state. In Buddhism there is a saying: ”If you search, you will not find”. This is the power of the present – when you are fully present in the things you do.
Psychology and Philosophy
For many years, I was unable to see where my self-development journey would lead. I now feel that I have come full circle. I have been trough numerous methods of self-development and during the 90’ies I went through a journey within Buddhism which might have been a detour.
I tried all sorts of stuff and went on various retreats, but eventually I realized I was looking for an identity in Buddhism and within the possibilities that Buddhism offers.